On Saturday I posted my thoughts on Church Retreats, you might want to take a look at that post here. Of course, that post was about the word “retreat” and not about substance as it relates to church retreats…
First, I had a great time. Since I am quite new here, I had a great opportunity to get to know people better, and while I’m not going to claim that they were necessarily blessed by this, it was a wonderful blessing for me!
Second, the setting was beautiful, and you will be seeing many photos from the site. it was at Camp Wamava in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. Remote and rustic, but not too rustic, I’d be happy to go back there most any time.
Third, the gathering was well-attended and people brought their kids, who seemed to have lots of fun things to do, and even their dogs in several cases; good times.
Fourth, and much more importantly, a guest speaker named Fred Liggin from the Williamsburg (VA) Christian Church was invited to be the principal speaker. Fred was interesting, informative and inspiring for everyone. His message was one of encouragement and insight; a message of action and of advancing the cause of Christ in the mission fields of our own neighborhoods, and I can only hope that it reaches far and wide. incidentally, Fred has a blog here on WordPress that you might want to take a look at.
Having sald all of this, there is a larger issue that I hope you might think about: It is all well and good to go off to a conference, workshop, retreat or whatever type of a session that gives you hope and inspiration. Even if you never attend anything, you might read about something in a book or on this or some other blog, that really gets your attention and that gives you great ideas for how to be a follower of Jesus. If you finish your event or your reading and then think about what you’ve picked up for a day or two and then go back to business as usual, you may have just wasted your time.
Following Christ as His disciple is not a passive occupation; it is an active one. Making disciples requires that something be done. Now this is not to say that we earn our Salvation, for there is no way to do that; it comes by grace. Our response to His grace, however, does require something: Service. Service as His disciple necessarily implies that something will be accomplished.
My prayer for all who attended this, or any other retreat or training session of whatever type recently is that we will be moved to put the great ideas and insights that we may have gained into practice. That anybody who has read something that inspires them will put it into practice, and that we will, all together as the Body of Christ will be more effective in our reaching out into the world around us, to help do our part to change lives for Christ. My prayer is that by doing this, we will shine the light of Jesus Christ right here in the darkness of this world.