This was my first Men's Retreat with CPC and I was asked to host the weekend with Shawn Peterson, our South Campus Pastor. I was so pumped to be able to work closely with Shawn as we hosted. It was fun for us to work on something together like this.
Friday Night, Saturday AM, Saturday Night and Sunday AM we had worship services there. Our worship leaders came down and lead worship. There is something rad about being in the room with 200+ men who are worshipping God! We also brought down Dr. John Koessler to preach at these meetings. John preached the word in a new way; he brought narrative stories that made me look at the Gospel in a new way.
We do something that I have never seen before; NEVER. For the first 24 hours of the retreat we leave out a box where men can write down any question they want to ask the Elders. On Saturday night from 9pm till about 10:30pm our Elders sat down and answered all those questions in front of any man who wanted to come listen. I have to admit that I was pleasantly shocked at how many men came out to listen to those questions.
Here's what I love about that time. Men were able to ask real questions that were on their heart about: personal things, church leadership, theology and sex. They were able to get real answers from the leadership of our church. I am so impressed with that!
On a personal note this time really spoke to me. One of our Elders was speaking in the context of marriage and brought up this verse from 1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect...This verse, and what the Elder said, really spoke to my heart on how I treat my wife. I went home with a renewed sense of passion to make sure I am being respectful to my wife in all I do. I want to make sure that my wife's needs are met and that I am being the man she needs.
During the retreat we broke down the large group in smaller groups. I led a group of 8 guys in two sessions of community groups. It was a time to get to know other men (that I wouldn't of had an opportunity to know otherwise) and talk about what God is doing in our lives. It was cool to watch men opening up about what is going on in their lives and where God is working. It was cool to see guys process what they are learning out loud, in a safe environment, with other men. I don't think that I am the best group leader out there but I sure did have a great time with these men.
Let's be honest; I had to add something unspiritual to this list! Saturday after lunch we got together and played a game of Ultimate; to be honest we played four games (and I only sat down for about 5 min during the whole time). Afterward I was exhausted, thrilled and stoked to meet some more guys my age.
Thanks Men's Retreat for being a great weekend!