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Five Takeaways from a Men's Getaway

nflakebristolnhYesterday afternoon I returned from a men’s retreat at Camp Berea in New Hampshire. Sixty-five men from nine area churches came together for two days of teaching, fellowship, prayer and worship. Here are five things I took home with me.

The Bible is still loved. It was encouraging to be in a place where God’s Word was taught unapologetically. The call to obedience sounded loud and clear. As I looked around the room, I saw quite a few worn out Bibles, some held together with duct tape. It thrilled my soul to be in the company of men who still love the Bible.

Singing must be from the heart. The worship band consisted of one guitar player. The audio system cracked and squeaked. The singing wasn’t always in tune. But it was loud, bursting from our hearts as we came before Him “with joyful singing” (Ps. 100:2).

A teacher needs to be taught. As a pastor I’m called to sustain and challenge others with the Word of God. I love doing that. But o, how much I need to be challenged by other preachers and teachers of the Word. All teachers need to be taught. All of us are students in the school of Christ (Is. 50:4).

God’s creation is breathtaking. I don’t think I’ve ever had my morning devotions in a more beautiful place. The quiet, the colors, the mountain peaks, the eagle in the tree and the moose crossing the road – all of them indicators of our powerful God. What kind of world awaits us if we can be awe-struck with this sin stained creation?

Christian fellowship is sweet. The opportunity to meet new people, talk about God, the Bible, ministry or theology. Enjoying each other’s company, laughter and sleeping in the same room with a bunch of guys. Different churches, different convictions on secondary issues but one in the name of Jesus Christ. It was an imperfect yet unmistakable foretaste of heaven.