Learning and Living the God-centered life

Building Community through the Gospel
The Retreat Group for 2011 Team Leaders meet with Kay Allen Cleveland talks with Dan Steve and Janie share with Eric Moore Bruce and Lane working through some heavy theology Tim listens to Karen Pat has instructions for Jim Steve Brown always looking stylish Our class missionaries Nancy, Jeanette and Patti Don Lane Dr. Ware and Pastor Russ The Retreat Group Gary Sheats Kay Jones on the move Karen Sheats with good friend Leigh Smith Mr. Height is a great student The Retreat Group The Retreat Group Bert and Dr. Ware at the Q & A session Dynamic Duo Steve and Janie Alvin and Janice IMG_0673.jpg John and Ann Danny and Rhonda Nancy and Steve Todd and Melanie Jim and Patti Abbot and Costello The Retreat Planning Team Our Leader - Pat Jones
Retreat 2009 - This was our initial class retreat that was held in Asheville, NC. The subject was "The Gospel." Our leadership team came together and planned at time in which 45 from SS class participated that weekend.
Retreat 2010 - We decided to go back to the Asheville area and this time I taught on "End Times" from a Bible Survey point of view. This was a study from Genesis to Revelation in order to understand the context of how to arrive at ones end times theology.
Retreat 2011 - The leadership team when over and beyond the call of duty. We invited Dr. Bruce Ware to help us understand the "friendly fire" that is happening within the evangelical church today in regard to essential doctrines.

One of our key objectives from a leadership team perspective was to provide a retreat at least one a year outside of the Charlotte area. The goal of the retreat was to provide extensive and intensive time away to study and discuss in depth these Bible doctrines. The first retreat as a community was held in May 2009 at the Ridgecrest Lifeway Center in beautiful Asheville, NC. It started at 7 PM on Friday evening and ended at 12 PM on Sunday and was concluded with lunch before driving back to Charlotte. The theme verse for our retreats was Mark 6:31 in which Jesus said to His disciples “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”

The theme verse listed above gives wonderful insight as to "WHY" we need retreats:

Observation # 1 - “come away” is an invitation by way of a command
In our culture when life is hectic and crazy and there is a build up of stress and strain then advice we often hear is: “What you need to do is to get away”
But at the very stressful point and time in the life of the Lord Jesus He told His own disciples to “come away.” What does it mean when someone invites you to come?The nice thing about it is Jesus has already gone before us and will sustain us while there. Jesus says to “come away” and not “get away” - (Matthew 11:28 - “come to Me all who are weary…”)

Observation #2 - We also tend to give advice that says “you just need to get away and be by yourself for a few days” But notice again that Jesus tells them to “come away by themselves” which is in the plural. So many times people just want to isolate and get away from others but Jesus is encouraging us to come away with others

Observation #3 - And we can lean toward places that can offer distractions like Vegas, Disney World, Myrtle Beach or maybe a quick trip to New York. But look at the advice of Christ “come away by yourselves to a secluded place” or a place of solitude

Observation #4 - We are commanded by Christ to “rest”
It is the Greek word “anapauo” which is a verb that means to cease from labor in order to recover one’s strength also is translated in the NASB as “refreshed” So Jesus is first of all inviting those who are stressed and burdened to:
  • Come away as an invitation and not get away
  • The invitation is for us to come away in community
  • Christ wants to take us to a place that can be solitary and without lots of distractions
  • And He commands that we cease from labor to be refreshed

Observation #5 - Finally He says this is to last for awhile, which is a short degree of intensity