This can mean many things to many people. According to Wikipedia a retreat may refer to a withdrawal of military forces, a place of refuge, a military signal for the end of day, usually marking the lowering of the flag or ensign, or a spiritual term for time taken to reflect or meditate (wikipedia.org). When it comes to a retreat at Rock Mountain Bible Camp I believe most youth pastors and leaders would refer to the last definition. In fact this past fall and early winter I sent youth pastors and leaders a couple of questions about going on a retreat and in particular a retreat at Rock Mountain. Here is what they said.
“To retreat is a necessary part of life—it helps you see things clearer…where you need to fine tune, change, add, or drop…and that happens when we are able to “Be still” and hear from God. A retreat is a tool for getting people away from everyday life and all the noise that goes with it—to live a bit simpler for just a few days.”
“Taking my students on a retreat means no sleep, sore muscles, hearing loss, gray hairs, and some of the best memories with my students that I can remember. Retreats have been a catalyst for all of the months, and sometimes years of waiting patiently for the student to take a next step in their faith towards God.”
“Our retreat is a time for us to pull our students away from their busy schedules to be refreshed by the Word of God, encouraged by their Christian friends, and refocused on the mission God has for them to stand in the Gap—living out their faith and sharing the gospel with the world.”
The impact of getting away with the youth is immeasurable and provides a great foundation for the year and years to come of youth ministry. The relationships that are strengthened on the retreat can lead to great discipleship and mentoring opportunities with lifelong impact.
A follow up question was asked “so why Rock Mountain Bible Camp?”
“I have to say there is no better place in my book to do that (retreat) with teens than at Rock. They take of everything on their end and do it well—you don’t have to worry about that. God threw in some incredible surroundings… the staff are so accommodating, the food is great. A great atmosphere for a retreat is why I keep coming back.”
“Coming to Rock Mountain means that I know that we will receive the best care possible. The staff has shown year after year that they are here to serve you with a servant’s heart.”
What happens to those young men and women when they go on a retreat?
“I remember a teen that went to one of our retreats; he determined that God was not going to interrupt his life. He spent the first day fighting Him off until Saturday night when I watched God just wrap His arms around this guy and he just melted under God’s Grace.”
“We have seen God work year after year in the lives of our teens he has lead our students to live for Him when they came home, He has led many at the retreat to choose to take a summer mission project, He has helped many to make convictions that have led to them living for Him for a lifetime.”
As you can see God does some amazing things to those who go on retreats and listen to Him. Please praise God and pray for the thousands of young people and leaders that will retreat to Rock Mountain Bible Camp in the coming year.