A couple of weekends ago we took a convoy of students to Black Mountain, NC for a weekend retreat. We’ve been taking retreats to Tarheel Lodge in Black Mountain for many years. This trip was a first of its kind for many reasons.
In the old days we would take only our leadership team, interns, and staff to this location for this kind of retreat. The retreat at Black Mountain was meant to be chock full of vision casting, strategizing, and hard work. We thought we would be doing something similar with this trip.
One of the key differences was that in the group we took, around 1/3 of the students present were new believers that we lead to faith in the harvest. Somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of the students that went were relatively new in their faith even if we didn’t personally lead them to faith.
Formerly, we took our highest level leaders away and pushed them really hard. For this retreat, we had lots of new people and we realized that we couldn’t push them. We could only invite them forward. Rather than being a work-retreat, it was a shepherding retreat.
We planned this retreat to help us solve a problem. It is hard to get college students away to longer trainings like Four Fields Intensives where they can discover for themselves principles from the Bible about why we do what we do.
Our solution was to take a normal college ministry weekend retreat and pack it with training modules from a Four Fields Intensive. We narrowed down the list of training components to only those that would fit our students and their context.
Here’s what we ended up doing:
- God’s Mission from Genesis to Revelation
- Critical Path from 0 to Healthy Church
- Four Fields Bible Discovery – Luke 8-13
- Four Fields Bible Discovery – Acts 13-20