The weekend of October 28-30, GAP had the opportunity to retreat to Smith Mountain Lake for a weekend of rest, refreshment, and some great teaching and fellowship with other believers. 39 people were able to attend and we had an awesome mix of free time, teaching, small group time, sharing meals, and even a costume contest!
Our theme for the weekend was Biblical Community. During three sessions and some small group time, we unpacked what biblical community is, what it looks like, and how it is a necessary part of a believer’s life. It was an awesome encouragement to hear Neal Nelson and Alex Kacere on Saturday morning, as they discussed Scripture and their experiences, pointing to godly principles of what a biblical community is and isn’t. We also had a great time of worship and sharing on Sunday morning, where everyone got a chance to talk about what God had shown them over the weekend.
There were some awesome takeaways from the weekend, but one of the biggest was that a biblical community of believers push and encourage each other to be more like Christ. We must be authentic and honest with God and each other, and not just “hang out.” God’s design for community is to drive us closer to our ultimate purposes of glorifying God and to have our hearts changed to look more and more like his Son, Jesus. A true biblical community isn’t always comfortable or appealing to our sinful nature, but is one of the most encouraging and necessary components in a believer’s life.
Beyond our teaching time, we also were able to enjoy time with each other by sharing meals, flag football, kayaking and paddle boating, corn hole, Harry Potter Pictionary, and of course, the costume contest! Jake from State Farm and Flo from Progressive took away the top prize. There were also almost constant games going on simultaneously during free time, including the international sensation Pass the Pigs.
We were sad to see the retreat end, and are already looking forward to next year! Are you a graduate student or professional? Even though the retreat has ended, check out our GAP ministry as there are many other events happening frequently during the year, and make plans to join us on next year’s retreat!