What the Men’s Retreat Means to Me

By Corey Pierce

I had only attended New Life for a few weeks before the annual fall Men’s Retreat approached. Shannon and I were engaged to be married, and I felt oddly drawn to this gathering of men. Usually I would have avoided such a thing because I didn’t like standing alongside other men who outshined me. Sure, my faith was steady, but it was so small. My God was small.

It was Mike Hollenbach’s pursuit that made the decision easier. He offered the financial support I needed. But more than that, he offered encouragement. With an uneasy feeling of excitement I signed up. The theme of that first retreat was prayer. It changed the way I saw prayer in such profound ways that I still actively remember its lessons.

Within two years, I found myself organizing the Men’s Retreat. Whose mistake was that? Seriously, who thought I was mature enough to organize an annual event designed to lead men to unite, open up, be honed and worship God? I was stressed. I was scared. I was lost. By God’s Grace, many men, myself included, met with God during those years when I was so lost.

Things are different now. Have I matured? Maybe in a way. But what really changed?

I let go of my insecurities and finally trusted in God’s provision. I started to plan retreats that nourish me. God knows what I need – what we all need.

At last month’s retreat, God spoke to us about His relentless love. As King David learned, God’s love and purposes for us will be done, even in spite of us. Over the course of three days, we unpacked God’s design for us as men. Through Joshua Earman’s guidance, we looked at the blueprint of life. What has God drawn up for us? Is that still the plan? What counterfeits in the world pull us away from God’s purposes? What does God say about family?

Anthony Gammage took us on a fast-paced journey concerning the meaning of work. Why do we work? What is the purpose of work? Why is work so challenging and how do we handle that?

Have you wondered about the men’s retreat? I encourage you to talk to others about the retreat. Talk to Joshua, Anthony or me if you have any questions. Most importantly, pray about it. God is relentless in His pursuit of you.