To Retreat

The view south by southeast from on top of Copper Mountain towards Tucker Mountain.

This originally appeared on as a weekly devo.

Last week I did something I haven’t done in about 6 years. I took a retreat. I had two other guys (pastors) that I’ve known for years meet me in Breckenridge. One of them had access to a house for a few days and we met there. I was the breakfast chef – that’s right. And we each brought an “issue” to the table for the other guys to speak into.

As a former military guy – retreat was ingrained in me as a bad word. Retreat meant defeat. Meant heading in the wrong direction. It meant something went wrong.

That’s not always true. And our format wasn’t really so much a retreat as it was…I don’t know, recalibrating our souls. Maybe we ought to use more accurate words.





All of them apply.

I can’t even put in words how being on the mountain rejuvenates my soul. Some people are beach people, some people are lake people. I like them both. Okay, I like the lake way more than the beach. The beach is just one great big itch and scratch fest with the sand. But I digress….

But there is something deep and mystical that connects to my soul in the mountains. The beauty. The ruggedness. The air. The sky. Colors are brighter. The size and scope. Everything is more intense on the mountain. Blizzards, storms, rain, thunder, lightning.

I thought I’d give an update on the time…instead…I’ll just give you some soundbites.

My prayer is that it will inspire you to find your own place of retreat, to recharge, reconnect, refresh.

Are you sure it’s wise to measure spiritual maturity by what church positions a person holds?

Good to great teaching on Sunday morning – while important – isn’t vital. People want connection. And handles to what they are reading in the scripture to apply it in their life.

Can Sage (chocolate lab) eat peanuts?
But what?
Well…too late. You’ll smell why later.

Growth is good. Obviously, we are going to say that. But if our walk with Jesus doesn’t lead us to multiplication, is it really growth? Do we really have the kind of relationship with Jesus HE wants if it doesn’t multiply?

I feel like my 18 years of student ministry has zero relevancy in today’s youth culture. I still love teens…but it is all so very, very different now.

Vision matters. Words matter. And the simpler the better. But I don’t think it’s just enough to “do” your vision. You better have words that connect with people.

The biggest leadership challenge that faces me right now is multiplying leaders on the highest level who can also multiply other Christ-followers.

Your challenge is not to sell community and life groups on those who are already in one. It’s to provide opportunities for those NOT in community to experience good community. And let’s face it – the way we’ve traditionally done it has a horrible rate of acceptance. Your telling people – show up to a strange home, with strange people, for an undefined length of time, and there is no easy way to get out of it if it doesn’t work for you. You really need to rethink this.

This movie can’t get any worse.

I was wrong.

I think I’m just now figuring out what the in world I’m doing.

My biggest temptation is to hit the fast-forward button and try to short-cut spiritual development. I face it every single ministry decision.

Navy SEALS are not human. They are more awesome than Ninjas. And the way they rely on each other – honestly, it’s how our church leadership teams should function.

If somebody’s personality or title is consistently becoming the focus, you’ve got a major leadership problem. Hard to make Godly decisions when you’re worried about somebody’s ego.

How’s your soul REALLY doing?

That’s it, huh? Love, live, serve?
Yeah…that’s it. We probably need to add Multiply or make a disciple in there.
We could go Love, live, serve, rinse, and repeat.
Yeah – we’re Baptist. You’re going to get wet at some point.

It was a great time.

Feel ready for the march ahead!


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