This week as I heard a presentation about Gen Z teens, I heard over and over: Gen Z are connected but alone. They are connected in every imaginable way, yet they report they feel isolated and lonely. They can connect in virtual relationships, but they struggle with real world relationships. They struggle understanding God, but their lives are so driven by smartphone beeps and tones, they have little time for anyone, much less God.
As I reflected on this development in a new generation, I think we are all like Gen Z teenagers. Our electronics set the pace for our lives. We connect on social media and yet we are less social than ever. We crave God’s company, but our lives are so crowded and noisy, we cannot hear His voice.
About two years ago we came upon an idea for a ministry we have since started. Mary and I founded Deepen Retreats. Deepen Retreats seek to aid believers in deepening their relationships with the Lord Jesus Christ and living out faithful discipleship in every area of their lives. Our time can be deep beyond measure. A life without bounds, deep in Jesus, is waiting for us all.Our time here can be deep beyond measure. Consider attending a Deepen Retreat. Click To Tweet
The three unique features mark all Deepen Retreats. The retreats are limited to only fifty participants per retreat. The retreat combines significant time in small groups and significant time in silence and solitude. This event is not a conference or a clinic. It is truly a retreat, withdrawing from the world to hear God speak and enable us to meaningfully and obediently re-enter the world to love God and serve others. Every retreat begins with small groups. Then the groups disperse so we can spend twenty-four hours in silence and solitude. Across this time of silence, we experience teaching about principles that help us experience a deep life with God. Lectures in the retreat include:
- Why It All Begins with Confession
- Hearing the Voice of the Lord
- Making My Plan
- The Danger of Distractions
- The Value of a Deep Life
- Putting Your Plan to Work
In addition, each retreat has two unique worship experiences. After the time of silence, we return to the community of small groups to process what God has said to us and encourage one another to obey. Every participant will leave the retreat with his or her own spiritual growth plan.
Two Deepen Retreats will be forming soon. Both will be hosted at beautiful Camp Siloam Springs near Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The Men’s Deepen Retreat will be Friday, March 16, through Sunday, March18. The Women’s Deepen Retreat will be Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25. As soon as we have all the online registration information available, we will pass along those links. Mark your calendars now.
My own pastor, Jacob Guenrich, First Baptist Church, Walnut Ridge, said of this retreat: “Spending twenty-four hours in silence provided me the space I needed to bring myself before God so I could hear His voice and experience His presence. Anyone who wants to take the time to examine their spiritual life and grow deeper in their walk with Christ should benefit greatly from this retreat.”
Scripture: Read Colossians 2:6-7. How can you move from simply having received Christ to walking in Him?
Dig Deeper: Read Practice the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
Now It’s Your Turn: If you were invited to a retreat about growing deeper with God, would you go? Why? Please share your ideas so we can all grow together.