The final day of the retreat and another wonderful time of devotions led by Rich Kirkpatrick. Always a great way to start the day.
Our first general session for the day began with worship led by Troy Kennedy, who is the Worship Pastor at Westside Family Church right there in Kansas City. Then Dwayne Moore came up and spoke for the final time at the retreat. He began by saying that he was led to change what he was planning to speak on. The message he ended up bringing to us was how to worship during the times of brokenness and trials:
• Analyze your trials by asking yourself 1) What did I learn? 2) Did it serve to make me better or bitter? & 3) How am I using that trial to encourage others?He also shared a personally story of a family from his worship team who had a young boy who battled and beat cancer in his leg on two different occasions. Then he said after that he was diagnosed with leukemia and this time he did not win that battle. He told us that the faith of that family during this huge trial was amazing and how they had asked the worship team to play, and ultimately to worship, at the memorial service. One of the songs they asked Dwayne and the team to do was Blessed Be Your Name. Dwayne said that an amazing thing happened as the team reached the bridge of that songs, "You give and take away, You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name!" At that point the father stood up with his arms reaching out towards heavens. What an awesome thing to hear. At that point Michael Farren came up and led us in an absolutely awesome time of worship. He transitioned straight into that song. The presence of the Lord was huge in that room at this time. It has been a long time that I have been that moved during a time of worship. We had a very moving time of worship, confession, thanksgiving, and prayer for one another. One of the times I will remember the most from the retreat. Thanks to Dwayne and Michael for following the Spirit's leading even though it meant changing everything they originally had planned.
• Trials and struggles are important, just like when a butterfly emerges from the cocoon, it needs the struggle to know/learn how to fly.
• Even in the midst of storms we need to praise.
We had two more breakout session times and I spent both of those with Troy Kennedy. The first session was Lessons from the Trenches: Thriving Long Term in Local Ministry and the second session was The Power of Focus: Doing More with Less. Two great sessions with a guy that has been involved in ministry for a long time. Got a lot of great info from him that I will definitely be spending more time looking over. It's been absolutely great having these guys come in and share the experiences they've had and what they've learned from them. They say we have a lot more information and resources available to us now, but I thinks it's almost more valuable to have these guys share first hand what they went through and how they went about it.
Enjoyed lunch with some more folks at a local Mexican restaurant, Jalapenos. Even got some great ideas of things to do with bridging the gap of worship styles in a multi-generational church.
The retreat ended with one last time of worship with Jared Anderson, then a short little message from Darrell Evans where he gave us the chance to ask any last questions or comments that we might have had.
A very special thanks to Wisdom, Ben, All About Worship and those from Grace Church that helped make this retreat possible. It was a fantastic experience and exactly what I needed; the chance to get away, slow down, recharge, and really spend some time in worship was truly a blessing.