DAVIS—Approximately 90 church planters were offered a special weekend retreat at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, March 30-April 1. The theme of the retreat was “Family-to-Family,” which provided an atmosphere of encouragement and to be refreshed while spending time with other church planters.
The retreat’s theme verse was “The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged” (Ps. 69:32 NLT).
“I thought it was a good experience,” said Chris Forbes who serves as church planting logistic and demographic strategist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO). “The main purpose was not to have a church planting seminar. We tried to keep it ‘low key,’ to keep it a time to refresh.”
Ray Strauss was the key speaker at the retreat. An Edmond native, Strauss served on the church staffs at Edmond, First and Oklahoma City, Quail Springs. He currently serves as pastor of The Church at Sun Valley in Arizona, a church he helped plant.
“Ray shared on a number of topics such as surviving emotionally as a church planter, how to build up edifying relationships, how to set boundaries for you and your family, how to guard your heart against comparing yourself to other people,” Forbes said.
Anthony Alan, worship pastor at Moore, Elevate, led times of worship through music at the retreat. Alan along with other staff members of Elevate served at the retreat, speaking on ministry areas such as worship experiences and children’s ministry.
“Everything was led by people who are church planting,” Forbes said. “There’s a real need to have fellowship with people who understand where you are coming from. You’re starting a ministry from scratch, and sometimes you and your family are the only ones there.”
Anthony Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer, shared words of encouragement during the retreat. Alan Quigley, BGCO Mobilization Team leader, also spoke on church planting strategies and introduced members of the Mobilization Team’s church planting group. Future Messenger stories will feature more about the church planting group as well as different church planting strategies.
Retreat participants enjoyed the many Falls Creek festivities. Church planters also had free family portraits taken by a professional photographer at the retreat.
“They enjoyed the amazing facilities at Falls Creek,” Forbes said about the retreat participants. “They got on the zip line and the ropes course. They played games and participated in recreation. And the food, you can’t beat it.”
For more on BGCO church planting, visit www.oklahomachurchplanting.com.