The Retreat Leader’s Manual by N Ferguson & K Witt
In an age when vacationers on pleasure cruises can expect to be on tightly planned and pressure-packed schedules, a restful renewal seems alien.
“I will give you rest,” Jesus said (Matt. 11:28). The Bible places a strong emphasis on sabbath time. Experiencing solitude, play, and life at a slower rhythm are precious pathways that allow God to nurture our souls.
Retreats have the special focus that offer personal growth as participants are guided to look at life and the world with God in mind. Forty percent of church members and pastors polled report having a significant spiritual experience through a church retreat or camp experience. Yet, pastors are hard-pressed to tackle the details required to plan these “times away.”
Ferguson and Witt have written a practical guide covering the nuts and bolts of planning the budget, picking a site and organizing Bible studies—all to make the experience meaningful for all ages. Going beyond the usual collections of suggested activities and formats, The Retreat Leader’s Manual provides a solid base for faith formation in retreats. Ferguson and Witt offer a thoughtful exploration of the need and biblical precedent for spiritual retreats.
“Spiritual retreats tap into a universal human desire,” write the authors. “They serve as an oasis for the soul…. The unabashed aim of faith-based retreats is helping persons seek God with their whole heart.”
As one reviewer says, “If your congregation doesn’t already go on retreat, this book will help you realize what you’re missing. And if you already know the value of regular retreats, The Retreat Leader’s Manual will help make your next retreat better than ever!”