Men Retreat to Strengthen their Mission (3/17/17)

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in EventReport, Friends & Fellowship, men, UMM |

The Mens Fellowship group followed a tradition this year; we went on a retreat to Black Rock. This was our 16th annual retreat. Routine? Not really! Every time you open yourself up for an encounter with God, something different is likely to happen. The topic of this year’s retreat was “Being a Man with a Mission”, and we explored how our “mission” plays out in our personal, family and church lives.

Retreats aren’t just “book learning” or listening to a pastor give a presentation. These retreats are opportunities to form and to strengthen relationships by sharing the struggle of applying the topic to each of our lives. Somehow, in the atmosphere of “retreating” from the regular surroundings, we are able to hear God’s voice more clearly and to get in touch with our true feelings. In the music, or hiking, or even in eating, the distractions of the everyday world are removed and we’re open to re-evaluate and refocus.


Being a Man with a Mission

Our leader for this weekend was Pastor Matt Murphy of the 217Church in Windsor NJ.

During the four sessions (Friday evening, Saturday AM, Saturday PM, and Sunday AM), we used the example of Paul to explore the “Four Ms” of Mission.

Click on each tab below to get a taste of each topic…

On Friday evening (after a full meal at the Quarryville Family Restaurant), we looked at the concept of Mission…

Pastor Matt opened the discussion with a video of a grade school basketball game. During the scramble for the ball at one end of the court, a player grabbed the ball and ran towards the other basket. But on his way to making a great shot, his own coach came out onto the court and blocked his player’s shot. The boy was shooting at the wrong basket! He had mistakenly forgotten what his target was.

But don’t we do the same thing? In the beginning of Acts, Paul (then known as Saul) was persecuting Christians; trying to stop the cause of the Gospel. He was shooting at the wrong basket! But God put him on a road to Damascus and then refocused his mission. Knowing our mission gives us the following three things:

  1. Purpose- We weren’t saved just for ourselves; God saved us for a reason! Our purpose is to point others to Jesus. We’re supposed to reflect Him to the world. When you put everything behind your purpose, God will make things happen.
  2. Passion– When we’re focused, we’ll really get into our mission. We’ll live it. Breath it. Talk to others about it. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said you can’t serve both God and money. What are you passionate about?
  3. Priority– In Luke 18:24, Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler to sell everything he had and to give it to the poor. The young man walked away. His priority was on his wealth. When we’re focused on God’s mission, our priority will be God instead of our Stuff.
On Saturday morning, we saw that our mission is useless without a firm grasp of our Message. Paul’s Message was the Gospel. So of course, we need to ask ourselves “what is the Gospel”? The literal definition of “Gospel” is “Good News.” But stated simply, the Gospel is Jesus! But what is the Good News that Jesus brings? It shows up in several areas:

  1. Jesus’ Life– He lived a life worthy to know. We have a powerful Message! The essence of the Gospel is that when God looks at our sinful lives, He sees Jesus’ perfect life instead.
  2. Jesus’ Death– It took a perfect sacrifice to save us, and the only perfect life that ever walked the face of this earth was Jesus’. And, He gave that perfect life so that we could have eternal life. That’s Good News!
  3. Jesus’ Resurrection– If God was in control of Jesus in the grave, then He’s able to take control of your situation, how ever desperate it may seem. The resurrection gives us hope.
  4. Jesus’ Ascension– The disciples were a rough, untrained bunch. But Jesus left the mission with them. Jesus told THEM to go and make disciples. Like the first disciples, we too can trust God because He has trusted us.
  5. Jesus’ Kingdom– The Gospel isn’t simply a “get out of hell free card.” The Kingdom is in the here and now. Part of the Good News is that God has empowered us to draw others to the Kingdom. To live our lives in such a way that people ask us about Jesus.
After a full afternoon of doing whatever (or nothing!), we looked at how we need a Method for accomplishing our Mission. If our mission is to point others to Christ, we need to realize that the people we encounter are on different levels of relationship. Our method is to meet people where they are, much as Paul started with the synagogue when he first entered a city. Matt gave us the notion that we meet people at three different “tables”…

  1. The Mission Table– There are the people we meet outside of church. Causal relationships with neighbors, or with people at work, or with extended family. We are called to “go and make disciples”, or more accurately translated, “to make disciples as we go.”
  2. The Sacramental Table– These are the people we meet at church. Part of our method is to connect the people at our Mission Table with those at the Sacramental Table.
  3. The Agape Table– This is the group of friends with whom you can go deep. Share your closest to Christ moments. Confess sins. Our method is to draw people from the Sacramental Table into the Agape Table, but then empower them to reach out to their own Mission Tables.

We wrapped up our weekend on Sunday morning by evaluating our ministry. What is my role? Where does God want to send me? After looking at the Ministry of Paul, we can take several lessons…

  1. Start with the Familiar– Form relationships in your “norm zone.” You are surrounded by people who share common interests and concerns. Your “ministry” starts with them. As you connect with God, He will reveal more about your ministry as you just hang out and engage with other people.
  2. Try Something New– Be willing to change and adapt. What worked in the past, or what worked for you may not work now or with others.
  3. Respond to Needs– Keep your eyes and ears open! What do people need? Your Ministry might be to meet those needs or to point someone to a person who can meet them.
  4. Trust the Holy Spirit– Pray. Keep in contact with God in order to discover your ministry. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is within us. Be willing to openly ask, “What’s next God?”
To keep your focus, get into the habit of preaching the Gospel to yourself. One way to keep you focused is to remember the “Four Gs”.

God is __:

Glorious: So I don’t have to fear others.
Good: So I don’t have to look elsewhere for satisfaction.
Great: So I don’t have to be in control.
Gracious: So I don’t have to prove myself.


During each session, besides getting some great insights from Pastor Matt, we worshiped through music, listened to each other, and maybe even shed a few tears. And of course… plenty of nutritious food was available (despite the tragic and sudden sudden lack of macadamia nut cookies…).

Here’s a glimpse of what we did during our time together in the conference room…



Being Men on Retreat…

Being on a Men’s retreat isn’t limited to serious stuff! In between the sessions, we enjoyed some great meals, snow covered trees, wooded paths, warm fireplaces, and even comfortable beds! And on Saturday night (another retreat tradition), we enjoyed a good movie along with lots of pizza.

Here are a few pictures of PUMC’s men “at play”…




To learn more  about our weekend, view the post that announced the retreat by opening the below drop down box…


Our 16th Annual United Methodist Men’s retreat is just around the corner!  We had a great time last year, and this year’s retreat promises to be another special time.  It will be held at the Black Rock Retreat Center (in Quarryville, PA) on the weekend of March 17, 18, and 19.  We haven’t worked out a complete schedule, but generally our weekend runs as follows:

  • Friday- Dinner at the Quarryville Family Restaurant (Optional)
  • Friday- First session
  • Saturday morning- Session #2
  • Saturday afternoon- free time
  • Saturday evening- Session #3
  • Sunday morning- wrap up and worship.  Depart by noon.

The retreat is open to any man 17 years or older.


Retreat Speaker

Our speaker will be Pastor Matt Murphy of the 217Church in Windsor NJ.  Here’s Matt’s Bio…

“I have been married to my beautiful wife, Kelly for the last 12 years. We have 4 kids: Joshua 8, Caleb 6, Gideon 3, and Sarah 2. We have been in ministry together since before we were married. 

We have been or are involved in youth ministry, young adult ministry, adult ministry, small groups and church planting.

My passion is to lead disciple making movements in local communities. Kelly and I love seeing our neighbors begin walking with Jesus.” 



Retreat Topic:  Developing Movements

Movement?!?!  Sounds like a charged word these days.  But Jesus started a “movement.”  What we now call the “Christian religion” started out being called “The Way” (see Acts 9:2, 19:9, 24:22….  and others).   Our mission is summed up in the phrase “Know, Grow, and GO.”  Christianity doesn’t sit still!

Pastor Matt has entitled the weekend…

Developing Christ Centered Movements

The keys to seeing movement in your life and ministry-  from the life of Paul.  


The weekend will be organized around “The 4 M’s of a Movement”…

  1. Mission: Acts 8:1-3  
  2. Message: Acts 13:13-44 
  3. Method: Acts 16:12-15
  4. Ministry: Acts 19:8-12 


Cost and Accommodations

We have three options on where we can room (all of these are part of the Black Rock facility and within easy walking  distance of every venue during the weekend)…

The cabins are not “first class,” but they’re clean and comfortable.  They include a common bath room with a couple of showers (no towels are provided).  Sleeping is on bunks.  Five bunk beds are in each cabin, and generally we’ll have lower bunks for anyone wanting them.  Cushions are provided on the bunks, but bring your own linins or sleeping bags.  You’ll also need a towel.

Cost:  $114

Whip-poor Will Lodge.  Several of us stayed in this facility for the first time last year, and it was a big hit.   It’s one of the newest buildings on campus (or “in camp”?).  If you’ve been on the retreat, you may remember seeing it;  it’s the A-Frame building behind our “usual” conference room.  The “lodge” has 6 spaces.  Real beds and linen are provided.

Cost: $222

The Dogwood motel is like… well, a motel!  Each room has a queen bed and 1-2 twin sized beds (linen provided).  The “motel” is located on the opposite end of camp from the main lodge, but it’s likely that our meeting room  will be the one located right next to it (the meeting room isn’t assigned until we check in… depends on group size).

Cost:  $232

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If you are interested in going on the retreat, contact Gene Sevene, Chris Valianti, or drop an email to  As always, scholarship funds are available if you have a financial need.  This is confidential as always.

Deposit  plan…

You can pay it all off in one shot if you want, or installments are good too.  The main thing is that you come!

  • 1st deposit of $75 is due 12/18
  • 2nd deposit of $75 is due 1/29 – $25 for cabin dwellers.  
  • Final balance due by 2/26


2016 Men’s Retreat with Rev. Chris Yount



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To learn more about Men’s Fellowship Group, click this button:  Mens Fellowship