All-Church Retreat Review

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

At a time when rest from the daily grind of school, work and other responsibilities become tedious, All-Church Retreat last month was a helpful time for many to come together as a church family and look afresh at Jesus Christ, the center of our faith, our Lord. This event gave many people in Lighthouse Bible Church to be in an environment to learn great truths from God’s Word together, and spend time reflecting on what was just preached.

Kurt Gebhards led the retreat in four sessions that looked to Christ, and our response to His life and character. The first message, titled “The Ironic Rest,” dealt with Matthew 11:28-30 and Jesus’ call for us to come to Him. Anthony Ngai believed this message to be the one that stood out for him: “I thought it was such a blessing to have it applied directly to our service in the church.” Lives were re-evaluated, and hearts were challenged to see whether they truly have come to Christ at all in their time spent at church. There was an awakening for many to see that life in the church directly reflects whether you are obeying Christ by being yoked with Him. Angelo Metra said, “I was provoked to examine my heart as to how I see my role as a servant in relation to Christ, to Lighthouse, my co-workers, and my family at home.”

The next three sessions then dealt with Christ, His act of humility, the Father’s act of exaltation, and our response. Going over Philippians 2:6-11, Pastor Gebhards explained the life of Christ on earth and in heaven as a “Great Parabola,” hence the title of the sermon. Jesus’ act of laying down the outer appearance of His deity to become a lowly servant, was the left side and low point of the ‘U’. From His being crucified, the Father hyper-exalted Him to His right hand, thus the parabola extending up again. His life now is to be an example for us to follow. Our attitude is to be like Christ’s, a self-denial of our interests. Caroline Shin expressed that “the sermons were a great reminder of Lighthouse’s motto, that life is not about you.” She also spoke on where change needed to take place: “I was challenged to work applying my service to others and putting their interests above my own in practical ways, starting with my apartment.”

These times were spent not only to reflect, but to respond and apply the messages as well. Many of the singles got to interact with the collegians, and vice-versa. New relationships formed, and old friendships were renewed. Courtney Chow explained, “It was a good time of reaching out to people I didn’t know and getting to know them and see what God’s been doing in their life.” The air might have been cold outside but the Christ-centered thoughts and conversations filled the room as people hung out and even played games to enjoy their time together. The talent show was also a hit with acts like “The Evolution of Pants” from Sunday Elementary staff, “Joo and the Gentiles” from the collegians, and song and dance from “High School Musical.” It was a sight to see with everyone being entertained and even challenged, from Keilah and Matthew Lim playing their own instruments to the children and youth singing songs of Scripture for the edification of the church. Such impact for the cause of Christ was concentrated at this retreat. With a question, I think Courtney expressed well for all of us to consider: “What am I contributing to the glory of Christ?”

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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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