When asked to describe the most recent Men’s Retreat at Iowa Regular Baptist Camp (IRBC), three concepts floated up fast to the surface of my mind: Sweet Fellowship. Straight Talk About Sex. And True Accountability. This, I believe, would accurately sum up this year’s Men’s Retreat at IRBC. Let me explain…
- Sweet Fellowship – This is probably the greatest benefit of attending Men’s Retreat. That is to say, you get to connect with the other guys in your church! I mean really connect socially, mentally, spiritually, and (dare I say it) emotionally. For me, the van ride up to Men’s Retreat is 3 1/2 hours. That’s 3 1/2 hours of jokes, catching up, and encouraging one another in our individual walks with the Lord. I’m an introvert by nature, but I love the awesome fellowship that takes place during Men’s Retreat (all of it) en route, there, and on the way back.
- Straight Talk About Sex – Dr. Jim Tillotson (President of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary) delivered a two-part message on the importance of physical intimacy in a God-honoring, Christ-exalting, biblical marriage. So much could be said about what he had to say on the topic of sex, but, suffice to say, these sermons were some of the most practical messages I’ve ever heard delivered from the Bible. These sermons contained warnings against porn, the “other woman”, and a constant stream of encouragement to go home and “rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love” (Prov. 5:18b-19).
- True Accountability – Now to be fair, this was Dr. Tillotson’s preaching topic in his third and final message, but this is also one of the unique aspects of Men’s Retreat. In other words, you get to experience a condensed, intense experience of true accountability. The men around you, especially the ones from your church, are constantly asking you about your walk with the Lord, your relationship with your wife and kids, and how things at work are going. It’s awesome! I truly believe that men need this accountability because (let’s be frank) our walk with God gets stale, our relationship with our wife and kids is sometimes difficult, and we tend to overwork and exhaust ourselves for all the wrong reasons! Bottom line: Men need accountability, and at this year’s Men’s Retreat, you got that accountability.
Time would fail me to talk about all of the activities, food, singing, and the gorgeous lakefront up at the camp. But what I’ve just mentioned (sweet fellowship, straight talk about sex, and true accountability), from my perspective, sum up the experience of Men’s Retreat 2017. Never been to IRBC’s Men’s Retreat? Well, there is always next year…and I would highly encourage you to go.