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Christian Retreat

Explore these varied Christian retreat options.

A Christian retreat provides a place where believers can escape from life's daily hustle and bustle. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
A Christian retreat provides a place where believers can escape from life's daily hustle and bustle.

Attending a Christian retreat can give attendees a feeling of peace and contentment. Christian retreat centers are needed for leaders of the Christian faith and for lay-members. They provide a place where believers can escape from the daily hustle and bustle and just rest. Christian retreat centers understand and teach the concept of "resting in the Spirit." Many offer burned-out leaders friendship and counseling.

According to AllAboutGOD.com, an average of 1,500 ministry leaders and pastors leave their post each month in North America. Surveys show 55 percent would change their careers if they were presented with a good offer because they feel stressed and rejected. Eighty percent of Bible school and seminary graduates leave the Christian ministry within five years. Furthermore, 70 percent of ministry leaders battle depression in daily life. Christian retreats help these leaders regain their purpose and devotion.

Christian retreats vary between those with organized programs and those tailored for individuals. Either way, there are a few essential activities that generally occur. Participants need to take time away from the pressures of the world to commune with God. This may come while studying scripture and listening to what God says. Retreat is also meant as a time for Christians to slow down, pay attention to the beauty that surrounds them and reflect on how they live their lives.

Christian Retreats for Groups

Many Christian retreat centers cater exclusively to groups, large and small. Christian Retreat in Bradenton, Fla., is the headquarters for the Family Church and Gospel Crusade, Inc. Overnight guests can host events, meetings and camps at the convention center. There are also free conferences with speakers and leaders from the Christian faith. The facility is styled after a hotel with a cafeteria, gym, meeting rooms and outdoor activities. Christian Retreat offers an Institute of Ministry, which is a 10-week training on Bible leadership. It helps church leaders develop their full potential. Sessions are held year-round.

Blue Mountain Christian Retreat is located in northeastern Pennsylvania. It's a spiritual refuge that strives to glorify God by offering people the opportunity to hear the word of God through leaders and speakers. There are scheduled conferences available as weekend retreats, including sessions for children, teenagers and adults. The retreat has guest speakers every weekend from the beginning of May through the end of November, and there are Family Weeks through July and August. Churches and ministries can also use the grounds and facilities for their own retreats.

The Bison Ranch Retreat Center also offers spiritual and physical renewal for groups, with meeting rooms that seat up to 300 people. The center is located on a peaceful 17-acre plot in the White Mountains in Arizona. The accommodations are of high quality, with modern amenities such as washing machines and satellite television. Log homes must be reserved within 45 days of the Christian retreat during the busy season.

Surfside Christian Retreat nurtures individuals, families and groups in a private beach setting in Bay County, California. The privacy offers people the chance to renew their relationship with the Lord. The Surfside only houses one group at a time, in dorm-style living, so space can be limited. The Christian retreat center also limits the amount of families and individuals because there are only two sleeping units. Reservations must be made three weeks before arrival only.

Christian Retreats for Individuals

Other retreat centers prefer to offer spiritual healing to individuals. The Abbey of Gethsemani is a monastery of Trappist monks in Kentucky. It offers people a private retreat and communal prayer. The daily schedule includes vigils, vespers, Eucharist and the Rosary. Guests have been welcomed at The Abbey of Gethsemani since it first opened in 1848. However, groups are not usually accommodated. Because of its long-standing reputation of devotion to God, retreats at The Abbey are in very high demand. People are limited to one weekday retreat or two weekend retreats per calendar year. Reservations are accepted four months before the desired retreat. So, if someone wants to go on retreat in June, reservations begin on the first working day of February.

Easy Yoke Ranch in Beulah, Colo., invites individuals and couples to come to their mountainside and pray. It is designed to aid followers of Jesus Christ in their walk with Him. The Christian retreat offers private bedrooms and peaceful surroundings, inside and out. It allows people to follow their own schedule of quiet retreat. It's self-directed, as opposed to offering organized programs. Individuals are encouraged to pray, read the Bible, journal, meditate and contemplate.

Energetic Christian Retreats for Families

Many families choose to stay at a Christian retreat as an alternative to a traditional family vacation. Strawberry Lake Christian Retreat is located in Minnesota's North Woods. The grounds sit within the peaceful White Earth Indian Reservation. Strawberry Lake is similar to other Christian retreats in that it hosts weekly conferences with nationally-known leaders and speakers. However, it also promotes itself as a place of spiritual enrichment for families. Saturday nights are reserved for family fun. There are outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, volleyball and campfires. It offers everything a typical campground would offer, with an emphasis on Godly Christian biblical principles. Reservations can be made for motel rooms, campsites or cabins. Forever Blessings Travel will book a family's stay and travel to Strawberry Lake.

Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat is an interdenominational conference center open to all churches and nonprofit organizations located in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Activities such as sand volleyball, swimming, a ropes course, theme days and Bible study appeal to children. Rooms are either hotel-style with two double beds and bunk beds or dormitory style with all bunk beds. Buffet-style meals are served in a dining hall and there are meeting rooms available to groups. There are weekly worship sessions in the summer, along with Bible study taught by Myrtle Beach Christian Retreat employees.

God's Vision Retreat is a nondenominational Christian retreat open to everyone and anyone. It's located near St. Albans, Vt. There are numerous events scheduled throughout the year including Godfest, Run for Jesus and Godstock. All promote fellowship and spiritual reflection. God's Vision has a camper that can be used for families wanting to stay at the retreat.

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