The Leader’s Retreat began over 15 years ago and has become an integral part of the ministry to the churches throughout Central Mexico!

In 2004, Elias Garcia, then ministry director of Crosslink, proposed a Leader’s Retreat that would include the leaders and their families, take place in a nice setting, and include practical Biblical teaching, good worship and fellowship, and plenty of free time.

Crosslink organized the first Leader’s Retreat with about 8 families. Since then, the number of new congregations has multiplied along with the number of leaders and we now have about 35 families that attend the event. The majority of these leaders could never – or would never – afford themselves a vacation, especially not one with the entire family and in a nice hotel.

The benefits of the retreat have been fellowship, teaching, as well as rest and refresh.

Fellowship

The retreat is an opportunity to see friends you have not seen in a year or two.

The Greek word “fellowship” means ‘association, joint participation, and communion.’ Many who participate in the Retreat are in new regions – “breaking rocks” as they plant the Gospel. Even when a congregation is raised up, many leaders feel alone, since they are responsible for much of the life of the church. To come to an event that provides them the opportunity to talk, to laugh, to pray, and to cry with other believers has been medicine to their souls.

José and Luz Torres, church planters in Arandas, were at the first Leaders’ Retreat and every one since. Luz commented that the greatest benefit for her family has been the encouragement to keep on fighting. Gathering with other families in similar circumstances, with similar battles, has helped them to realize that they are not alone. Also, Luz added, her teenage daughter looks forward to the Retreat because it allows her time with Christian friends her own age – providing fellowship which has strengthened her resolve to follow Christ.

Teaching

Another blessing from the Retreat is the teaching. Ryan Montgomery, one of the elders in the church in Briseño, commented on that: “It’s not just the quality of the teaching – which has been great – but the fact that we can sit, listen, and receive without it depending on us. We are focused on learning, rather than teaching.”

Rest & Refresh

Giving families the opportunity to have simple restful enjoyment is another blessing. Toño Jaime, who is part of the church leadership in Jiquilpan, observed, “We need to consider that one key benefit to the Leader’s Retreat is simply the refreshing, the much-needed rest.” Church planters can often find themselves pulled in a dozen directions, with little time for rest. Now they know that at least one time in the year, they will be able to go off as a family and enjoy a restful, rejuvenating time.