"Chris has a powerful way of communicating the weight of God's grace through the fabric of her own faith journey. Her candor in sharing her struggles, longings and triumphs make you long to know Jesus intimately."

- Emily Mills
Author, singer/songwriter, president and founder of Jesus Said Love Ministries


 

One of the places where I feel the most alive is speaking at a church retreat or ministry conference.

I’ve spoken at retreats in many cities and states and a few international venues. Retreats offer the opportunity for extended teaching through multiple sessions.

These times away remind us that we are more than our jobs or daily responsibilities, giving us a bit of break from the traditional distractions. 

Attending retreats offers time to retune our ears to the voice of God, not in opposition to our normal lives, but to infuse focus and purpose to our normal lives.

I love studying scripture, and out of this, I speak about our identity and what it means that God provides. I often speak of the nearness of God and his compassion and consistent presence. And, I find it’s important to see how the bible’s historical context connects with our present circumstances.

Retreats are different than sermons. Retreats offer the chance to be with others and listen to the stories of fellow travelers. I’m always changed by conversations and deeper insights and the journeys of all these people gathered in one place, even if it’s for a short amount of time.

I’ve spoken to large groups, small groups, women, singles, college students, youth groups, social work groups and ministry advocates, and women’s gatherings. But some of my favorite retreats are multigenerational—people of different ages or those who gather from different church backgrounds and varying Christian faith traditions. We have so much to learn from each other in our various stages of life and differing backgrounds.

Retreats are not meant to hold spiritual answers—they serve as conversation starters.

We grab onto sparks of insight and make room for the Spirit to move in our hearts, taking words and ideas and pushing us into the deeper places of God’s heart. Retreats powerfully remind us that we collectively are the people of God—that we learn, we change, and we grow as we gather together.