By Charles W. Short
Photos by Rick Spangle
More than 200 men gathered at Young Life’s Lost Canyon, a retreat center outside of Williams, for the Metamorphosis Men’s Retreat, May 5-7. From Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, they smelled the pine trees, enjoyed the cool air and were biblically challenged to grow in their faith.
Friday night’s speaker was Pastor Jackie Allen of Palm Vista Baptist Church, Surprise, and current president of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention. Allen preached a solid evangelism and discipleship message that resulted in several salvation decisions.
On Saturday and Sunday, Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary, taught about the threats to biblical truth within our current culture.
During all sessions, the worship music was led by Robert Comeaux and his team from North Phoenix Baptist Church.
This particular camp is an excellent place for a men’s retreat, because they understand how men eat, sleep and recreate. The recreation time was highlighted by a zip line ending with a splash into their pond. For the less adventurous, there was a giant swing, a climbing wall or frisbee golf. For those not seeking adventure, there was a hot tub, game room and snacks.
Scattered between worship events was cabin time, when individual congregations gathered. While many men signed up looking forward to the recreation and relaxation, large numbers left describing cabin time as their favorite part. This time of sharing became the foundation of many friendships and the sense of connection to the overall church for many of the men.
One question about this event that often comes to mind is, “How did it get named Metamorphosis Men’s Retreat?” The answer is in Romans 12:1-2.
The strongest rocks are metamorphic rocks. They form when weaker rocks are heated and put under pressure. As they go through this process, limestone becomes marble and granite forms its distinctive strength and beauty for construction.
Christian men are similar to metamorphic rock. Men who become bedrock anchors for their church develop slowly, and over time are shaped by and proven by the heat and pressure of Christian living. A man who continues to grow and mature over the long haul will become both discipled and disciplined. These men take time to solidify both Christian living and doctrinal soundness.
When the book of Romans says, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” the word translated “transformed” is the Greek word that became the English word “metamorphosis.” Men who remain steadfast become transformed into something greater. Something of the Master’s design.
This event was started in 2016 by First Baptist Church of Fort Mohave as a men’s retreat aimed at Arizona Southern Baptist churches. They sought financial partners in the form of grants from the AZSBC and River Valley Mission Network. They also sought organizational partners and now have five other churches helping to plan next year’s event. You can learn more by visiting www.metamorphosismen.wordpress.com.