Retreat last week with my wife was incredibly fun. It was the 11th year we’ve stayed at the same hotel on the same week. I blogged last week about reflection and direction – as I was talking to another youth worker about it this morning I framed it this way, and thought I should write it down as well. Obviously, retreat is very important in my life, and I think it is too important to overlook. Here’s why:

Look Back
Retreat is a powerful time to look back at the previous year. It isn’t often enough we slow down to debrief, evaluate and reflect on the year behind you. Retreat gives you time to really look back. Don’t use this time just for a cursory examination, but really dig into the highs, lows, pains and wins in the postseason.

Look Around
Retreat is also a perfect time to get an idea where you’re at personally right now. What is the state of my ministry? How is my heart right now? How are MY kids (not the youth group kids)? How is my marriage? Am I called to this place, this ministry, this role? Retreat is a good time for some serious self-evaluation.

Look Forward
Retreat is the perfect place to think future. To really process what God has laid on your heart, what God is up to in your future and in the future of your ministry. To be honest, this is the weakest are of retreat for me … but it is a critical part of the equation.

I don’t look back too often, but retreat is a great place to slow down, get away from it all and go backward to go forward.