SANGER, Calif.—Ministry leaders serving with the California Association of Regular Baptist Churches enjoyed a retreat at Wonder Valley Resort Jan. 20-22. Several pastors spoke on the theme “Our Faithful God”: Chris Hurton, copastor of Sunrise Bible Fellowship, Red Bluff; Mark Reeves, adult ministries pastor at Orchard Avenue Baptist Church, Vacaville; Bruce McLain, state representative of the CARBC; and Ekkie Tepsupornchai, pastor of Western Avenue Baptist Church, Brawley.

“Christian workers come into the retreat facing a large amount of problems,” says Chips Ross, pastor of Westwood Baptist Church, Fresno. “Those problems don’t disappear during the retreat.” The retreat, he says, “puts those problems into the proper perspective: Our God, Who is calling you, is faithful. He will always do what He has promised to do!”

“As our fellowship with Christ is strengthened, the fellowship of Christ’s followers is also strengthened,” Chips says. Fellowshipping with other ministry leaders is a common highlight for those attending this annual retreat. Conducting “an informal and unscientific survey” of this year’s attenders, Chips asked, “What was the most beneficial and encouraging aspect of this getaway?” Since the respondents came from different churches and were of different ages, he expected a variety of answers. But each person’s answer can be summarized with the word fellowship.

These were some of the responses: “Being with my brothers and sisters in Christ.” “Seeing how others are facing similar trials.” “Enjoying how God is blessing my sister churches.” “Seeing the bigger picture of what God is doing in our fellowship.” “Meeting someone for the first time and quickly developing deep friendships.”

The retreat “creates a distraction-free context that encourages conversations,” Chips says. “Around the table, in the conference room, on the sidewalks and paths, Christian workers are sharing with each other.”

While preaching plays a vital role in the Christian Workers’ Retreat, fellowship is equally important, resulting in a retreat that’s spiritually uplifting, professionally encouraging, and personally refreshing.