Below are a few words from graduates of the training...
I showed up to the Encounter Training feeling pretty good about myself. It wasn’t until I was deep into the weekend when I realized that I had put that “self” made image to rest and I’d let my real self emerge. As an armchair skeptic, I thought I would evade the process and be able to hide to get by and appease my ego that had been built up over the years. To my surprise I found myself completely immersed in a room full of people that were there to discover their true identity and calling in life. It was intoxicating and contagious. If you’re fine with who you are, don’t show up. If you’re looking for visceral change...look no further. You get out of it as much as you’re willing to put in.
If you had asked me a year before I found myself at the Encounter if I’d be interested in such a thing I’m sure I would have brushed off the opportunity. I would have been ‘too busy’ or said something like ‘there’s no way it could be that applicable to my life.’ Well I would have been terribly wrong. I am grateful for the circumstances that lead me to the Encounter and for the people I’ve become intertwined with because of it. The impact the Encounter had on my life at the exact time I needed it couldn’t have been more powerful. In explaining the Encounter to others I often say it feels like the emotional and spiritual reset button that you’ve been hoping to find is discovered, and surprisingly enough it’s in the midst of new-found friends - eager to help you find the strength to push it.
I can remember one of my dearest friends Tiffany Rockhold talking non stop to me about this weekend she went on called the Encounter Training. She was glowing as she shared about it and I could tell God had done a work in her life.I did not really understand much of it as she was vague about things but she kept telling me I should do it.So I signed up blindly not really knowing what I was getting into..It was a God set up! To be honest with you I have either attended or been part of speaking/singing at so many conferences I can’t even count. The idea of showing up to attend another one was not top on my list. I had just been diagnosed with chronic Lymes disease and was really broken and upset over this. I was not feeling great physically but knew I needed to walk this out.I believe that when we show up to things with an open heart and mind God will meet us right where we are at. Even when it costs us something. So I showed up feeling gross and in a room with about 50 strangers... What. Was. This? It was unlike ANY conference or event I have ever attended. If you want to be stretched, challenged, encouraged & taught some pretty new tools on how to navigate the highs and lows of life I would recommend this. It is Christian/faith based but not like any other event or teaching I have sat under.I think the best thing I took away was a better understanding on how to process with people, how to really hear them and how to better understand myself.My favorite day is the last activity you will do as a group. It was the moment that hit my heart the most…so stick it out to the end.If you travel for your profession or pour out a lot into other people I highly recommend coming to gain some new tools and heart healing!Not only is my physical body now healed from Lymes disease... I believe I am walking in the most freedom my heart has ever known.Thankful for my time and the people I met at the Encounter Training!
It’s been nearly three years since I went through the Encounter Training, and I continue to be randomly and pleasantly surprised by just how much it’s impacted my life and changed me for the better – and continues to! In short, it’s given me ‘life tools’ to know how to love others better. I’m a kinder, more loving, more others focused person. I’m more present for others, including my wife and children, who’ve noticed the positive change in me and how I relate to them.Others have noticed, too. Just a week ago, my boss was praying with me and out of the blue said, “…and Lord I thank you for the work you’ve done and the difference I’ve seen in Ryan since going through the Encounter Training.” Then there’s the co-worker who, in the middle of a conversation we were having recently with another person, said, “You’ve been so nice since going through the Encounter Training!”, to which the other co-worker replied, “it’s true, I’ve noticed that, too.” And the long-time friend who on numerous occasions has talked to others about me (with me present) mentioning the Encounter experience and the incredible change he’s seen it make in my life.Similar words of affirmation have randomly occurred from others over the years who are aware I went through the Encounter Training, and each time it’s a wonderful reminder to me that the Encounter is an experience that simply can’t help but change you, because it’s experiential, which impacts you at the level of your Being. It’s not ‘learning knowledge’, it’s not something you have to memorize, it’s not note-taking, sitting through a seminar, or trying to recall overwhelming amounts of information days, weeks, or years later.The wonderful thing is, because you literally experience the Encounter, it simply can’t help but cause the kind of profound impact in your life that moves you closer to the person you want to be.
I’d say the thing that impacted me the most from the training was the ability to use perspective to change my view and feelings about things I once thought were set in stone. Fresh perspective doesn’t fix everything, but when you come up against something that requires it as a solution, it’s a handy tool to have. Probably the biggest change that people who know me best noticed is an improved ability to feel things as deep as they go, forgive, and move forward. It’s very liberating to know that when I deal with a problem definitively, it won’t be coming back to haunt me for years to come.In terms of my relationships, the training helped motivate me to be completely honest about my feelings while also standing up for my needs. Once I discovered my worth and value from God, risking love and other emotions in a relationship context became much less scary, since the outcome doesn’t make me any less valuable to God or within myself. After the training, I felt, and continue to feel, that the only limitations in my life are the ones I put there. The training helped me learn that God did not place a spirit of fear in my heart. It may sound corny, but living a no-fear lifestyle while keeping God’s counsel at the same time is an amazing experience.
In a nutshell, the training offered us an opportunity to introspect on patterns of behavior in our lives, which in turn, revealed patterns of beliefs about one’s self and others. The exercises during the training allowed us to experience, in a tangible way, the patterns of beliefs which govern the success and failures of our lives. Without these structured, monitored exercises to promote such thought, and provide feedback during the process, we would have continued to live on autopilot, never making the connection.The Encounter has given us a mile marker to constantly come back to, in order to maintain that mental ‘check and balance’ which leads to empowerment over life circumstances that are continually changing. It has been a tool in which we have been able to examine other parts of our life as God has revealed to us. In other words, one can take the principles of The Encounter and apply it to his or her life in whatever area they are currently needing a breakthrough.For us, the most significant breakthroughs have come in the area of our marriage. We know that God graciously allowed us to hear about The Encounter in His perfect timing. Our hearts were longing for so much more, and through The Encounter, we found the tools to make it happen!
I was challenged to discover what I believe about how God expects me to relate to people in my life and then equipped to live those beliefs out in the way I act toward them. I have seen God use my willingness to step out into uncharted waters with my loved ones as a tool to restore broken relationships and deepen friendships. It is so freeing to be in those honest places with the people I love and want to impact.
I cannot say enough about the significance this training has had on my life. The power I received to affect lasting change in my relationships, as well as my personal journey to wholeness, has been of enormous proportion.I learned to love and how to be free to receive love from others. Bondages from years of limiting belief systems were broken as I opened myself to hear and even experience truth in ways I’d never heard or experienced before. This training is life-changing if you are ready for change.
My experience was nothing like my expectations, It was far greater than I could have ever imagined. Through the learning exercises I participated in, I was able to have the most wonderful encounter with God and gain the insight that helped me to be more of what I knew God wanted for my life. The outcome from a few committed days was a defining moment in my life and consequently gave me, my family, my husband, and the people I encounter the intimacy I have come to know. Most importantly, I have experienced God as never before and felt his love in a powerful way.
This experience was life-changing and freeing! If you want to move to the next level of your life, I highly recommend this well-spent time out of your busy schedule.
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