The Encounter Training will run Thursday through Saturday from 9am to approximately 10pm and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Please arrive at 8:30am Thursday morning for registration.
Our time during the Encounter Training consists of three components: open time for sharing, mini-lectures and structured activities. While the open sharing time and mini-lectures are more spontaneous and dependent on what is happening within the group, the structured activities are planned.
Here is a list and brief description of the structured activities during the Encounter Training:
We will begin by establishing some ground rules. Given the nature of the four-day event, it is important that we establish some basic parameters for the Encounter Training. The trainer will take some time to discuss and hear your input on the boundaries that will be in place for the four days.
You will have a buddy or partner during the course of the four days. A buddy is there to be an encourager and a friend during the Encounter Training. On the first day, buddy pairs are formed spontaneously by the group. If you prefer to be partnered with a buddy of your gender, please let us know in advance of this exercise so that we can address and accommodate your request.
This is an exercise where you will be giving and receiving feedback from other participants based on how you experience one another. One of the key distinctions made in the exercise is between how you experience yourself (self-perception) and how others experience you. You will be given the opportunity to see how these two perceptions align or don’t align. Feedback in life is extremely valuable and this exercise will help you gain a fresh appreciation for the feedback you receive in life.
As Christians, we are encouraged to confess our sins to each other. However, in today’s religious culture, this is often difficult. The time of confession is an opportunity to acknowledge sins and other secrets that hold you back in life. The secrets exercise is solemn, powerful, and can be very freeing. The privacy of each participant is honored. For that reason, the room will be divided between men and women for the time of secrets.
The lifeboat exercise is a lengthy exercise that includes several different components. Each day in life you choose to give your time, love, and energy to certain people and not to others. This exercise gives you a chance to examine those choices in a real way. There are powerful moments in this exercise where you will be given an opportunity to examine the difference you make in relationships with others, to contemplate what is valuable in your life, and to tell how you would want to be remembered when you are gone. Many walk away from this exercise with a fresh passion for life.
Giving & Taking
God commands us to love our neighbor. To the degree we live this out, each of us gives to and takes from those around us. This exercise creates a real measuring stick for your giving and taking with others. You will be giving and receiving feedback from others in this regard.
Tell Your Story
Tell Your Story is an opportunity to briefly share your life’s story. You will be given the opportunity to share “your story” from a number of different perspectives. After this brief exercise, there will be an open discussion about what you learned.
We end our four days in a time of worship and celebration, giving thanks to God. Participants will be divided into groups and each group will lead a creative expression of worship to God in any way they choose. After our time of worship, we will take time to celebrate the unique gift of each individual. This is a very extraordinary and fulfilling experience.