Most retreats provide a variety of content sessions. Such times
offer guidance as well as unity of purpose and thought for the
There need not be a special speaker.
The retreat leader
may provide content in the form of scripture passages, portions of a
cassettes, and other input materials.
The total retreat group is usually divided into small groups for
conversation and nonverbal exchange of meaning.
often focuses on ideas and concepts from the content session.
Dialogue may revolve around the attempt to clarify an issue, to solve
a problem, or to share an insight.
Interaction can include times of group recreation.
A central concern of retreat is the provision of freedom.
Soldiers should be free to spend some of their time as they desire.
They should be free to create situations for self-renewal and
Excessive time demands and agenda requirements are the great crippler
of true spiritual retreats.
Silence is probably the most overlooked element in modern
retreats, it should be programmed in. Silence means listening to God
and responding to His Spirit. Verbal communication is suspended for
Retreatants find places to be alone and to reflect on the
meaning and values of existence.
Often individuals and/or groups walk in silence and meditate.
In times of silence, there is opportunity for each individual to
breathe deeply from fresh winds, to find a new direction and purpose,
to reflect on the meanings of Scripture, to face many anxieties and
problems, to rest, relax, and find renewal.
At first many are
frightened by the "sound of silence" but it is a necessary retreat
Worship involves both formal and informal expressions of
devotion to a dependency of God.
Personal and corporate prayer are
vital parts of the experience.
There is also a place - especially
toward the end of the retreat for formal and informal celebration.