I wanted to sit down and write my assessment of Tres Dias as a pastor who has recently attended the weekend.
I have been a pastor on staff at churches ranging in size from 3500 to 50 and am currently lead pastor and church planter at Grand Central Church in Conroe TX.
The reason I write is because like many para-church organizations, Tres Dias can be a thorn in the side of pastors as they wrestle with something unfamiliar.
As pastors, we are typically inundated with “great ideas” from people…and most of the time, they are. We just have to choose what is BEST for our people, not just GOOD for them.
Because many of my flock at Grand Central are invested in and radical advocates for Tres Dias, I felt it important to attend. People in my church and outside my church were asking me to speak on the validity of the organization and especially the implementation of their weekend events.
I had nothing to go on. I had many friends who spoke highly of it, but no clergy that I could talk to about its credibility. So the best I could tell potential attendees was;
“I don’t know a lot about it, but I can tell you this…the most committed, all-in, warm and hospitable servants at our church have been through it. If the organization is known by its fruit, then I like what I see.”
To me, that wasn’t good enough. If I am shepherd of my flock, then I can’t readily protect them from the enemy if I don’t know what it is they are encountering. I can’t whole-heartedly applaud and endorse a ministry I have no experience with. So I signed up to attend.
In 20 years of ministry, there is not a camp, retreat or creative experience that I haven’t already participated in, witnessed or orchestrated. In addition, the appearance of secrecy around Tres Dias only made me that much more cynical and resistant. So I went in with one eye open.
After 72 hours of being ministered to by the body of Christ and seeing His hands and feet at work, I was blown away by what God is doing through this ministry.
We as pastors stand up every week and try to inspire our flock to do what is being done with great vigor by the ministry of Tres Dias. I listened intently for theological errors and bad philosophy…but couldn’t find any.
I do want to take a moment to address the appearance of secrecy that many pastors and leaders hang up on. Here’s what I would say…it’s no different than a sermon illustration. Pastors wouldn’t want someone to shout out the PUNCHLINE of their sermon illustration before they were done telling the story. It would ruin the impact.
The appearance of secrecy around Tres Dias is merely to protect some of the surprise creative elements of the weekend.
Honestly, in the age of social media where we find out the winners of the Olympic games before we’ve even watched the event, it is harder and harder to bring an element of heart-warming surprise and wonder without someone already knowing what you are doing.
(Some theological troll just tripped up on the fact that I said “heart-warming”) ;)
Anyhow, I believe in the mission and vision of Tres Dias. It exists to serve the body of Christ and the local church. The whole-hearted, invested servants that they send back to the church is something most pastors dream of. It’s for the newest believer in Christ or the most mature of our faith.
And here’s the deal…they aren’t trying to steal people from the church. The consistent theme was:
“We are not a church…what you are learning and seeing here should be TAKEN BACK TO YOUR CHURCH. In fact, go ask your PASTOR how you can serve him!”
I will encourage my flock to be a part of this ministry because it empowers them to come back to their local church and LIVE OUT their faith.
I will encourage pastors to go through and see what their people are experiencing and who knows, maybe God could speak something fresh to a pastor like He did to me. Tres Dias is a tool that could be wisely used by churches of any size and I highly recommend!