If you read this blog often you’re aware that I hope to encourage, inspire, challenge, and educate pastors. Many years ago I realized that an often overlooked aspect of many pastors lives was retreating, both individually and with the pastor team. I believe so deeply in the importance of this that I went to a professional to get some real understanding of it. I wanted more than just the reasoning to retreat, I also wanted to hear the heartbeat of someone who has given his life to what I believe is the most beautiful and historical retreat center in the United States.
Today you’re going to hear the first of three days of interviews with Mike McNamee, one of the key players at Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Rick: Mike, you have responsibility for the oversight of one of the most historic and beloved retreat centers in the world. How did you land in such a special Kingdom role?
Mike: My role here at Glen Eyrie is Sales and Programs Director. It is an unusual and amazing combination of sales/business and ministry. I have been here for 10 years now. I had never been in ministry prior. I had an extensive history of sales, sales training, and sales management. Twelve years ago, while living in Dallas, I met a man named Jim Kennedy. Jim was the leader of the Business and Professional Ministry for the Navigators. He and I became friends and like all great Navigators, Jim challenged me to go deeper with Christ. He essentially discipled me in the ways of the Lord. When my wife and I decided to move to Colorado Springs he introduced me to my now current supervisor, Glen Eyrie Director - Jack McQueeney. Jack and I established a friendship and eventually he asked me to join the Glen Eyrie team. I was ecstatic. I could not believe that God wanted to use me in ministry, especially at such a spectacular place.
Rick: What are some of the most notable historic events that have taken place at Glen Eyrie Conference Center? What people of notoriety were in attendance and what were they there to do?
Mike: I have been privileged to see so many special events, conferences, concerts, prayer meetings, spiritual retreats etc. It seems like God continues to “one up” Himself on a daily and weekly basis. That being said, I have three that jump out. One is a Single Mom’s retreat that we did about 5 years ago. Our Programs team pulled out as many stops as we could to pamper these ladies. The looks of joy on their faces were priceless. On one of the evenings I arranged for Clay Crosse to do a private concert for them. The house was rocking and the energy was so high. It was as if all their troubles, difficulties and trials were let go in one worship concert. The second was a Women’s Program. There was a Mom who paid for her two daughters to attend. One daughter knew Christ, the other didn’t. The one who didn’t came to Christ that weekend. The third was another Women’s retreat led by Sharon Jaynes. Sharon came to me on Sunday morning prior to the final session and shared that she felt there were some women in the retreat that did not have a relationship with Christ. She wanted to do a subtle alter call. I gave her the go ahead and six women came to Christ that morning. It changed the way that we view our Program attendees. Until then, we wrongly assumed that all who came to our Programs knew Jesus. Over the years we have been blessed to have had so many wonderful speakers, musicians and authors (Brennan Manning, Billy Graham, Randy Alcorn, Bill Bright, James Dobson, Kathy Troccoli, Henry Blackaby, Steve Farrar, Chuck Swindoll, Angela Hunt) lead our events and/or utilize the Glen for their own retreats.
Rick: What is Glen Eyrie's mission statement and what are your personal dreams for her?
Mike: Our current Mission Statement is “To Inspire, Build and Encourage those who Shape Lives Through the Journeys of Life” We are leaning towards a new statement that says “Life Changing Encounters in a Legendary Place” My personal dreams for Glen Eyrie – that we would be known as the Premiere Christian Program and Retreat Center, creating environments for God’s people to meet with Him in deeper ways.
Rick: Tomorrow I'd like to ask you about why retreating is so important but for now... I've been told that most groups that come to Glen Eyrie once return again and again. Why do you think that is so?