Thursday, September 13, 2007


If you missed it . . . well, you really missed it!!

Over 900 of us from North Point, Buckhead, and Browns Bridge returned last week from our annual Singles retreat in beautiful Destin, Florida—almost 600 were from Buckhead Church alone!

The weekend was full of opportunities to connect by competing in golf, tennis, and volleyball tournaments, as well as beach Olympics and moonlit Ultimate Frisbee for those who like to be active. Our “lounge” was a more laid-back environment where people connected with friends, watched football games, and enjoyed live music.

SHIFT was the theme of the weekend, built around the messages of Donald Miller, author of the New York Times bestseller Blue Like Jazz, who joined us as our main speaker ( Kristian Stanfill and his band engaged us each session in passionate worship, partnering with Don as he attempted to “shift” our perspective on those outside the church. Some of it was profoundly basic, like “other people exist” and “people won’t listen to you unless they know you like them.” And some of it was very fresh and insightful, like “introducing someone to the gospel is about introducing them to a being, not a system of beliefs.” The most critical, perspective-shifting concept for me was this: “If we don’t find deep, true validation in God, we won’t truly love those we are trying to reach with the gospel. We’ll only use them to feel validated ourselves as ‘good Christians.’”

We also partnered with Nathan George and Trade As One, a nonprofit organization that uses sustainable businesses to address the issue of global poverty by selling high-quality products made in developing countries in the American consumer market. This is an excerpt from an email Nathan sent out after the retreat:

Our target for the weekend was to sell $13,000. We sold precisely $20,212.50. Given that about $6,000 in sales provides a job for a full year, North Point, Buckhead, and Browns Bridge declared the year of the Lord’s favor to three women in about five hours of frantic activity at the boutique.

How cool is it that in five hours God used the consumer dollars of our community to rescue three women from having to prostitute themselves in order to provide life’s basic necessities for them and their families. For more information on Trade As One, or to purchase their products and join the cause, click on

We concluded the weekend with worship and communion on the beach, with the baptism of over 40 people. There has been an incredible response to the weekend, and as the Singles pastor at Buckhead Church, I’m excited to see how God will use it in our lives to impact our community.


joel thomas
director of college & singles

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