2024 Zona Men’s Retreat: The King’s Men

By Philip W. Calvert, Photos by Grayson Derkach | May 1, 2024

This year’s Zona Men’s Retreat was not only spiritually renewing, it was unique, as attendees arrived at Lost Canyon in Williams April 26 in the middle of a hailstorm that quickly turned into a bona fide snowstorm. By the time it was over, the slow-moving front dropped half a foot of snow. Yet, while the temperature was freezing outside, the men of God were on fire for Jesus inside.

The retreat featured incredible snow-blanketed scenery at one of the most beautiful retreat centers in the Arizona mountains, great food, inspiring worship music, and deep conversations during “cabin time” that flowed out of the insightful messages from Chad Garrison, lead pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Lake Havasu City.
There is something inspiring that stirs the heart when 500 men gather together to worship God and to hear the Word of God from a man of God. For everyone who has heard Garrison speak, we knew that it was going to be direct, spiritual and timely. His words of wisdom hit at the heart of what it means to be one of the King’s men in today’s spiritual battles.
The spiritual focus of the retreat was authentic and persevering followship of the King of kings. Each session encouraged men to be committed to the call to be counted among the King’s men.

In Session One (Identity), Garrison, using 2 Samuel 23 as his core text, shared three points: 1. Choose to serve the King. The key is to not serve yourself but to serve the Lord. 2. Choose to serve the King’s agenda. To follow Christ is to be on His team pursuing His agenda, and not asking Jesus to join your team. 3. Your identity is found in the King. We know about the mighty warriors who served King David because they attached themselves to him. For men of God, our identity is to be His servants and, thus, to attach ourselves to our Lord.

In Session Two (Disciplines), Garrison shared from Ephesians 6:10-18. The key points were: 1. We are called to train ourselves for godliness. 2. We are in a spiritual battle. Therefore, we must expect spiritual attacks. 3. Prepare to fight. The Lord gives us equipment, a weapon (the Word of God) and the strategy of prayer.

In Session Three (Fighting for Family), Garrison, teaching from Ephesians 5:25-28, shared three primary points: 1. Our family is our first ministry. 2. A King’s man loves his wife. 3. Don’t provoke your children. Garrison reminded attendees that they are not a King’s man unless his family agrees that he is a man of God.

In Session Four (On Mission), Garrison shared from 1 Corinthians 12. The key points were: 1. A King’s man is on mission with Jesus. 2. A King’s man uses his strength to build God’s kingdom. He supports his pastor. He leads change. And, the King’s man uses his gifts and abilities to build the church, which is the bride of Christ. Moreover, it is not possible to truly follow Jesus if you don’t love His bride, which is the church.

The sense of calling, duty, purpose and unity still resonates in those of us who attended. We were blessed, encouraged and challenged by Garrison. I encourage you to attend the 2025 Zona Men’s Retreat … put the last week of April on your calendar now!

Philip W. Calvert is senior pastor of Trinity Southern Baptist Church in Casa Grande.

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