How to Invite Others to Tres Dias
By Mike Pennington
After experiencing a Tres Dias weekend, we feel so full and so free that we want to share everything about the weekend with others. But then comes the dilemma. What do we say?
Here’s how it goes, on occasion: “I just went on a Tres Dias weekend. It was great and you need to go, too.” Actually, we realize that wasn’t the best wording, but that’s how we, in our enthusiasm, sometimes blurt it out. They respond, “Ok, what is it?” We then panic and say, “I can’t tell you.”
Why do we stumble that way? Perhaps it’s because the question reminds us of all the special mo- ments on a weekend that are . . . well . . . indescribable, and we don’t want to spoil the surprises. In reality, “I can’t tell you” is the worst response we could give; it implies that there are secrets. Remember, there are no secrets in Tres Dias. Consider this, too: Since the other person doesn’t know about the surprises, they won’t be asking about them! Trust me: You can tell them about virtually every- thing that went on during a weekend and you won’t spoil anything! It is God that shows up on a weekend. He is the one that blesses and trans- forms, not the surprises.
So how should we tell people about Tres Dias? First of all, don’t say they “need” to go. The word “need” indicates some kind of lack on their part. You might say, “I was amazingly blessed. In fact, I have never felt more blessed, and I want God to bless you in the same way He blessed me.” Another thought you could add is, “I want to share God’s love with you by sponsoring you to attend a Tres Dias weekend.”
If they ask, “What’s it all about,” here are some ideas to help you know what to say:
“Well, it’s three days where we take time for fellowship with other Christians and learn more about Jesus, God’s grace, and the Christian life. We sing, eat, pray, and worship. Have I mentioned the food is great? We listen to “talks” on various topics and testimonies by other people just like us. We discuss the talks in small groups.”
Sometime in this conversation, the other person will likely say, “Sounds like an ordinary retreat to me. What’s the big deal?” You can respond with, “Well, I believe what makes it so special is all the prayer that covers the weekend. It’s amazing how many people are praying. Also the whole atmosphere of the weekend is one of love and servant- hood, like nothing I’ve ever seen. People I didn’t know loved and served me just because of the love of Jesus.”
“I still don’t get it,” your listener might say. “What’s the big deal?” This is when you can respond with, “Well, it’s kinda like trying to describe the taste of watermelon (or chocolate, etc.); you just can’t do it. A Tres Dias weekend is something that has to be experienced. You just have to be there. Words alone are not adequate.”
Then let it alone. Let God work. It’s not your job to push, convince or pester. Let God do His work. He knows the right time for them to attend a Tres Dias weekend. Sometime you could also say, “Now, you know me, right? Do you trust me? Do you believe I’d want to invite you to attend something that would be harmful to you?” They should answer no to that, but again don’t push or pester. I didn’t go the first time I was invited and you probably didn’t either.
One final thought, not about invit- ing someone to attend, but about how you adapt to fourth day living. Don’t get frustrated when what hap- pened on your weekend doesn’t hap- pen at church on Sunday. It’s not going to happen. Remember, it took three days away from distractions for God to get your attention and work in your life the way He did. It took two or three CHAs (northerners call them “auxiliaries”) serving and loving each candidate to create the dynamic of a weekend. Your job is to live a transformed life and transform your environments one person at a time. Also, get in a reunion group and attend secuelas. That’s where the Tres Dias dynamic is refreshed. Then you are prepared and strengthened for continued service in your world.
Remember “Be Palanca”; be the lever moving people from where they are to where God wants them to be.