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2024 BAM Retreat

Open Door Baptist Missions (ODBM) hosted its 4th annual BAM Retreat this past weekend (March 8-10) at Elijah’s Harbor in Greeneville, Tennessee. Over 40 college students and adults (the largest retreat yet) enjoyed the beautiful facilities and surroundings while being challenged to use their gifts, talents, and training to live on Gospel mission for the glory of God. The retreat featured speakers from various backgrounds in business who are using their skills and business opportunities to make disciples and advance the Gospel.

Elijah's Harbor Christian Retreat Center

BAM stands for Business As Mission. It's a tried and true concept implemented by the Apostle Paul. It emphasizes Christians using business and professional opportunities to impact the nations with the Gospel. ODBM's BAM Retreat welcomes college students of all majors, and strives to enlarge their vision and challenge them to live intentionally and passionately for Jesus Christ.

BAM Retreat Sessions

Throughout the retreat, there was a strong emphasis on the importance of integrating faith and business. A diversity of speakers challenged students to consider how their professional endeavors can have a positive Gospel impact in their communities and the world at large. The speakers shared their own stories of success and struggle, offering valuable insights and lessons learned.

BAM Retreat Speakers

Goals of the BAM Retreat:

  1. Remove the barrier between "sacred" and "secular." Every believer should live "on mission."

  2. Equip students to use their gifts & talents to creatively impact the nations for God's glory.

  3. Encourage and challenge students to:

    1. Not settle for the "American Dream," but to live for eternity!

    2. Start building redemptive relationships now to make disciples of Jesus.

    3. Strive to help reach one Unreached People Group with the Gospel during their lifetime.

    4. Strive for excellence in all areas of life to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples.

    5. Serve in the Body of Christ using their gifts alongside other believers.

Student Teams

The students were divided into 5 teams which developed BAM proposals and presented their ideas in a team competition. Each team included students from different majors. They chose an unreached part of the world in desperate need of the Gospel. Then, they formed business, social and spiritual strategies to conduct an overall purpose or mission to advance the Gospel, make disciples, and help plant churches in the chosen region.

BAM Retreat Meals & Fellowship

In addition to the diversity of sessions, the students enjoyed great food, fellowship, and recreation at Elijah's Harbor. The staff were a blessing and served everyone with a gracious spirit. Overall the students enjoyed a great weekend learning and growing together. Here are some of their comments:

  • "I thought it [BAM Retreat] came together really well and was the best year yet."

  • "The sessions were very helpful & eye-opening. I loved hearing the different perspectives. I didn't know much at all about BAM before this retreat but now I feel like I have a much better understanding of it!"

  • "This retreat taught me a lot about what it looks like to head into the mission field, not only with the right heart but also with the means to equip those that you are serving with a skillset or ability that will continue to impact generations after them."

  • "I loved hearing from all the speakers and learning more about ways to use my gifts and talents for the glory of God."

  • "I loved the emphasis on glorifying God and building redemptive relationships and working with others as a team."

We're thankful for God's hand of blessing upon the BAM Retreat and we pray that lasting fruit will come from it for His glory!

- Dave, ODBM Director

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