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Real change

Posted October 23, 2013 in Altoona, Community Featured
High Pointe Church pastor Greg Pollak delivers a sermon on change to kick off the 2013 Engage Network Men’s Retreat.

High Pointe Church pastor Greg Pollak delivers a sermon on change to kick off the 2013 Engage Network Men’s Retreat.

On Nov. 2, 2001, Greg Pollack’s life changed. That was the day he put his trust in Christ and gave up a drug-dealing, fake-identity-selling life of crime. The date is on his Bible as a constant reminder of the choices he made and the changes that followed — an important and constant theme in Pollak’s life.

On Sept. 27, Pollak had the opportunity to share his story with more than 200 men at the 2013 Engage Network Men’s Retreat, which involves four Des Moines area churches, including Saylorville Church, Lakeside Fellowship, Livingwaters Fellowship and High Pointe Church. The men met at Hidden Acres in Dayton to discuss the theme of “Real Stories, Real Change” during the two-day program.

The event kicked off with a sermon from Pollak, who told the guys about his past life and the way God changed him. His sermon focused on the word “repent,” what it means and how it helps people change their lives for the better.

“It’s not saying you’re sorry,” Pollak says. “To repent means to change your direction. To be proactive instead of reactive. To repent is to say ‘no’ to sin and say ‘yes’ to God.”

The message of the sermon was for the men to stop apologizing for their sins and start changing their behavior.

Though the retreat involved fun activities for the men, too, such as flag football, basketball, swimming, and even a shooting range, for Pollak, the most rewarding part came when the group split up into their respective churches and had the chance to talk about their personal stories and struggles.

“It gets pretty raw,” Pollak says. “Guys aren’t usually open to talk, but this was a chance for them to get real.”

About 30 men from High Pointe attended, and although most were reluctant to share at first, it wasn’t long before real conversations took shape.

“The challenge is to put off the old man and put on the new,” Pollak says. “You wrestle with your old sin every day, but if success is some of the guys stepping up and sharing some real stuff, then the retreat was definitely a success.”

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