Charles Ayars is a marvelous retreat leader. His timing, his gentle spirit, his spirit-led insights all conspired to bring maximum health and hope to those taking retreat.
Richard J. Foster – Founder of Renovare and author of many books
It has been my privilege to work alongside Charles in leading several weeklong retreats. Although Charles prepares well for the retreats he leads, knitting together the Scriptures, prayer, creativity, music, worship and time for silent reflection, perhaps his greatest gift is being attuned to the movements of God in individuals and in a group. He brings a sense of lightness, freedom and fun as he leads people into the deepening work of God.
Patti Pierce, Founder of WellSpring: A Resource for Christian Spiritual Formation, Menlo Park, CA
Charles is a terrific presenter – deep and practical, serious and humorous, warm and challenging, credible, spiritually insightful, and always inventive. He has been a regular guest speaker in our organization’s nine-month-long Leaders in Ministry program, which involves leaders from the director level up to the C-suite, and twice he has been the keynote presenter at the annual reunion of that program’s graduates. For the last two years Charles has also provided an introduction to Christian meditation for our Physician Academy, and this past spring he participated in a panel on spiritual practices and gave a breakout session on gratitude and joy at our annual Caring Professionals Conference. Charles is a master at tailoring his material to suit the needs and interests of his listeners.
J. Michael Stebbins, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Mission, Avera Health
I have known Charles Ayars for the past six years. He is a veteran pastor, well-trained spiritual director, and a student of Renovare's contributions to the modern Christian spiritual formation movement. I've also had the privilege of working together with Charles five different week-long retreats. He is particularly gifted in spiritual sensitivity and the ability to connect the head and the heart through his selection of homilies, evocative music, and creative small and large group activities.
Gary W Moon – Executive Director of the Renovare Institute and Dallas Willard Center
There are many things that I value hugely about Charles Ayars in his ministry of retreat giving. He creates a safe place for the seeking heart. He listens intently to those amongst whom he ministers. He gives helpful practical direction. Above all he does not get in the way of God.
Trevor Hudson – Pastor in South Africa and author of a number of books