By Gordon Quimby
So, you are a brand new pescador coming off of a terrific Tres Dias weekend. You’ve had a three-day introduction to Tres Dias but you are not feeling well-versed as to what Tres Dias actually is. You know Tres Dias is good – you just aren’t sure how it works.
So the question is: What is it you should know about Tres Dias?
The first thing you should know is this: when you’ve just come off a weekend, you still haven’t experienced the best that Tres Dias has to offer! In fact, you have just scratched the surface. As the Essentials of Tres Dias put it:
The Weekend is a tool of God, not an end in itself. The Weekend will not produce a permanent effect without Fourth Day activity.
The Essentials go on to say:
The purpose of the Weekend…is to prepare individuals for effective participation in the Fourth Day.
Many think that the purpose of Tres Dias is to put on three-day weekends. After all, isn’t the name of the group Tres Dias? But the Essentials clearly say otherwise… the purpose of the three-day weekend is to prepare people to participate in the fourth day, their Christian walk after the weekend.
Tres Dias seeks to bring people to a closer walk with our Lord Jesus Christ, to build leaders for the local church, and to empower people for apostolic action. You can’t expect to make a significant impact in all these areas in just three days. The Essentials make it clear that this is to be done in three phases, referred to as the preweekend phase, the weekend phase, and the fourth day phase. Together this is called the Tres Dias Method.
The essential parts of the preweekend phase are that candidates have a desire for a closer relationship with their Lord Jesus Christ and that they be sponsored for participation in all phases of the Tres Dias Movement.
Remember, Tres Dias is not just about a three-day weekend! The sponsor makes sure the candidate is prepared for the weekend and that any special needs are met, then continues the support during the weekend, through palanca and by being there for the person at the closing. Being away for three days can put a strain on the candidate’s family, and the sponsor will often seek to lessen the strain. Then, as the person enters the fourth day, the sponsor encourages the new pescador to attend secuelas and to be a part of an active reunion group.
There is much the Essentials have to say about the weekend phase. These Essentials are vital in assuring the success of the weekends, but strangely enough, this is not really important for to you know now, as a new pescador just coming off your weekend.
So let’s move on to what is most important to you now: the essentials of the fourth day phase. This is where you have the opportunity to experience the best that Tres Dias has to offer. This begins with being a part of a Reunion Group and is reinforced by attending Secuelas, the two primary aspects of the fourth day phase. Reunion groups take on many forms. The principal form is a small group that meets regularly; participants discuss how they are living lives of piety, study, and action. My first group took a different format. It was a monthly men’s group, larger than a typical reunion group, with a rotating leader who would be the speaker for the month. Some groups are based on Bible study, but many would say the classic piety, study, and action format is the more meaningful.
Secuelas are one of the great gifts of Tres Dias. They offer an opportunity for the community to come together for an evening of joy, to be inspired by a witness talk, to break into small groups to share, and finally to join back together in sacred worship. Secuelas are uplifting evenings that fill our spiritual gas tanks as we prepare to return to our individual ministries.
While reunion groups and secuelas are the two items spelled out in the essentials of the fourth day phase, they by no means represent all the fourth day has to offer. It is also essential that the community support each Tres Dias weekend. Here in Fairfield County; we do this through writing palanca, offering prayer palanca, singing at the mananitas, and attending closings.
When you actively support weekends in this way, you learn firsthand how it is more blessed to give than to receive. Many feel the absolute BEST that Tres Dias has to offer is serving on a weekend team. It is essential that each team meet before the weekend to form its own loving community and to prepare for the weekend itself. These 8 to 10 meetings enable you to learn from and become close to twenty other leaders from other churches you may never had met otherwise. But that is just the warm up; it is the opportunity to give of yourself in service on the weekend itself that is truly a life-changing experience. Serving on team is also the primary way that the community builds leaders for the local church. When you serve on a team, you will be empowered for greater service in your local church. No question about it.
Finally, as you come off of your weekend, you should know that you are now a part of a local community. This community offers many other opportunities to grow as a leader. It is essential that the community be led by a central body that assures the successful completion of the community’s activities. The board of the secretariat is where this takes place and while membership on the board is an elected position, many have learned that the best way to learn about Tres Dias is just to show up at the monthly meetings.
So there you have it; everything you wanted to know about Tres Dias but were afraid to ask!
Editor’s Note: Gordon is a member of the Tres Dias Fairfield County community and has served in various positions, including president. This article is one in a series of three he wrote on the Tres Dias Essentials.