Bringing energy into a group of guys that maintain shallow relationships with one another is similar to revving up your muscle cars to impress your friends and then not going anywhere. People can see the energy, but it is wasted if it is not channeled in humility, grace and transparency.
I know that I have been in new groups and shared my weaknesses and the remainder of the group decided not to follow suit. Shallow is what one the day. A bit beaten, I pulled back my involvement from that group.
Then I have been in other settings when others were extremely vulnerable and I realized that the power in making change is being the second one in. Now men know this is just not a one off and they may have to go there.
As we were running out of time, the facilitator was trying to get us back on track with the study, but God was calling on me to share my struggle. Others started to share theirs. Quiet people in the group said now this is starting to get good. I look at the folks refuse to go there and that defensive posture actually retards the group in terms of openness and accountability.
So I was surprised that I said anything, because I had no plan to say anything. But it was clear that God wanted me to speak up at that moment and I seized upon it. The light is liberating. It frees us from repetitive nature of getting caught in the same snare over and over again. Who God has set free is free indeed.
I pray that the fifteen men that come to Men’s Bible Study grows to thirty. I was excited to help out to maintenance work at the church with a new attender at the church. He did not even know the characters in the Bible and I had a great time sharing some of the characters in the new testament that I really liked.
Church is fun, when we unshackle ourselves with the cleansing power of the light of God.
When I came to my current church over a decade a go, I was blown away by how engaged the men were. It was not something that I was used to having men welcome you and inviting me to events and activities within the church. Every demographic had many many examples of men that were not only the salt of the earth, but also full of light.
Over time many of those men moved out of the area either to be closer to family or because of job opportunities. It is always tough to lose pillars of the church. That does present an interesting challenge. When I look at the elders of our church, they are all different from when I originally arrived. That is understandable, but many of the original elders are not still at the church.
Again, Family moving out of the state was the biggest culprit. When I look at the current elders, they are wonderful men of God. All meeting all of the expectations of an elder as spelled out in Timothy. Sober, slow to speak and quick to listen.
I then look into the congregation and so many people put in there time, but we are consumed by the needs of our own family even within the context of church. When I look across the church now, we are missing the mature Christian leaders that we have had in the past. Without men stepping up, we have experienced a bit of a malaise. This had nothing to do with the shepherd of our church, who I believe many feel we are lucky to have. It is the state of the folks in the seats and more specifically the men.
I have gone to Wednesday night men’s bible study and cannot help but notice that after years, we are missing crucial and vibrant relationships amongst the men. Some of this can and should be accomplished in accountability groups. I also look at the make up of men’s events at the church be it men’s breakfast, men’s bible study or men’s retreats. I see some of the men trying to be honest and transparent, while other refusing to give a thing. it makes it awkward because some men will go there and some will not. It is the men that will not go there that seems to prevent a majority of the men to feel it is a safe environment.
This is my church, but I bet it represents a significant number of churches in the country right now. I thing my job, is to bring some energy and be a change agent. One is by being transparent, the other is by being energetic.