I have already noted a seriously busy beginning to this week. There is a heck of a lot going on, and so many people to meet with, and appointments to attend, and paperwork to complete, and research to pursue, and endless details. It all adds up to a lot to think about and a lot to document; and, yes, a lot to write about too.
But it’s okay, because you don’t get to be a writer who has any kind of a legitimate voice unless there is actual life going on to engage with, and to think about, and to share.
So I grabbed today’s letters from the mail box, persuaded Scout Labradoodle to venture on to the front stoop, and sat down with her for a selfie. Of course she tried to hide her face. Even the dog resists the paparazzi.
It was a good pile of mail, including an envelope containing the first magazine article I’ve placed in a while. It’s nicely laid out, a two-page spread in the fall 2016 edition of UM-MEN: the magazine of United Methodist Men.
UMM is the largest faith-based men’s organization in the world. Every man, in every Methodist congregation is, by default, a member of United Methodist Men. So, with a reported seven million plus Methodists in the USA, this article has the potential to reach several million men.
One reason I’ve had such a consistent and positive relationship with UMM is the fact that their core mission dovetails so closely with mine: “Our mission,” the organization declares, “is to support spiritual growth among men, helping men to mature as disciples as they encourage spiritual formation in others.”
At the same time, and much like men’s ministry in many contexts, discipleship so easily takes second place to membership, and fellowship, and camaraderie, and the very reason men gather together loses its vital connection to the heart of discipleship and a passion for following Jesus.
This is what gets me up in the morning; this is why I am so excited about what is developing in men’s ministry here at WFPC; this is why I accept every invitation I receive to speak to, or write about, or encourage ministry to and with men.
Imagine every church – Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Disciples of Christ, Catholic, name your denomination…. – with one (or two, or three, or more) covenant groups, where men meet every week to move beyond the surface, and to dig deep into support, encouragement, and accountability as disciples of Jesus!
So ask your Methodist friends if they get the magazine, and encourage them to read “Why we need a band of brothers.” Who knows what the future might begin to look like?
Peace, and more peace – DEREK
ps: Here’s a link to the article at the UM-MEN website. “Why we need a band of brothers”