Support, Encouragement, and Accountability (why I need my men’s ministry brothers)

– Wayne, Ray, Larry, Keith, Paul, Andy, Harold, Derek, Dave, Robert, David, George, Bob

 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds… – Hebrews 10:23-24

I wanted to take the photograph. I actually had my camera out and ready more than once. But – and this is hard to believe knowing my paparazzi tendencies – I never clicked the shutter. Truth be told the moment seemed too holy for that, too intimate, too private.

I’m talking about my men’s midweek small group meeting Wednesday evening. It’s summer, and what with travel and recreation and such, attendance is typically sporadic at this time of the year. Yet this week almost everyone was there. A dozen men around the long table and it felt so good that I almost had a little trouble with leaking from around the eyes.

We all need a little help!

We talked quite simply, about what it means to be in community. Especially a community of men. And, no, this is not a sexist, chauvinistic thing but in fact quite the opposite. What we have all realized is that in some areas, particularly that of more intimate interpersonal relationships, women tend to be more highly evolved – or at least more naturally intuitive.

And so we (men) need to be more deliberate in terms of arranging the circumstances where we can learn and grow. We learn from one another, we learn from the scriptures, and we learn – I am convinced of this – from Jesus himself.

Even Jesus – God incarnate, fully human and fully divine – understood that it was important to surround himself with a small group of men, and that they could learn from one another and thereby be equipped to do the work of ministry, the work of reconciliation, to be God’s ongoing works of grace in this broken world.

I could write another book around this idea of being an intentional Band of Brothers. I well may. But this will be enough for today’s post.

(We have four active men’s groups in this church. A Wednesday study for younger guys, an early Friday morning meeting for those on their way to work, this Wednesday evening crew, and a some who meet early Saturday mornings.)

There was a photo:

So yes, there was a photograph, but I waited to take it Friday evening (thanks for pulling the trigger, Sabrina, because my arms aren’t quite long enough), when the Wednesday crew had a party for me over at Andy and Robin’s house. Thirteen of the guys, thirteen spouses. It was a great evening of amazing food, friendships deepened, great stories, positive affirmation, and deep love.

Do not attempt to walk this path alone; we must not. We were imagined, designed, created, and then placed on this good Earth for the purpose of community. Community both with God and with one another.

Support, encouragement, accountability, prayer, study, faith.

In love, and because love is always at the root of what is best in this life – DEREK

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