by Keith Davis, C&MA National Office chaplain
Throughout The Christian and Missionary Alliance, a resurgence of men’s retreats and gatherings of various kinds are fostering environments where men can express their desire for deeper male relationships.
In the church I attend, North Springs Alliance Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I recently experienced a men’s retreat that helped us become more vulnerable with each other.
We were assigned to participate in a specific small group throughout the weekend. (That idea alone was a problem for some of us, because many men prefer to hang out with guys they know, who make them feel comfortable.) We were to eat our meals with this group and just be with them.
Then, to add to our discomfort, we didn’t sit and listen to teaching about how to be better Christian men. Rather, we were directed in a number of activities designed to foster deep communication within the group. Some of these activities seemed silly, such as putting a puzzle together blindfolded. Others fed into the competitive gene we all seem to carry. However, the amazing result was conversing with other men like we had never done before.
We began to share our struggles, our victories, our challenges, and our dreams. It was amazing to see guys share similar stories and suddenly realize they are not alone in the kinds of things they face. We felt we had other brothers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us to help us carry our burdens. We made deep connections that weekend, and those relationships have continued to develop.
Men’s ministries at local churches create opportunities for deeper relationships with our brothers, our fellow Christ-followers. We were never meant to journey through life alone. God calls us to be like iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17).
Keith writes about how he learned to value deep and authentic friendships with other men in the Alliance Life online exclusive “Friendships that Sharpen.”