What is it about God’s children gathering together that transcends the ordinary? Even when it feels a little awkward or uncomfortable, it still makes me glow to spend time eating, and fellowshipping, and worshipping with other believers – even if I barely know them. And I am a shy person. It’s not easy for me to walk up and say “hi” to a stranger. It’s hard for me to eat with someone I don’t really know, and it’s frankly embarrassing to sing out loud in front of others – even in the best of circumstances. That’s why I need God’s love so bad – to transcend my fears. And that’s why I enjoy the company of you all so much – I feel God’s love through you.
So despite all my scarediness, I am looking forward to our Wednesday night Venture program starting soon. And for those of you who love to procrastinate – you’re so in luck. We are starting two weeks late (on Feb 27) because of the bad weather. So stop what you’re doing and right now just go and sign up. Even if you don’t want to attend a class, come for the meal and worship time. And even if you don’t want to come for the class or the meal – come to the worship time. We need each other. We need you.
I’ll be helping to lead the men’s Bible study. I wanted to take a second to fill everyone in on what we are doing – because I think it’s pretty cool. Last fall we studied a book that talked about the importance of courage in the life of every Christian man. We learned that courage is a core character trait that should help shape all our actions and interactions with others. That Godly courage is the birthright of every Christian man. Unfortunately, many things in our lives and our past chip away at this, eroding the gift and ultimately even keeping us from acting with the humility, and the firm, authoritative resolve that should define our lives. The good news is that God is very interested in, and able to, instill courage in us once again – at any stage of our lives. And one of His preferred platforms to make this happen, is in the company of godly men.
We decided that an appropriate response to what we learned would be to engage together in a Bible study with a team approach – in which we would take turns bringing the main message, but with everyone bringing something to the table. We’re calling it a Spiritual Potluck. The idea is that one man volunteers each week to bring the “main course” for the discussion, and all the other men agree to bring a “side dish.” The text for the night is selected in advance by whoever is bringing the main course. They commit to spending time in dedicated prayer, reflection and/or study (however they want) on the text. Everyone else commits to reading the text and spending some time focusing on it – ideally to the point at which they gain a deeper understanding of it than they had at first glance.
This seemed to us to be a reasonable step forward. It creates an opportunity for a bold act of courage – digging into the Bible and sharing what you discover with others. AND this also allows us an opportunity to claim another birth right – The Word of God. Too often we’re afraid, mystified or even bored by the Bible. So we’re going to get together and crack that nut open! As men of God we want to be energized and growing as we become transformed by the Holy Spirit into the best versions of ourselves. And one of the easiest ways for us to do this is to come together as men, and share from our hearts.
There will be no condemnation. This is about encouraging one another to take bold steps forward from whatever our starting point is. This should look different for each of us. For some a Bible study might be a new and uncomfortable experience, for others – old-hat. But in either case, each man should resolve in his heart to push himself out of his comfort zone – with courage and humility – and give his best.
So that’s what the men’s group will be doing. And we are only one of four awesome groups that are meeting – all open to anyone to come and check-out. For details visit the “Happenings” tab on our website. And you can always email me if you have any questions.
Hope to see you there!