I am going to lay out some ideas in this space in relation to how groups of men can Grow Up in their Christian Life. These are just ideas, I haven’t tested them but through observation, reading, and my own experience, I believe that this might be a pathway to move men into a more mature faith. I welcome your feedback on these ideas.
- Make it difficult – Men need an animal to go hunt, a palace to defend, and a purpose that is greater than themselves. I have talked in this space about the challenge of the Christian life and how that is by design. If there is no challenge then there is no opportunity for growth.
- Give Each Other Nicknames – One of the oddities of male bonding is the need to give each other nicknames. Somehow, calling someone Slim or Lefty is a term of endearment between one man to another. Women don’t give out nicknames, men do. That is weird, I know. Even Jesus gave out nicknames. He called Simon by the name, Peter, which means The Rock. James and John were Sons of Thunder. One of the disciples was named The Zealot. These nicknames brought a since of affection, inclusiveness, uniqueness, and identity. Don’t underestimate the power of a nickname.
- Use Humor. If you watch typical depictions of groups of women in film, they show their love for one another through touch, compliments, knowing glances, and words of gratitude. The male depiction is usually centered around one thing: humor. Psychologist may think that men are using humor to mask vulnerability or as a defense mechanism against their true feelings and sorrows. But what if humor is the male way of connecting with one another. If you can share a joke with another male, then you build trust, and an understanding with one another.
- Things Can Be Serious. Remember, men who are bonding will bring humor into the situation themselves. So, the task at hand can be serious, even life or death. Men won’t shy away from what is heavy or serious when they know what is at stake. In fact, this will be embraced because it feeds into their sense of purpose.
What do you think? Would this work? Could a study or plan be developed around these ideas? I will be pursuing this and may be calling out some men to test out some of these ideas. If you are interested, let me know.