In my last post, I presented some ideas on how groups of men could start to Grow Up in their journey with Christ. Today, I answer some questions that might be going through your heads, even mine, in relation to these ideas.
If we emphasize adventure and manly things won’t we be missing other important aspects of faith in Christ?
Yes. You always have to watch yourself from reducing the Gospel to one aspect that fits too neatly in a box. I love Fellowship of Christian Athletes and think they have done great work over the years but do they promote an athleticized version of faith that tips over sometimes into a belief that God is only interested in our athletic achievements? Maybe. Giving men a purpose and a challenge is not a gimmick but a way to help them sense the importance of their Christian maturity.
Great, I have a nickname. How is that going to help me grow?
What will help you grow is the trust, community, accountability, and companionship of the group. Nicknames are just a sign of the group recognizing your uniqueness and including you as a part of the family. The growth comes after the nickname but the nickname is an important first step in that growth enhancing inclusion.
Do you have any scripture that supports any of this?
In the Gospels, just following Jesus around the country side with the disciples will teach you the way that Jesus interacted, taught, disciplined, instructed, and bonded with his friends. There is much to be learned through these interactions.
I also enjoy the story of Moses’ father-in-law Jethro visiting him and recognizing the greatness of God and his work. But Jethro also noticed how Moses was burdening himself by taking on too much and it was not only hurting his own life experience but the people he was called to lead. Men should be able to hold each other accountable like this.
photo credits: wikimedia commons