“Men’s Retreats” may be a thing of the past if a trend to call them “Men’s Advances” takes off!
This spring men from my Dutch expat church (APCH) were again kindly invited to share fellowship, discipleship and worship with a similar church in Surrey (ICC). Initially there was a lack of take-up our end but finally 5 of us made the road trip via Eurotunnel.
The theme of the weekend was Fight Club and the key verse: 1 Timothy 2:8. ICC’s new pastor shared that he had never led a Men’s Retreat but had known that if/when he did he would use this verse. It was an inspiring and spiritually nourishing time (in true CVM-style without a quiche in sight) as Pastor Rick expounded the verse in 3 sessions in the context of Defence (anger and doubt) and Offence (prayer and godliness).
A pause in the discipleship on Saturday afternoon gave an opportunity for fellowship and fun through golf or bouncy boxing or a flying visit to nearby Hampton Court; in the company of Cardinal Wolsely no less.
These retreats really are advances in one’s spiritual journey, as men make themselves vulnerable and available to share their struggles and experiences to learn from each other. It was wonderful to see familiar faces but even more encouraging seeing so many new ones. If you didn’t have a large enough group for a weekend, try, like us, teaming up with another church or churches; I doubt you will be disappointed with the outcome.
‘It is my will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without anger and doubting‘. 1 Timothy 2:8