How do you get men in retreat? Ask them to join the quilt group; teach children’s Sunday School; or bake a quiche maybe? Seriously, I was thinking more of a spiritual retreat.
Every year in Spring, our Dutch church is a guest of a church in Surry at their men’s retreat. It’s a wonderful time of worship, discipleship and fellowship. This year was no different. A relevant topic (Faith at Work) led by mature Christians from our host church and including a guest speaker; a De Vere conference hotel at GBP75 per night full board, with use of gym, pool and sauna; the latter necessary to compensate for all the chocolate, pretzels and cake available throughout the day, with not a quiche or a salad in sight!
An inspiring time where men in small groups came together to share their varied life experiences in a natural and open way for the benefit of the group members.
Two things struck me: the richness of those experiences, particularly in the older men; but also the respect and interest with which the younger ones listened (and hopefully absorbed!) the lessons learned and mistakes made over 50+ years. Not only at the table but in the side conversations throughout the time together. Diverse backgrounds but one in Christ; sharing nourishing spiritual food.
So, how do you get men in retreat? One way is to consider combining with another church or churches to boost the numbers, increase the diversity and reduce the cost per head. If it’s yet to happen in your church, give it a go, it’s so rewarding.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.