As a busy dad with a full-time job and a wife who also works full time, finding time for myself is difficult. So, when I was first invited to join a men’s group at church, I put it off. Why do we need men’s groups anyway?
One day my wife told me that her coworker’s husband would be speaking at our church. He spoke about an upcoming retreat he was helping to run and there was a discount for those who signed up after church. I had not been to a retreat since I was a kid, but it sounded interesting, I felt that I could use the break, and who can pass up a discount?
To Triumph over Struggles
The men leading the retreat shared inspiring stories from their lives about their struggles and how they triumphed over them, which led those of us on the retreat to share as well. This group of men would become the first “men’s group” I was part of. Since then, we have found a variety of ways to stay in touch.
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The retreat was a good chance to grow closer to Christ and to the men on the retreat. It was also a great break from the busyness of life to think and pray.
To Serve Others
Two retreat themes that stuck with me were community and service. Based upon these themes, I am now a part of a few different men’s groups where I am part of a community that seeks to serve others.
To Become Better Men
At my church, we have a monthly men’s group which typically has a guest speaker, discussions/sharing, and some time for fellowship. Through the speakers, we get to hear a different perspective of what is going on in the world and the church or hear how we can be better men, husbands, fathers, etc.
The discussion and sharing afterward helps us understand that we are not alone in what we are going through in our lives. It also helps to hear how other men have dealt with similar situations. Further, it also facilitates making connections with others.
To Serve the Community
These meetings and the retreat inspire many of us to get involved in different ways to serve our communities. Ever notice that our communities struggle to find enough volunteers to keep everything running? It seems like the same few people are running everything.
We as men need to step up and give of our talents and serve our communities. I have experienced that men’s groups are the best source of strength and inspiration for this.
To Share Our Talents
Scouting is no exception to the struggle to find leaders. Most Scouting groups struggle to find enough adult leaders to have a strong organization. My son’s troop is the opposite: they now have more leaders than scouts. Granted, some may only run some fundraisers, come on a trip to cook an amazing meal, or do other work behind the scenes, but they all choose to share their talents.
There are several reasons why they have so many men willing to step up and be adult leaders of scout troops. The best way I can summarize is this: They are not just a bunch of leaders adding one more thing to their busy lives. They are a group of men who want to want to give of their talents and often get more out of it than they expect.
While none of us would think of a scout troop as a formal “men’s group,” it includes the important aspects of it, and I see serving as one. Now that Boy Scouts of America also includes girls, the organization also benefits one of my daughters by offering her more adventurous experiences than she had in Girl Scouts.
To Model Christ
Through these experiences, I have found that there is still a place for men’s groups in our churches; they are the place where we can get the support we need to serve others by being the hands and feet of Jesus.
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How can you go out and be inspired and inspire others with your talents? How can you use your talents to serve others?
Could a men’s group help?
If you are not ready to join a formal men’s group, perhaps you can find a group that will serve as one, inspiring and strengthening you in your life while allowing you to serve others.