I spent a few hours this afternoon contacting some of the men of Park Church (Edgebrook). I did this because I was recently tasked with overseeing the men’s ministry of our local church, and I wanted to invite them to be a part of a new initiative we are soon starting.
The good thing is this: I will not need to start things from scratch. Park Edgebrook already has a solid men’s ministry, which has been meeting semi-sometimely for breakfasts, book and Bible studies, as well as other initiatives. The men of Park Edgebrook are committed and involved in various ministries at the church. This is a solid church, with a solid contingent of men. Some of these guys have been attending the church for decades–since back when it was Edgebrook Church. But just about every week, there are new faces and new families that join our ranks.
A New Tribe
So my mission, as I see it, is to build on the momentum happening here and to help provide opportunities for men who are already involved, as well as those who are newer or still unsure about the church, “to learn from God’s word and to challenge each other to live as men of wisdom and purpose.”
To do this, we are starting a new men’s small group, a tribe of friends and brothers to meet every week in community and on mission.
The Biblical Pattern
In his letter to the church in ancient Galatia, the Apostle Paul writes,
Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each person should examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in himself alone, and not in respect to someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.
The Bible’s instructions for how we are supposed to live together involve all sorts of truly manly themes: restoring our fallen brothers, self-discipline, carrying one another’s burdens, fulfilling the law of our King, pursuing humility, self-examination, working hard, and learning to carry out our own God-given responsibilities.
It all adds up to the makings of a solid men’s group, am I right?
The Church’s Vision
On the back wall of our church’s auditorium this statement is posted in words made of metal: “We exist to be a biblical community where the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives, renews the city, and impacts the world.”
The new men’s group will be the laboratory where we will strive to put the Apostle’s instructions and our church’s vision into practice.
Following the guidance of Kevin Howells (Pastor of Small Group) and Park’s S. G. Ministry team, we will meet according to the following format:
- Week 1: Group Study and Discussion
An authentic, open and challenging discussion of a passage of Scripture and/or a chapter of a book, with a heavy emphasis on skills-building and practical application.
- Week 2: Meal
Food, conversation, prayer and camaraderie.
- Week 3: Group Study and Discussion
Same as Week 1.
- Week 4: Third Place
Time to unwind and hang out at a natural, neutral space in the community. Think: bowling alley, pub, restaurant, cigar shop, or coffee shop. I wrote an article about “Third Places,” which you can read here.
Along with these regular gatherings, we will be open to getting together casually at other times, to watch a game, grab a bite to eat, get the families together, check out a neighborhood fest, serve the community, etc.
This new group will be open to all men of the church, single, married or divorced. Guys who are already committed to small groups should talk to their group leaders and wives (if applicable) before joining–but you are welcome too. Let’s form a tribe and get to work.
Do you want more information? Ready to sign up? Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Or maybe you’re a vegetarian, in which case just imagine I said, “Mmm… carrot sticks….”