Everybody needs to connect. Women have been doing it for years in different ways in the church. Men have a little more trouble. After all, most don't quilt, they're usually not joining MOPS, and they don't really reach out or make friends in the same way women do. I posted before about a men's helping ministry, but this is something different. It's about filling them up and providing a safe place for them to get support and accountability with other men... around a fire. It's called a FIRESIDE CHAT and no women or children are welcome. For some reason sitting partially in the dark and smoking cigars around a fire is relaxing. I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the Holy Spirit appearing as fire on Pentecost in Acts 2.
My husband has a weekly fireside chat in our backyard (if you have a fire pit at your church you could start one there too) where he invites his older sons (over 18), any men from our congregation, and any neighbor or man with which he comes in contact and is compelled to invite. Men are welcome to invite other friends, colleagues, family members, etc. as well. If the group gets too big, another group is started. It's a simple process and there is one firm rule: no alcohol. The goal is not to fix each other's problems, but to share the joys and burdens of life and encourage each other in Christ. Everything said at the fire stays at the fire.
The basic agenda looks like this (no alcohol, but cigars are welcome):
- Warm-up time to shoot the breeze and punch each other in the shoulder.
- Remind each other of the confidentiality of the group.
- Ask the questions.
- What is God doing in your life?
- Are you stuck anywhere?
- What are you doing about it?
- Prayer (anytime for anything - it makes God a part of the group)
When men trust who they're talking to and open up, they receive an incredible amount of support and accountability and this becomes a powerfully uplifting part of their week. They grow closer to God, they become better leaders of their family, and better husbands and fathers. This is the kind of personal ministry that changes lives and helps men be strong, confident, faithful, God-loving men.
If you'd like to know more about this program, please don't hesitate to contact me.