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NateR
09-13-2009, 09:39 PM
Last night our church had a mens' group meeting out at the Hughes farm. Mark cooked bratwurst and I got to help him out with the onions and peppers. We've had a few of these at the farm so far and it's a great way for the men in the church to just relax and socialize without all the formalities of being inside a church.

We've had a different guest speaker each time so far and yesterday we got to listen to the testimony of Coach Steve Smith, from Decatur, IL, who has coached many different sports at the high school and college level. During his talk he told us the story of the old mule and the well, which I will try to paraphrase:

There was an old mule who lived on a farm and one day he accidentally stumbled into an old dried up well. The farmer discovered the mule inside the well and, after much discussion with the townsfolk, he decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth saving. So, the farmer and all the townspeople began shoveling dirt into the well in order to bury the mule.

The mule, being very much still alive, was extremely distraught over this turn of events. However, as the dirt poured in, one shovel-full at a time, the mule realized that all he had to do was shake off the dirt and step up. So, as the townpeople continued to try to bury him, he just shook it off and stepped up.... shook it off and stepped up.... Eventually, the mule was able to walk right out of the well into the open air and escape what all the earthly wisdom around him believed to be a certain death.

The lesson being, if you don't panic or get discouraged and perservere in the face of overwhelming odds, you might find that you can escape what the world considers unescapable.

Anyways, just thought I would share that. We're getting ready to start up our Wednesday night Bible Study for the men next week.

Jonlion
09-13-2009, 09:49 PM
Great story Nate, i really like that one.

I'm at the moment involved in accountability Emails with some of the friends I made in Texas, So to quote James 5:16 "therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed".

Point being these guys through informal means are keeping me on track with my walk with the Lord, so i think its a great thing to do!

Thanks for sharing

bradwright
09-13-2009, 09:52 PM
Last night our church had a mens' group meeting out at the Hughes farm. Mark cooked bratwurst and I got to help him out with the onions and peppers. We've had a few of these at the farm so far and it's a great way for the men in the church to just relax and socialize without all the formalities of being inside a church.

We've had a different guest speaker each time so far and yesterday we got to listen to the testimony of Coach Steve Smith, from Decatur, IL, who has coached many different sports at the high school and college level. During his talk he told us the story of the old mule and the well, which I will try to paraphrase:

There was an old mule who lived on a farm and one day he accidentally stumbled into an old dried up well. The farmer discovered the mule inside the well and, after much discussion with the townsfolk, he decided that neither the mule nor the well were worth saving. So, the farmer and all the townspeople began shoveling dirt into the well in order to bury the mule.

The mule, being very much still alive, was extremely distraught over this turn of events. However, as the dirt poured in, one shovel-full at a time, the mule realized that all he had to do was shake off the dirt and step up. So, as the townpeople continued to try to bury him, he just shook it off and stepped up.... shook it off and stepped up.... Eventually, the mule was able to walk right out of the well into the open air and escape what all the earthly wisdom around him believed to be a certain death.

The lesson being, if you don't panic or get discouraged and perservere in the face of overwhelming odds, you might find that you can escape what the world considers unescapable.

Anyways, just thought I would share that. We're getting ready to start up our Wednesday night Bible Study for the men next week.

good story there Nate and its a good lesson as well.

Rev
09-13-2009, 10:04 PM
we have gotten our outdoors ministry kicked off and it is going great! Taking a few of our new guys out to kill some hogs with our bows monday night. I took my youth pastor Friday evening and I shot an 80lb sow(perfect for smoking). Yall need to get in on this.

Rev
09-13-2009, 10:04 PM
BTW, Nate, what church do you go to brother?

MattHughesRocks
09-13-2009, 11:57 PM
Do you have to be a man to post in this thread?

Mark
09-14-2009, 12:10 AM
Do you have to be a man to post in this thread?

I guess you don't, you already posted. Next time pm me before you do and I'll give you the answer.

NateR
09-14-2009, 01:01 AM
BTW, Nate, what church do you go to brother?

1st Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, IL. The same church that Mark and Matt go to.

It's actually the only Presbyterian church I have ever attended. I was raised almost entirely Baptist; but my dad would also allow us to attend services at the Jewish synagogue when I was in high school as well.

I'm not a member of 1st Presbyterian yet, but I do plan to join soon.

Bonnie
09-14-2009, 01:31 AM
Thanks for opening the door for us women Michelle. :laugh:

I love stories that have morals to them. Thanks for sharing, Nate. :)

Chuck
09-14-2009, 03:20 AM
Great story Nate, i really like that one.

I'm at the moment involved in accountability Emails with some of the friends I made in Texas, So to quote James 5:16 "therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed".

Point being these guys through informal means are keeping me on track with my walk with the Lord, so i think its a great thing to do!

Thanks for sharing

That's great brother! I'm guessing you're back home and got there safely??

I have some great questions for accountability groups if you're ever interested. Just shoot me a PM with your email address and I'll send you a copy.

adamt
09-14-2009, 03:42 AM
1st Presbyterian Church in Hillsboro, IL. The same church that Mark and Matt go to.

It's actually the only Presbyterian church I have ever attended. I was raised almost entirely Baptist; but my dad would also allow us to attend services at the Jewish synagogue when I was in high school as well.

I'm not a member of 1st Presbyterian yet, but I do plan to join soon.


so what's you weekly attendance? I guess what I am getting at is how many people attend your church and how many attend the men's group.

I get very frustrated with the lukewarm, passive attitude of our men at our church. Every thing is more important than church and most everything is more important than God. We average 60 people in worship service during the summer.

So can you get 5% of the men to faithfully support your men's group? I would love to have a good fellowship with men my age group that actually cared. The sad thing is our church prolly could not muster up anyone else to do it with.

I am thinking about having a generic mens night at my farm and just inviting all the faithful christian men i know, that are spread out over about a dozen local churches.

MattHughesRocks
09-14-2009, 03:54 AM
Where is the fun in that?

I guess you don't, you already posted. Next time pm me before you do and I'll give you the answer.

MattHughesRocks
09-14-2009, 03:55 AM
Sure, anytime my friend :)

Thanks for opening the door for us women Michelle. :laugh:

I love stories that have morals to them. Thanks for sharing, Nate. :)

Llamafighter
09-14-2009, 01:08 PM
I've never heard that story before and really liked it. I'm sure it got a stronge response from the group.
Sounds like you've got a great group of men in the Church, and it's nice that they have a place like the farm to meet and relax.

Jonlion
09-14-2009, 06:33 PM
That's great brother! I'm guessing you're back home and got there safely??

I have some great questions for accountability groups if you're ever interested. Just shoot me a PM with your email address and I'll send you a copy.


Yeah my friend I'm back in good old rainy England!!!! I'm missing America though!

I'd love some of those questions my friend, I'll PM you now.

Eric4
09-14-2009, 06:43 PM
Our men's group starts meeting this Wednesday. Has anyone done the study "One Month to Live?" That is what the small groups in our church are starting.

NateR
09-14-2009, 07:05 PM
Our men's group starts meeting this Wednesday. Has anyone done the study "One Month to Live?" That is what the small groups in our church are starting.

Never heard of it, what's it about?

The Bible study we are starting up on the 23rd is called "The Greatest Adventure" by Men's Fraternity.

Eric4
09-16-2009, 01:11 AM
Never heard of it, what's it about?

Basically how we would live each day if you only had "One Month to Live." We haven't started yet, but that is what I have gleaned so far. Here is a website:

http://www.onemonthtolive.com/

Maglorius
10-05-2009, 05:37 PM
I attend a church here in Alberta,Canada called The Link and we have a great bunch of guys who like to hunt and have some good contacts with the local trap club. For the last 3 years we have had a little event we call Guns 'n' Burgers. We do this at the end of September each year. It is a great event to have the guys in the church to hang out together and build relationships with your christian brothers. We also like to bring out our non believing friends to the shoot and show them that church isn't boring and that it is for men. This year we had 40 guys show up. Unfortunately the wind was really blowing and it made for some difficult shooting.

Conrad
10-09-2009, 07:07 AM
Never heard of it, what's it about?

Basically how we would live each day if you only had "One Month to Live." We haven't started yet, but that is what I have gleaned so far. Here is a website:

http://www.onemonthtolive.com/

I don't think I should quit my job unless I realllly had only one month to live. :)

Haven't seen the website, but the concept is simple. I hope it rocks your point of view on everything :) I went through some experiences that got me thinking that way some years ago and it helped open up a wholly different way to relate to the Lord. Enjoy.

Conrad
10-09-2009, 08:26 AM
so what's you weekly attendance? I guess what I am getting at is how many people attend your church and how many attend the men's group.

I get very frustrated with the lukewarm, passive attitude of our men at our church. Every thing is more important than church and most everything is more important than God. We average 60 people in worship service during the summer.

So can you get 5% of the men to faithfully support your men's group? I would love to have a good fellowship with men my age group that actually cared. The sad thing is our church prolly could not muster up anyone else to do it with.

I am thinking about having a generic mens night at my farm and just inviting all the faithful christian men i know, that are spread out over about a dozen local churches.

Adam T, if I may try to encourage you...
They can be tough to start, but go for it. A lot of guys don't want their routines interrupted. "Faithful men" is a good way to start. Don't get discouraged if the attendance is highly variable and/or small. Scheduling matters. We just had our men's night tonight and attendance was at about half the usual. Then again, the topic was Biblical principles for handling money. (Men don't like the risk of hearing that they don't have it all figured out.) Stick with it even if the group is thin. You/It will minister to whomever shows up. May I share more from experience...?

Leading a Bible study for college students gives personal concern for individuals or impersonal concern for attendance (especially when trying to plan dinner for how many/few). There are also concerns for their time if my cooking goes late, etc, but that's secondary. More to the point, we can't miss ministering to those who are present just because someone is absent. Outside of specific concerns for individuals that can be handled later, low/changing attendance can't distract you from the ministry at hand. Two young women stopped attending last fall in favour of the party scene (on Tuesdays? :huh:) and admitted non-believers have kept attending. Go with what you're given. Serve a meal. If a steady regular disappears, deal with it later and stay on track for the night (unless you think there's some kind of weird emergency going on).

While you might be only organizing and not "leading" a group, the point's the same. Ways I keep people involved: assigning duties, trying to love people, to accept/receive people first and let the scripture speak correction, not making everything happen myself (they socialize fine without me), and "starting with the Gospel" when appropriate. You said you're starting with all the faithful ones you know. Good. The lukewarm ones may warm up. Don't be surprised if you notice some In-Name-Only Christians amongst the men (a.k.a FALSE believers). (If everything is more important than church and God, there's a good chance that there's some of that going on and some who just don't find the church welcoming.) The roughly "regular" you'll have in 6 weeks probably won't be all the same ones who started it.

I've spoken with a few pastors who always find the men's groups tough to start and maintain. Our monthly group grew when we changed it from first Saturday breakfast to first Thurs dinner. If the wives think this will be good for the guys, then the food will come. :grin: Ok, adamt, go for it.

Separate Note:
NateR - speaking of the group, tell Wayne D hello for me. I'd call him, but it's midnght here.