5,000 men and their families were starving hungry so Jesus fed them all with a picnic basket of fish sandwiches, but before He did, He had them sit down in groups. He took a crowd and turned it into community. He even broke His personal relationships down to connect. He had 3 that were very close, 12 that were pretty close, and 72 that were close enough.
It’s great to be part of something with a lot of people involved and have momentum. Large numbers of people congregate around great speakers/leaders as well they should. But true communion and community happens in a group. As Jesus said before he fed them “have them sit down in groups.”
We are a few months into our 6th year of meeting on Monday night here at Bethel Church. Bethel is an amazing place and one of the most influential churches in the world. I am great full to be doing what we are doing in a place like this. In over 5 years we haven’t missed one meeting, holidays and all. I am proud of that, and the men who come.
I am regularly surprised at how many men show up on holidays. This will be the first year that Monday night falls on Christmas Eve, and again on New Years Eve, and yes, we will still be meeting, and again we will be surprised at the attendance. Why? Men are finding community, and experiencing intimacy. They came in with a penis problem, and find friends.
A few months back one of our small group leaders asked me if I would dedicate his baby. I said “why do you want to dedicate your baby in here? He said “because this is my Church. The following Monday he brought his beautiful wife and one week old baby in to be dedicated and I must say it was a Simba (Lion King) moment, and one of the most powerful things we have ever done on a Monday night. I don’t say that lightly because powerful things happen regularly. That couple and their child received a prolonged standing ovation. It is the fruit of what we are about and it was embodied in the life of child.
What we do works because of the small group and the leaders who lead them. It was groups that rebuilt the walls during the time of Nehemiah, with a sword in one hand, and a trowel in the other. In the end, it’s groups that get it done. It’s men connecting/relating regularly getting down and dirty doing the work. We bring in the best best speakers in the world, the testimonies are off the charts, and our worship is some of the best on the planet. We have some type of game/contest each week that brings out our manliness in ways you would have to be there to see, and yet, what works, and will always work, is the small group. Jesus modeled it, so we are doing it, as honestly as we can, and men (myself included) are getting better together and changing the world we live in, one man at a time.