Man on a mission
What will you do with Marcus' story? It made me think of our Convoy culture. Consider our mission statement: Connecting men and their stories that give hope in authentic community called foxholes (https://www.convoynwa.org/about/). We've talked about why we do what we do. Convoy, and before that, going back to our days as Man Church, has never been about gaining an audience or packing a building. But there's something that compels us to get up before sunrise and hang out with a bunch of guys. It's that sense of connection. Connection to something bigger than myself. Connection with other men who remind me that we're all in this Kingdom thing together. And it isn't always easy, but it's worth it. Because our King is good.
Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory. -Psalm 24:7-10
There are likely as many stories of specific people or specific events that gave us that feeling of connection as there are men in our fellowship. One of my memories is a lunch invitation from Colon Washburn. I had been part of Man Church for a while and I knew who Colon was, but I didn't know him well and was not aware of any particular affection he had toward me. To be honest, I was a bit intimidated. We met at Dixie Cafe' in Rogers. He knew I worked at the home office of a sizable local retailing company and had heard I was struggling in my role as a manager there after we changed the approach to our annual associate evaluations. Our time together was very encouraging. Some of the messages he left me with were: "Don't let them put you into a mold. No matter what, do the right thing; don't violate your conscience. One of these days, you'll get tired of them or they'll get tired of you, and you'll leave. But that's nothing to be afraid of; God is already working on the next thing for you." Of course, his words were exactly what I needed to hear and turned out to be prophetic sooner than I would have imagined. The thing is, I would never have met Colon Washburn had it not been for an earlier invitation from a neighbor to try out this crazy thing called "Man Church".
Don't underestimate your impact on the people around you. You know someone who needs to feel connected. You may not know who they are yet. And they may not even realize what it is they're looking for. But they know they're looking for something. Ask God to help you find them. Say "yes" when the Spirit points them out to you. You'll be sweating - ask for courage. Some will say, "Thanks, but no thanks." Many will say, "Six-fifteen in the morning! Are you nuts?" When they say those things, that doesn't mean you failed. It means they aren't ready yet. But when they are, they'll remember that seed you sowed. Then a few will say, "Sounds interesting. Tell me more." That's when YOUR story comes into play. What has God done for you? How have the men in your foxhole helped make that real in your life?
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. -Colossians 4:6
Got a 2-minute video clip to put this in perspective. I'm probably breaking several copyright laws here, so be warned: Clicking this link may make you an accessory to the crime! ;).
This is gonna be fun, guys!