Men's Retreat 2020

Men’s Retreat

ACT LIKE MEN!

1 Corinthians 16:13-14Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (NRSV)

In today’s bizarre world, to make the imperative declaration, “ACT LIKE MEN!” is a risky venture. Admittedly, this pronouncement has the potential to run amuck through distortions of patriarchal dysfunction, hurtful images of abusive partners seeking to force the submission of their girlfriends, wives, mothers and daughters. And often, regretfully, scripture is used to reinforce these destructive views of family and relational dynamics. One of the most misused passages of Scripture in favor of the negative image of a domineering male role is in the fifth chapter of Ephesians, “Wives, submit to your husbands…” So I understand the implicit risk of making the statement, “ACT LIKE MEN!” But I think the risk is worth it.

The risk is worth it, because the families, children, wives, the local church, businesses and the world need the male figure to rise up and ACT LIKE MEN! The key, then, is to pursue the intended biblical image of what God desires for the hearts of men, and therefore what God desires for men in relationship to others.

To “act like men” begins with understanding who God has created us to be. Before anything, men are created in the image of a good and loving God. From there we are called to share, in partnership with woman, in the stewardship of God’s good creation. We are called to participate with God in the ordering and structuring and maintenance of the created order, to reflect the image of God as we walk through and among creation, to reveal the nature and character of God’s heart for our families, and to exhibit sacrificial love for the sake of blessing the world. As our identity is found in and empowered by the indwelling presence of our Holy God, then we will move, speak, and act in ways that carry the heartbeat of God to a world that needs to know the extravagant love of our Heavenly Father.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 offers some healthy direction for living as men of God, with this heartbeat of God. Men are charged with standing guard to defend, protect, and secure what God has placed in our paths. Men are called to stand guard over and for our families, that as we cover them in prayer and speak the truth of Jesus Christ, the enemy will not have a foothold in our homes. We are to lay down our lives for our spouses, sacrificially loving them with the love that Christ has offered for us, that they may be raised up in life. The word “submit” in the Ephesians passage really means “to sacrificially yield your heart to another.” So the great context of the husband-wife dynamic is that each person will “sacrificially yield their hearts to one another” in a way that is consistent with Christ’s sacrificially yielding his life, in love, in order to rescue a lost and broken world! This is a glorious and beautiful invitation, together, to experience abundant life in the love of Jesus. And as men, we get to lead the way in keeping alert, guarding this vision for marriage and life together. Honestly, how are we doing as men of God, when we consider this call to guard our families? Are we bathing our children in prayer, pleading for their hearts to know the LORD?

 

Moving beyond the familial, men are also called to keep alert, and stand guard over the church body. Again, this is not a call to patriarchal dominance, but a vision for sacrificial love for the bride of Christ—the church. We are called to lead the way in covering the church in prayer, interceding for the movement of the Holy Spirit among the believers, striving for the outpouring of love, revealed in the proclamation of grace and truth, that the name of Jesus is lifted high. We are called to be bold in our declaration of truth, our generous extension of grace, our unwavering commitment to the Scriptures, and our passion for doing all things for the glory of God. To “ACT LIKE MEN!” is to be meek and fierce, tough and tender, leaders and servants.[1]

Let the lyrics from William Merrill’s hymn (#576) be a rousing invitation to “ACT LIKE MEN!”

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
His kingdom tarries long;
Bring in the day of brotherhood,
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The Church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great 

Lift high the cross of Christ;
Tread where His feet have trod;
As brothers of the Son of man,
Rise up, O men of God!

 

FUMC is hosting a Men’s Retreat from Feb 28-March 1, where we will be exploring in more detail the calling and practice of the themes in this article. It will be a time of prayer, study, reflection, rest, all with the vision that we may “ACT LIKE MEN!” I hope you will join us.

 

Derek Joyce


[1] Greg Morse. “Not Safe, But Good: The Men We Desperately Need Today.” Desiring God Ministries, desiringgod.org.

Men’s Retreat Leaders

Andy Durbin

Andy Durbin is a disciple of Jesus who loves to tell God’s beautiful story of hope and redemption. He is a pastor at Lifewater Church in Bossier City, LA. and has served various churches for over 20 years as a local pastor, youth minister, and associate pastor. His proudest ministry has been to his family – his beautiful wife, Katrinna, and his precious daughter, Hope. He is passionate about leading others to know and follow Jesus in the everyday stuff of life and leading others in worship every week. In addition to his love for Jesus, Andy is a life long Chicago Cubs, Saints, and LSU fan and loves to play golf. 

Clay Logan

Clay Logan is Texan by birth, but moved to Louisiana as a very young boy. As the son of a Methodist preacher, he began singing in church at the age of 4. It wasn’t until the age of 18 when he picked up a guitar and started teaching himself to play that he fully realized the power of songs and music. This love for music led Clay to play with various bands for the past decade or so. He formed Clay Logan Band in 2016 and has been all over the ArkLaTex playing country & southern rock. Clay is now a part of the FaithLink Worship team at First United Methodist Church playing acoustic guitar. Clay’s voice is full of conviction and emotion whether it’s a sweet, soft ballad or high energy classic. He loves the interaction with the crowd and always welcomes special requests.

Men’s Retreat Schedule

Friday, Feb 28

·      4:00 PM                   Registration & Check-in Begins

·      7:00 PM                   Dinner

·      8:00 PM                   Worship Gathering #1

Saturday, Feb 29

·      8:30 AM                   Breakfast

·      10:00 AM                Devotional & “Sacred Pause”

·      12:30 PM                 Lunch

·      1:00 PM                   Free Time

·      6:00 PM                   Dinner

·      7:00 PM                   Worship Gathering #2

Sunday, March 1

·      8:30 AM                   Breakfast

·      9:30 AM                   Worship Gathering #3

·      11:30 AM                Departure

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