"At the deepest levels of a man's heart, we are all the same. We need life. We need love. We need others. We need real. We need truth. We need Christ. When a man looks into others at these deepest levels, we see ourselves in everyone. Then and only then, we know exactly what they need, and how to call it forth from them. As we create our own platforms for doing so, we position ourselves to love others as God intends." - Yours Truly
There were 11 guys in my basement a week ago Tuesday night.
We gathered as we do each week, looking for truth, friendship, help, challenge, hope, acceptance, and life.
4 of us remember about a year ago, when we were a group of 8 guys looking for the same things together, but finding it hard to stay engaged with each other with so many of us in the basement. We prayerfully cast lots, and made two groups of 4.
Those 4 were there along with 7 more that have joined us looking for the same thing. The conversation moved as it did about a year ago, all of us speaking of the need to be fewer in number in order for us to stay vulnerably engaged in the fire of each other's lives.
So we committed to pray and come back together last night with our desires and convictions concerning our group splitting up again. We all squeeze our teeth at the perceived "loss" of what we have, but the desire and need for life presses us forward into constant transformation thinking, season of life understanding, and Kingdom growth living.
We assessed ourselves and our situation openly and honestly, and in community:
* This group of 11 guys includes one brand new guy, and we haven't had time to give him "the floor" because there are so many of us.
* We counted between 10-12 guys who weren't there, but have visited us regularly, and we know they need this kind of brotherhood and fellowship, but they probably feel like 1) they are imposing on us or 2) we can't give them the attention they need because there are so many of us already.
* We listed 8 guys who we know need an invitation to this, but we have been hesitant to invite them to our group because of the size.
* We saw among us 4 guys ready to lead, so long as they go out with at least one other from our group (2 by 2 sounded familiar to us).
These, among other things, convinced us. And after we all shared all week with each other, and then each shared our convictions about "who we want to be with" and "who we want each other to be with" honestly, we fairly effortlessly divided into 3 groups. Ego's weren't hurt, excitement was built, a plan in place, relational commitments to each other restated, and up we came from the basement. As each of the 3 groups spoke informally as we were leaving, they were already talking about the guys they knew they needed to invite into their fellowships. "Wow," I thought, "The need for this kind of Christ-centered fellowship is vast and overwhelming."
This was just trying to happen.
To encourage one another, and to celebrate and share how God is working to advance his Kingdom in our hearts and the hearts of other men, (and maybe also to wean ourselves from each other) we decided that we would all gather back in the basement on the first Tuesday of each month, for the time being, and worship God together. We'll get to meet each other's friends and just let the unity of what we are all doing, trying to become more and more like Christ, living more and more abundantly in the life he's offering, just saturate all of us.
Pray for us. We want more life. And we want more men to have more life so that more families have more life so the more people in the world find the best possible life available to human beings.