I am constantly taking in information about men. I have read just about every book out there on men. I listen to podcasts, videos, and keep a running list of new insights, quotes, and facts about men. I work my hardest to be at every man function, ministry, and outreach that we have for men at Grace Community. I play in an adult basketball league with men. I mentor a large group of men across America every week. I speak to men at Conferences, retreats, and High School-College Sport teams. I hunt with men, workout, and ride motorcycles with men. I pray for and with hundreds of men in a year's time. I have the privilege of hearing stories of heart-ache and victories with men. I have been on relief trips with men. I have camped on mountain-tops with men and traveled for hours in vehicles with men. You get the picture...
I know the struggles of men first hand because I struggle too. I know when men are leveraging bombs with their words in Social Media. I know when men are hiding their insecurities. I know when men are angry, prideful, and jealous. I know how men don't like to be told what to do. I know how the fear of the unknown keeps men from jumping in. I know how men pretend. I know how men like to be right... You get the picture...
I know that men long to have brotherhood, real brotherhood, the kind where they know someone really loves them. For you see, men want to belong. Men long to be part of something that is making an eternal difference. For centuries men have longed for this and have joined all kinds of teams, clubs, groups, and ministries to find it.
Yet, most never find it and are on a life-long search to get it. Well, I witnessed it first hand this past week. I am not talking about superficial brotherhood, I am referring to a deep connection that only happens when you have done life with another man.
We lost a dear brother at Grace Community Church this past week and we celebrated his life at his funeral on Tuesday. It was a work-day for most men, but what I witnessed just confirms what I know to be true; when men do life together with a common cause centered on Jesus there is rich brotherhood.
Our brother Al, was a 4 time fight-club graduate and in his words said this "Fight club was my greatest achievement in life." So at his celebration men that had walked that journey with him showed up to show their respects. And show up they did! I have never experienced or witnessed anything like it at a funeral when a mass of men took vacation and personal days to be there.
The family was blown away by the support and even commented that Al would have been so proud. There were two very visible moments of this support when a mass of men flooded the stage to sing a song that was meaningful to Al and another when all the grads lined the sides of the aisle in respect for their brother as his casket was carried out of the church.
My heart skipped a beat as I saw this long line of brothers standing respectfully as they watched their friend pass through.
All that to say this: I love the brotherhood that Fight Club offers our men, it is not the perfect discipleship tool, but it sure is a great one to bond men deeply with Jesus!