I just returned from a weekend men’s retreat, www.2009mensretreat.com, and had a pretty good time. The theme was, “rub some dirt on it and get back into the game.” Practically, the theme was not to be like Achan, Aaron or Jonah who all experienced God in a powerful way and then went right back to their old patterns of living – disobedience.
I left with three questions, which I think are pretty good:
- What is it that sidelines you? (What external and/or internal influences keep you from living fullness of life?)
- What do you need to cut off in order to live? (What sin is seeking to dominate your life?)
- Are you being attentive to the promptings of God? (delayed obedience is disobedience)
Some of the highlights included taking 22 men from our congregation (12 more than last year!), seeing these men connect in real ways, discussing the lifecycle of sin (James 1:12-16) and the importance of confession, knowing that Sean asked Jesus to lead his life, and all the smiles.
I was most disappointed with communion. The speaker, who is a nice good and a fair communicator, was not Wesleyan in his approach to the table. That’s all fine to approach it another way, but not at a Free Methodist gathering. Those who had not asked Jesus to be their Lord were prohibited from coming to the table. The table, which has as its foundation the Passover, should be open to all. John Wesley saw it as a means of converting grace. There are confessions of receiving Christ in the act of eating his body and drinking his blood. There was also no recognition of real presence, the Wesleyan position that Christ is truly and mysteriously present in the bread and the cup. I don’t think too many of the men picked up the difference and, sadly, I’m not sure that FM leaders did either.
Overall, it was a good thing.