A Pastoral Invite to Man Camp 2017
On October 6th the men of DCC will be heading to the Olympic Peninsula for 24 hours of Gospel-saturated learning, personal sharpening, and relationship-building for Man Camp 2017. This year our theme is Endurance taken from Hebrews 12:1-3. We’re considering, “What does it take to persevere as a follower of Jesus?” We’ll look at ways to avoid wasting our lives, how to set aside sin, ingredients for running well, and more. Plus, we’ll be in the woods.
Yes, last year, some of us were on a ferry with a car fire. Yes, last year, it rained the entire weekend. Yes, last year, the power was out and we ran the retreat on a generator. Yes, last year, there was no heat or hot showers. And it was perfect: the men of DCC were gathered, the Scriptures were taught, new friendships were forged, songs were sung, and some responded to Jesus for the first time. While the circumstances of every year change, the benefit of this time together doesn’t change.
So, I am making a pastoral call to all DCC men who have yet to register. Our prayerful aim is to see 175 men in the woods in two weeks. Let’s say that DCC averages 650 people on Sunday and half are men. That makes roughly 325 men. Ideally, we’ll see every one of these men join us on the peninsula. But, if just half of you registered, we’d nearly be at our goal. My encouragement to you is simple: register. You will not regret it. We understand that not all of you can make it, for one reason or another, but this is for those of you that can. Let me offer the following encouragements for those of you on the fence:
#1 Man Camp creates intentional space to learn about Jesus.
Our culture is marked by busyness. Work demands. School demands. Kid demands. Project demands. Schedule demands. 24-hour news. Endless social media feeds. It takes intentionality to slow down for five minutes, let alone an entire day. That makes this Man Camp a gift. It is a gift to carve out intentional space in your calendar to consider how to endure with Jesus, alongside others seeking to do the same. This kind of intentionality is good for our souls. Don’t miss out.
#2 Man Camp builds new relationships.
Maybe you don’t know anyone. It can be intimidating entering into something like this without knowing anyone else. We all get that. But, here’s the thing: that’s what retreats are for! More relational-traction can be gained with a retreat than with a dozen brief Sunday meet-and-greets. A retreat is the perfect place to get to know others. No one is “busy.” We’re all there for the same purpose. So, will this require you to take a step of faith? Yes. Will you be alone? No. Will you forge new relationships with others? For sure. Will it be worth it? No doubt. Embrace this Man Camp as an opportunity to build new relationships.
#3 Man Camp gets us out of our context.
We all know what a gift it is to pause our normal rhythms for a change of scenery. Our family tries to get out of the city at least once a month. The process to get into the woods can be challenging, but once we’re there I always ask, “Why did I hesitate? This is amazing.” It is a gift to temporarily get out of our context to think, laugh, rest, and reflect—especially when it involves a ferry ride to the peninsula. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get the perspective we’ve been looking for. Man Camp is an opportunity to get out of your context for a weekend.
#4 Man Camp is a weapon against Satan.
For years as a new believer I noticed that all kinds of things came at me when I was presented with an opportunity to go on a retreat: family emergencies, other plans, lack of funds, sudden desire to be alone, skepticism about the benefit of retreats, etc. Often, I needed someone to come alongside me and say, “You really need to go to this and I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.” So, in most cases, I went. I can recall cases where I even regretted it while I was on my way there! But, guess what? Not once did I regret it afterwards. Not once. I’ve come to see that this is a common tactic of the enemy to keep us from opportunities like this that are sure to increase our faith, deepen our joy, and anchor our love in God—and all that he is for us, in Jesus. The enemy doesn’t want that. He wants us at home by ourselves watching Netflix. So, tell the enemy to take hike. Put aside doubts. Change plans. Take a step of faith. You won’t regret it. Men, this is going to be a memorable time together.
All that said, here are the details:
WHAT: Man Camp 2017
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 6th – Saturday, Oct. 7th
WHERE: Island Lake Camp
Let’s be praying for our time together, fellas.
Christ is all,