West Shore Men’s Council
This past year, we heard stories about men from men: John Nesbitt, Ernie Verna, Layton Shoemaker, Tim Ryan, Paul Mank, and Rich Biggs. Many West Shore men have told us they appreciated hearing messages about "Fatherhood,” “Manhood,” and “Brotherhood” . . . and that they really liked the autobiographical sketches. This resonates with our broader West Shore experience (Alpha, “This is My Story,” Cardboard Testimonies, etc.) as well as our ongoing church-wide desire to “enjoy and share God’s beautiful, life-giving presence.”
If you attended last December’s “Large Group Breakfast” you might remember Ernie’s story of being challenged by Pastor Phil to “be a pastor” in the life of another man, a man who needed a brother to turn to when crisis hit in his own life. Shortly after that, in January, Ernie and I did a role-play over a diner breakfast table for the “Rekindle the Flame” training event.
Our hope and intention, as members of the West Shore Men’s Council, is to see every man in our church have at least one other man as a friend— to invest in and to turn to in crisis. In addition, when that man turns to YOU, you will be ready, willing, and able to minister to him as your brother. We are “pastors” in one another’s lives when we look to help one another in brotherly ways!
Our chief goal, our “vision” for Men’s Ministry is that we love God—that we enjoy Him—and that we share Him with all the people in our lives. And specific to Men’s Ministry, this means a Christ-centered brotherly love for one another, “man to man.” You can articulate that idea any way you’d like and I’ll shout, “Amen!” West Shore’s Men’s Ministry will continue to serve, meeting many needs in other ministries at West Shore Free Church; but we are primarily a pastoral “brotherhood,” a place where men are not the means to another end, but the “end” themselves—a place where every man finds it safe to be and grow.
This is why, in 2012-2013, we will emphasize relationships among our men more than ever before. We want to take the next steps in our three-year-old “Man2Man” movement from the ground up. What does that mean? It means we are not going to position ourselves above you such that we dictate or assign relationships to you, but that we (hopefully!) encourage you in relationship building—and humbly model healthy relationships for you while living our lives among you.
Together, we, as the Men’s Council, are asking ourselves questions like:• Who do I know well or want
to get to know better?
• What are his challenges,
struggles, strengths, desires?
• How can I help in his life?
• Is there a man in my life who
could use a friend right now,
someone to reach out to him?