Friday, July 28, 2006

blokes and church


I sent out this letter today. It will be fascinating to see what might emerge. (Note to self: if this works once, then it could easily be reproduced with other “invite” groups).

Over the last while, 7 of you have independently spoken to me about men and ministry at Opawa. I hear from all of you a concern to do something. I also hear from all of you a lack of clarity about the what and how and when and who. Which I think is a good thing, because it gives us some space to nut out together God’s unique dream at Opawa.

So, as a pastoral leader in your midst, because of your concern for men and ministry at Opawa, I am inviting you to commit 4 hours to a process of listening and learning from each other as men. At the end I suspect we will know a lot more clearly what God might want to birth among the blokes at Opawa.

I am asking you to engage with me and some others for 4 weeks around the following topics:

Blokes + their sheds – who we are + the toys we enjoy
Blokes + their Bibles – ways we do + don’t connect spiritually
Blokes + their mates – ways we do + don’t connect relationally
Blokes at Opawa – so what for men + ministry at Opawa
Rest assured it won’t just be talking. Nor will there be any books to read. Instead, you will be asked to bring something and/or do something each week.

I am suggesting 2 ground rules:
1 – A bloke is a bloke: please, no stereotypes about men, women, relationships in general.
2 – Show us your guts: be as honest and real as you can.

I don’t like cutting into people’s evenings, so I am suggesting we gather for an hour XXXXXXXXXX straight after work for 4 weeks.

If you are up for it, and the time suits, get in touch ASAP and I will tell you what to bring for our first gathering.

Posted by steve at 07:13 PM


  1. If I lived in New Zealand, I’d join you guys. May the verve stay with you.

    Comment by Keith Vetter — July 29, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  2. Keith, you might not be allowed to join us :). This is initially an invite only group. If it is connective, then we might well open the circle up, but for now, I’m just experimenting in a safe space, by selectively creating a safe space 🙂


    Comment by steve — July 29, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  3. I suppose the point is moot since I don’t live in NZ… but it sounds net related… anyhow… I understand… I don’t think I’d fair well anyways since I don’t know what a bloke is.

    Comment by Keith — July 30, 2006 @ 11:16 am

  4. Hi Steve,

    I’m a friend of David’s from Roanoke, VA in the USA. I would love to know more about how you are creating the “safe space” in your gatherings, and would welcome more information on the details of each session (what you’re having them bring or do, etc.).

    Blessings from Virginia,


    Comment by Mark — July 30, 2006 @ 1:19 pm

  5. It just hit me. I am a bloke! A dude!

    I’m not much for places of safety anyways… If things get gushy in a huddle of dudes in a small contained spot… I freak.

    A safe distance is what? Texas to New Zealand? 😀

    Comment by Keith Vetter — July 30, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

  6. I think this is a fabulous idea, Steve. I think the beauty of this isn’t so much in the idea of “blokes at Opawa” but rather in the process itself.

    Like most pastors I have pepole come up to me all the time and say things like, I think we could do our children’s ministry better, I think we need to go deeper with hospitality, I think our understanding of the community around us needs to be deeper and broader, etc. Then, as a pastor, as I’m listening to all this, I hear common themes emerge and I then “invite” those I’ve heard from to be together for 4 weeks or whatever and LISTEN to God and each other. Scripture dwelling would be key to this in my context.

    The other thing it does, at least in my context, is sorts out those who just want to complain that things are the way they think they should be and really want the pastor to fix it, and those who really have a Spirit-born dream for how God’s coule be more present in the community.

    Comment by Ryan Bell — August 1, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  7. Well discerned Ryan. This is not a programme, it is an attempt to allow people to listen with intentionality – to each other; to Scripture and to our wider culture.

    Comment by steve — August 2, 2006 @ 11:50 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.