Our meetings follow this pattern:

Gathering:
We cook and eat breakfast together. This time allows for men to share openly about what is happening in their life and to support and encourage one another.

Soul Food:

  • Listen to God’s word.
  • Reflect on how the word meets our life.
  • A time for discussion and/or teaching.
  • We keep one another accountable with our disciplines.
  • Prayers of support and intercession.

Action:
We offer up to God the gifts and talents God has given us to keep the parish build-ings and grounds in good repair, and sup-port our fellowship activities. We will also look for other community projects to be-come involved with.

What is Male Spirituality and why is it important?

If you walk into a church service today you will invariably notice that there appears to be disproportionately more females than males. Have you ever wondered why this is so, and what do you think this trend is telling us about God, the Christian faith and our society.

Well we may wonder whether Christianity is a faith for real men, but that would seem counter-intuitive since Jesus was a male. Does it have something to do with modern males not finding anything offered in the Christian life that they can connect with? As I pondered these questions it occurred to me that many of our churches now only offer Sunday worship as an entry point into the Christian faith. Although there is nothing wrong with Sunday worship per se, on the whole worship tends to be a more sensual and emotional experience that is engaged by people who are already open and can readily engage with this experience. On the whole males seek a more physical and tactile mode to engage and communicate, what we may call a “blokey" environment. It is for this reason that the Men’s shed movement has become a successful medium to gather males and help them to form relationships and communicate with each other.

One of the unfortunate outcomes from the gender revolution during the 20th century has been the confused place for the male in our society. In dismantling the patriarchal society that had previously oppressed generations of females, much of the blame was attributed to certain masculine traits. The result of this negative campaign is that young boys are often discouraged from exploring aspects of their maleness, and this neglect in development can lead to a lurking shadow following them into manhood.

Richard Rohr O.F.M, a respected writer on male spirituality has studied the loss of initiation rites for boys across all cultures and he writes, “The young male, it seems, has always been the loose knot in the social fabric. If he was lost to the world of community and spirituality, all the other members would soon fall through the social net his female partner, their children, the next generation, and eventually the society itself would deteriorate. Today we have men “on the loose” without any social or spiritual mandate. Just their small egos guiding them. And even worse, many a young woman is now imitating the same toxic pattern. It is the only pattern that the West now knows. " (1.)

As Christians we believe that all people are created in the image of God and this therefore implies that the qualities of male and femaleness are given. In the creation story in Genesis God affirmed all creation as being good, and so this implies that any negative traits displayed are likely to be the fault of formation. Rohr strongly believes that real men are made not born, and hence the need for good initiation rites that are now long lost in the Western world. He notes that, “unless the male is led on deliberate journeys of powerlessness, he will normally seek and abuse power. The only external power that you can trust is in men who have also found their real inner power. Power it seems is the key fascination in the male soul and in every male archetype.” (2.)

I believe that if we are committed to enabling men to grow into their full potential in Christ and play the role God has purposed them to have in the church, then we need to start paying fresh attention to the development of boys into men and also supporting and enabling adult men to grow and deepen their inner world so that it can enhance their participation in their outer world.

Rev Bruce Hyde
1.& 2. (Made not born: Men and power, R. Rohr. July 2003.)