It has been a while since I have posted to update all of you on the Men’s retreat. Until after Christmas I am going to be unusually busy, and I assume most of you have something else to focus on right now too. I pray your Lottie Moon Offering is going to be record breaking this year. Later in this post I will tell you what the men of our church are doing this year to raise interest and excitement for the offering.
Before that though let me remind you that registration is open for the retreat. I mailed out the forms necessary to reserve slots and sign your men up. You can also access those forms on the forms tab on the top of the website. Some of you have called, emailed and left messages telling me how many slots you want, but until the Cooperating Church Agreement is sent back to us with a deposit check you have not reserved your slots. Right now we still have about 150 slots available.
Now about Lottie Moon. Our church loves supporting, praying for, and giving to the mission offerings. In past years I have done everything imaginable to motivate and celebrate reaching our Lottie Moon Offering Goal, including shaving my head. Not going to do that again soon.
One year my wife and I, the Short family, joined another family, the Stouts, and called ourselves Lottie and The Teapots. When we met the goal the four of us, only one of whom sings, sang I’m a Little Teapot when we passed the goal. Think about it, short and stout. Afterwards everyone agreed that performance ought not to be repeated anytime soon either.
But now this year we have the men involved. One of the problems for men’s ministry in our churches is that we have unconsciously feminized a lot of what we do. Everything from the flowers in the sanctuary to the markers used to track a special offering goal are things that don’t appeal to men. We sing songs at a pitch that is unrealistically high for most men, and in general have left women doing all the mission education and promotion. This doesn’t mean men don’t love missions when they are given a chance.
In our church we have quite a few bearded men, and quite a few others who participate in No Shave November. So after some light recruiting we have a dozen men who are committed to shaving as the money for the offering comes in. We are calling them The Bearded Bunch.
For every $500 that comes in another man shaves. The men at the front of the list are the guys who grew their beards especially for the purpose. The men at the back of the list though are men who have had their beards for a while. The last guy is a man who hasn’t shaved in 20 years. The second to the last looks like Santa Clause. It’s a bit more of a sacrifice for these men to shave than it was for me.
The whole church is now excited about seeing how many of these guys we can get shaved. Although it’s still early in the offering, I am guessing that everyone will give a little more just to see what those last four or five guys look like under the whiskers.