One significant off-campus experience for all the male Fellows was the manhood retreat. All the guys hopped on a charter bus for a three-hour drive to northern Georgia. We pulled up to a beautiful camp excited for the weekend.
We started the weekend off strong with a session taught by Pastor Gregg. He started it off strong speaking about what constitutes a biblical man and introduced us to a creed that embodies biblical manhood: biblical men are active, not passive, they accept responsibility and lead courageously. While talking about what it means to be a biblical man we discussed how there is a lack of them in the church and how it is within our generation’s ability and responsibility to make a difference.
After this, we had what ended up being a lot of people’s favorite part of the trip, and that is the discussion groups we had after each of the four sessions. It was small groups of three or four fellows and two staff leaders. It was a place to talk about and process what we just learned. We also discussed what it looked like to apply the wisdom we were receiving.
That night we also had some fun as well. The camp had some basketball courts inside a building that looked like an airplane hanger and we played many games of blacklight dodgeball.After we were all tired from trying to hit each other with dodgeballs we had some s’mores, and had a great time hanging out around the fire and just chilling.
Friday morning, we had another fantastic session taught by David Blanchard on how God designed us with both seminaries and differences intentionally. Through God-given relationships, not just marriage, but friendship and teamwork too, we are created to complement each other in pursuit of God’s kingdom work.
After the discussion groups that morning we had a lot of fun competing in something called the “March Manness” challenge. We were divided into teams of about 5 people and played a couple of different games. The first was 9 square, followed by archery tag, and then a gauntlet which consisted of a stone throw, skeet shooting in the form of trying to hit a big ball with other sports balls, and three trivia questions. It was a lot of fun getting to play these games and have some friendly competition. This was followed by some optional ziplining that was very exciting.
That Friday night we had our second session of the day taught by Chad Rosell on the four faces of a man. This teaching helped us think through how to live authentically and boldly the way God designed us. The faces of a man, which includes – king: reflecting righteousness, warrior: reflecting perseverance through difficulty, lover: reflecting tenderness and emotional openness, and friend: reflecting loyalty, accountability, and fun. After this, we watched a film called “The Heart of Man”, which is about men struggling through sexual sin. It was very powerful and led to many great conversations afterward in our discussion groups. Our final morning, we had our last session taught by Mitch Mask on the wounds of a man. It was very helpful as we pursue what it means to be men and challenged us as we recognize issues in our lives and identifying the source of brokenness.
Our final activity, before we came back, and what was probably everybody’s favorite, is when we received our shepherd staffs as symbols of how we should lead biblically, which means stepping up and being willing to take the responsibility and lead courageously when others won’t. It was very powerful receiving these as symbols and reminders; the best way to end the very transformational retreat.
by Micah Bischoff