The Gathering Lunch Series is a great chance for men to come together and enjoy lunch while hearing from great speakers on
various topics. Typically, a lunch series runs for three consecutive Fridays from 11:45 am-1:00 pm.
Left to right, Young Guns alumni Jeff Fourman, Jason Hill and Steve Leep joined Gathering Executive Director Jeff Pinkleton for a panel discussion at last Friday’s fall lunch series.
Week 2 Recap…Young GunsBy Kermit Rowe
Gathering Communication Committee“Connect“ is the theme of the Gathering of Miami Valley’s current fall lunch series. That’s because connecting is one of the biggest challenges facing men today.
“When you have a wife and family, it is pretty hard to connect with other guys,” said Jason Hill, a Gathering member and alumnus of the group’s Young Guns ministry, at Friday‘s second of three fall lunches. The Young Guns ministry seeks to connect under-40 aged men with mentors and a biblical lifestyle.
“A lot of times, it feels like it is just me to take care of my family, and it is good to be able to talk to someone when things come up,” he added.
Jeff Pinkleton, the Gathering’s executive director, explained why.
“Guys these days are bored, discouraged, defeated and tired,” he said. “Isolation is the No. 1 thing that takes leaders down.”
And when you reach out to disconnected men, the challenge becomes real.
“People will hear what you say and say, ‘Yeah, I need to get connected,’ ” Pinkleton said. “But then they never do..”
The Gathering is seeking to change that. The group offers bi-weekly and weekly “locker room” meetings and assorted retreats to connect men to men and men to God.
Steve Leep and Jeff Fourman joined Hill to create a panel of former Young Guns. Below are some of the key topics during their panel discussion and their response to them:
* On what they’ve gained by connecting with The Gathering:
Leep: “It was one of those things when I was in the right place at the right time. I have done things during the last four years with the Gathering than I thought I never be doing.”
Hill: “l’ve felt isolated at several times in my life. I always went to church, but never had a real connection with people in that environment. It is good to have someone to talk to about things instead of keeping things bottled up inside and then explode on your wife or kids.”
* On having new goals since joining The Gathering:
Leep: “Going into it you are looking to get things that better yourself, but it ends up being about others. Now I want to make sure that others are able to have someone to talk to.”
* On taking care of yourself, so you can be better for others:
Fourman: “It is so easy to put yourself second, third or fourth, and not take care of yourself. Making sure everyone else is happy, but you miss out. You get going a thousand miles an hour and you don’t enjoy life.”
* On the magic of locker room groups:
Hill: “When one guy opens up about what he has been struggling with, even if others don’t open up, they grow from hearing it.”
Leep: “Finishing strong is something the Gathering is big on. The guys in the group are good about that.. It’s not about having things figured out but hanging around guys who can help you figure them out.”
* On the power of multi-generational male fellowship:
Fourman: “Even guys you think are perfect, they struggle through things like you do. It is good to hear that I am not alone in this.”
Leep: “I want my life to be full, and have great people around me at all times. I feel very grateful to have this, and I am making sure I take advantage of it and help others to taking advantage of it.”
* Some good advice:
Hill: “If you have someone in your life who is struggling, don’t give up on them.”
The fall lunch series wraps up Friday, Oct. 20, at Ride1 Powersports, 343 W. Leffel Lane in in Springfield, from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes lunch.
Week 1 Recap…
By Kermit Rowe
Gathering Communications Committee
What is the most difficult, challenging relationship in your life?
Your boss? A neighbor? Relative? Spouse?
None of the above, says Mark Householder, President of international sport ministry Athletes In Action.
“It’s your relationship with you,” he said.
Interesting that The Gathering of Miami Valley’s Fall Luncheon Series with the theme of “Connect” would open with a message on how to connect to your inner self. It is one of three important forms of relationship.
“The three categories of relationship that are primary are relationship with God, relationship with yourself and relationship with others,” Householder said.
He added that there are things he does to relate in a healthy way with himself. The first is to connect with reality. Householder quoted Prov. 20:5: “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but understanding draws them out.”
These are dreams, aspirations, aspirations, longings, hurt, pain, mistakes, embarrassments, sin and shame, among others.
“A man of understanding is willing to look at these realities and does something with these,” Householder said. “He brings them out into the light and into relationship with others.”
We can do this by examining our self-talk.
“We all have a front stage in our life, and we have backstage,” he said. “I purpose not to be enamored with the front stage. The bigger deal is to build a context … where it is safe for us to talk about the backstage. And that includes our relationship with ourselves.”
That means spending some time with God.
“I had to have some time to let God speak to me about my relationship with God,” he said.
So the first thing is to get some reality. Secondly, we have to know where to get some resources. These include grace, truth and time.
“Grace is a safe place; God is a safe place,” said Householder. “But God has given us more places to be safe, and that is relationships with others, where you get grace from other people like you get from God.
“Truth is an honest place,” he continued. “We need honesty. We need an accurate picture of reality. I spend a day with seven other men, and we talk about these primary relationships in life. It’s a safe place to have any conversation we need to have.”
Also, relationships need time.
“This is not microwave thing, we need a conventional oven,” he said. “We need to give each other time to grow in grace and truth.”
Householder pointed out that in John 1, Jesus was the perfect integration of grace and truth. Our response?
“I encourage you to do an honest audit of yourself,” he said. “Get into a quiet place of solitude and have God speak to you. Get some paper and do an audit of your self-talk.
“You will find that as you bring the truth of the gospel into your life, you will see that you, with your relationship with Christ, are more powerful than that judge that wants to take you down,” he continued. “You with Christ are stronger than that negative talk. And you are going see some victory in your life, and a freedom.”
But we have to be willing to do that audit.
“You have grace, truth and time to your advantage,” he said. “You just have to access it. And you have to do some of the work.”
The Gathering’s Fall Lunch Series continues Friday, Oct. 13, from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. at Security National Bank with alumni from the ministry’s under-30 group called the “Young Guns” giving the message. The series’ Oct. 20 finale will feature John Landess, the Executive Director of the Turner Foundation.For more information or to get involved, contact: email@example.com
For full details, click here: Lunch Series