(A few weeks ago, my wife said “Jon, you have to read this blog it’s hilarious.” I said, “Jenny, hilarious? Really? That’s a pretty big word.” She said, “Seriously Jon, it’s funny.” I said, “Jenny, is it really funny or fake funny like ‘lol’ which everyone types when they IM but is rarely ever doing?” And then she said, “Jon, why do we keep using each other’s first names in our sentences?” And I said, “Because this is a guest blog introduction that has jumped the tracks, Jenny.” But I did check out the blog for Dr. Awesome and it is indeed funny. I asked him to bring his mantacular wisdom to Stuff Christians Like today. Enjoy.)
Hello readers of Stuff Christians Like. I am Dr Awesome, and I write a blog, To Every Man A Manswer, that looks at questions from men and gives them manswers. I have been gifted by God to emangelize the men and women of the world by dropping testosterbombs of biblical masculinity. Jon was kind enough to allow me to do a guest post, and suggested I talk about man church retreats. That’s fine, since I’m all about putting the Fellas back in Fellowship. So let’s roll.
Guys, let’s be honest for a second. Men’s church retreats are an avalanche of craptacularness. Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar: you and a bunch of men go off to some remote part of the woods, where you meet some large African American lady in a Shack who claims she is God the Father and She/He tells you it is ok to cry. Wait, I’m getting confused, that’s something else. No, what really happens is that men go off together, sing camp fire songs, and learn about how important it is to be nicer to our wives. That’s all well and good, I do think it is important to be nice. But how am I supposed to get fired up about that? It basically amounts to a woman’s bible study, except you have the woods and a campfire instead of dainty floral arrangements and finger foods. Give me some powerful teaching and some powerful activities, not the spiritual equivalent of a pedicure in the woods.
Many churches and ministries have realized what I’m talking about, that men need a little more oomph in their retreats. But they’ve gone to the opposite extreme. They’ve cranked the masculinity up times eleventy billion. They don’t just take their men camping, they take them in the middle of the friggin desert and basically leave them for dead. They build a fire, then have Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Fire Walks. Or they do trust falls off the side of a mountain. Then they sit around in loin clothes and bash themselves in the heads with rocks while howling like wolves. It’s as if masculinity is all about getting in touch with your primal Lord of the Flies instincts. Now don’t get me wrong, I love doing stuff like wrestling and dominating a grizzly bear as much as the next guy. I sometimes do that to really spice up my quiet times. But that has a time and place, and I’m not sure it’s the church men’s retreat.
That’s why I’m advocating a new style of men’s retreat. Something that junks the watered down wussitude of happy clappy campfire tea and snacks time, but doesn’t go to the opposite extreme and encourage shirtless cavemannery. It’s like our only choices are Man Vs Wild or Man Vs Mild, and I think there should be a third option. If I had to plan a men’s retreat, it would be centered around one theme: MEAT. Of course that’s an acrostic, because how can we make t-shirts if we don’t have letters that stand for something? Here is what the letters stand for:
M – Meat.
Pulled a fast one on you. Look, every guy activity I’ve ever been a part of included the consumption of delicious meat. Think about this…whenever Jesus got a few thousand people together, he didn’t just drop wisdom on them. He also had a massive fish fry. If you are going to have a retreat, you better come up with some way to feed everybody. BBQ, chicken, steaks, or even tasty hot dogs…get your men tons of tasty food, and they’ll be greased up and ready to learn.
Now I don’t mean literal explosions, at least not destructive ones, unless you just happen to have access to a cache of weaponry. No, what I mean are things that produce loud noises. When God made Adam, He genetically programmed in an appreciation for things that go boom. For centuries the only way we could make loud noises was to break wind, which provided (and still provides) hours of hilarity and entertainment. Now we have modern technology like guns and rockets and so on that make REALLY loud noises. If you can somehow arrange your men’s retreat to take place on a fully operational destroyer in the US Navy, that would be ideal. Eat a steak, shoot some cannons. In the absence of that, I recommend copious amounts of beans.
A – Athletics.
Men love competition. This envelops us in every area, from timing how long we can continuously urinate (95 seconds is my personal best, FYI (or TMI?)) to epic playstation football tournaments that last for days on end. We love to keep score. A great men’s retreat will channel this energy into something constructive. I don’t recommend anything that involves equipment…men are sinful, so even an innocent game of horse shoes will probably wind up in the head trauma unit at the ER if you aren’t careful. I recommend some sort of basic obstacle course, where you have to climb a tree, swim a river, fight off a hoard of rampaging raccoons…you know, just your every day woodsy activities. As long as this energy is properly channeled, it will be good for morale. And what wife wouldn’t be proud of her husband for coming home from the church retreat with a coon-skin cap as a present? Mrs. Awesome looks good in raccoon.
T – Mr. T.
I can’t think of a single situation that wouldn’t be improved by having Mr. T. there. From weddings and parties to your wife giving birth to your child, there’s no time that is inappropriate for Mr. T to be around. Part of the gospel is realizing you are a fool in need of pity. Fortunately, that’s what he specializes in.
I suppose if you’re going to have a church retreat, you should also have actual bible study at some point. Just make sure the topic is meaty, in a spiritual sense. It fits with the t-shirts.
So that’s my vision for the ideal Men’s Retreat of Badicalness, or ReMEAT if you prefer. Hopefully this middle of the road approach will take hold, and we’ll be done with both Pansyfest 2009 and Unfrozen Caveman Christian. I’d like to thank Jon for letting me guest post today, it’s been a pleasure. Feel free to stop by my blog and ask a question sometime, I’d love to have you. God bless you all. In the words of the immortal Ron Burgundy, you stay classy, Christians.
(For more from Dr. Awesome, check him out at To Every Man a Manswer)