Godly Men 'Forged' at Retreat
Summit Northwest Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho, advertised their "Forged" men’s gathering at Camp MiVoden as “a retreat for men who don’t go to retreats.” That tagline was effective in bringing together close to 60 guys from all across the Northwest. No one was quite sure what to expect over the weekend of Sept. 26, 2020, but by the end there was a strong consensus that the variety of activities and relaxed schedule resulted in an event they would be happy to repeat.
While there was no stated theme for the weekend, the messages focused on how the grace of Christ serves to establish our identity as true men of God. The Friday evening session at a remote bonfire revolved around an illustration of how large sticks and small rocks can represent seen and unseen challenges in our lives. Typically, men are tempted to work hard to “solve” the seen problems and hide the smaller, less visible ones. As men gain more confidence in accepting the grace God offers, men feel less need to show a persona they think is “expected” and are more able to have honest, quality relationships.
Plenty of time was provided for guys to go mountain biking, zip lining, target shooting, canoeing and more or to just hang out and talk with friends new and old. As people were leaving, local schoolteacher Geoff Heald commented, “This is the first time that I came to one of these and left refreshed.”
Forged was developed to connect with men in a way not often achieved. The Christian life was not meant to be dull or boring. Instead, it is an adventure requiring bravery, courage and grit. Life is filled with battles to be fought and challenges to be overcome. Most guys try and push ahead on their own. And quite frankly, most guys aren’t very good at it.
The thought of sitting in meetings all day may not be what most guys are looking for. Forged is about connecting with a group of guys, participating in some weekend shenanigans and supporting and challenging each other to reach their full potential.
Hopefully the weekend serves as a catalyst for men to begin or continue to forge intentional relationships with other men. Organizers had several conversations with guys looking for input on building a sustainable and meaningful men’s network when they returned to their home churches.