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Ministry: RezMen

Fighting Old Battles with New Tactics

March 12, 2015

The men's ministry hosts a monthly breakfast and we recently started a series called Fighting Old Battles with New Tactics. The idea we're exploring is that guys get stuck in ruts that keep us from maturing into the men that God is calling us to be, so we sometimes need to step back, reassess, and try a different approach. This past Saturday we discussed relationships. Specifically, we looked at relational difficulties as 'old battles' in need of 'new tactics.' The following is a recap:

We are created in the image of our Triune God and part of imaging him is to be in relationship. As the biblical story unfolds, we see God relating in a particular way to his people and then calling his people to go and do likewise, and this story culminates in the person of Jesus. Jesus gives us the fullest picture of who God is and how he relates to us, and he calls us to follow him in this way of relating.

When facing the old battle of relational struggles, we need to recover our primary tactic of imitating God who is most clearly seen in Jesus. Further, there are several secondary tactics to consider that are relevant to men in our culture.

  • Choose to relate by imitating God in the way of Jesus. We need to practice framing relational difficulties first by how God relates to us. Offer to others the grace, forgiveness, and mercy that we have received; relate with humility, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control; foster peace and pursue reconciliation.
  • Be proactive and initiate. Be the first to take the good step that is needed in relationship. This requires intentional and active participation. We need to develop self-awareness about the ways that fear and shame hold us back, and how we avoid by medicating, escaping, or isolating. Then counter by intentionally and courageously pressing with the strength the Lord provides.
  • Find a brother. Develop at least one friendship with a mature Christian man who will support your relational growth (and then develop another). We need the support of like-minded brothers if we hope to grow in relationships.
  • Own your stuff. Take ownership; choose to focus on what you can own, not on what the other person did or didn't do. Ask 'what did I do to contribute to a relational difficulty?'
  • Exercise mindfulness. Learn to pause and prayerfully reflect on what is happening in a difficult relationship. This is counter to our point-and-click, instant-everything culture. In exercising mindfulness, we slow things down to be more self-aware of our role in a difficult relationship.
  • Press into relational growth through Resurrection resources. There are plenty of resources available at Rez to deepen our relational formation. Some examples include Groups, prayer cells, the next men's book discussion, upcoming couples conflict class in April/May and so on.
  • Tend to wounds. Some of us have deep wounds and we need to intentionally pursue healing to continue growing in relationships. Consider finding a Rez-approved therapist, making a pastoral care appointment, or a healing prayer appointment.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What relational difficulty are you experiencing that you feel is most pressing? How long has it been a struggle Why is it so hard?
  2. What is an aspect of imitating Christ-likeness in relationships that you find hardest to consistently practice? Why is that? How might you take a step to grow in that?
  3. What old tactics have you been stuck in regarding relationship difficulties? Of the above mentioned tactics, which do you feel you need to practice? How might you practically step into this?
Tagged: RezMen

Formation Stories

February 18, 2015

RezMen Retreat

In November, over 50 men participated in the RezMen retreat at Camp Mennohaven. Tom VanderWeele shared his experience with RezMen leader, Nate Iseman, after the retreat. “The retreat was a game changer!" Tom said. “Because I'm newer at Rez, I had expected to stay on the sidelines, but that did not happen. It was a safe environment. I enjoyed the small group of men in my age bracket and discovered many struggles in common."

Tom went to the retreat with his son, Mike. Tom enjoyed the opportunity to meet younger guys through him and to see his son get more connected. “Since the retreat, my accountability partner and I have been following up. We are both making progress toward our goals! Now the Sunday worship services have changed for me, after experiencing true fellowship at the retreat."

The Gathering

On Thursday mornings at Resurrection, women from all parts and seasons of life join together for simple and creative fellowship time. “The Gathering is a place for women to come as they are and receive truth and encounter the Holy Spirit in community," says Jeannie Iseman, who has been co-leading the group with Margie Fawcett since The Gathering began. While some days might center on a talk and discussion and others will feature creative outlets, prayer and community can always be found. For women at Resurrection, The Gathering provides a space for safety and hospitality regardless of the amount of structure or transition in each season.

RezKids

Walk into Church of the Resurrection on any given Sunday and one thing you can expect to find are children, and lots of them—on average, 253 children to be exact. RezKids ministers to children up to 5th grade by providing an opportunity to experience Jesus, intentional mentorship, and participation in the life of the whole church. RezKids Director Sarah Graham says that this ministry meets kids where they are in large part because of the dedicated Shepherds (class leaders) and a variety of other teams.

“RezKids is not just crowd control," says Sarah. “Our 70 Sunday morning team members have been able to maintain relationship with the kids and foster a worshipful atmosphere." This has been especially important during a year of Sabbath, where RezKids has

RezYouth

One family shared at a parents meeting that a major reason they chose to become members at All Saints' this year had to do with their daughter's connection to Rez. The 6th grade girls of RezYouth were welcoming and included their daughter during Wednesday activities, and faithfully connected with her during the “Passing of the Peace" on Sunday mornings. Lane Young, our RezYouth Pastor says, “During this year of Sabbath, students have focused on forming a welcoming space for new families and new students." One family has brought three new students this fall, always reserving an “open seat" in the van for a friend.

For more stories of what God did in 2014, check out our Stories of Transformation piece here.