In the summer of 2020, Promise Keepers officially relaunches their national men’s gatherings.
It’s been over 20 years since huge crowds of men would gather in sports arenas across America and listen to the best of preaching and sing “Amazing Grace” shoulder to shoulder. Brothers, husbands, dads, raw, real for two days.
Those Promise Keepers rallies were inspiring, energizing, and, too often, short-sighted. Sustaining an impact in the lives and families of men who had attended was, well, quite honestly, hard. When we left the stadiums and went home, we tried (with not a lot of success) to network, encourage, and strengthen each other—away from the can’t-be-replicated, spiritually-charged crowds of tens of thousands of testosterone-laced Jesus-followers.
I, for one, am glad that Promise Keepers is relaunching. I’m especially glad that their news releases say they’re planning to focus more on follow-up. Otherwise, the “been-there-done-that” syndrome disheartens lots of attendees.
I’m aware that over the last couple of decades since Promise Keepers rallies ceased, I’ve had companions who are men. But, I must admit that I don’t always have “bros,” if you know what I mean. We dads and grand-dads need close-close brothers—geographically close and emotionally close. When we pause and consider the weighty responsibility of fathering the next generations, we are confronted with the reality that we can’t do it solo. And, here I am, constantly going solo!
We dads need each other. We need to cheer each other on. We must expose each other’s blind spots. We can intercede to God for each other. Not with 30,000 others in a huge venue. No… but with two or three others in a corner of the church commons or in our homes or in our go-to coffee shops.
Maybe smart phone apps and other technology will facilitate transparent friendships and help bring dudes together (which, BTW, is integral to the re-envisioned Promise Keepers strategy).
Or, maybe we don’t wait for Promise Keepers to start up again. Maybe, we look for ways now to engage with our sons and dads, with our blood (human and Christ’s) brothers, with a couple of men in our Connection Group, or with a few co-workers who follow Jesus.
Let’s “buddy up” this Father’s Day, and the days after, for the sake of our wives, our kids, and our grandkids… and for heaven’s sake.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Proverbs 14:26 Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.