Special thanks to our Sons of Thunder leadership team, who gathered recently for their first joint meeting since our inception. It was a time for reflection on this past year, our first year in existence as a ministry together, and a time for looking forward. We had a great turnout, so I wanted to share some of the conclusions with all of you.
- HEART (relationships, fellowship): We intend to go forward by designating a seasonal theme in the Fall and Spring “semesters” of each year. Why? Our goal is for our programs to be as specific and as useful to you as possible. The Sons of Thunder is meant to fulfill our needs for man-to-man relationship but also with good Christian substance. The first unofficial theme this Fall is “Perspective.” As in, God’s perspective on us, and on life, and on our calling every day. It’s a reckoning with the very basic assumptions we make about how we see our surroundings. So get on out for a Third Thursday.
- SOUL (spiritual formation): We will continue to offer occasional retreats, like the day-hike to the Congaree Swamp. These are, first and foremost, spiritual experiences — whether they revolve around hiking/fishing, cooking, meditation, or whatever. Be mindful that we’ve got a Spring trip to the New River in the works for 2014. Also, in the near future we intend to start publishing a weekly devotional, written by men and for men (or whoever else happens to subscribe). We’ll let you know when the structure for that is in place and it’s time to find some contributors.
- MIND (study, training): We plan to offer men’s Bible studies every season of the year, in multiple formats. Our small group studies (Wild at Heart, Parables from the Backside) as well as Bill Metzger’s hybrid study (Ephesians, going on now) are samples. Look forward to a Winter study in early 2014, and find a group/time-slot that suits you. Going forward, this ministry area also hopes to expand on some of the man-to-man mentoring and discipleship that is already happening in these circles.
- STRENGTH (service, advocacy): We will continue to help support Epworth Children’s Home (Cookout for Kids) and the Jubilee Academy (Montessori school for at-risk kids), as well as other various missions within the church. But we’re also looking forward to a signature form of service that our men can really get behind as a whole. Right now, the prime candidate is our scouting programs, so be on the lookout for more info on this coming soon.
Overall, I wanted to summarize for you some of the progress of this past year and some of the ideas to come. I want you to see the diversity of what we’re doing so that you know there is a way for you to engage your faith alongside other men. I want you to have a chance to thank our leadership so far, and pray for them from here on out — they’re listed as follows:
Buster Yandle, John Saine, George Burnett, Wesley Peel, Ty McAlister, Charlie Rountree, Scott Gambrell, Wes Few, Blake Buchanan, Rob Tyson, Cal Watson, Robert Walker, Travis Pearson, Bill Metzger, Bruce Jones, Robert Hemphill
And, most of all, I want you to join us. For one event, or several. Regularly, or whenever you can. Whatever the case, the goal is that we’ll all be the better for it, in every other part of our lives, by the grace of God. So consider yourself one of the “Sons of Thunder,” and come on.