This past Sunday, the five guys in the Elder Track locked ourselves in the church office for about four hours. The majority of that time was spent doing soulcare. These monthly meetings have definitely been one of the highlights of the year for me. I have grown in love, admiration, and appreciation for these men as God has done a gracious work over this past year in creating a solid brotherhood among us. Seven Mile Road, coming out of Sunday, here are two reasons why I am grateful for them.
Tough and Tender: Biblical masculinity is tough and tender. Jesus could look his friend Peter in the eyes and call him Satan. That’s being a man. And He could also look him in the eyes and ask, “Do you love me?” That’s being a man too. The men in the Elder Track are like that. Tough and tender. We’re honest with each other. We ask hard questions. We confess sin. We drive past behavior and press into motives and hidden areas of unbelief. We preach the gospel to each other. Some of our words wound (but the kind that are from a friend and are faithful). Some of our words heal. On Sunday, there were times when we called out sin and told like it was. And there were times when we poured out encouragement and affirmation. Godly men who desire to serve Jesus and His church is a gift to any local church. Grateful that these men are that kind of gift.
Means of Grace: These men are a means of grace in my life. I don’t mean that as an empty religious compliment. I’m really saying that God putting these men in my life has been grace from Him. By them, I am confronted about my sin. Their eyes see things in my life that I am blind to; and they’re honest enough to point it out and gracious enough where I’m not condemned. Biblical community is part of how God keeps us on the straight and narrow path. What a grace we neglect when we are not in deep community and have no one to pull us back when we stray.
Grateful in this season, whatever the call God has on the lives of these men, that they are at Seven Mile Road. They’re a gift to me, and us.