blksheep, I'm pretty sure I'm the one who set the fire. You just gave me a match. Anyway, you people are just cooless. Yes, I know I misspelled, it was pretty intentioned, I just felt more like screwing around than actually confirming the spelling. "Coup" reminds me too much of convertable sports cars and less of beheadings and razings, etc. My point is, "smacking down" the men does not promote healthy interaction, it instead adds more pressures, anxieties, responsibilities. Instead, I go the route of encouraging each other, having fun and/or deep conversations, doing things together that are masculine and loving in nature. Smacking a man doesn't encourage him into community. It encourages him into further isololate himself because he can't live up to the expectations of the community. This is something I know about. SOOOOO, instead of getting pissed off he didn't come, give him a reason to come, invite him through encouragement of using his gifts, offering good things, etc.
I taught a lot of Bible Studies. When I did, I was constantly researching, studying my Bible, walking into responsibility. Now, I'm not teaching, and it doesn't matter if I study or not. It doesn't have as noticeable an impact as it would were I teaching. So don't whine that your soldiers are slacking off on duty if you're not giving them orders. Yes, our women are beautiful in their walk with God and each other. But as long as they are leading the community, why should the men bother? We aren't being asked into leadership, and the thing inviting us further into community is the fear of getting smacked when we don't. Smackdown is stupid. It makes me feel like a pathetic and babied child. If you want me to be active, give me something meaningful to do, whether a specific job or a use of my gifts, and then encourage me as I do it. You should be upset that you aren't able to see me use my gifts and talents, not be upset that I'm a miserable failure at being in community. I have enough things I'm a miserable failure at. I have enough things I should get smacked down for. When I first heard the idea of a manditory men's group, it included things like going camping together, masculine things, things that tested and brought us together. The movie last month was great. But still, we're being given information on how to live. No one is asking us for wisdom.
Okay, so that's even more a rant. The point is that you're assuming we need to be smacked. Actually, we just need to be led. The men in the Village are light years ahead of many of the men I have known in other churches, including those in leadership. They are more emotionally aware and vulnerable, are willing to ask deeper questions, are more sensitive to things around them, and, most importantly, even if they are not far along on the path, they are truly concerned with their relationship with God and each other. Right?