By Gary Miller
I just returned from Texas. It was three days of hanging around a neat bunch of guys, bookended by turkey hunts on each day. It’s true. While hunting was part of our trip, the real enjoyment came before, during, and after, meal times. We ate so good I thought I might have to book two seats on my flight back home. It was a trip I will never forget. I missed a hog, missed a tom, and then shot a tom, all in those same few days. And not just any tom, but my first Rio turkey. The men who had gathered there were from different walks of life. There were business owners, computer gurus, foremen, and even a judge. All these men not only brought something different to our conversations, they did so within an environment that made that activity more comfortable. Whether we were on the back patio or at the kitchen table, we were able to huddle around and talk, listen, and learn. And I think this way is best for men.
I read one time that relationships are not made in rows but in circles. What a great truth! I think this not only goes for men, but for women as well. While there may be a certain teacher or leader in that circle, it seems we all do better when there is an equality of position. This means that while I may be teaching, I am not putting myself in a position of authority over another. I am simply facilitating a conversation. I may or may not know more about a subject, but neither makes place in the circle more or less important as any other. I have also read when men sit in rows, the first thought that goes through their head, is “How long am I going to be here.” Rows are about monologs. Circles are about dialogs. And while I think we need both, circles go deeper into all our lives.
Are you finding a circle to get in? Men especially need them not only to help us grow but to hold us accountable. If you are a follower of Christ, these circles will not only prompt you to continue growing in your faith, they will also allow you to aid someone else’s growth as well. Just like we did in Texas.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.