Above image: Men at the Mainland Men’s Event had the opportunity to play with a specially built Spud Gun!
At the recent men's breakfast in Ashburton PK’s Peter Goulter met Neil Pluck who attends a fellowship at Methven just inland from Ashburton. Neil talked about their fantastic annual men's event, how they looked at what resources they had and decided to share those with other men in their region. Neil and Ps Mark Taylor of Mt Hutt Elim Church Methven write:
Recently we ran the sixth annual Mainland Men’s Event in Methven. The event has been hosted each year by Mt Hutt Elim Church in Methven. Sixty-five men from eight different churches participated in this year’s event.
What is Mainland Men’s Event?
It is an event for men aged 14 and up to encounter God, be encouraged in their faith and have a lot of fun and good food in the process. This year’s event was arguably the best yet. It started out on Friday night with a worship service in a farm implement shed including the Combine Harvester in the corner. An amazing worship time with a group of musos playing together for their first time. Daz Chettle brought a challenging word and many men responded.
Saturday morning began with a great cooked breakfast followed by another worship service encouraging the men to pursue God’s purpose for their lives.
Then we had the required safety briefing before heading down to a local farm for some fun activities. This year’s event had paddock car racing with four end-of-life cars that had been fitted with rollbars. The competition was to be the fastest around the track. Other activities included clay bird shooting, a paintball battle, jet boat rides on the Rakaia River and the chance to play with a specially built Spud Gun.
The event finished up with the top driver from each car racing group, competing to be crowned Paddock Racing Champion of 2021 – a hotly contested title. Most men were back in their home churches on Sunday fired up after having a weekend away with good friends, good food and the anointing of God.
As a small church why do we continue to be involved in this event with all the work that it involves?
Seeing men respond to an altar call for salvation; hearing men worshipping God with man songs and in a man friendly key; seeing men build relationships with other men to help them on their journeys. Having men try things for the first time; being with men having such an amazing time with each other and with God. Watching fathers and sons doing activities together that they probably wouldn’t get to do otherwise; having an event you could bring your non-Christian mate to. Ultimately, we are about pointing people to Jesus, and this is one way that works well for our men.
Why are we sharing our story?
Because the formula is simple, and you could be the catalyst to get your own men’s event happening in your church or your area. Ask yourself the question what do I enjoying doing which others might enjoy also? That is how our event started. We had men that enjoyed four-wheel-driving so they took people for a ride. We had a man with a jet boat and a river right there. Don’t look at what you haven’t got, look at what you do have in your church. What hobbies do the men have that they would be willing to share? We work on the theory that if we enjoy it, there will be other men who will enjoy it too. And just start by looking at what skills and resources are currently available in your men’s group or church.
Neil Pluck and Ps Mark Taylor, Mt Hutt Elim Church, Methven