There’s much to be thankful for about the body of Christ. We support each other and pray for God’s will to be done in and through our lives. We laugh together, celebrate each other’s successes, and grieve in times of loss and hardship. Followers of Jesus are connected in a special way and equipped to do more together, because of our walk with the Lord and shared experiences.
AIM is a great example of ‘a body’ that’s facing challenges and adapting to a tough year. We are men who are believers in Jesus, doing life together, digging into God’s word, praying and serving, and attending churches across Southern Maryland. We want to complement men’s ministries and point men to Jesus, while directing them to their local church. AIM hosts small and large groups for fellowship, holds engaging events for guys (like boating, trap shoots, BBQs, service projects, and more), and has regularly held Meet Ups in the spring and fall. Over four weeks we hear from great speakers who challenge the men with relevant truth in a larger group setting. Then we divide into small groups where we can unpack the message together and make plans to apply it. Dinner included!
Enter 2020. The pandemic pushed All In Men online in the spring for “VirtuApril” Meet Ups on Zoom. Now we had a screen full of 35 faces to hear good words from pastors. During the four Meet Ups we still got into online “breakout rooms” of 5-6 guys to connect with old friends and make new ones. By October, however, we were so ready to meet in person, except we had to skip the large group mode. Instead we arranged to gather in small groups all across our area. AIM had ten spots on three weeknights and the results clearly indicated men wanted to be with their brothers in Christ. All totaled, there were 50-60 guys meeting during each week. Getting together side-by-side and face-to-face (as well as in an online group) made it possible for personal connections to be made, with Jesus at the center of it all.
Life is full of contrasts and four of these were the subject of AIM’s Fall Meet Ups. The men tackled real-life issues in conversations around fire pits, on porches, or wherever we could safely meet. The topics were self-control vs. out of control; what Jesus did and what I did; God's will or my will; and if I was loving God or self. Here are a few testimonies:
“There is power in a personal invitation. I contacted guys directly (even after thinking, ‘Nahhh, this guy won’t come’) and in the end, THAT guy came regularly to our Meet Up!”
“I was really surprised - and thankful - to have six guys from around our neighborhood circle up around the fire pit. This wouldn’t have happened without a reason to have an AIM small group in my driveway.”
“We had five guys out on the deck. John 5 was a great verse.”
“Two guys in our group of five were brand new to AIM. Great time of iron sharpening iron!”
Hebrews 10:19-25 calls us to persevere in faith. AIM is committed to finding specific ways to help men confidently draw near to God, hold onto hope, and be assured in their faith. Verse 24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…” As you close out a year full of quarantines, isolation, and division, the leaders of All In Men invite you to look ahead to new opportunities to unite with a body of believers. AIM’s goal is to encourage and equip men, through fellowship, outreach, and service, to walk closely with Jesus Christ and bring glory to God. Connect with us! The AIM website (allinmen.org) will have information on Spring Meet Ups and a men’s retreat (see the Meet Up and Guy’s Events tabs). Hope to see you soon!
Ben, for the AIM Team