“Better Together!” Men’s Conference Slated

Messages Image(1469234884)“We’re Better Together!” is the slogan for CCLF’s Band of Brothers men’s group and that is the title of this year’s Spring Men’s Conference with BC Lions coaching staffers, Mark Washington and Chris Boyko.

The conference, slated for March 1-2, will feature these two motivational speakers as we look at how often God puts two men together in the trenches of spiritual warfare – whether it is Moses and Joshua, Joshua and Caleb, David and Jonathan, Peter and John, Paul and Timothy, Paul and Silas, and on and on it goes down through history.

mwRemember the story of Eleazar, the son of Dodo, who fought back to back with David at Pas Damin where the Lord gave them a great victory over the many enemies. It says that Eleazar’s hand clung to the hilt of his sword following the battle because he fought so hard. It also points to the fact it don’t matter what you come from (son of Dodo…) God can use you!

Or consider all the mighty men of David, who fought for a patch of barley or beans, guys who heard a lion roar in a pit – and decided to jump in to fight it. Or think of those two who heard their King, David, say “oh for a drink of water from the well at Bethlehem” and then looked at each other, gave a nod and off they went to fetch it, crossing over behind enemy lines to do it. They brought it back and what did David do? He poured it out on the ground for their sacrificial effort was so great, he couldn’t find it in himself to drink it!MarkWashington

We are going to hear Mark and Chris inspire us in working together to be better, better husbands, better sons, better brothers, better fathers –  better men for Christ, through Christ and in Christ.

The cost for the two-day event, which kicks off Friday night with a steak dinner, plus includes a hearty breakfast Saturday morning, is only $20 per man.

There will also be an OPEN-TO-ALL event on Saturday night to hear the testimonies of these two athletes, and how Jesus Christ continues to impact their lives.

So mark your calendars men! March 2 and 3, the first weekend of March — that is less than three months away! Stay tuned for more details!Chris 3 Chris Chris2

Trip of A Lifetime! Israel in April 2018!

IMG_9035The gate has been closed! The deadlines are over to get in on the 2018 trip of a lifetime this coming April. But there’s always next year!

Can you imagine walking in the footsteps of Jesus, feeling the Sea of Galilee lapping upon your feet? How about sitting on the hillside at Capernaum, the likely spot where Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount, seeing what they believe is the actual home of Peter the Apostle?! There’ll be floating in the Dead Sea, walking through ancient sites such as Masada, EnGedi where David hid from Saul, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, and much much more.

The tour cost is approximately $3000 Canadian, including all tips and gratuities, accommodations at four and five star hotels, all breakfast, lunch and suppers, all sites, professional guides, and all travel within Israel.

The Flight costs will vary depending on whether people arrange their own flight or get in on our own Group Flight out of Vancouver, which has generally be in the ball park of $1500 Canadian. Obviously the $$ can change with the Canadian dollar and air travel changes but that is the approximate cost.

Are you in? Think it through. Could this be the time for you to experience not only the ancient sites, but also the Living Stones of Israel – as we meet with the Jewish believers living there, worship with them in a Messianic Synagogue and hear the hearts of local leaders, testimonies of the people of Israel, both Arab and Jew. This is an amazing opportunity!

Pastor Rick has been to Israel 10 times. Our Spiritual Advisor Marty Shoub lived in Israel for 8 years and will offer special insights and teaching on the Tour. Write rick@cclf.ca if you are interested and would like a brochure or further information.

“We saw many amazing sites, things that we have read about for years in the Scriptures; If we tend to read the Bible in black and white, we certainly can read it more “live and in colour” now! ~ Pastor Bruce Wilcox, Cariboo Presbyterian Church

For me seeing everything was a big help, not just for the experience but also for the education, culturally and geographically. I was just reading in Judges 18 yesterday about the tribe of Dan seeking a place to live, and now I know exactly where it is talking about. So though it was hard

to spend all that money God really proved Himself through it, and I see it as more of an investment than just spending money.”
- Youth Specialist Neil Dyck

What’s it mean to be a “Man-Friendly” Church?

Wanted-300x201I’ve been asked this question or one similar whenever I mention that we are a “man-friendly” church. What’s the deal with that, they say? Aren’t you a woman-friendly church?

Yes. There’s an assumption out there to be made that most churches are friendly to women, no question, but there is also an assumption out there that most men get the feeling that being at church is similar to being in the women’s section at Sears when he’s asked by his wife to hold her purse as she tries something on. It’s an awkward moment at best.

One guy said, “Most men treat church like a prostate exam; they know it will probably save their life but it’s so unpleasant they often just put it off.”

Being ‘man-friendly’ at CCLF just means the guy off the street can walk into church and not feel like he is in the women’s section of a store. There are no doilies, no flowers; there’s men and women on stage playing guitars and drums etc; songs are led mostly by men, prayers are said mostly by men; preaching is done by men. They can relate.

In many churches, if not most, the men are noticeably absent. In fact, stats show that only 10% of churches can actually sustain a vibrant men’s ministry. Guys have checked out. They don’t engage in worship; they don’t engage in midweek efforts; they are busy doing ‘men things’… and church is not one of them. So what happened? Why did guys disengage?

In the 1300s, “bridal mysticism” turned men off. A call to weakness, mildness, gentleness and passivity replaced the historical call to self-sacrifice and victorious struggle – the “follow me into battle!” cry was replaced with a “personal relationship” with the man Jesus. A lot of guys struggle with personal relationships as is… now it’s a personal relationship with the Almighty! It’s true but you know how guys are…

In the 1800s, a huge chasm developed between men and the Church generally and women composed a great majority of most congregations, according to Revival Preacher Charles Finney.

When the Industrial Revolution hit, men went off to work in factories and women, children and aged men were the only attenders at Church – unless there came what was known as a “revival of religion” now and then.

Clergymen recognized their congregations and responded accordingly, preaching relatable messages to the women, the children and the aged men. Thus the preachers were dubbed as a “special” kind of man, ones who could drink tea with the women and carry on conversations with them with grace. He was seen as a good listener with soft hands, and sometimes that got him into trouble.

One fiery preacher, Billy Sunday, prayed, “Lord save us from off-handed, weak-kneed, think-skinned, pliable, plastic, spineless sissified three-carat Christianity. Amen.”

When the World Wars hit, men went to fight. When they came back, there was a rebuilding era and men constructed, built things with their hands, rebuilt their world so to speak, and though for awhile, there was some influx of men into church, most men checked out with boredom once the building stopped.

In the 1960s the trend continued. The Clergy again spoke to the women, children and aged men. The Call shifted from “Follow Me” to again “having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as His Bride.” The Bride of Christ is both Biblical and necessary to understand. But emphasizing the Bride and relationship over the challenge of “Onward Christian Soliders”, was too much for some guys to handle, and once again, they disengaged.

This Sunday, some 25% of married women attending church in Canada will do so without their husbands.

Over 70% of boys raised in the Church… will bail as soon as they can, usually around high school or just after. They hear ‘when I was child I spoke as a child; when I became a man I threw away my childish things.’ And then as a result of not seeing many men engaged in Church, in Worship, in teaching them Sunday School, mentoring etc, they see all of their churchy upbringing as just another ‘childhood thing’ and so they throw it out with the rest of their ‘childhood things.’

We need men to step up for the sake of the kids, especially when we realize that even among Christians only 1 in 6 men will attend Church this Sunday. Usually in North America, there is a 9-1 ratio female to male in Church on any given Sunday morning and females mostly run the mid-week stuff too, not to mention teaching Sunday School. This despite the stats that show that men who attend Church and are active in it, are more likely to be married, find fulfillment and generally enjoy life. They are less depressed, have better esteem and are more engaged as husbands and fathers than those who don’t attend church regularly. Just a stat, but I’ve seen it played out.

On 07-07-07 my wife and I (mostly my wife) made a call at CCLF to the men of the Church, calling them forward to take their place as servant leaders in all areas they could. The men responded. Since then, men have risen up in prayer, in service, in worship and in taking care of the widows and single ladies among us. It’s a good thing! The last two men’s meetings had over 30 men participate.IMG_1465

“When a man obeys God, he maximizes his manhood,” said Edwin Louis Cole, a well-known men’s ministry leader and author. “Satan will steal your character; God will maximize it,” he said.

Pastor Matt Chandler said, “The more we become like Christ, the more of a man we will be.” That’s what I’m calling men to be at CCLF – more like Christ. Love their families by serving them, protect and love their wife by loving them as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV)

When Sir Earnest Shackleton was advertising for men to join the historic crew of the Endurance in 1911 for his Trans Antarctic Expedition, he made the call as hard as he could possibly make it, thinking that only a few would show up.

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour, recognition in event of success.”

Hundreds of men responded. In speaking of it afterward he said that so overwhelming was the response to his appeal that it seemed as though all the men of Great Britain were determined to accompany him.

So that’s why I talk about being man-friendly at CCLF. We are definitely women-friendly, no question. Our men’s ministry, the Band of Brothers, even spends many evenings in the Spring going out and looking after odd jobs and yard work for the single women and widows of the Church. They could be doing their own work at home, or even just relaxing, but they choose to assist the ladies, bless them and pray for them, letting them know ‘they are not alone.’ One single lady said, “I so appreciate the Band of Brothers here. They are good men and when they come around each Spring, and do what we can’t do, I so appreciate it.”

For the record, women’s ministry meets weekly at CCLF, while the men’s ministry is once every two weeks. Both the men’s and women’s ministry organize retreats in the fall. Moms are celebrated on Mother’s Day; Dads are celebrated on Father’s Day. But no question there is definitely a “ooh rah!” sounded by this pastor when men rise up and lead in the way they should.

Christianity is not spiritually pacifistic – our freedom was won by bloodshed and we are in an eternal spiritual war for the lives of our children, our families, and our society. The call is still one of “Follow Me into Battle!” and because the men of CCLF are rising up to meet that challenge, I’m saying I will stay the course with being intentionally and unapologetically “man-friendly.”




Band of Brothers

BOBdaysWe’re better together.

Men at CCLF want to be those who are encouraging each other, spurring one another on, lending a hand when needed and sharpening each other like iron sharpens iron.

To that end, we formed the Band of Brothers with the motto “We’re Better Together” and we meet every other Tuesday in our Fireside Room at 1900hrs. The night usually includes some big screen DVD teaching or movie that we springboard from into discussion and prayer together. It has brought a real sense of togetherness in the men of the church and truly we are better together, better sons, better fathers, better husbands, better men.

We also meet at 6 am every Thursday at the A&W restaurant for prayer and ministry. We call it the Watering Whole where men take SIPS – Scripture, Interaction, Prayer and Service. We are intentionally a man-friendly church and the brothers are stepping up into being the men of God that God has called them to be!