I love this annual event. For years I thought a Christian man was an oxymoron. But gathering as we have in previous years with 5,000 men in the Royal Albert Hall to hear God’s word, sing God’s praises and encourage God’s people as blokes challenged the unhelpful and inaccurate stereotypes. It’s also hugely uplifting and stimulating.
I’ve just joined the organising committee. Richard Coekin, the Chairman, said I brought a bit of youth to the table. Clearly 40 is the new 30! I’ve never missed a LMC so perhaps it’s a reward. Like the equivalent of the Cafe Nerro’s loyalty card. I’m just happy to be involved in such a great event.
The key thing about the LMC is the men bit. It’s what makes the day unique. It’s an opportunity to meet as Christian men in order to think about the implications of the Lordship of Christ. But we get to do so as blokes. That needn’t necessarily mean ribald banter and bawdy humour. Though it won’t surprise you to learn that I’m not opposed to the intervention of the risque into the day! The image of the ‘signer’ wrestling with how to communicate Al Stewart’s comment about ‘sand in my butt cheeks’ will live long in the memory. However, my threshhold is somewhat greater than many people’s sensibilities! Consequently, I’m not in charge of convention humour. Thornborough’s probably got that one covered. But it does mean that we can explore our unique roles as Christian men in our homes, families, workplaces and chruches.Men are different to women and God calls us to do different things. We get to think about those on a day like this. We get to do it on Men’s Weekends Away and Men’s Evenings. But you don’t usually get Keller, McNab and Cain to come to the party!
The massive draw this year is undoubtedly Tim Keller. I’m a devotee. In a good way. By which I mean to say that I’m indebted to his thinking on a number of issues and grateful to God for the positive effect he’s had on my Christian life. He influences my thinking through his written materials and spoken word. He’s a heavyweight and so my Dad’ll take him seriously. But he’s also insightful and his ability to analyse contemporary culture means that our twenties listen to him. Having Keller is a win-win for cross generation appeal.
The numbers are looking good for this year. But because there’s no booking deadline and no allocated seating there’s no urgency for booking up. And so we’ve been really slow at CCB to get it sorted. Still, we’re going; en masse and after a big boys’ breakfast at Chris’ Cafe. It’s up at the ExCel centre, which hasn’t quite got the pull of the RAH, but the lads are still going, Keller’s going to be there and so is God.
So what about the waiverers? If you’re within spitting distance of this great metroplis drop what you were doing, change your plans and get down to Docklands on Saturday 18th April. And bring some mates; Christian or not.
1. It’s great value for money. I know that £30 is a stretch for some but it’s what it needs to cost to hold the event and it’s awesome value for money. You won’t regret making savings elsewhere. Cancel your subscription to a magazine you never really get round to reading anyway. Or sell the kid’s toys on e-bay.
2. It’s a great day out with the lads from church. I prefer ‘male bonding’ to ‘relationship forming’ but whichever terminology you use, the effect is the same. The lads get together, chew the fat and talk God, Jesus and the Bible and everyone’s a winner.
3. It’s a great witness to the city. It won’t go unnoticedthat a shed load of Christian men are meeting to pray, study and sing because they love Jesus. I’d like my life to communicate that. You?
4. It’s a great encouragement for yoru Christian life. Guys hear great teaching and respond to God’s word with repentance and faith. They make decisions and make resolutions. The Dads come back fired up to be better fathers. The husbands come back determined to love their wives more. The single lads come back wanting to live wholeheartedly for Christ.
See you there. Grrrr!