“What’s wrong?” asked the missionary exiting from a several days trek in the humid rainforest jungle walking into the sunlight, emerging into the grassy African field with days to go. The group was on route to their destination with a long line of village tribesmen carrying baskets, heavy boxes, and over full duffel bags of supplies on their heads, on their hips and in their arms. They had all stopped and sat down.
“We cannot go any farther today,” replied the villagers’ spokesman guide.
“Why not? Everyone appears well.”
“Yes,” said the African guide, “but we went so quickly yesterday that we must wait here for our souls to catch up with us.”
This aptly describes where we are and where Wildmen have been in the recent past. For many years Wildmen experienced unprecedented growth and moved mountains to support the creation of so many men’s ministries including nine Wildmen Sites, even adopting a site in Australia. When we paused to pray about ministry direction with two friends, they asked us one question. A question we did not realize its importance and its impact; “Well, do you want to become a denomination?” Hmmm didn’t think about that! Then The Trinity began to have us give everything away. This was both a conscious effort and occurred in unintended ways. In the subsequent stillness, much like in Psalm 23, we learned a paradoxical truth from Jesus. Bigger isn’t necessarily better when reaching men’s hearts. In fact it might be at times contrary to the undeniable truth of leaving the 99 for the one, or that one man matters more. As the military axiom states, “no man is left behind”. A lesson that is still being learned, daily. But in the Story of Wildmen being lived-out. It took a band of brothers racing toward the prize of ministry success who paused and listened to the Holy Spirit, and as we eventually learned a valuable lesson, take the t-i-m-e to let your souls catch up with you.
I could recommend so many books to read since our last Wildmen post but the best one to recommend is the Bible. I especially like the Eugene Peterson’s Message Bible that my wife’s 5th grade class calls her, “Story Bible”. And that’s where we are today. Learning to live not just a better story but an intimate one with God. A Godspeed lifestyle of daily bread, outreach to neighbors and friends, a full life with the Father while asking Him where we should go, or when we should pause and above all else listen to His counsel on, guarding your heart because it is the wellspring of life. A wellspring that might have been covered or paved over that we could have raced past distracted by goals, metrics or unhealthy comparison measurement and yet we paused through the care of the Holy Spirit (prompted by two friends, thank you Bart and Morgan!) to learn to live in the moment with God. We paused because we truly wanted Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit more than anything. And so does Abba, when it comes to us and our heart he wants t-i-m-e with each of us.
So with our reboot, or Wildmen 2.0, we have recently already taken small steps with online studies and outreaches. Yet we honor all those who have walked with us for years, some even two decades, and say with encouragement to likewise pause, “Well Done” and “Keep Going with Abba!” while also inviting you, our new friends and families, to join Wildmen in our journey on the narrow road. Perhaps and hopefully, this reboot 2.0 is a less frenetic or unhurried, reoriented, intentional caring walk together of not saying yes to everything. But then again most of the great saints who have gone before us agree in one way or another on this point. Father is not is not in a hurry so you are right on time!
Coming to Wildmen in 2022 will be some new online studies and a couple new events we’re sure that you will enjoy.
Meanwhile to all the Saints, Welcome to Wildmen 2.0 !
Together may we learn more about the Father, more about Jesus’ offer of his life and his living water along with the power of Holy Spirit to intimately teach willing hearts… our own wholeheartedly.
Your fellow student and brother,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30, The Message