Men's Ministry Day


On a recent wintery day it was time for a double dose of social events in the FBC Men’s Ministry programme.  For a group of eleven men keen to test their reactions and accuracy there was a morning session booked at the National Clay Pigeon Shooting Centre at Bisley.

The weather was damp but more importantly the wind was light. Armed with ear defenders and eye protectors the group was split into groups of five and six. They each went with an instructor to separate ranges where they were taught and then scored while shooting at flying clay disc targets (bearing no resemblance to pigeons!).

After having 24 shots each, the groups swapped ranges to have a go with a different setup of the clay traps. On the higher range the trajectories for the two target clays crossed over and so it was possible, with spot on timing, to hit both clays with a single shot (Jeremy managed this first within our group).

From the overall scoring it was Lewis who was top gun (although Anthon and Maurice in the other group were within a single point).

At the end the groups got together at the lower range and there was a short competition between them with one from each group shooting at a single clay. On a best of three basis it was the person from the team of 5 that won every match up. I cannot explain this but there was high praise for their instructor.

In the evening Mark Mabin had invited FBC men to his garden for an evening of “Beer and Testimony”. A bonfire was lit at the far end of the garden and a good number of men visited through the course of the evening to sit round it to chat and stare into the flames.  There was some barbecue food as well (cooked on a gas bbq rather than the fire). With Hein ably taking up cooking duties we may have witnessed a minor conversion (to gas BBQing and “patties”).

With the rain just about holding off the fire was the focal point. Dwayne kept it supplied with wood. Once again (following on from the Summer social) it was wonderful to enjoy Mark’s hospitality and for the men that came to catch up with friends and make new connections within the fellowship.

- Ian Wheway

Braai, Kayaks & Fire

Saturday 20th June saw the first major social event in our re-launched Men’s Ministry programme for 2015.  Over 50 men , came together to enjoy an authentic South African Braii and to participate in a variety of activities designed to encourage men to better get to know each other.

With a backdrop of a weather forecast suggesting storms and heavy rain, the afternoon and evening actually turned out to be relatively rain free with just a couple of showers during which  rain interrupted, rather than stopped play.

Throughout the afternoon 3 groups of kayakers took to the waters of the Basingstoke Canal. Two of the groups managed to remain in their boats, but a third group, thanks to the “encouragement” of Dayne decide to combine the Kayaking with a swimming lesson!

More sedate activities included a Treasure Hunt around Crookham Village, an archery training session and very gentlemanly (perhaps too gentlemanly)  games of Croquet.

The highlight of the evening was the superb food provided and cooked by our South African brothers including Boerwors sausage, steak, lamb and chicken kebabs ( I think there was some salad somewhere as well).

Another South African treat was Beer bread – I heard some people say that it was the nicest bread they had ever tasted.

Finally a traditional South African dessert was enjoyed, Peppermint Crisp.  Apparently South Africans do have other desserts that are popular, but we had 5 different varieties of Pepperment Crisp to choose from and it would have been rude not to try them all!

I think that everyone enjoyed the afternoon.  The highlight for me was sitting by the fire pit at the end of the evening, enjoying a beer with new friends.  Here is to many more opportunities to make and hang out with new friends.

- Mark Mabin

Ron Sims with the Men

As we gathered at FBC on Saturday night I am sure I wasn't the only one wondering what it would be like.  It was, after all, only the second event the Men's Ministry had held, the inaugural event having been in February.  This was our first event with an outside speaker and so the curiosity was perhaps justified.  We would not be disappointed.

We gathered in the lounge to partake of the diminishing amount of M&Ms (Men's Ministry, geddit??) and some real coffee (yes, REAL COFFEE!!!), thanks to Anthon and Tim.  Following a period of fellowship we moved into the sanctuary for a time of worship, capably led by Janoux, Anthon, John and Ian.  The sound of 30 men singing at the tops of their voices is something to hear and always fills me with joy.  It might not be the most tuneful but would definitely get full marks for enthusiasm and commitment!

Our guest speaker was Ron Sims, a man with a colourful history to say the least.  What struck me most about what he said, apart from the interesting and funny stories he used to illustrate a point, was the fact that he is a man that has allowed himself to be used by God and been hugely blessed and a huge blessing as a result.  He is, in his own words, "a simple man" but I was struck by the point that he made which was, if he could do it anybody could.

As he spoke I felt the requirement to make an appointment with my Maker.  If I'm honest, I have in the past shied away from committing my life 100% to God's plan for my life for fear I may end up as a missionary in Luton!  However, as Ron spoke I realised that whatever plans my King had for my life were for my best.  When the call came to rededicate our lives to the Lord and ask for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit I was one of the first to their feet.

All in all, it was an excellent evening.  If you didn't attend you missed out, quite frankly.  However, Ron has written two books, one of which was on sale on the night.  If you're interested ask one of the men who attended, speak to Chris or a member of the Men's Ministry committee or order your own copy on Amazon.

If you haven't been to a Men's Ministry meeting before, there are a number of upcoming events including a social event, with a South African braai (just a barbecue without the patties but don't tell them I said that!) in June, an event in September and a weekend away in November.  Even if you don't have a divine appointment with your Maker you might just get to know the other men in your church a little bit better.

- Stephan Peters