Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 13, 2019

With Men I Respect

I have been a fan of western movies for as long as I can remember. So, when the remake of The Magnificent Seven hit the screen, I had to see it. The gist of the story is the same. Denzel Washington plays the role of Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter hired by the good folks of Rose Creek to save their town from Bartholomew Bogue, the greedy industrialist.

My favorite line in the movie is spoken by the character Jack Horne, a tough frontiersman played by Vincent D’Onofrio. At a critical point in the fight against Bogue, Horne looks at his comrades and says, “To be in the service of others, with men I respect, like you all, I shouldn’t have to ask for more than that.”

Horne’s words pretty much sum up how I feel about my Band of Fathers, the group of men I have met with for the past four years. When I started the group, I invited men interested in becoming better dads to join me. I structured our group around three key components: shared study, shared mission, and shared adventure.


We regularly meet for shared study on Wednesday evenings around a meal. We have studied and discussed top selling Christian books on fatherhood as well as books about epic historical achievements in the realm of adventure and exploration. But we feel strongly that it takes more than shared study to become a better man and a better dad.

We burn off our shared study calories by holding one another accountable for practicing what we study, but also by engaging in shared mission. Serving others is essential to good spiritual formation. We want to move in the direction of people in need and to be the hands and feet of Jesus.


This month, we have spent several days helping a precious lady who is battling cancer. Battling a giant like cancer is bad enough without adding to that some nagging home repairs. So, our guys stepped up to help. We enjoy serving together and the fellowship that comes with working shoulder to shoulder to get a job done.


When our friend saw the great work that our guys had done, she told me that we were an answer to her prayers. I told her that we love being the answer to prayers. There is perhaps no greater privilege than serving God. And, that the God of the universe would allow us to serve Him is indeed a blessing.


Our Band of Fathers also enjoy shared adventure. We have hiked, camped, canoed, and biked together. This week we met for a meal around a campfire with nothing particular on the agenda but to enjoy fellowship. We ate. We laughed. We told stories around the fire. We did some target practice. We left satisfied that we were in good company and grateful to be doing life in community because alone is dangerous.


I am grateful for Kingsland’s Men’s Ministry and for the leadership of Gil Harris, men’s ministry director. Our missions and men’s ministries have collaborated to do some good work in the community. Gil has led our men to reach and mentor boys in the Brookshire Community — an initiative that is making a difference in the lives of many young men.

The best antidote to men being passive and bored is to engage in shared study, shared mission, and shared adventure. When men do life in community with other men, only then do they discover the truth of Jack Horne’s words.


Responses

  1. Omar, what an inspiring article about your Band of Fathers. Thanks so much for leading the way and being an example of what happens when men connect with other men to fight the right battles, move in the direction of hurting people, and live adventurously.

    • Thanks, Gil. So glad that you asked me to start this core group four years ago. Has been huge blessing in my life.

  2. Love reading your blog! Great work Omar!


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