What does it look like for a us to go on a journey of restoration that leads to life?

For my blog this month I’d like to unpack what motivated us to create Ellel Sydney’s men’s event called ENTRUSTED (which is quite different to our PROVEN men’s event which we have run in past years).

With PROVEN, we examined John Eldredge’s ‘6 Stages of the Masculine Journey’ and explored what happens when men are robbed of being properly nurtured, trained and matured into each of those key stages of manhood. Moreover, PROVEN highlighted that as men we have been wounded, and demonstrated we have a Father in Heaven who wants to heal us.

On the other hand, ENTRUSTED is a new event. It focuses on answering this key question: ‘What does it look like for a man to go on a journey of restoration that leads to life?’

Most of us men at some point carried hopes and aspirations that we could change the world. Make a real difference. Whatever our dreams as younger boys were, over time our passion and vision got worn down by the river of time, and the weight of life’s responsibility.

There is a progression that a man’s life often follows… when younger we meet the woman of our dreams and get married. The kids come along, there’s a mortgage to be paid and the pressure to perform at work keeps growing. With all these real burdens pressing in, we suddenly find all our margins have disappeared, and it takes everything we’ve got just to hold on and keep our head above water.

Eventually life’s pressures begin to find the ‘unfinished’ places within us … cracks appear in our marriage, we lose connection with our children, our spiritual growth comes to a halt… and we begin to sink. (But we don’t tell anyone! We don’t like to be too vulnerable – especially with other men – so we tend to struggle on and try to figure it out on our own).

Then comes the temptation of all the false comforts that lie to us with the promise: “I will lessen your pain!”. We turn to the bottle, or porn, or something else). Our attempts to ‘self-medicate’ are really just ways to mask our sense of failure, and feelings of inadequacy.

Sadly, if we arrive at this end of the funnel, most us either become passive, angry, addicted, or emotionally shutdown (or all the above!). At this point, you’d think a man would be ready to put his hand up and ask for help - but the statistics suggest otherwise.

If we’re honest, the truth is that we rarely want to deal with what blocks us from becoming the men we want to be. We don’t particularly like how we’re behaving, but it just doesn’t feel safe to go anywhere near the deeper belief systems that drive those unwanted behaviours.

The first key a man must realise is that he cannot make this journey alone. Help is available. There is a Father in Heaven who has made a way, and there are other men out there who also want to get real. It’s more than possible to be re-oriented to find the ‘Ancient Path’ as the Scriptures call it - the narrow road, the road less travelled.

This cycle I described above was a ‘roundabout’ I was personally very familiar with! I needed other men to help me out of the pit I had found myself in. ENTRUSTED was designed as an event to help a man know there is a way to turn all of this around. I just have to educate men that such a journey will take a little longer than they’d like.

For most of us, we’ve been hoping to find a ‘fast track program’ to greater maturity and wholeness, but there’s no getting round the fact it takes time to grow an Oak Tree.

So, if we accept the truth that attaining maturity takes more time than we’d like to admit, we are then forced to ask this question:

“What if God is inviting us to enter an extended season of being apprenticed along this ancient path… this narrow road that leads to life?”.

And what if as part of this invitation, Abba Father desires we learn how to do that with trusted brothers at our side?

Morgan Snyder from Ransomed Heart Ministries would suggest that as men, we need to commit to a ‘Decade of Excavation’.

I tend to agree with him.

It is from all this that ENTRUSTED was born. We wanted to offer a men’s event for those guys who don’t want to mess around any longer, those who are now ready and willing to allow Abba Father to re-set their compass towards true north and begin a journey of excavation and rebuilding.

Dallas Willard stated: “The most important thing about a man, is not what he does, but who he becomes”.

Men, if you’re heart’s desire is to become more - there is a way. There is a path.

ENTRUSTED may just have the answers you’ve been searching for.