One of the highlight’s of my year is the Christian Vision for Men (CVM) festival, ‘The Gathering’. I’ve been many times before with my old church, this was my first time with RBC and the best one so far.
It was a powerful weekend of hearing and seeing God at work in many men’s lives through the testimonies, stories and conversations of the weekend. There is a beautiful balance between the laughter and fun of the weekend and the seriousness and celebration of men finding salvation. As a Christian festival it is totally unique and unlike anything I have attended before.
The aim of The Gathering is to be a festival that you can invite your friends to, whether Christian or not . At the Gathering you will hear the gospel presented in many different ways, shapes and formats; and on hearing the gospel you will be challenged to make a response.
If you go as a believer, you may find yourself encouraged and inspired to live in a more active Christ honouring way, or even to do something new to reach other men for Jesus.
And that is different from simply camping with a group of nice guys for a bit of a laugh and some banter. Which of course there is lots of.
There were 19 of us in the RBC group and it was wonderful to hear that Ben – Mat’s brother made a recommitment to Jesus following the Saturday evening meeting.
It was great for me to get to know some of the guys I don’t know so well and meet up with old friends from the past.
There were excellent seminars on subjects like the challenge of ‘Generation Z and Men’ and worship alongside the usual apologetics and ‘just looking’ sessions. There were loads of activities to join in if you wanted, including a live wrestling match. Oh and RBC won the football 5 aside which some of the team took very, very seriously.
But to have one of our group recommit to Jesus- amazing.
I’m going to finish with a testimony I’ve pinched from the CVM website.. This really sums it up.
“Guys I just wanted to thank you for the amazing weekend, something profound happened to me on Saturday evening.
I answered the call and went forward to get prayed for, thinking no one is going to bother, God isn’t interested in me because the stuff I had been involved in was so beyond the pale.
A bit of back story, I was in the Army in Northern Ireland in the Late 70s and early 80s and worked in Intelligence in the ‘grey bit’ between legal and illegal! We justified it to ourselves by saying that it was OK to do bad stuff as it was for the greater good.
I have carried this guilt for all these years going through the motions at church but still carrying the monkey on my back thinking that I was unforgivable. This guilt fuelled my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and caused me to have flashbacks and nightmares…
…but on that Saturday I slept for 8hrs with no nightmares and an incredible sense of calm. I didn’t get up to check outside.
So despite my cynicism and doubt, Jesus has come into my life in an amazing way. When I got back home, my wife noticed the difference immediately and was walking round the flat in a daze. So from the bottom of my heart thank you for organising such an awesome event and helping me to come back to faith. I am going bring a close buddy of mine next year who has similar issues, as I want him to find the psychological healing that I found.
Anon (TG18 attendee)
We’ve postponed the baptisms planned for the Sunday- they’ll be later in the year.
The theme in the morning service is looking at ‘How to be Messengers of the Gospel’
I hope you can make it
See you Sunday