By: G. J. Fortier

 

Who can you talk to?

It seems like a straight-forward question, right? I mean, most of us have dozens of conversations with family, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers daily. We talk about the weather, our favorite sports teams or the movie we saw over the weekend. Most of us have, literally, hundreds of conversations every week. We entertain ourselves and others by talking. We inform each other of pertinent goings-on with conversation and the simple fact is that we need to communicate through verbalization in order to live our lives the way we want to.

But that’s not what I’m asking.

Who can you really talk to?

Well, that narrows things down a bit doesn’t it? Most of us have friends, people that we trust, that we talk to about the important issues. What’s the best toilet paper? How do you fix a lawn mower that chokes out? What’s the best valentines gift for your wife or girlfriend?

But that’s not what I’m asking.

Who can you talk to about the really important things?

Well, now we’re probably down to just a few people. Your wife or girlfriend, your best friend forever or BFF. You can ask them, what’s the best hemorrhoid cream? What are we gonna do about that bag of “oregano” we found in juniors sock drawer? Honey, could you pop this giant zit on my back?
Okay, that last one would probably be a very short conversation but, hey, you can’t just ask anyone to do that, can you?

But that’s not what I’m asking.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Who can you confess to? Who holds you accountable?

Ah, now I’ll bet that most of you who are reading this are thinking, I confess to my wife (girlfriend) ! She will definitely hold me accountable!

Really? Can you tell her about that last porn video that you watched when she and the kids were at the grocery store? Can you tell her about that woman at work that you think about just a little too much and it’s not about the way she leaves her desk so messy? Can you tell your wife about that bet you made on the Falcons (Yeah! Right! The Falcons!) that cost you the rent money … again? At least some of you are thinking, I can’t (or won’t) tell anyone about that kind of stuff! My wife would never understand and probably leave me if I did that! Or, my bestest best of the best friend I have in the world would definitely think less of me for it if I told him about that!

Thanks for making my point for me.

Who do you tell those things—and many others that I won’t go into here—to?

My church, First Baptist Centerville, has this thing called a “men’s ministry”. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Every church has a men’s ministry! Every man in the church is in it!

Fair enough. Every church has a men’s ministry. But, now I have a question for you: When’s the last time that you sat in a room with 6 to 10 men and felt perfectly comfortable in speaking out-loud the most intimate details of your life, good or bad and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that none of them would judge you, condemn you and would in-fact pray for you about the things that you struggle with?

We call our Wednesday night fellowship Halftime. We meet from 6:00 to 7:30, first in a large group and then we break up into small groups of 6 to 10. Now, I have to tell you, I love my church, but it was Halftime that changed my life!

I am what I like to call and extroverted introvert. I’m a loner who, by shear force of will, made myself develop the ability to talk to anyone about anything. Now, I don’t claim to be a great conversationalist, but I can hold my own in nearly any situation I find myself in. Believe me, I’d rather be sitting in a corner like a potted plant that nobody notices until they get hold of a drink or an hors’ douvers (pardon my French) that they don’t like, watching everyone else at the party. But I don’t like to talk about myself at all, let alone about my problems. After all, who needs to hear about my problems? Don’t they have enough of their own? When you have some time, I’ll gladly share my testimony with you.

I don’t think that anyone that knows me would call me shy, but the fact is, I am. But when I started going to Halftime and I realized that no one there was going to hold anything I said against me or repeat it to anyone (we have a rule), I was able to relieve myself of the burden of being alone and actually find a group of men who were not only willing to listen and pray with me, but also help me in any way that they could.

This is what we like to call, fellowship and if you’ve never experienced it, it is truly a wonderful and blessed thing. If your church doesn’t have something like Halftime already, then you can come to mine! Or better yet, you can start one there! And if you have questions or need any help in doing so, just find one of the men from First Baptist Centerville. We’ll be happy to fellowship with you!

 

G.J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his new novel, Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 available on Amazon Kindle.