Look, I get it, church stuff can feel super weird – especially if it’s not what you grew up with. “Spend the weekend with a bunch of Jesus weirdos? No thanks.” I get it. I’ve been there too, and I hate that fake religious crap. Let me be upfront about some of the stuff you might see at MAN CAMP.
Here’s the simple truth: if you’re cool with exploring the possibility that there is a God and that He wants to know you, you’ll be good at Man Camp. We designed this thing so that dudes who are curious about God have a shot at having some questions answered. (More often than not, they tell us that’s exactly what happened). We also designed it as a rare opportunity for every man to be themselves. We want you there – not some fake, more religious version of you.
Having said that, let’s talk about some things you’ll see at Man Camp that might be new to you. You can opt into or out of any or all of this stuff. No judgement or expectations.
Dudes getting baptized in the river. It’s worth getting this one out of the way…there is a chance it is totally outside of your comfort zone. Baptism might seem much safer or more normal to you with a sprinkle of water on a baby’s head while he wears some kind of white dress. So, why do we do it in the river? Other than it being awesome, the simplest reason is because dudes have been doing it for thousands of years as a way of committing to God. In fact, even Jesus did it. Is it magic? Nope. Is it really powerful for the right guy? Absolutely. We believe God runs after us when we take even one step in His direction. For a lot of guys, this is that step. But, we won’t be pressuring anyone into the river and you don’t even have to go to watch if you don’t want to.
LOUD singing. Look, back in the days of Braveheart and all the way back to caveman days, singing was a part of battle. It was the domain of men, warriors, conquerors. I mean, have you ever seen a HAKA? At Man Camp, we worship with aggression and it’s primal and pretty darn great. But here’s the deal: You don’t have to sing. You don’t even have to move your lips to pretend like you’re singing. You just have to be yourself. A couple hundred dudes all singing together is a rare sight nowadays, but generations ago it was totally a regular part of battle. It’s pretty unforgettable.
Prayer. Lots of it. Dudes pray at Man Camp. In fact, there’s a whole team of guys whose job it is to pray. You’ll probably hear someone around you pray and guys will pray from stage. But, you won’t be asked to pray out loud and you won’t be forced to have anybody pray with or for you. There will be some time for you to pray in private if you like. Prayer is just talking to Jesus and that’s pretty awesome. If you have a direct line to the creator of the universe, why wouldn’t you use it? Even if that’s new to you, we encourage everyone to try it. Lots of guys are surprised to find out they really dig it.
Real conversation. The other stuff on this list might look strange – this is the one that truly is strange in our society. When was the last time you had a real conversation with a group of dudes? No sports talk. No politics. No “how are the kids?” Instead, we talk hopes, fears, struggles, victories. We get real. It’s what we were built for. We get real because when we do, we find out that we’re surrounded by guys who are struggling with the same fears and doubts we are. You know that voice that sits in the back of your head and says you’re not good enough? It turns out that real conversation – where dudes can tell you the truth about who you are and that you’re wanted – punches that voice in the mouth, every time.
That’s it. There’s no religious test you have to pass to get into this thing. If you’re bold enough to come as you are, and be real, you’re gonna love MAN CAMP.
See you out there!