The Sons of Thunder is a Christian band and part of a larger, growing group of average guys who have decided to take a stand for Christ and work on becoming better husbands and fathers - yes, even sons.
The Sons of Thunder was hatched about 5 years ago. This group often leads/joins a larger group of men in study and prayer and seeks to serve the wider community.
Based in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, SOT has been known to tackle a range of projects - everything from home maintenance chores to helping move immigrant families. In 2008, the group did some missions work in NYC serving, playing and singing at the Bowery Mission. As is often the case, those who went to 'minister' were 'ministered to'. When the praises go up...the blessings come down!
If you live on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, look us up at Bridgewater Baptist Church. And feel free to invite us to lead or participate in your event. We love road trips! Rock on!
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I’ve picked out “EPIC” – Discover the story that God is telling. It is designed to help reveal every man’s crucial role in the God’s Larger Story! I believe you will appreciate John Eldredge’s perspective. This is a short study – only 6 weeks, and that could be good as we head into summer. Format will be simple: Watch a 20 minute thought provoking, dramatic presentation on DVD and follow with some more thoughts, questions and reaction. It will be casual.
Please know that by committing to this you will not be put on the spot in any way. I do not presume to know your personal story and you may be questioning, for the first time, what faith in Christ really means. At the same time if you’ve been a Christian for many years there is definitely a place for you too. Trust me, every man will benefit! So please come, feel welcome and comfortable!
Oh, best part…you won’t need to buy anything – no materials required. Come as you are.
Monday, May 19, 2008
The author is David Murrow, author of "Why Men Hate Going To Church" You've heard it said that fathers are the spiritual leaders of the home. Now there's a study to prove it.
Researchers from Switzerland examined whether parents' religious habits were transmitted to their offspring. They studied different variables, but one critical factor towered above the rest: the practices of the father determine whether children grow up attending church or not. And here's the shocker: the habits of the mother have almost no influence over their kids' future devotion.
Consider these findings:
When Mom is a regular churchgoer but Dad attends infrequently, just 3 percent of their kids go on to become regular churchgoers.
When Mom is regular but Dad never attends, just 2 percent become regular attenders.
Now, let's flip the chart. What if Dad is faithful?
When both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 33 percent of kids grow up to attend regularly.
When Dad is regular but Mom only goes once in a while, the figure jumps to 38 percent.
Here's the real bombshell: when Dad is faithful but Mom never attends, 44 percent of the kids end up as regular church attenders!!
Bottom line: in spiritual matters, kids take their cues from Dad. If Papa doesn't go to church, chances are very slim that his children will become regular worshippers. If the kids see religion as "Mom's thing" they are more likely to become disenchanted. But if Dad leads by example, children are twenty-two times more likely to become lifelong churchgoers.
Curtis Burnam, a 20-year veteran of youth ministry has seen it time and again. "Kids who are taken to church by Mom but not Dad are harder to keep in church. They tend to drop out at higher rates when they reach adolescence. They are also harder to engage when they do come to youth group. This is true for girls as well as boys."
Why are these findings so alarming? Because men are dropping out of North America's churches. Consider this:
In 1952, the typical protestant worship service drew an adult crowd that was 47 percent male. Today that figure is 39 percent, or less -- and falling.
On any given Sunday there are 13 million fewer men than women in the pews.
Almost a quarter of married, churchgoing women attend services without their husbands each Sunday.
According to Barna Research, men lag behind women in every area of Christian endeavor (except the senior pastorate).
Few churches can establish or maintain a viable men's ministry.
The majority of churchgoing men do nothing midweek (other than pray) to grow in faith.
Two obvious questions come to mind: why are Christian churches losing their men? And why are churchgoing men so uninvolved?
Jesus enthralled men. Rival faiths such as Islam inspire fanatical allegiance from young men.
What's the difference?
I studied this phenomenon for five years, and wrote my findings in a book titled, Why Men Hate Going to Church (Nelson Books, 2005). If I had to summarize my conclusions in one sentence it would be this: The modern church system is not designed to do what Jesus did: reach men with the Good News.
No, today's churches, without even realizing it, create an environment where women and tots thrive, but men feel hesitant and restrained. How so? Without even realizing it, modern churches default to a feminine spirituality. For instance, we focus almost exclusively on Christ's gentle side. A good Christian is always soft, sweet, and sentimental, focused on family and relationships instead of goals and achievement. Common church practices such as handholding, sitting in a circle and sharing your feelings, public reading and singing make men feel uncomfortable or incompetent. Today's praise songs present Christ as lover rather than leader. I could go on.
So men depart (or go passive). This in itself is a tragedy. But the greater loss comes years later, when the next generation turns its back on church, despite their mothers' superhuman attempts to grow them into spiritual champions.
It's time to face the truth: if we're going to pass a lifelong faith to our children, we must re-engage men. No amount of Sunday school, VBS, or youth group will do the trick. We might as well fold up our flannel-graphs and go home. In fact, we might reach more kids by canceling the entire children's ministry and focusing our efforts on men. This strategy would, in the long run, produce more lifelong followers of Jesus.
Kids need one thing: to see their fathers following Jesus. The question is: do we have the courage to transform the local church into a place where your average guy can connect with God?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The highest tides in the world are right here in our backyard in the amazing Bay of Fundy. Consider the impact of 1 billion tons of water moving in and out twice a day. The terrain is unmistakably changed. Do you see how we can change the landscape of our community? Pray for vision.
And, pray for Rob travelling in Indonesia. Pray for Rob’s family here at home. Pray for Paul & Janice on their Alaskan Cruise. Pray for Sarah & John getting married in 2 weeks. Pray for Kerstin as he has decided to take on something huge! Pray for the young guys in our church. May the older guys be available and strong examples to all young men. Pray for the Red Rally that David has organized. Pray for our families – parents, brothers, sisters and children. Pray for Harry Gardner who will speak this weekend. Keep praying for Eric and the mission and vision in our church and the Capital Campaign that’s taking shape. Just keep praying.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
First, let me tell you how blessed I am by my friends. It is rare these days for men to share in a warm, inviting and supportive fellowship. It seems almost anti-guy doesn't it? Society somehow paints a picture of the man who stands alone as the strong man...alone and strong like the Malboro Man. Truth is we need each others’ strength. As men, we are busy with the stuff of life – kids, wives, work and our own lawn maintenance. So much is asked of us on a daily basis.
A dozen guys came to share the work last evening. The number alone speaks powerfully to me.
Secondly, I was impacted by the lady of the house who openly shared her fears of what lies ahead for her ailing husband. There will difficult decisions to make. There are so many questions that remain unanswered. And, where is God? Well, God showed up in the work last night. God showed up as we prayed for her and her husband. God was there in our fellowship and in our meeting the need.
And, God spoke directly to me. Truthfully, when I first arrived I wondered what really had to be done because the yard appeared flawless. There was even a WEEDMAN sign out front. Did I have the wrong address?
From the street one would never know there was a mess out back…not a huge mess – but it did need some attention. I thought about my own life – how, from the curb – or from the front you might not see the ‘mess in the backyard’ of my life. We need to invite God into those dark, shaded places where the leaves and debris collect. It takes continuous maintenance – prayer, reading the Word, support from each other. We need to shine the light into those areas of our lives; expose those regions of pain or shame and invite healing and renewal from Christ.
There’s some stuff I’m working on. I am reluctant. I hesitate. And, God calls me forward just the same. I struggle to accept His prompting in my life because it is so much easier to remain in the shade. To wait and watch others do all the work is just dead wrong.
And, how many men wait on the sidelines to be invited into the game? Some guys seem happy to observe from a distance as mere spectators but something deep inside each man is longing to be called into the adventure. Think of the men you know. Encourage them. Invite them off the couch of doom and into the fray.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Thank you for meeting with us this morning and for listening to our shared vision. We are not asking for much really - just that you stand...and join us at the front of the church during the chorus of "Bring the Rain" on Sunday, May 25th. We'll provide more details very soon. In fact, you don't have to sing or even know the words. Essentially, by standing with us you will be adding to an incredibly powerful moment of unity and strength! As of today, 30 - 40 men will be standing with you. You will not be alone.
As men, we need to do more 'standing' together. I mentioned at the beginning of this note that we are not asking for much...I do believe, however, that we offer much; We offer the love of Christ. And, together, we strongly believe in the power of prayer, accountability, discipleship and support. Who doesn't need more of that?
A bit of history: The Sons of Thunder began several years ago as a loose group of musical friends. Through the inspiration of Robin Churchill, the group decided to commit to a weekend trip to the Bowery Mission in New York City last month. It was a life-changing experience and lately the guys have been asking, "what now Lord"? "What's next for this group"?
God has opened the eyes of these men. Life is more fragile than we guessed...life is short...and life can be hard - but together, with a supporting network of Christian men, we can work it out. We are stronger together and our church and families will be strengthened! I really appreciate the range of ages in our group...from College Age to Senior Sage! You all have so much to offer. Confession time: As one who thought he knew most people in the church...I don't know all of you. Wow, was I mistaken!
So, you get the idea. And, you'll hear from us quite often. Email makes it easy to stay in touch. So jump right in - don't be shy! And let me tell you straight up that if you ever need someone to pray with or talk to - call me. I will make the time. I am sure the other guys will do the same. Please feel welcomed and supported. The original group of guys is already praying for you.
I heard at least two of you ask about a 'Men's Breakfast'. We'll do that. The men's study I want to launch is called "Epic - Discover The Story God Is Telling". It's a short 6 week DVD series by John Eldredge, author of "Wild at Heart". I'm sorting out the logistics and will give you lots of advance notice. We may even offer it a couple of times through the week. We'll see.
Visit the Sons Of Thunder blog at http://www.bridgewatersons.blogspot.com/ Read all about the trip to NYC and various thoughts, testimonies, reaction and ideas! Let me know if you would like to become an 'author' on the blog and I can set that up for you.
Thank you for agreeing to take a stand. Invite those you know to join us!
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13
Friday, May 2, 2008
Thank you David for the challenge and for being the first to step up and boldly post your testimony. Trouble is, for me, is I doubt that I can wait a whole month to be next.
Thank you Jeff for the passionate and supportive message. Hey, it could go down as one of the most famous speeches never given. I love it! “Burn The Ships”! Such a great statement of faith!
You may know this about me. It’s no secret - I am not much of a reader. Now and then, however, I stumble upon something that stirs me. Victoria actually pointed out this piece from Oswald Chambers’ devotional “My Utmost For His Highest” (May 2nd): “If we have only what we have experienced, we have nothing. If we have the inspiration of the vision of God, we have more than we can experience. Our reach must exceed our grasp. Things come to you with greatness and add vitality to your life because everything is energized by God.”
Phillipians 3:12,13: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”. (NIV)
The Message translation puts it this way: “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.”
So, we keep moving ahead. We must. There is so much to say about how God is working and how I see him changing me and the hearts of those around me. Silence doesn’t say much.
It would be sad if the band was never invited to play again but it wouldn’t matter because The Sons of Thunder could go on a speaking tour. Who can keep quiet?
It is so good to be coming alive. Remember the movie Braveheart and the words of William Wallace, “All men die, few men ever really live”.
“To settle for less, or to have less, sounds like a compromise with misery.” – Craig McConnell