Next year’s trip: October 23-26, 2024! October 23 is a day for setting up camp for those interested in helping. Want to sign up!? Contact Rance Shuler before September 7th and let the adventure begin!
Purpose (Why do we exist?): The Men’s Ministry annual camping trip exists to cultivate an atmospherewhere men of multi generations and backgrounds can gather together, free of normal day to day distractions, and be edified and challenged in their personal walk with Jesus for the glory of God.
Mission (How are we going about this now?): Our aim is for the remote location and each camper’s active participation to lead to spiritual transformation.
The men’s ministry camping trip began in 2016 with less than ten men venturing across Fontana Lake into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park several miles up Hazel Creek far away from cell phone service and vehicle access. We have since outgrown our camp site on Hazel Creek, and shifted to the Rattler Ford campground here in Graham County near the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.
Without emails popping up, texts coming in, and ringing phones, many men feel a relief from the normal day to day interruptions of a busy life. This setting provides us with a unique opportunity to spend time with God and engage with one another through hiking trails, fishing streams, sitting around the campfire, eating fresh cooked meals, and discussing the Scriptures with a small group as the sun peeks through the trees.
Psalm 46:10; Mark 1:35-37; Psalm 42:1-2; Matthew 6:33
Each morning begins with a big breakfast, followed by personal devotion time with God, and then moves into a small group discussion. With 50+ men this is impossible without several men exercising the heart of a servant. This trip gives men a powerful opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others, often of whom they have never known until the trip began!
From gathering wood and building fires, to percolating coffee and flipping a hundred sausage patties, to helping one another along the trail and asking intentional questions about the Scriptures or life, men are impacted by being served and having opportunities to do for others.
This kind of active participation breaks down generational barriers and challenges men to take the intentionality of God’s love from this experience back to their homes and others whom they share life with. The greatest of men are great at serving. Each year we have men traveling here for the trip from: Missouri, Indiana, South Dakota, Georgia, Eastern NC, and more!
Through the support of Robbinsville First Baptist Church and the generous gifts of others, we seek to cover the financial costs of food and booking the campsites so that any man who wants in on this adventure has the opportunity.
Matthew 20:20-28; John 13:1-17; II Corinthians 9:6-7
Each year the Lord guides us to a specific text and theme to study in the Word of God. Every man is given a folder with the devotional study inside, and following breakfast each morning, we set aside 45 minutes for every man to find a spot to be alone with the Lord and read through the devotional. Prayer and meditation on the Scriptures are encouraged during this time. From there we shift to small group discussions. Each group has an appointed leader to facilitate conversations and pray for the group. This time of study and interaction with other men is often new, challenging, and exciting for many! And this is what we get to do year-round as a church at RFBC! Our prayer is that each man would be sensitive to how God is speaking and leading him towards Christ-like change during the Men’s Ministry camping trip, and that his family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and church would get the overflow when he returns home!
II Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 12:1-2; John 17:17; Luke 24:13-47; Colossians 1:28-29
Vision (What is our long-term focus?): For men to take what they hear and see and commit to sharing with others in their lives.
This three-day camping trip may not change lives long-term, but it can impact how men live their day-to-day lives following the trip based on what they hear and see. We pray that men are eager to make quiet time with God a priority, seeing intentional discussions about the Scriptures as a necessity, and live with a servant’s heart as their identity. If the Men’s Ministry camping trip can play a small role in exhorting men to that calling, their wives, children, friends, neighbors, churches, classmates, co-workers, and unbelievers will reap from it! Let’s go!
II Timothy 2:1-7; Matthew 28:18-20