I have recently taken an active role in the men's ministry of my church. You might have picked up some of my earlier discussion on this. You know the whole Christian Fight club thing. My current focus is something I call "The Challenge" ministry.
In the past we have gathered to Geocache and kayak. The Grace Race was challenge #3 until I broke my ankle. But I digress...
The Church's not so annual men's retreat was just a few weekends ago. I was part of the planning committee. I had a block of time on Saturday morning where it was my job to intro the challenge ministry. I decided to split the guys into 4 man teams and rotate through a series of "challenges." Each event had a scoring system so I could total points and award a coveted prize at the end.
One event was the Egg Drop - each team had 20 min to construct a vessel to hold an egg and keep it secure for an approx 15-20 foot drop.
Another event was a team tightrope crossing. Team-members had to assist each other in navigating from tree to tree on a tightrope (just a few inches from the ground).
A third event was the William Tell bow and arrow competition. Shoot the apple on the head without killing the guy (pumpkin - used for safety).
The fourth event was classic man stuff. Start a fire. I gave them a stick of wood, a hatchet, and three matches. Shortest time to make the water in the can boil - wins.
The coveted prize was straight-up man food - a gift certificate to Moe's (welcome to moe's).
I received lots of good feedback. The guys really seemed to enjoy the various events. It wasn't about who was the biggest or strongest, but a combination of factors that made the team successful.
I had a great time watching them and organizing it all. I spent a few minutes discussing how I work to make the challenge events object lessons, so that you get more than just conquering something, but you get some words and ideas to chew on as you go back to your normal life.
The retreat was a huge success overall. Praise God.
Next up for the challenge ministry - GUNS!