It has been roughly 6 months or more since we began the Jesus Lodge. Since we discussed the pros and cons of it quite a bit, it is time for a report.
The Format of the Lodge is simple. We were in the process of eliminating our Sunday night services because they had died a slow, steady death -- despite some attempts to keep it going. After we had decided to "nix" Sunday night as a regular meeting time, I came up with an idea based on a need I saw: we needed more connecting and "friendship" support in the church family.
The idea was simple. The guys meet from 6 to 7 and play cards (I teach the guys who don't know how; I am probably the only SI participant who has a "card ministry"). The gals knit, crochet, do scrapbooking, or just chat. Then from 7-7:30, the guys share and pray while the gals do the same.
This has turned out to be our most popular Sunday night event. One gal comes from an excellent distant church where she has a hard time connecting and thrives on the fellowship.
Since the Lodge meets twice a month (2nd and 3rd Sundays), we sometimes see a meeting canceled for a holiday or special event. Next year, we are altering the schedule so we always get in two meetings a month-- by popular demand. The folks who come REALLY enjoy it. A few folks come every now and then, and a core comes all the time.
Now this is not a BIG attendance event, maybe 6-9 guys and about 9-12 gals. Before for Sunday night events, we averaged about 6 or 7. But what is really neat is the fellowship and the great sharing. The guys really open up after playing cards together. It has helped us bond and really been a great success.
If anyone wants information on how to start up The Jesus Lodge, Post 2, please let me know and I'd be happy to share more details.