The Thirty and Over (the Hill) Brother’s Getaway

Somebody older than me wrote: “at my age life starts to take away more than it gives you.”  I think graciously learning to let things go—youth, your fantastical notions about yourself, your kids—these are all a part of growing old well.  For men, we also start to lose our friendships, if we don’t actively maintain them.  As our growing responsibilities take us to different ministries, and even to different cities on church plants, the spontaneous times of hanging out seem to grow ever distant.  Not being good at relationships in general, it’s not uncommon for men in their 30s and on to just allow once close friendships to wane. At the same time, our lives get harder. The burdens of

James, the praise leader at Gracepoint Berkeley, "encouraging" one of the brothers

ministry, child-rearing and career all demand more and more from us.  This is when we need to lean into our friendships the most, and need strength from one another more than ever.

So it was good for us older guys throughout our churches to gather for a few days last weekend.  The snow football, as fun as it was, was ill-advised given the concussions, but on the whole it was very refreshing for all of us.  The sharing from the 40+ brothers re: lessons learned from their 30s was invaluable.  I knew we’d have a good time, but the flood of emails I got afterwards for arranging this proved to me that we really needed this time. I am glad that as a church we can fight the typical rythms of life, and togther pledge to stay close as fellow comrades in spiritual arms.

Here’s a sharing from one of the brothers.

I want to thank you for the 30+ getaway and for thinking about our needs!  I was very encouraged and boosted after the getaway and seeing you and everyone back at

Henry Chen, Gracepoint Austin, makes an incredible catch.

Willard.  It has been hard for me lately away from Berkeley and I have been feeling a level of spiritual battle that I have never felt before in Berkeley.  I started off this year with many commitments to God, a lot of zeal to get closer to God in my relationship with him, and to really try to pursue holiness this year.  But right when i started, Satan’s been attacking me in my mind with regrets and things from the past, accusations, and I keep getting sick at the most inopportune times and growing weary from it.  So this get away was such a strong encouragement for me.

One of the recurring things ive been discouraged about is that how come now i’ll be 30 soon and I feel like such a failure more and more in things like loving people.  I wonder if this is going to be the rest of my life.  I was so encouraged when you shared about this exact subject.  I really resonated with how you said in the 30s you feel wounded and its

Daniel Kim, Gracepoint San Diego, looses it.

because of the pride and ego that makes us want to be something more by now, and how that really distracts us from surrendering and living in a way that really matters—a life of love and meeting others needs.  I think im going through that transition now from warrior to wounded stage, and now I know whats going on!  Rather than giving into Satan’s ploy of discouragement, now I can I focus on just obeying God and loving people, and not waste so much time on my ego.  If you guys didn’t share this, I don’t know how much longer it would have taken me to figure out this gem of wisdom!  I was thinking about last weeks DT and what about Xtian life requires us to need to have leaders to model and go ahead of us.  I thought frankly, Xtian life is hard…my sinful nature doesn’t want to give up and satan is working to stop us.  A lot of the commands are to persevere.  So it takes faith to keep doing what God says and the fruits come in time, and may take a long long time.  Its easy to get discouraged if no results happen.  …  from the 40+ guys of how they persevered,I have so many living examples to be encouraged by and examples of the truth of God’s ways played out in advance for me by those who obeyed.  My trust in God, therefore, is boosted greatly!  I thought how true it is when God commands us to remember our leaders and consider the outcome of their way of life. I am so thankful God has arranged the body of Christ in this way and for your acts of surrender and love, as it continues to strengthen me.  I started to just try to obey this week and it’s been great. I called some old students I use to minister to try to encourage them. I talked to AL who is in LA now.  I learned he is trying to start up DT groups in his church in LA but not really knowing how, and I was able to help him plan out their first meeting.  It’s encouraging to see them grow and take initiative in their faith.

Also we heard the first praxis retreat message here where you talked about joy and feeling embattled.  It was refreshing to hear that being embattled is normal and that xtian life is hard and many times there is not joy.  I resonate that the joy comes in the midst of the pain, especially when you experience the islands of encouragement in the midst of the battle like how the weekend in CA was for me.

Pressing on

The Thirty and Over (the hill) Brothers at Gracepoint

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8 Responses to The Thirty and Over (the Hill) Brother’s Getaway

  1. Steven says:

    I can’t imagine when I’m going to 30+, but I hope to have such a rich depth and breadth of relationships as the older guys in this church do when I’m that age.

  2. john ko says:

    Pastor Ed, this was one of the most memorable times I’ve ever had at Sierra lodge. and it wasn’t just b/c we finally got to stay in the lodge (as opposed to the barn and not b/c my should bone is still aching after henry chen’s bone-crushing tackles). And despite the physical pain, it was absolutely refreshing! Thank you so much for this special time to be together. And what a precious time to just be together – all the bros from the other churches -wow! To take that kind of time out from our ministry so we could really encourage and build each other up showed me how much we really value rels. What a precious value! The best part for me was hearing from the even older brothers – that special club of 40 and older. It was the best b/c they got to share from their perspective of their 30s and that’s so helpful to me right now. one key lesson i’m seeing more and more is how the world tells me that to gain respect is through power and position. But the way for a Christian man is through those small, faithful, loving acts and through servanthood – to my wife, to my friends and to others. It’s not about powering up but coming down and serving as my Lord did.

  3. kelly says:

    all the wives are so happy that our husbands had such a wonderful time. happy husband makes happy marriage!

  4. susan says:

    thankful that the older brothers of our church were able to have this time of fellowship. the brothers here in minneapolis came back with beaming faces and were strengthened from their time with all of their peers and leaders. thankful that even though we are in different cities – minneapolis, san diego, riverside, austin, berkeley, davis – that it’s still the gracepoint family, no matter where we are.

  5. eunice kim says:

    thank you Pastor Ed and Kelly for thinking of the older brothers and planning this kind of time. it is good to see the glow on their faces in the the pictures!

  6. Dennis says:

    Hi Pastor Ed! I really appreciate this blog post as I see that this is so true… Whether you’re at Gracepoint Berkeley, Davis or wherever, we got a lot of the 30+ guys coming to these trips and they’re really a time to bond, getaway, and be men. As our church gets older, I am glad for these times.

  7. Allen says:

    Looking forward to more of these time!

  8. ander says:

    Hopefully we will get to do more of these soon!

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