by Matt Karr
In the Catholic Church, we are hemorrhaging young adult men once they leave high school, all the way through their 20s.
National statistics indicate that 75 percent of freshmen in college are practicing the faith of their parents; that number dwindles to 15-20 percent by the time they are 29 years old. There are very few opportunities for young adult men to hang out with other Christian men of their age in the church.
There are very few environments that allow for Christian men to get together for the purpose of building each other up in Christ. To be honest, there are very few men in their 20s who are interested in joining Catholic organizations.
To address this issue, missionKC and Saint Paul’s Outreach recently hosted a men’s night at a local cigar club in Kansas City. We were trying to get young adult men in their mid-20s together. This is a particularly tough group to get. We had a good group of guys join us for a drink, a cigar, and to hear a great message about what it means to be a Christian man in our culture.
One of the things that struck me was these guys really wanted to get together with other guys. We talked about how men need other men in their lives in order to learn how to become better men. We talked about how men need older men to be mentors in the Christian life. We also talked about how we need peers or brothers in the Christian life. We talked about the importance of helping each other become the kind of men God wants us to be.
This stuff really resonated with these men. It dawned on me that these guys do not hear this message from literally anywhere else! They are not hearing it at their jobs, from their buddies, the people they live with. They hear it nowhere and from no one!
All Catholic men in our archdiocese need fellowship with other Catholic men. Whether you are young, old or in between, Christian men need other Christian men in their lives as brothers and as mentors. God designed it that way. There are serious hazards out there in our culture and to go it alone as a Christian man is impossible!
I encourage all Catholic men to consider some of our upcoming offerings in the archdiocese that are specifically for men. Men of Valor (www.pure hope.net/kcmenofvalor.asp) will be hosted in Olathe on Jan. 28, 2012. Men Under Construction (www.ksmuc.org), a Catholic conference for men, will be held Feb. 25, 2012, at Church of the Ascension in Overland Park.
If you are a young adult man, we are hosting a five-week men’s formation program beginning Jan. 9 at Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kan. For information, visit the website at: www.archkck ecat.org. We hope you will join us.