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Men Refuse to Give Up on Missing Friend

Stephen Mansfield tells a true story about a church that had an incredible ministry to men. For years the driving force behind the men's ministry was a man named Taylor. His ministry rocked on for years, changing lives and impacting the community. But in the midst of a major transition within the church, Taylor got hurt deeply by his own community and he left the church. He wouldn't talk to anybody. People figured he'd come back eventually, but he didn't.

Finally, some of the men in the church took it upon themselves to reach out to Brother Taylor. After some discussion with the other guys at church they came up with a bold plan: they would set up camp in Taylor's yard—150 men! So they set up rotating shifts and said they wouldn't leave until Taylor came out. They had electric lines running from neighboring houses to power televisions. About twenty smokers and grills worked up some great barbeque food. They were in for the long haul! They even had big signs all over the place: "Taylor, come out." "We love you." "Taylor, we know you're in there."

Taylor didn't appreciate it. He even called the police on his former friends. As a matter of fact, the police showed up twice a day for almost a week. And every time they came, Taylor would came to the door to explain the situation. And every time the men camping in his year would explode with cheers until Taylor finished his chat with the police and went back inside.

But on the sixth day, when Taylor opened the door for the police and the men exploded with cheers, Taylor finally broke down and started crying his eyes out. He sputtered how sorry he was, and then he came out from his porch and greeted the guys who had camped in his yard and refused to go away. Such is the power of committed, persistent friendship.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Community; Body of Christ; Friendship—Although Mansfield told this story to inspire men to reach out to each other, you can also generalize this story for how Christians need to draw each other out. (2) Men; Men's Group—Stephen Mansfield calls this story a "picture of wounded manhood in our age." And what's the answer to wounded manhood? "Men need to bring men in. Men need to stand for other men … Men need the presence of other valiant men … to draw them out to what they are meant to be."

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