The following is a brief Q&A with Paul Kaschel, D.Phil, LLP, Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor, and facilitator of many of CLG's men's groups.
Q: You've been working with men's groups at CLG for a while now. What stands out to you about these groups?
PK: The differences I see in the Men's groups as compared to other groups, is that once men learn that the group is a safe place, they are more willing to take off their masks. This happens in two main areas: first, they are willing to admit areas that they are struggling that could feel embarrassing or shameful; second, they are willing to tell each other how meaningful it is to have other men in their lives that they can trust and talk openly to. This has also translated into men meeting with one another or in groups during the week out of a desire to stay connected.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for men currently? Any insights as to why this might be the case?
PK: Managing their sexuality.Our culture and media is sex focused. The internet has removed all barriers to accessing sexual content of all kinds, in privacy. It is easier than it has ever been to live a double life.
Q: What would you look for in the group, or in the guys' individual lives that would make you feel like we're making progress?
PK: I'm not sure if I can answer that with discreet measurables.In general though, if the men are looking to God and His word more often, and are trusting their lives to be seen by other men who are on the same path, if they are learning to love others more by God's grace, and are looking for ways to communicate His redemptive love to others, I think we are on track.
Q: Is there anything specific that has drawn you to this effort?
PK: Knowing that the typical man lives in isolation, in terms of anybody knowing the messier parts of his life, and that he does very poorly left to himself. Creating a place that can reverse this is rewarding.
Q: If you could say something to "disconnected" men of Traverse City who feel like there is no hope, what would it be?
PK: Try out the men's group at Church of the Living God, even if you come just a few times for a trial. You will find a lot of guys that were in your shoes at one time and are very willing to help you become more connected, if you are ready.
If you would like to learn more about the men's group, contact us. Better yet, why not join us! Our groups are very welcoming, and perfectly suited to dropping in any time. We have men's events on a regular basis where we get together and do fun guy stuff, as well as our Mid-Week Connection where we spend more time talking. We hope to see you soon!