The men’s breakfast and fall clean-up at Sovereign Grace Church was a joyful time. Men gathered early on the morning of Saturday, November 18, for a meal that would satisfy a lumberjack – eggs, bacon, French toast, breakfast potatoes, pastries, fresh fruit, and muffins – all of this prepared by a gracious group of women who rose before dawn to serve with cheerfulness. In his message to the men, Senior Pastor Warren Boettcher exhorted men to godly ambition and service. “One of the strengths of this church from the very beginning has been men who serve, both men and women,” Warren said, citing scripture in Galatians 5:13, Hebrews 6:10, and Philippians 2: 5-11.
SGC Administrator Tom Machowski then stood to give the men their work assignments, whether it was spreading mulch, feeding brush into a massive chipper or working on crews to haul debris out of the woods to clean up the church’s perimeter.
For the next few hours, the church was consumed in a cloud of dust and noise as men with string trimmers, chainsaws, and leaf blowers went about their work. Sweaty men, both young and middle-aged, hauled logs and limbs, spread mulch, raked and shoveled. Boys scampered to and from the woods while their dads, uncles, and friends maintained a more steady pace, or just slogged on as best they could.
By noon, the work was finished, plants and trees were neatly trimmed. Flower beds were freshly mulched. The chipper was turned off and its howl became a steady hum as its gigantic flywheel spun slowly to a halt. The last sounds were the rustle of dry leaves, and of men laughing and exchanging comments as they walked to their cars for the drive home. Most were probably headed for a hot shower and maybe a couple of ibuprofen.
Our church looked great. Surveying the scene, I thought the post-breakfast benediction by Associate Pastor Andrew Kalvelage seemed even more appropriate at the day’s end. “We have been fed this morning by the word of God,” he said. “There’s freedom, peace, and joy when we men lay down our lives and work for God’s glory.”