One of my missions is helping men find and experience community. It’s a critical need in this culture where many fall prey to the lie that individualism is strength, that real men keep feelings to themselves and that compromise, collaboration and vulnerability are signs of weakness.

Hence this story from my recent golf outing at a mission fundraiser. Rebekah and I sponsored a hole, and I took my friend Chauncey to play.

Our foursome was a classic example of my favorite Scripture about men in community; it’s the Exodus story where Aaron and Hur stand with Moses and help him hold his arms up:

“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up — one on one side, one on the other — so that his hands remained steady till sunset,” (Exodus 17:10-13).

When I made a bad shot, Chauncey bailed me out. When Marc missed his putt, I sank mine. When Chauncey flubbed, Louis came through. When we all messed up … well, that only happened once in 18 holes.

Four guys — all with potential but all deeply flawed — posting a 59! Individually, there’s a good chance we all would have shot in the 90s.

I can’t help but think about social isolation, which is an acute public health problem in the USA. Men, studies show, are increasingly not in relationships where they can be honest, vulnerable, encouraged, nurtured, challenged, accountable and loved. Younger men, in their 20s, 30s and 40s, even more so.

At church, we are blessed with the opportunity to hold one another’s arms up. As men, we need this if we are to fully embrace the human experience and if we are to grow.

However — and this is a key point — community at this level is something we must share. Why not invite other men into an experience of supportive community? Why not reach out and hold up a few more arms?

It’s not like any one of us has a prayer of shooting 59 on our own.


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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at