One day this past February I had finished my morning workout at the gym and was drying off in the locker room after a shower. A group of other men were in various stages of the same process. Everyone was preparing for work. During the winter months, my skin dries out and itches uncomfortably during the day. So the last part of my routine before I finish dressing is to rub moisturizing lotion into the skin all over my body. Otherwise, an hour later, my dry, itchy skin feels like thousands of tiny, prickling needles. I made a casual remark about my winter battle with dry skin, and the need for moisturizer. Several others laughed good-naturedly and chimed in the same was true for them. One guy mentioned a nagging trouble spot.  And suddenly, there was a group epiphany. An instant sense of camaraderie. We all nodded and grinned sheepishly because we shared the same problem. Whether we reached our arms over the shoulder and down, or twisted it around and up underneath, there was an area in the middle of our backs— a 2” diameter circle—that we couldn’t reach. And this one dry spot in the middle of our backs plagued us with an itch all day long. We even joked about seeking scratching posts during the day, like a bear rubbing his back against a tree to relieve the itch. Then we all left for work, having admitted the same condition, having laughed about our ridiculous, individual efforts to solve the problem. And not one of us mentioned the most obvious solution. I’ll dab a little lotion on your dry spot if you dab a little on mine. What is it about us guys anyway? Are we really that self-reliant, that macho or just that stupid? You women reading this…don’t answer. As I reflected about the role of the church…and the purpose of men’s ministry, I wondered. Why do guys need one another? Because we do, right? So what’s the point of engaging beyond Super Bowl Sunday, comparing golf scores and contemplating next year’s draft? And the simple answer hit me like a two by four. It’s to help another guy reach the dry spot in the middle of his back. The truth is, no man has it all together. None of us are completely self-reliant. We all have blind spots…weakness….places we can’t reach by ourselves. We need accountability to stay the course. Support for difficult circumstances.  Insights and advice from others who have navigated the struggles we’re going through. An arm around the shoulder that says, “I’m standing with you.” We all have times when we need and want someone who has our back. And what better place than church? What better community than with men who share your faith? Guys striving to be men of integrity. Who are up for the challenge we face in today’s culture. Of course, we have to first admit we need help.  And possess the courage to exchange a manly touch. About Chip Tudor Chip Tudor is a freelance copywriter, author, playwright and pastor.

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