We can’t live the full lives promised to us by our King, Jesus Christ, if we’re not in regular, authentic community with other guys. And the Church* can never be the Church—not as God intends it—if men aren’t connected in that kind of brotherhood. There are many ways the Church is supposed to work, but through men in community is a primary one.
The Apostle Paul gave us a framework. He wrote that we must be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10). We must make a handful of other men a priority in our busy lives, setting them above and ahead of other things—not God, of course; maybe not our families; but, really, most everything else (Philippians 2:3-4).
Paul wrote that we must commit to honesty and transparency (Ephesians 4:25; 2 Corinthians 12:9) and accountability (Galatians 6:1-2). Community doesn’t work without them. It just doesn’t. And we must not presume we know how to “fix” each other, but rather should trust God the Holy Spirit to do all work that needs doing (Romans 12:3). Without meaning to, we can do damage—spiritual, relational—when we offer fix-it advice to men who’ve been vulnerable in sharing struggles. It’s much better to listen and ask open, non-judgmental questions and pray—something else which Paul says we must do together . . . a lot (Romans 12:12).
He wrote that we must encourage one another to live boldly and confidently in our faith, keeping each other “fueled and aflame,” and we must support one another, so that no man burns out (Romans 12:11 MSG). He wrote that we must stand with one another, helping each other through hardship, so that no man falls away from God in hard times (Romans 12:12; Galatians 6:2).
* Note: The word “Church” here does not mean any building or denomination, but rather all of the people gathered together by God the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus Christ.