Men’s events with monster trucks don’t promote toxic masculinity, they’re reaching blokes with the gospel

May 12, 2022 by

By Carl Beech, Christian Vision for Men (CVM)

Twelve years ago I founded a festival for men called The Gathering. Being totally honest about it, I came up with the idea after boring myself at my own events….

…As you can imagine, over the years, I have received quite a few letters and emails from people “voicing concerns” about our approach. Along the way, I’ve been attacked in Christian media. I’ve been called misogynistic and “irredeemably sexist” because we only reach men – despite there being many successful women’s ministries running events just for women…

… We’ve seen over 1,000 men make first time commitments to Christ; men asking for forgiveness and returning to their marriages. Once, a career criminal accepted Christ, publicly repented and apologised to the police, receiving an embrace from the dozens of Christian police present…

…And yet people complain. Because we also burn stuff, blow stuff up, banter off the scale from the platform, have loud engines and throw axes (not at each other for the most part). About 30 per cent of men who attend The Gathering are not believers when they arrive….

…For what they’re worth, here’s my thoughts.

Firstly, can we please drop the phrase ‘toxic masculinity’? It’s poisonous; sweeping, generalising, debilitating and essentially toxic itself. Find another language. It’s a cheap shot at men who are often already in crisis.
Secondly, some men like monster trucks. Get over it. Some women like monster trucks too. Why moan about that?
Thirdly, people have said that all this masculinity is too much. Too much for whom? All the men who the Church isn’t currently reaching? The millions of men who aren’t hearing the gospel?

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