My church is conducting sign-ups for Promise Keepers. If you are not familiar with PK you can read more about them here at Religoustolerance.org. They do a pretty fair job of describing PK and its pros and cons. I’ve been to PK once, back in 1993 which was pretty close to when it started. It was a strange experience and a bit overwhelming. At that time there were about 40-50,000 men at a stadium in Boulder, CO. I remember the entire stadium full of men singing, praying, worshipping. James Dobson spoke. At the time I enjoyed the whole experience but that faded eventually.

I remember coming home and telling my wife “I’m ready to be the spiritual leader of our family now.” I don’t think I even knew what that meant but it was a phrase I’d heard so much during the PK event that it had worked its way into my head. I’m still not sure what “spiritual leadership” means. Whatever it is, I soon realized that it was something that I’d rather share. I think my wife and I do a good job now of guiding our family spiritually. It hasn’t required any sort of unilateral coup on my part.

There’s a mob mentality at our church with PK. Last year there was definite pressure from the other men in the church and from the elders (who are men of course) to sign up and go to PK. I was actually signed up to go but work prevented me from going. Our church plays MTV style videos for PK during the service showing chanting, singing men and encouraging men to sign up. They encourage wives to encourage their husbands to sign up. I’ve heard women request prayers for their husbands to go to PK.

I think the large numbers are one of the reasons I feel uneasy about going. People will often agree to things and do things in large crowds that they might not when alone or with a small group of people. I’m leery of Dobson now. I don’t know if he is still involved but I wouldn’t be surprised. I remember one of the main speakers in ’93 talking about raising hands during worship and left with the impression that this was necessary to truly worship God. I’m still not sure what this whole “spiritual leadership” idea is. It makes me nervous.

On the other hand, if I do go I’m sure to have lots of material for my blog. Right now I’m leaning toward not going but we’ll see how I resist the pressure. More to come…

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