SoCal Military Men’s Crucible
When Chris Reardon learned a ministry he participated in wasn’t reaching men, who make up the majority of active duty serving in the military, his heart sank. Reardon was asked to pray about leading a retreat for military men in California.
What came out of that discernment was the Socal Military Men’s Crucible, held this past September in Southern California …
“God has put it on our hearts to create a men’s retreat to honor and minister to our servicemen in Southern California. We have teamed up with a local church to put together an unforgettable experience and we invite all male Veterans, Reserve, and Active Duty members and their sons to join us for camping, outdoor activities, motivational speakers, and demonstrations!”
The retreat was designed to challenge both body and spirit with action-packed physical activities and energizing guest speakers that included Chad “ROBO” Robichaux, former Marine and Joint Special Operations Command Operator. He is also a pro MMA World Champion and founder of Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs.
Speakers shared their testimonies and what it means to behold the title of “military man.” Topics included What is salvation: what it means to have a relationship with Christ; Living as a Man of Influence; and Healing from the Past.
Reardon knew this event was God’s chance to speak to military men directly. “These men are trained to be warriors,” he said, “but they needed to be prepared for spiritual warfare.” Reardon said.
Reardon quickly realized he needed to make connections with other churches and ministries in order to pull everything together. “Just as God designed the systems of the human body to rely on each other – the same goes for the body of Christ.” Reardon says.
Thankfully, he was blessed with the help of 37 organizations from around the region. Reardon knew Doug and Sherry Barron, Military Ministry missionaries, and knew that they could help promote the weekend and support the military men who attended with their presence, resources and prayers. “Cru has such a big outreach,” he says. “I felt confident handing those relationships over to them.”
“I knew this was from God and wanted to do anything I could to help Chris with the goal of the Crucible,” Doug Barron said. “I had dreamed of some type of forum where believing Marines could share their faith and expose unbelieving Marines to the Gospel.”
Even though he had loads of support, the enemy continually attacked the event, Reardon says. “For me personally, it was a leap of faith that entire summer,” he says. Planning this event “was my war story.”
As the weekend came together, there were close to 100 men in attendance and at least four give their lives over to Christ. Reardon says he was confident he was doing God’s work … making more disciples. “We are seeing the benefits,” he says. “If we plant those seeds, who knows what will happen.” “God has given me the ability to open doors to people in the military … that’s my heart,” Reardon says. “I’m ready to fight those spiritual battles because if we don’t, we’ll be lost for eternity.”
According to Reardon, you should keep an eye out for other events popping up, because the Socal Military Men’s Crucible “is just getting started.”