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A safe and authentic community

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

By C.Lau

Pastor Daniel Tse of Island ECC is now fully invested in helping the church’s men to live their best life and to navigate the many challenges and obstacles that life can bring.

Pastor Daniel first introduced Men’s Fraternity and what it encompasses as a concept and in reality.

“MF stands for Men’s Fraternity so it is a community of men where we gather together and we provide a safe and authentic place where men can gather and be transformed by God’s grace. A lot of men who come to MF are hurting and are men who want to ‘do’ community with other men and hope to find direction and find a sense of belonging and to be transformed by grace. Eventually, we hope they will go and help others and other ministries and bring hope and God into their communities.”

Island ECC has seen hundreds of men pass through Men’s Fraternity and they come from all ages and backgrounds and you do not even have to attend Island ECC to join.

“MF is open to any males and the average age is people from their 20s to all the way to people in their 60s and most are in their early 30s to their mid 40s. I would say, about 60 percent are in their 30s or 40s and 20 percent are their 20s and with another 20 percent in their 50s and 60s and one is nearly hitting his 70s.”

“It is open to all guys and we have others from other churches who do not have a mens group and may just have bible studies and we have men from other english language churches and others from other local churches and we welcome them here. It is all about a church as a whole and this is a great thing.”

Pastor Daniel covered the many misconceptions of what people misinterpret what it means to be successful in life and how this can actually trap a person to go down the wrong route in life.

“The world, Hollywood and movies tell men what it is to be a ‘man’ and what it means to be successful and tough and quite often they portray an image of a male who is able to do it all by themselves or can tough it out and conquer the world under his feet. The truth is that men will only suffer when they are in isolation so let's say you are achieving something and then you fail at it; you will feel ashamed and feel like a failure and then you will suck it in and you will then hide by yourself.”

Sometimes people run into trouble in life and literally have no one to turn too which can make a bad situation even worse.

“A person might have a lot of friends on social media and a lot of friends you grew up with but quite often, they are friends you cannot talk to on a deeper level. How do you feel when you are depressed and how to do you feel when you feel like a failure or how do you feel when a marriage is not working well or when a relationship is in a broken state? A lot of men live in desperate isolation and are not only alone and but feeling quite lonely and empty. Living in isolation is not a way to do life and we have a slogan ‘fight together victory’ and fight alone, defeat’ and that is the motto we try and live by, as when we are together as men then we become better men and the area, I am weak then others are strong and when I fall there are others; sadly there might be brothers who have no one next to them to lift them up.

Isolation in these modern times is compounded the sense of busyness everyone seemingly seek to attain.

“Togetherness and community takes away from isolation and you can come to a place where your story of failure is similar to others around you so what the enemy is trying to say is “You are a failure and a shame and what happens is that you try and keep those things as a secret and this eats inside you.”

Pastor Daniel said a sense of community would help people who are in trouble and have no where to turn too.

“By being in community, it helps to bring the dark secrets into light which is biblical and then you realise that everyone is facing the same things and you no longer battle with your own mind and strength and quite often, none of us take the initiative to face the challenges inside us so what do we do, we keep keep a distance or avoid or numb it and instead of facing these things, these items will eat you up and you look at life and you start to feel bitter and resentment and instead of having a close relationship with those around you, you will place everyone at arms distance and the enemy will put thoughts in your mind like ‘If only people know what I am thinking and the things that I have done’ and who I really am then I don't think anyone would love me or want to be my friend and that is a lie from the enemy but God is actually saying:

You need to love me with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbour as yourself so in order to love each other as yourself then you can take the step to walk to MF and look at all these guys who seem to have it all together and all their stories are similar and all men are broken and fallen and need the grace of Christ.”

Pastor Daniel was happy to share about what people can expect at MF is they attend on either a regular basis or one of their major events.

“We have open days and launch days and when we welcome them, I usually introduce MF and share the brokenness of my own story so the men feel that sense of safety and that we can really be ourselves so I really encourage men to try us out be part of it so we would move from isolation to secrecy to sin, break out and walk in the light with brothers”

Pastor Daniel stressed that time alone and a sense of solitude are essential for greater clarity in life and to listen to the path god wants you to seek.

“We go out for two days and one night and we have been to Noah’s Ark and Gold Coast. We have a time of solitude and we have the time to pause and think about our relationship with God and people as people just are so busy and go day to day to day and the same happens on holidays as people are still busy and yes, you are having fun and by the pool and you go sight seeing and is non stop entertainment and fun and you are not given the time to think about what you want to do in the next six months or what do I want to do in the next three months. If you do not pause then you do not have the opportunity to reflect and if you do not reflect then you do not have a reason to ask God where you are supposed to go or what to do or how my life is serving to the potential for God and you can pour out your wishes on what to do with God and this allows God to see your heart so you can yield to his will and not your will - so we take two days and one night to have some time to themselves and have fun.”

“We have workshop and conferences - we have one called the fight conference so we talk about items in the bible which are not talked often talked about. We touch upon ways of how to a be a godly man when dating ,etc. The slogan is “Fun, feast and fight” and as everyone is working so hard that we need to have fun and the fight part are the things worth fighting for like kids and family. We have an annual trip to Vietnam since 2012 to help a school and kids and help the school build toilets and kitchen.”

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