In 1997 there was a huge Promise Keepers convention planned here where I live. Advertised weeks ahead in multi media, it was supposed to be a major event. Free admission and a free pizza lunch was on offer. A 2,000 seat Pentecostal Church was booked for the two days of meetings. I was at a crossroads in my Christian life and, having read the Promise Keeper book and being somewhat impressed by their goals, decided to attend.
It began at 9am on the Saturday morning of the big weekend. Not being socially inclined I arrived early to ensure a seat in the back row, well away from any outbursts of righteous enthusiasm. By 9:15 the organizers decided everyone who was likely to attend was already there and it was time to begin. I looked around and counted 27 people scattered throughout this huge auditorium. Naturally the first thing the MC did was encourage everyone to move down closer to the front, which everyone but me complied with.
After a couple of hours of slide shows, men weeping in the aisle, and an usher and his wife who obviously had nothing to do other than shout praises and add plenty of applause, urging us all to BE MEN, I thought to myself, “this is so lame” and slipped out the door.
I encountered a handful of timid males looking in but not wanting to commit to anything further. One heckler, an old man with spittle on his lips, was muttering something about everyone inside being “Sunday-keeping heathen”. I’m guessing he was a true Sabbath Keeper and proud of it.
Anyway, I left and told my wife, who was surprised to see me home before noon, that the whole thing could have been done over the phone for all the enlightenment and motivation I felt was available. If anyone has had a better experience than mine I would be interested to know.