A few months ago, I enjoyed a great time of fellowship and food alongside fellow brothers at our retreat. It was a great group of men gathering to study, learn, and encourage each other. The weather was unpredictable, but regardless, we made due. We were all there, bracing the elements together.
Today, the uncertainty and the chaotic result of the COVID pandemic continue to upended most everyone’s plans. We scheduled to have another retreat around this time, but that’s now postponed due to state-wide restrictions. As an alternative, we’re meeting online through video chat, but many men have expressed it’s not the same. They miss the uniqueness of gathering together in person.
To their credit, a study found that something as simple as a handshake can have a personal impact on someone. An experiment done by researchers at the University of Chicago and Harvard found that negotiators who shook hands were more open and honest, and reached better outcomes. “That feeling is something so rare, you cannot communicate it digitally,” says René Shimada Siegel.
Like this experiment, study after study finds that face-to-face interactions are vital to both physical and mental health. Not surprisingly, Scripture teaches us we should continue to gather. Let’s do what we can for now under the rule of law, but pray for the right time and way to reunite in person.
Carlos F. Peña is first and foremost a faithful follower of Christ and a devoted husband and father. Professionally he is a CEO, CMO, certified executive, leadership and life coach, business consultant, author, and entrepreneur for various companies he owns and operates. Over the years, Carlos has served in multiple leadership roles in business and ministry. Carlos is President and CMO of Pumped®, Inc., a brand development and design firm, CEO of Led to Lead®, a leadership, career, and business coaching company, and the founder and creator of the FX3® program. In ministry, he currently serves as Director of Men's Small Groups at Christ Fellowship in Miami, FL, focusing on discipleship. Carlos considers it his life's mission to help men discover and challenge them to be the men God desires them to be.
To learn more about Carlos, visit https://carlosfpena.com