University Aged Men in Discipleship
A summer Mission Household Program in
an interview with Tadhg
In July of this year, five Servants
of the Word brothers from Europe and the
USA spent three weeks in Beirut, Lebanon, in
order to facilitate an outreach called “Men on
Mission.” It was the third time it took place.
It is aimed at university-age men, and this
year the participants included four men from
Belfast and London and about 14 Lebanese.
Martin Steinbereithner interviewed Tadhg
Lynch, a life-long Servants
of the Word brother based in Belfast,
Northern Ireland about the time.
Explain the summer Men on Mission
program: What is “Men on Mission” like?
It is a highly formative environment where, for
three weeks, young men set aside pretty much
everything else in order to live with other
young men in households, to receive a lot of
discipleship teaching and to engage in practical
service during the day. In that sense it is a
cross between a summer household and a mission
trip. These young men live in a busy city, have
busy lives and are used to pretty much running
their own lives. So the choice to fit into a
schedule and forego the many other attractive
options of what they could do with their summer
is a radical step and not one which all of them
manage to take successfully.
Tadhg and young men pitch
in together on a construction project
What roles do the service projects
I think they play a crucial role. Most
university students don’t spend a lot of time
working with their hands, so physical labor can
bring you to your limits in somewhat unforeseen
ways. At the same time, after three weeks you
can point to something tangible you have
achieved: a wall has been built, a ditch has
been dug—and that is be highly satisfying.
Lastly, the participants see us older brothers
as we struggle with heat and exhaustion as well,
and that also is an important experience.
What was your experience leading this
It was interesting serving with seven other
Servants of the Word brothers, some of whom were
older than me. It is a somewhat new experience
to lead when older brothers are present who are
possibly more qualified for the job than I. So I
have to psyche myself up before the program
starts. But when it is actually running, I feel
this deep satisfaction of serving alongside my
brothers, building the Lord’s kingdom. That
gives me great energy, because that is really
what drew me to the brothers in the first place.
And the comradery we experienced was quite
What is the long-term fruit of such a
You can of course never fully gauge what impact
these weeks have made. But let me point you to
one example. One of the men had just graduated
from university and needed to find a job.
Somebody suggested he first participate in this
program and then start job hunting. He did,
which was a huge step for him (and probably even
more so for his parents who were anxious that he
got on with life). He was present at everything
and put aside the distraction and anxiety of
needing to find employment. Shortly after the
end of “Men on Mission”, he found an excellent
job. I am not trying to say that there is a
direct cause-and-effect relationship here. But I
do believe that this brother learned a valuable
lesson, that God is never outdone in generosity,
a lesson he will never forget, I think.
[This article is excerpted from The
Servants of the Word Autumn Newsletter
2017. Used with permission. If you would
like to subscribe
to their Newsletter which is published three
times a year, you can signup
“Men on Mission” participants on an outing to