We are a group of men who gather together to encourage each other in friendship and faith and to support each other to be better husbands, fathers — and better men — in the marketplace and in our communities. Friendship at NCS happens through our regular meetings in local Chapters across the country.
A few times a month, we gather in restaurants or other common ground to be together with other guys and hear a speaker — one of our own or a guest — share a personal story that enlightens, encourages or challenges us. And usually we have a simple breakfast or other meal. More importantly, this time together creates a space in the lives of schedule-pressured men to connect with others and, over time, to share personal needs, family challenges, and the other realities that life brings.
NCS chapters are guided by a few simple principles:
- All men are welcome, but NCS is a gathering for men only.
- NCS is a “safe place”and in this, we take a cue from A.A. – “what is said here stays here.”
- We meet on neutral ground (attractive, convenient locations like restaurants, country clubs, offices and homes…and we avoid meeting in church buildings.)
- Membership is free to all. There are no dues or fees to be an NCS “member”.
- Any organization that we have is very “flat.” We have no paid chapter leaders. (We view NCS as a movement, not as a formal organization.) This also keeps anyone from dominating and controlling a chapter and its direction. Our model is volunteer leadership teams instead of paid leaders.
- Our leadership comes from the marketplace.(Some church leaders & pastors attend, but they are not the leaders of any NCS chapter.)
- All of our chapters are always open to anyone at anytime, and easily found. And we have no closed groups or “secret handshakes”.
Perhaps it’s easier to grasp what NCS is not:
- We are not a men’s program from a church or any denomination
- We are not a Bible Study…although NCSers do read the Bible regularly.
- We are not a prayer meeting…although we encourage men to pray.
- We are not a counseling service…although there is no doubt we have many stories of guys’ lives being changed together.
- We are not a rehab program or a support group– 12 Step or otherwise…although we have taken some principles from A.A. like the need to be brutally honest about your own junk.
- We are not a drinking club…although we have plenty of wine, scotch and cognac snobs among us, we also in fact have some recovering alcoholics among us. We are always sensitive to them.
- We are not a cigar club…but thanks to our founder’s propensity for a good cigar, there may be some truth to that. There’s never any shortage of quality cigars and the accompanying conversations. A great cigar is a great way to start a friendship.
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation…
Men, especially those working in the marketplace, are isolated and alone, distracted and often overwhelmed. They are looking for more from their limited and superficial friendships. The pressures and temptations for men are great. NCS gives guys a place to form deep friendships.
Most chapters meet every other week. A weekly meeting usually features a speaker or one of “our guys” telling their story–our best speakers are guys who share their faith journey, and the teachable events in their lives. We ask guys to be transparent and vulnerable, to demonstrate to all of the men that they are not alone in living a life that is not perfect.
We encourage regular attendees to join an Energy Group, we call them G.A.S groups — give a shit – as in be with guys that give a shit about where you are and what your going through.
(See more info at Energy group tab.)
If guys spent more time in friendship with each other and could discuss their temptations, they would need to spend less time asking for the forgiveness of their sins.
We believe in creating an environment where all men are welcome, no matter what they do for a living, or what mistakes they have made in their lives. Grace is essential to our community.
At NCS men are encouraged to be better husbands, sons, fathers, friends, co-workers and servants.
All of our speakers are followers of Jesus, and we regularly refer to scripture, but many attendees do not have any specific faith view. Men are attracted to transformational stories, and speakers who inspire and encourage us. Often men will find their own lives are changed by their encounters with Jesus, and the encouragement of their NCS brothers.
Come check it out. You will find a community of men who are committed to each other, who laugh together (we don’t take ourselves too seriously) and who walk with each other through life’s challenges.
About the New Canaan Society
Up to 25,000 men in the NCS movement meet weekly in dozens of local chapters nationwide. Once a year the movement has an opportunity to be together at the National Retreat Weekend in March.
NCS is often described as a combination of Young Life for marketplace men, with principles from an AA/12-steps program…being open, honest, vulnerable in safe place.
– Jim Lane Founder