Every Man needs a Shed.

Every man needs a place he can feel at home, share stories with mates and be himself.

From a young age many men are taught it is not masculine to express themselves, and the misconception that they do not need to share what they are feeling can lead to many problems including violence, depression and relationship problems.An attraction at Easterfest 2011 is The Shed which helps to combat these problems by offering boys and men a place to chat.

The Shed is a hang out area where men can chill out, meet with others and listen to each others stories.

With bales of hay for seats,  the Shed has a true aussie feel to it.

Founder of the Shed  Ian ‘Watto’ Watson has been running Shed nights for eight years and explained how the concept started and where it is heading.

Watto said he found The Shed created a forum where men really get to know one another, share their stories and learn about God in a comfortable setting rather than in a traditional ‘church’ building where many men would feel uncomfortable.

Watto has spoken with thousands of aussie men over the years through his job as a truck driver and work with The Shed and believes it has been an amazing way of turning ‘boys’ into men and giving them the opportunity to share their stories.

”He’s generally a shy sort of a bloke, a one on one bloke,” Watto said describing Australian men.

“He’s got a good heart and good emotions but we’ve been told not to express them.

“Men need men…little boys love to listen to the stories of men.”

Watto said a lot of Aussie men don’t enjoy getting up and talking about themselves, which has been the root of many problems in society, but he has found men will speak about themselves if it is done in a relaxed way.

“Shed…is a man telling his story…It’s blokey, it’s real,” he said.

“Most blokes will go up and spill their deepest inner secrets if they know they will help another man”.

Although The Shed is strictly for men only, Watto has found women have been huge supporters of the event because wives and mothers need support to see the men in their life become “real men”.

“Women are the most powerful supporters of Shed…they know the importance of it, they want better husbands,” he said.

Watto believes that man time is important but always ensures the Shed runs to a schedule so that it doesn’t get in the way of family time.

The Shed has grown from humble beginnings of 20 men to 150 per month and Watto has been involved in spreading the idea of Shed nights around Australia.

He hopes to one day fulfil the dream God has shown him of growing The Shed to a national level of being in all major cities of Australia.

“God has given me a dream, its scary cause it’s God’s dream”, he said.

“I see that we will have so many men under the radar standing up for who they are in Christ Jesus that we will fill a major stadium in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth all on the same night.

“Just a whopping big Shed night where every bloke’s got a story and every bloke’s a champion.”

Watto says that it is time for the social stereotypes that define a “real man” as having the “identity” of being good at sport, or being wealthy, to be broken.

“We will turn the whole thing of men and relationships around,” he said.

To get in contact with Watto and other men about coming along to Shed night, or to read Watto’s blogs, log on to http://www.shednight.com

Written by J.Swilks

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