A Plan for Discipling Men

Originally Posted on September 1, 2020

Webinar Transcript

– Without further ado, Jonathan Murray, who is here with “Man in the Mirror,” he is the Birmingham Area Director, lookin’ forward to a good discussion tonight. This of course is one of the biggest issues I think right now, Jonathan, is seeing how we are intentionally discipling our guys. Obviously, we need leadership in our communities, godly leadership, more than ever before, and I think one of the things that strikes me the most about your ministry, about “Man in the Mirror,” is you guys are very intentional. You guys most certainly have a clearly defined plan for discipling men and boys, and personally, I just, I see it as a very effective ministry and I certainly appreciate what you do in that ministry and in this effort to grow the kingdom of God, and so it’s great to partner with you in this. Again, Jonathan, thank you for bein’ here, and I wanna turn it over to ya brother.

– Well Larry, thank you. I certainly appreciate you invitin ‘me to take part in this and be a part. As he said, I am the Area Director with “Man in the Mirror” for the metro Birmingham area, so Birmingham and the surrounding counties, but hey, I have wheels and will travel. I’m excited and passionate about discipleship, and about what that means for our area, for our communities, for our churches, and would love to help out in any way that I can. Like we were talking’ about, as you may have been comin’ on, we do have other area directors in the state and across the country. So however you see this video or see the webinar then, you know, we’ll do what we can to help you out. You know tonight, I do hope that, I’ve got all my notes, I sat down to prepare and just started writing like crazy. There’s so much information, and so much stuff I would love to share, that I sat down and started writing and just got a lot of pages of notes. So hopefully I’m not focused on my notes, and that I can look at you guys and focused on you as well. And I’ll tell you what, I just wanna share from my heart, I wanna share about my passion, and that is men’s discipleship, and one of the ways that I wanna start by doing that is just by beginning to take a look at where men are at today, and kind of hittin’ some of the rough spots that we see in, with men today. In 2015, the 2015 estimate, there were 127 million men in the United States ages 15 and up, and of those 127 million men, 77 million do not profess their faith in Christ. So that is the mission field. That’s, ultimately that’s what, when we talk about discipleship, it starts with evangelism, it starts by seeing men come to know Christ. Of those, of that 127 million, 73 million children under the age of 18, and tonight, nearly three in 10, will go to bed tonight in a home without a father. 40% in our country, 40% of first marriages end in divorce, and that affects one million kids each year. There are, 40% of all children born are born out of wedlock. Men are struggling daily with pornography addictions, suicide, depression, anxiety, domestic and child abuse, alcoholism, divorce. You know, and one of the things that I wanna keep coming back to, I wanna talk a little bit, I don’t wanna ignore the fact of the pandemic and you may have heard all you want to hear about the pandemic coronavirus, I have, too, but when we look at these statistics, what research and you know, the experts are telling us, is that these statistics are just gonna get worse as men kind of pull back and isolate, and we’re kind of forced to isolate. We’re not in our normal circles. You’re gonna see these statistics continue to rise. But surely things are better in the church. Surely we’re getting something right in the church with men’s ministry and ministry to men. Well, the statistics for church that tell us that out of every 10 men in the church, nine out of 10 will see at least one child walk away from the faith, eight out of 10 will find no satisfaction in what they do as a job, six in 10 are covered up in debt and are paying the minimum payments on credit cards, five out of 10, 50% of men in the church have a major problem with pornography, four out of 10 will see their marriage end in divorce. It’s exactly the same as it is outside of the church. And only one in 10 has a true biblical worldview, and all 10 struggle to balance work and the family, work and home. As I said, all of these issues are severe and needed to be dealt with, you know, but even going into 2020, but now even with the coronavirus, we’re seein’ the statistics begin to rise. So something must be done, and when we look at, and we asked the question, what is the solution, what can we do? And Patrick Morley, who’s the founder of “Man in the Mirror,” he says, and I believe it’s biblical, that the solution is that we have to disciple our way out, that discipleship is the answer. So tonight at first, I kind of wanna talk a little bit about what that looks like. What is, what do we really mean when we talk about discipleship? Is it a program in church, is it a class we go through, is it, you know, what exactly does that look like? We know that a disciple is a learner, a disciple is a pupil, that a disciple is a follower of Christ. Matthew 28:18-20 tells us that, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth,” Jesus speaking, “go therefore and make disciples “of all nations, “baptizing them in the name of the Father “and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. “Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest “to send out laborers into the harvest.” So we’re told to make disciples, and we’re told to pray for workers, and just kind of as a little side note, I think sometimes we get that kind of flip flopped. Sometimes we have a tendency to try to make workers and then pray for disciples, when really we need to kind of flip that on its head and really focus on making the disciples. But what is a disciple? Let’s look at a verse that I think really kind of clears, kind of really does clearly state what that discipleship looks like, and that’s in 2 Timothy chapter three, 2 Timothy chapter three, beginning with verse 15 and going through 17. “And you know that from infancy, “you have known the sacred scriptures, “which are able to give you wisdom for salvation “through faith in Christ Jesus. “All scripture is inspired by God “and is profitable for teaching “for rebuking, for correcting, “for training in righteousness, “so that the man of God may be complete, “equipped for every good work.” So the first thing that we see in verse 15 is that a disciple is one who is called to live in Christ. He’s called to live in Christ. In verse 15, he says, “And you know that from infancy, “you have known the sacred scripture, “which are able to give you wisdom “for salvation and faith in Christ Jesus.” So that’s the first step, is our salvation. We’re called to live in Christ. The second thing we see in discipleship is in verse 16, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable “for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, “for training in righteousness.” So a disciple is called and a disciple is equipped to live like Christ. And then third, a disciple is sent to live for Christ. So that’s in verse 17, “So that the man of God may be complete, “equipped for every good work.” So a disciple is called, a disciple is equipped, and a disciple is sent, and we have to also kind of keep in mind that discipleship is not about behavior modification as much as it is heart transformation. In Mark 12:29, “When he was asked, “when Jesus was asked, “‘Which is the most important commandment of all,’ “the answer, ‘Listen, oh Israel, “‘the Lord your God, the Lord is one, “‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, “‘with all your soul, with all your mind, “‘with all your strength, “‘and the second is love your neighbor as yourself.'” It is heart transformation, not just behavior modification. When you get the heart right, the behavior follows. When we look at discipleship, I like to, you can kind of see it in, really through three perspectives or three essential lenses. When you break down the process of how you make disciples, first, you see the content. So what is the content? The content of course absolutely starts with the gospel of Jesus and the truth of the scripture, and then it moves to, you can include sources that help explain what the Word teaches, but the foundation is scriptural, so the content, second thing we see relationships. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, “soul, mind, and strength. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” You have that aspect of relationships, but then also, when you think of ministry to men, that band of brothers, mentors, accountability, life on life discipleship. I heard a story, or read an article, and it hasn’t been too long ago, that I was reading it about veterans who come back after experiencing war zones or being away in a combat zone or being deployed, and many times our veterans will experienced depression, and will experience the pain of not being there, almost being back brings on a depression, and when they really kind of dig down with the veterans as to what it is, you know, what is it that they’re missing, and when you really get to the heart of it, it’s that band of brothers, that comradery between the people that are there with them in a life and death situation that they shared that experience with, and they’re doing life with. They miss those brothers, and I think we, you know, when we’re thinkin’ about relationships and discipleship, we need to keep that in mind, that we need to provide opportunities for them to develop a band of brothers. Then the third thing, and what I wanna spend a little time on tonight is the process. So when you’re looking at making disciples, you have the content, the relationships, and the process. There’s a business adage that we sometimes hear, and it says this. Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results that you’re getting. Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results that you’re getting. So if you have a car factory, an automobile factory, and every third car off the assembly line, the left front fender falls off, your system is perfectly designed to produce a car, to produce cars where every third car, the left fender falls off. So you have to correct the system. So the question then we have to ask is, what are the results that we’re getting when it comes to men’s discipleship? What are we seeing when it comes to men’s discipleship? We talked a minute ago about the, about how some of the statistics in the church and how, you know, they’re really not that drastically different from what we see in the world. So what is our system producing, and how can we take a closer look at that? With “Man in the Mirror,” “Man in the Mirror” has existed since 1986, and over three decades of experience of working with literally thousands of churches, we have kind of gleaned a system, a model called the “No Man Left Behind” model, which is a proven set of concepts and strategies that help engage men in your church, in life on life discipleship, and when understood and implemented, the “No Man Left Behind” model has seen churches almost double the number of men engaged in spiritual growth. It’s almost hard to believe. I wanna say it again, but the statistics prove it out. In fact, the actual statistics is about 84 to 85% more men engaged in spiritual growth. When understood and implemented, the “No Man Left Behind” model has seen churches almost double the number of men engaged in spiritual growth. So what I would like to do over the next few minutes is just kind of a look at kind of the 30,000 foot view of what the “No Man Left Behind” model looks like, of what the key components are. Tonight I just kind of wanna talk through a little bit with you, and kind of hit some of the highlights, and then share the ones that I think really stand out to me even, you know, as I was learning them and going through, learning and figuring out the model. So the “No Man Left Behind” model begins with a conveyor belt, and when you look at this side view of this conveyor belt, you see that there are three levels of the foundation, and when we talk about a foundation, we realize that the foundation is the strength and stability of the structure. If the foundation is not right, if there’s a problem with the foundation, then the entire structure tends to crumble. So you have three levels of foundation. The first level of the foundation is what we call the Portal Priority. The Portal Priority is where everything begins, this is where everything starts, and that Portal Priority is discipleship, that everything we do as a ministry to men is geared towards making disciples. The second level of the foundation we call the Three Strands of Leadership, and that comes from the verse in Ecclesiastes where it talks about how the three-stranded cord is not easily broken, and we have the three strands of leadership. The first strand is the active support of a pastor, the active support of the pastor followed by the second strand, which is a committed, passionate leader of your ministry to men, a passionate leader who, this is a guy that we say wakes up in the morning thinking about how we can reach more men. And also, he has to be capable of leading men. We need a capable leader. Then the third strand of leadership is a leadership team that surrounds this leader and helps, not just being a doing team, but a planning team, a vision-casting team, a praying team that will lift this leader up, lift the pastor up, and will kind of be the nuts and bolts of what this model is going to look like. So the Portal Priority and the three strands of leadership, and then we talk about the Man Code, and the Man Code is, when I say Man Code, I kind of think of a dress code. You know, you can go to a church, and within the first little bit, you know exactly what the dress code is for that church. You know what you’re expected to look like, how you’re expected to act when you enter into that church. The Man Code is similar in the way that it is the environment, it’s the environment that we project to the men who come into our church. What does that environment say about men? What does the environment say? You know, are men important at your church? So the foundation provides a strength and stability to the rest of the structures, the three levels there, and then we moved to the actual conveyor belt itself, and from left to right, you have what we call the Wide to Deep Continuum. That Wide to Deep Continuum, it helps with our planning. When you have young Christians, young men, young disciples that are coming on board, when you got a plan, you wanna cast the net wide. You wanna offer events and activities that are going to pull these men in on a wide level. But as these men mature in their faith, as they mature as disciples, then you wanna cast the net deep. You wanna go deeper in Bible studies and in mentoring, and things that we think of as deeper level material. And again, that kind of helps us in planning to reach the men. And all along that continuum, that Wide to Deep continuum, we see five types of men, five types of men, that on the Wide side we see, first of all, the Natural Man. The Natural Man’s perspective is capital me. It’s me, it’s all about him. He is not interested in discipleship, he’s not interested in goin’ deeper. It’s all about him. It’s all, you know, he, God is not on the radar yet for the natural man. Next, we have the Cultural Christian, and his perspective is big me, little God. Things have kind of shifted a little bit with him. He’s not real interested in goin’ deep. He may not be willin’ to do the Bible studies, but he might be comin’ to church on Christmas and Easter and maybe for special events. He might come to see his children in Vacation Bible School graduation. But by and large, he is still a Cultural Christian. He’s got one foot in and one foot out of the church. Then we have a Biblical Christian, the biblical Man, and he is, his perspective is capital God, little me. His perspective has shifted, and he is interested in growth. He wants to grow, he’s looking for opportunities to grow in discipleship. And then fourth type of men is the Servant Leader. The Servant Leader’s perspective is God and others. His perspective, again, has shifted to where he is looking now, how can I go back to the beginning and help bring men along? He may not be the guy that’s up front. He may not be the guy that’s leading the activities, but he is the guy who who is serving. He’s the one that knows that it’s important that somebody’s there to put the chairs out, pick the chairs up, and to make sure that all the logistics are taken care of, because he’s reaching other men, he’s helping to bring men along. The fifth type of man is found all across that continuum, and that fifth type of man is the Hurting Man, and the Hurting Man’s perspective is, he’s asking the question, where is God, and am I gonna be okay? This is a man who may be goin’ through a marriage crisis, he may have a financial crisis, he may have lost his job, he may be, may have a child who has wandered from the faith, he may have a health issue that he just got some bad news from the doctor. He may be experiencin’ addiction. But he is a Hurting Man, and in any given time, as many as 50% of your men may Hurting Men, anywhere from 25 to 50%. So as we look at this continuum, as you look at the five types of men, I think, you know, I’ve been asked before, it’s like, well, I’m really, I don’t wanna judge my men. I don’t wanna classify my men, but the issue is that, how are we gonna reach those guys? Unless we know where those guys are at, how are we going to plan? How are we going to strategically move them forward in their faith, and move them forward in their walk? It’s not about judging where they’re at as much as it is being more effective in moving them to the next step. As we go back to our conveyor belt model, if we look at our conveyor belt, that belt of the conveyor is what we call an All-inclusive Ministry to Men, and this is one of those areas that requires kind of a mindset shift. You know, if I was to ask you, “How many men are in your men’s ministry,” you know, you might initially say and immediately think of, well, we had, you know, we had 23 guys at the last men’s breakfast, so I guess it’s 23, And then I asked you the question, “Well, how many men are in your church?” And you said, “Well, we’ve got 120, 150 guys at our church.” The mindset shift here with an All-inclusive Ministry to Men is that you have 120, you have however many number of men are in your church, that’s how many men are in your ministry to men. So that all inclusive ministry to men says, “Okay, so what all is going on in the church “that impacts our men? “Where are our men in the church?” I guarantee you’ve got guys that are working in the, on the sound team and singing on the praise team and in the choir, and maybe even working in the nursery. Every guy, every man who is at your church is in your ministry to men, not just the guys that come to men’s only events. And what this does is this helps us think about all of our church events as opportunities to minister to men, and expands that whole dynamic where we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time to reach guys. Let’s look at where guys are at and how to reach them where they are. Finally, with our model, let’s look at the engine that drives the belt, that drives the conveyor belt. In the center of the engine, I like to say that it’s the fuel that powers the engine, and that fuel is the vision of your ministry to men, it’s the vision. It’s a vision that calls me into action, it’s a vision that defines the purpose, and I believe that vision needs to revolve around discipleship, it needs to inspire guys. You have an internal vision that drives your planning and your vision-casting, you have an external vision that is kind of your catchphrase for ministry to men that brings guys on board and makes them interested and exhibit and shows that value that you offer your men. That first step on that engine, that first step in the engine is Create, it’s what I call our Create, Capture, Sustain, Create, Capture, Sustain Cycle. The first step is to Create Value. I think a lot of churches do a great job of this. This is the men’s event, this is your barbecues, your wild game dinners. This is your tailgating events, motorcycle drive-innocence, whatever that may be, this is, those events that create value, depending on which category of men you’re tryin’ to reach along that Wide to Deep Continuum, we wanna do things that Create Value. They’re targeted, they’re specific, they’re purposeful. The thing that, like I said, a lot of churches do good at that. The next step, the Capture Momentum, I think sometimes we miss. We immediately wanna capture the momentum that’s generated with the Create Value step. So we create value, we immediately capture momentum by providing the right next step. So we already have in mind what’s coming up next. So if we have, say if we have, if we’re targeting the Natural Man and the Cultural Christian, we have a, say we have the barbecue. We wanna have that followed up with the right next event. Maybe that’s inviting a man to participate on the softball league or the basketball league, or, you know, whatever that may look like. We want the right next step for that guy. So Create Value, Capture Momentum, Sustain Change. We want to move these guys and continue to plug men into the ministries of the church that are doing the best job of discipling men. Now, when I look at the entire model, I think that there are, there are really three things that stand out to me as really being game-changers to the way that when we typically think of men’s ministry. The first one is the mindset shift from men’s ministry to ministry to men, this idea of the all-inclusive men’s ministry. The fact that we are, you know, our men’s ministry is not just comprised of the small group of guys that comes to our men’s only events, but we have a ministry to every man who participates. I’ve even heard of one church that, you know, has taken into this to the point that they are looking at ways that they can serve, administer to the FedEx driver that brings packages to the church. How can we have an impact on him, because he is, he’s coming into our building, and we are responsible, we should be ministering to them. So that’s one thing that I’ve, that’s really stood out to me. The second thing is being able to look at the five types of men and how that guides your programming. You will not have an event that grabs all five types of guys. We need to be targeted and specific and realistic in what we’re planning and what we’re doing. We can have, an example of this would be, you could have a men’s retreat and, you know, you get to the men’s retreat and then there’s, it’s a great time of fellowship, guys really grow closer together, they talk about how much fun they had, you do the paint ball and all of that. Everything goes well. You can get back and you have guys complaining and saying, you know, “Well, we didn’t do enough of the Bible study, “and we didn’t go deep enough. “I really think we should have done more to discuss “this book of the Bible.” You have to, being able to determine your five types of men and how that, you know, you can have an event that targets those guys, but you’re not gonna have an event that targets all five types of guys. So that helps, I think, sometimes take some pressure off when you’re planning it and putting those together. And then the third thing is in the, in that Create, Capture, Sustain Cycle, the importance of capturing the momentum. Churches do great, like I said, at creating value. We can have great men’s events that will attract guys, but what’s next? It really is answering that question of what are we doing next? Where do we go from here? How do we capture that momentum and not let guys just kind of come in the back door as fast as they’re comin’ in the front door? So those are three things that really stand out to me out of that model. It’s such a brief, it’s a brief, quick overview, and my role as an area director is to come alongside of pastors and men’s leaders and help walk through and implement that model, to be able to kind of sort through and go a little deeper into what that actually, what each phase of that model means. It’s not a curriculum, it’s not a plug and play, you know, this is what you have to do, and you know, if you run it, it’ll, everything will just turn out fine. It really is, because we know, with the area director and the field staff, we know that every church is different. Every church has its own personality. Every church, you know, what works for church A is not gonna work for church B, so that’s why it’s so exciting as an area director to be able to come into those churches and say, “Okay, what’s workin’? “What do we have that’s really goin’ well, “and what is a change that we can, “what is somethin’ we can do to make it even better, “to take it to that next level?” Finally, what I wanted to kind of spend some time on as we kind of wrap up my little part before we get to the questions, is I wanted to visit some practical ideas, kind of get real practical, and some things that you can be doing now, even in the midst of coronavirus, and I know in Alabama, we’ve kind of loosened up a little quicker than some other states across the country, so it’s always fascinating to me to be on calls with, with our area directors, say over on the West Coast, and to hear how they’re still wrestling with being in lockdown. But what are some things, what are some practical things that we can do in the midst of a pandemic when we’re not being able to gather, not able to have these huge events like we might want? Because frankly, we’re at a point that continuing to do nothing, we can’t continue to do nothing. That’s no longer an option. So I wrote down a couple of things, a couple of ideas of things that we can do during the pandemic, and as we kind of emerged from the pandemic. Number one, communication. Stay in touch, pray for your men, pray with your men, and call them up, pray with them. Touch base, know what’s going on. Be aware of what’s going on. I read a very heartbreaking article today about suicidal thoughts among pastors, just a heartbreaking article, and, you know, it burdens my heart. Part of the mission of an area director is to serve her pastors. You know, I wanna come alongside of pastors and pray for you guys, and be there for ya, and know that you’re not alone, that you are, you’re not alone in this battle. So know what’s going on, communicate. Whatever that looks like: cell phone, texts, Zoom calls. As tired as we are, all are of Zoom calls, doing whatever it takes to stay in touch. Second thing is taking this time for training, for growing your leaders, and for looking ahead, for planning. I wanted to mention that “The Man in the Mirror,” it does have their “No Man Left Behind” Live event coming up on the 29th. It is gonna be held at Munford Baptist Church, just West of Anniston. I’ll be there facilitating, and if you’re interested in goin’ to that, I’ll give you a real quick website for that. It’s nomanleftbehind.org/event. That’s the registration page for that. So it’s a great time to seek out opportunities to train and to grow and to grow your leadership. The next thing that I wanted to mention was the “Man in the Mirror” online Bible study. “Man in the Mirror,” like I said, was born in 1986, and it was started as a weekly Bible study, and that Bible study has continued from 1986 until today. It is still held every week on Friday mornings just outside, just north of Orlando, and as much as possible, Patrick Morley still teaches the Bible study every week. So just a fantastic opportunity to be able to pull that up online, to have a small group of guys, to watch the Bible study. There’s a, a downloadable discussion guide. You print the discussion guide out, have a Zoom call or a phone call later to talk about and discuss, kind of discuss what the Bible study was about. There’s another, Patrick Morley’s latest book, “The Christian Man” book, the book is titled “The Christian Man,” but he’s also written a coaching guide that goes with it, and it’s designed to be really a mentoring experience, to be able to take another guy, to walk through this coaching guide. I’m currently walking through it now with my brother, really does work work well. It’s just a great opportunity, really to mentor one or two other guys through that book. Both of those can be found at maninthemirror.org/church-resources, church resources at maninthemirror.org. “The Christian Man” book, “Man in the Mirror,” online Bible study, there’s another Bible study, it’s a, I wanna say it’s a four week study. It’s the “GoBible” study, it’s online. Again, another opportunity to be able to walk through this online and then to be able to get a group of guys together, either via phone, Zoom, we’re even encouraging, you know, driveways, backyards, back porches, anywhere that you can bring a camp chair, socially distance, get together, you know, grill some meat, and talk about the Bible, talk about the Lord. Another opportunity, what a great time to, like I said, serve your pastor in tangible and practical ways, and then also, you know, as your Area Director, I would love to meet with you one-on-one. We’ll mask up and socially distance, and would love to just sit down with you and talk a little bit more about the model. My email is Jonathan Murray, J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N, Murray, M-U-R-R-A-Y @maninthemirror.org. I would love to get with you. So guys, ultimately in closing, there are men within our reach that need to know the real Jesus, and it’s time that we do whatever it takes to reach out to them and to see them growing as disciples. I hope that, you know, there’s been of this that have been encouraging and equipping to you. As I’ve said a couple of times as your Area Director, would love to sit down with you and talk men’s discipleship, and I know Larry would as well, so. Well guys, that kind of wraps up my part. I’m excited to see what kind of questions, what kind of questions you have.

– Jonathan, thank you very much, brother. We do have a couple of questions, and the first one, Jerry’s asking, “Is there any way to get those statistics “that you opened up with?” ‘Cause those are very

– Yes, absolutely.

– sobering statistics, that’s for sure.

– Very sobering, and that was just a handful of ones that I pulled off my note page. I absolutely can, probably the best way is to email me and I can get them him.

– Thank you for doin’ that. I know those statistics, they always, like, as you were reading those, I’m sitting there, I’m writin’ ’em down too, thinkin’, man, it’s so overwhelming, and I think one of the biggest takeaways that we can take from what you’ve just shared in light of those statistics is that if we do nothing at all, then we don’t affect any of those statistics, but if we start with one person, if the Lord places one person on our heart, go for it, you know, and just reach and start discipling somebody. That’s good.

– Absolutely.

– Dwight has a question. He says, “Where can we get the materials on the “No Man Left Behind” model? I know you were talking about your Conveyor Belt Model, and the “No Man Left Behind.” Where can we get our hands on that?

– A lot of different ways to do that. Probably the easiest way, Patrick Morley, David Delk, and Brett Clemmer wrote a book titled “No Man Left Behind,” and it’s in that book that they break down the “No Man Left Behind” model. It’s, I wanna say it was put out early 2000s, so they’re beginnin’ to see, some things that are a little dated. That’s probably the easiest way is the book, “No Man Left Behind,” again, that’s Brett Clemmer, David Delk and Patrick Morley are the authors that worked on that. You can go to the “No Man Left Behind,” not “No Man Left Behind,” yeah, nomanleftbehind.org, you can pull that webpage up. If you scroll down, I wanna say that there’s a video, that little 10 minute video of Brett actually explaining the “No Man Left Behind” model, and there you go, that’s the one.

– Here’s the book right there.

– Yep, and, yeah, and of course I, you know, I would love to be your resource on that as well. You know, I’ve, can show you that as well.

– Well, along those lines, let me ask you this. So if you’re watching, you’re seeing this for the first time and you’re being introduced to “No Man Left Behind” for the first time, “Man in the Mirror,” what do you recommend? How does a church start this process? If you say right now, our men’s ministry, it, either we’ve not done anything in years or we’ve never had one, how do we get started? What’s the first step? What do you recommend.

– Ultimately, you know, we have an amazing opportunity right now with “No Man Left Behind” live training on the 29th. If there’s any way that you could get to that, then I would, I would definitely suggest doin’ that. That’s going to be at Munford Baptist Church, just west of Anniston. If you go to the website there, the nomanleftbehind.org/events, that will take you to the registration page where you can sign up. It’s an all day Saturday. It’s gonna run from eight to close to four. It’ll be a simulcast. Brett Clemmer, the President of “Man in the Mirror,” will be explaining, going through the model, and I mean, it just kind of tells you, you know, we’ll take our time, kind of break it down from there. He’ll go through, go through the model, and then I will help facilitate, in our room, I’ll help facilitate, okay, what does that look like for you guys, and kind of get some of the things, get some of the gears turning for what it looks like in your church and how to implement it there. We’ll probably be doing that about two times a year. I’m looking at hosting it here in the Birmingham area, hopefully in the, what would that be, spring time, yeah, the springtime. As springtime rolls around, hopefully we can put the coronavirus behind us and really blow it out of the water next time.

– Yeah, and let me just throw this out out there. I got to be with Brett as he was doing a training, we were doing a thing for Lifeway down in Mobile two years ago, and there was a guy in the room, a pastor was in the room. After Brett shared, he said, “We have been doing this process, “we’ve been doing this discipling plan for men “because “Man in the Mirror” came in, “we talked, they trained our guys. “We went through this,” and I can’t remember the numbers, but this pastor talked about the exponential growth in their men was amazing. Like, I just remember being really impressed by, it wasn’t just a one time event that they had a big swell of numbers, but it was ongoing, reproducible health for the men in that church, and that was really what caught my attention, ’cause I’m one of those guys, if it’s not practical, if it doesn’t work, I don’t really care to invest, and that’s what really sold me on investigating more about “Man in the Mirror.” So you guys are gettin’ some great results.

– Also, like I said, I have wheels and will travel, would love to meet with you and kind of talk about those first steps. You know, again, I think it starts with building the foundation. We talked about the Three Strands of Leadership, We talked about the Portal Priority and discipleship being our priority, and it starts with looking at that and then saying, okay, well, what do we have that’s workin’ right now, and where do we go from here?

– So let me ask you this. Considering the model that you guys have, and the strategy that you have, when you talk about practical next steps for your men, and say, if we’re gonna sit down together, we’re gonna plan out our church calendar, we’re gonna plan our men’s ministry events, do you guys plan out, do you recommend planning out an entire year’s worth of events so that you’re getting those practical next steps in there, or what do you recommend? How do you do the practical next step?

– It is definitely a process, and one of the things that, when I sat down, when I sit down with a church, one of the biggest things that we do is I take a look and I say, “Okay, what’s already goin’ on at your church? “Let’s not absolutely,” because we know two things. We know that men are busy and we know that men are tired. So if there’s a way that we can use what the church is already doing, and is geared already, still, already running in line with the vision of the pastor, you know, we’re not tryin’ to create, you know, a separate deal over here for the men that’s goin’, you know, contrary to what the pastor’s wantin’ to do. You know, let’s take a look and see what the church is already doing, and how can we use that, and then build on that, and look and see, okay, what is the right next step? Is it a four or six week Bible study that’s, you know, it’s, who are we targeting or where, who are the men we have in our church, and what next step makes sense for you guys?

– Yeah, I think to me, and this is just my opinion, I think that is one of the most critical steps in developing a very strategic men’s ministry, is making sure that you’re reaching those five types of men that you were describing, because typically what we like to do is we’ll try and throw together some events that may get a large crowd, and we see that as something that’s, it’s got a lot of excitement, it’s got a lot of numbers to it, but is it making disciples? Is it really challenging all five levels, and of course, it’s not gonna hit all five, like you said earlier. And so we’ve got to be able to meet those needs throughout the year, of those five types of guys. All right, so Jonathan, you were talkin’ about those, the fact that men’s ministry should be all-inclusive, and I think that, of course you need to remember that your pastor is a man, and he needs to be encouraged as well. You touched on this earlier. What are some practical ways of trying to invest and encourage your pastor in this whole process?

– That is absolutely, that’s a great question. Number one, I think ultimately it starts with, so first of all, it starts with prayer, praying for your pastor, whether he knows it or not. I mean, you know, we a lot of times we say, “I’m prayin’ for you pastor,” but are we really praying for the pastor? Are we really doin’ what we say we are? Consistent praying for your pastor, coming around, communication is key, no surprises. You know, when we start movin’ this process forward and we start, we have our leader in place, we have our leadership team in place and we’re setting down some concrete plans and moving forward, you know, the pastor needs to be included on all of this, beginning with his vision. You know, we do, we, like I said, we’re not creating a separate church for the men here, we’re wanting to, we wanna come alongside of the pastor and help him fulfill his vision for the church in moving ahead. So absolutely prayer, communication, practical little service things that we can do. Goin’ and cuttin’ the pastor’s grass occasionally, you know, showin’ up, cuttin’ the grass. Just anything that you can do for him that shows that you love him, that you’re thinkin’ about him, and that you’ve got his back. Being, I don’t know if defensive is the right word for your pastor, but the way that we like to put it is that the pastor needs to be one of those guys where you can say there’s two people that you don’t talk about in front of me when they’re not here: one’s my mama and one’s my pastor, and that we need to be, we need to make sure that we have our pastor’s back and he knows that he can count on us and that we support him.

– I’ve always been amazed at how many groups I hear about that when there’s a strong men’s ministry, it’s almost in conflict with the pastor, that it’s like, what you’re saying, it’s almost like there’s a separate kingdom that was maybe started years before the pastor got there or whatever, but we’re called to unity, and that pastor, just like you said earlier, there’s a lot of hurting pastors right now, especially in isolation, feeling like they’re alone, goin’ through depression, and they need to be encouraged just as much as the rest of us.

– Yeah, absolutely.

– So I think those are some great practical suggestions.

– One of my, one of the first questions that I ask a pastor, when I sit down with a pastor is, one of my first questions, number one, “What is your vision for the church?” That ultimately this is, it’s your agenda, not my agenda. I’m the area director. I’m here to help you carry out your agenda and your vision for the church. And then number two, “Do your people know your vision well enough?” How can we communicate that and incorporate it into what we’re doin’ with the men?

– Yeah, man, that’s good. Jonathan, one of the issues that comes up time and time again, you said this is not a curriculum, however, how do you guys go about choosing, picking a Bible study, a book study? how do you walk with people through that?

– Again, I really think it comes, it comes down to the fact that every church has its own personality, and getting to know the personality of that church and where that church is at. While we do not have, you know, we’re not a curriculum salesman, I’m not gonna come in and try to force a curriculum on you, I do believe that “Man in the Mirror” has some of the best products, the best resources out there, and I’m definitely gonna suggest using those, but you know, if a church says, “Well, we’ve always used this,” or, “We really are looking at, you know, “Tony Evans ‘Kingdom Man,'” or, “We’re lookin’ at “’33 The Series'” or something along those lines, great. Those are great resources. How can we implement that and use it? The thing is is that the model is not dependent on any one curriculum. The model kind of stands alone. We get to look and see, okay, how can we be most effective in moving men forward in their walk? So that’s kind of how that, that’s kind of how I look at it. Of course, I’m gonna recommend “Man in the Mirror” resources. I think they’re some of the best out there. But there are some, there’s some great things out there, and it’s about the men. It’s about movin’ the men forward and not championing one publisher over another, so.

– Yeah, yeah, that’s good. That’s what I’ll usually like to ask as, when they pose that question, I’ll ask, what are your guys hungry for? ‘Cause every, even within every different church, you have different groups are very different in where they are, because if you’re leading a group of guys who are at, you know, level four versus level two, well, that could look very different, and so, I think you gotta, just gotta be sensitive and pray through that, whoever you’re walking with, whether you’re discipling a smaller group or if you’re teaching like a Sunday School class, you know, of guys. All right guys, I don’t see any other questions poppin’ up on the screen right now, so, and I’m gonna say this, and Jonathan, if you have anything else, you’re welcome to throw it in there. But I just wanna, again, recommend that if you find yourself, if you and your church right now have, you’re lookin’ to revamp your men’s ministry, or you’re lookin’ to kick start a men’s ministry, and you just would love to continue this conversation, please feel free. First, as you’ve already been told, talk with your pastor. Pray and talk with your pastor first about this, and see if this idea, check out the website, show it to your pastor, see if he’s maybe heard of it, see if that would fit in his vision, and if so, feel free to give Jonathan a call, email him, contact him somehow, some way. And of course, he’s got two other guys that are in the state, so there’s someone that’s in your area that would be glad to reach out to you and talk with you more about it. Of course, we are here with the State Board of Missions, and we firmly believe in what “Man in the Mirror” is doing, or else we wouldn’t be here right now, but we also subscribe to the idea of having an intentional discipling plan for your guys, and so Jonathan and I both share that same heartbeat of wanting to walk alongside you to make sure that you’re, that you don’t feel like you’re out there by yourself tryin’ to figure this whole thing out. You got a bunch of guys who can help you out and walk with you in this. Jonathan, do you have anything else, brother, before we wrap it up?

– I think my wife would fuss at me if I didn’t bring this up, so I better say it. My role as an area director is completely partner funded, and what that means is that what I get to do for you guys is at no cost. I can sit down with you and consult with you and pray with you and talk to your pastor with you, and it doesn’t, it’s not like an upfront fee or anything like that. So I wanted to make that clear as well. And guys, number one, my heartbeat is discipleship. You know, I believe, you know, I wanna see revival in our state and our area, and I wanna see it start with the men. That’s my mission, that’s my drive.

– Yeah, that’s good. Man, we sure appreciate that, appreciate your heart. And let me throw this out there, too. Guys, when, and y’all know this better than I do, when you see a ministry out there, if everything that they do is for big profit, you know, I tend to be a little skeptical, but Jonathan, “Man in the Mirror,” they put a lot of stuff out there that is available online for nothin’, and so they are, they’re, they’re a great free resource. Yes, they have books and resources for sale also, but they have some great free stuff out there as well. So Jonathan, again, brother, thank you for sharing your heart, thank you for sharing the process that “Man in the Mirror” has.

– Thank you for having me, Larry. I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.

– Yes sir. Guys, thank you all for being with us tonight. God bless you. Let us know how we can help you.

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