No Man Left Behind!
The Big Idea: Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting.
We’ve made a strong case for why disciple-making is God’s designated way to release the power of His Gospel on every problem facing our men, marriages, families, churches, workplaces, and communities. We’ve explored, “What is a disciple, and how do you make one?” We’ve even established that making disciples is a moral issue! So our final question will be, “Is there a way to pull everything we’ve learned together and bring it to life?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Join us for an overview of a proven model you can use to build an effective disciple-making ministry to your men. It’s going to be a great day!
No Man Left Behind!
2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:29, 12:2
Good morning men. Let’s begin the morning with a shout out. We have a couple of them. The first one goes to a group of men in their mid-20s to mid-70s. They meet at Union Grove Baptist Church in Gladewater, Texas. Brian Zappa is the leader there. They are excited seeing the younger men wanting to learn. Welcome to you guys.
Also, a shout out goes to Andrew Nicholls, who is with the Orleans United Church in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He leads seven men in a group called “Men for Christ” on Wednesday nights in his home. He personally attends another group called the “Apprentices of Jesus.” That is Andrew and I in a picture together last weekend. I wonder if you would join me in giving a big shout out to these guys and welcome them to the Man in the Mirror Bible Study. One, two, three, hoorah!
We are going to wrap up this series this morning called “A City of Disciples.” We have been talking about how disciple-making or making disciples is God’s designated way to release the power of His gospel on every problem that that men face in our own lives, in our families, in our churches, in our work places and in our communities.
We talked about what it is to be a disciple and then how you make one. A disciple is three things. A disciple is first called to live in Christ. Memorize this. A disciple is called to live in Christ. That is the evangelism piece. We talked about how to do evangelism. Secondly, a disciple is equipped to live like Christ. We had a session on how to equip men to live in Christ. We said equipping is simply bringing together men around Christ and watching Him change the way they think and what they do. We talked about the third piece of being a disciple, and that is being sent to live for Christ. We talked about abide, love and service, being the three biggest pieces of what it means to be sent to live for Christ.
This brings us down to a final question. Is there a way to pull everything we learned together and bring it to life? The title of this message is “No Man Left Behind.” The first thing I want to take a look at is why we need a concrete process to make disciples.
WHY WE NEED A CONCRETE PROCESS TO MAKE DISCIPLES
Last November I was in Calgary and my driver was a man by the name of – and this is his real name – he has given me permission to tell this story. There are reasons why I wouldn’t do this. He wants this story told. His name is Dan. When I went back up to Canada, I had to fly into Calgary and it was a two and a half hour drive from there to where I was speaking. Dan was my driver again. Dan and I really bonded last November when we were together. On this trip he told me his story. Dan was a paramedic for twenty years. He married at a young age. He had three children. His wife had three affairs and brought an STD home. He divorced her. Then over the next few years, Dan was engaged to four different women and ended up calling those marriages off. In two of those cases he actually caught his fiancée in the act with another man.
On the fourth one, he was kicking her out of his apartment, and literally kicked her and ruptured her spleen. He manned up and ended up spending a year in prison. Dan is a perfect example of why we do make disciples, because he is a man who was being left behind.
Now, his story took a nice turn when he was in prison because he met a chaplain. He noticed the chaplain seemed to have some aura, something about the personality that was very attractive to him – very kind, but never pressed.
After he had been in prison for a few months, the chaplain one day said, “Would you like to sit down and talk?” The chaplain asked him after an appropriate amount of getting to know each other, “Dan, do you know who Jesus Christ is?” “Yes, of course I do.” Second question: “Dan, do you believe in Jesus?” “Well, yes. As a matter of fact I do.” Third question: “Dan, have you ever given your life to Jesus?” “No, I’ve never done that.” Then she explained what the gospel is and how we can receive Jesus into our lives, how He forgives our sins and give us a new life; how we can become a new creation and have eternal life with God forever.
She said, “Why don’t you think about these things, and let’s meet again.” She was a female chaplain. “Let’s meet again in a week and tell me what you think about whether you would like to give your life to Jesus.” So they got together the following week, and Dan surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. That is how God does it. He wants no man left behind. There is no human being anywhere that God is not interested in and He has given us a process by which we can make that happen. I want to explain a little bit about that today.
You should be at Romans 8:29. The reason we need a concrete process to make disciples is because there are slaves all over the world. There are men like Dan who have been plundered by the enemy and Jesus says about the devil, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. There are men all around us who have been plundered by the enemy. It’s like they are toped together, one man to the other and they have been stripped buck-naked marching in the heat of the sun. They are held captive to sin. We need a process, a plan to set these people free. That is a plan God put into place. God doesn’t like this one little bit. God has a plan to set these people free. His plan is making disciples. It is the way He has designated to release the gospel on these problems these men face – these men that have been plundered. So the goal of making disciples is to bring men to spiritual maturity. The goal of making disciples is here in Romans 8:29, “For those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.”
God’s goal for you as a Christian is for you to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. Leave there and go to Romans 12:2. The idea is to become the new creation, 2 Corinthians 5:7. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The goal is a new creation, the goal is spiritual maturity. The goal is to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. The goal in Romans 12:2 is to be transformed. God is interested in transforming the men around us. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Who doesn’t want to know what God’s will is? His good pleasing and perfect will.
Those are the goals God has, and Jesus has a system. Jesus has a process for doing this. It is called making disciples. True or false: Jesus was very intentional and highly organized in the way that He made disciples? How many of you think Jesus was just walking around doing an organic ethereal kind of thing. “Ooh, come follow me. Abide in me.” How many of you think this is an unintentional, haphazard way of planning? How many think that is true? That Jesus was sort of just going along the way, unintentional. Does anyone actually think Jesus was unintentional and disorganized? Of course not. He was highly organized and highly intentional and very planned out. All this loosey-goosey, let’s just be with Jesus and love each other, this is all true as far as it goes, but you are not going to see many men becoming disciples if you are not intentional. You may see onsies, and twosies every now and then, and most of those by luck. If you really want to see men’s lives change you have to have some kind of an intentional process. Jesus had a very intentional process and the big idea today is this. This is an idea from business. We are talking about why we needed concrete process to make disciples and here it is. Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting.
What we mean in business is if you are manufacturing automobiles and every third automobile that comes off the assembly line is missing a front right fender, your system is perfectly designed to produce that result. But we also each have a belief system and it is perfectly designed to produce the kind of life you have. Every church has a discipleship system that is perfectly designed to produce the kind of men who are sitting in the pews. God has a system too. God’s system is perfectly designed to bring men to spiritual maturity. That system is making disciples.
When I was doing my doctoral work in a secular university, I studied the church form a management perspective. I was interested in the question, why do some church based men’s discipleship programs succeed while others languish and fail? What I was looking for I was looking for what we call the differentiated success factors. In other words, what are the successful churches doing that the unsuccessful churches not doing? There were three that rose to the top. Number one, those churches had a vision to disciple all of their men – not just to get six guys meeting at O’dark-thirty talking about who knows what and the pastor is sure it’s him. Or having twelve white haired guys meeting together for pancakes, so you have eighteen guys in some kind of men’s discipleship so the pastor and the leadership can check the box. Yes, we have a men’s discipleship thing. Wrong answer. What about all the other men at the church? There had to be a vision to disciple all of the men in the church.
The second differentiated success factor was that the churches that are getting it done have determination that they are going to make it happen whatever it takes.
The third big factor was some kind of a sustainable process. They had some kind of a system or methodology, a model if you will, that was sustainable; a strategy that could make disciples over the long haul. In other words, answering the question I asked in the beginning: is there some way that we can pull all of this together and bring it to life because you can know all of the things I have been talking about over these last five weeks, but if you don’t have some kind of a model or a way to pull it all together to congeal it and make disciples on a consistent basis, you will do it in onsies, twosies or nonesies.
NO MAN LEFT BEHIND MODEL
Let’s talk about the No Man Left Behind model. What I want to do is finish up this series by giving you a model – some of you are familiar with this model. This model is something we spent the last 15+ years developing. Churches that use the No Man Left Behind model experience on average a 48% increase in the number of men attending their church in two and a half years. And an 84% increase in the number of men actually involved in discipleship in that time frame.
Churches that use this model, this process, this system, that is perfectly designed to make disciples what happens is on average in two and a half years, they roughly increase their male attendance by 50% and almost double the number of men in discipleship.
This is completely biblical. The reason I want to show this to you is because it is a process. A concrete process that pulls all of these ideas together and gives you a way you can bring to life all these principles we have been learning. On your tables you have these worksheets and you can write in the things I am about to show you on these worksheets, if you want to.
Also there are these model cards on the table and you can take one of those and it has the model and the concepts on it. If you don’t have one you can get one on the way out. We have some extras.
Let’s go ahead and begin. Here it is. This is the model sheet. I am going to show you about nine major concepts very quickly.
The first one is called the portal priority. Let me orient you. This is a church if you will. If you want to that could be your place of business. The idea here is we are doing a context in churches. This little inset here is the model. It is the No Man Left Behind model. There are three foundations of the model and there is a conveyor belt. Over here on the left hand side are men who need Christ and then we bring them in the front door, we engage them, and we put them on the conveyor belt and then we move then across the conveyor belt and eventually out the other side they become disciples who become brick in the wall.
The first of these three foundations is the idea of the portal priority being discipleship. Jesus didn’t say go and make worshippers, He didn’t say go and make workers, or tithers, He said go and make disciples. That doesn’t mean that worshippers or workers, or tithers, but Jesus knew you didn’t get worshippers by making worshippers. If you are trying to make worshippers you are basically trying to get men how to sing well. How can men worship a God they do not know? The idea is to disciple men to understand who God is – His nature and character, His attributes, so they can love God with their whole heart and then out of the overflow of that worship is God. That is they way that works.
The second foundation is a man code. In other words the environment you create for men. We have a very masculine environment here. We talked about something that even upset Jeff last week, last time we were together. We were talking about diarrhea. You wouldn’t talk about that in a non-male context. I wouldn’t. I probably wouldn’t do it here again either.
It takes one to two weeks for a man to figure out your dress code at church, but you don’t have a written dress code. But how long does it take for a man to know the dress code? One to two weeks. How long does it take for a man to know how to dress here? Basically he comes once, and he knows. Every church also has a man code. In other words there is a vibe that every church gives off about what it means to be a man in this church.
The church I went to for a quarter of a century, our pastor said our man code is successful men wanted. That is before we changed it – he didn’t like it. Another church said their man code was if you think you’re tired, join our church and we’ll show you what tired is all about. The man code is the vibe that you give off about what it means to be a man in that church.
The third foundation is the three strands of leadership. Those three strands are a senior pastor who is committed to be involved and he has a vision to disciple all the men. Secondly, the committed leaders who would head the men’s leadership team – someone who gets out of bed in the morning who has a heart to see men become disciple sin their area. Third is a team to come around that leader. If you have one guy, and only have one guy, you don’t have the resources to do it, and then what if he gets sick or his wife gets cancer. Then you are completely at the end of the roller coaster. These are the three foundations of this model.
Above it you see there is a continuum. We call this the wide-deep continuum. When we are trying to deal with men on the wide side – men who need Christ you are talking about things like success that matters, how to be a better daddy, how to be successful in business, things like that. Maybe it is the men’s softball team, ways you can loop men in. Over in the deep side you are talking about things like this Bible study, which is kind of in the middle, because we try to cast the net wide, but we also take you a little deep. I try to take you a little deep every week.
We have these five kinds of men spread across the wide-deep continuum. You have men who need Christ, you have cultural Christians, biblical Christians, and men who are leaders. The guys on the deep end might be men who go through elder or deacon training in your church. Across all four groups we have the fifth type of men and those are the ones who are hurting. We did a little thing here one time and found that all but three men in our group said they had some kind of major problem they were facing at the time.
These five types of men are spread across the top. How it works in the model is you can’t have a one size fits all ministry. If you want to be effective you have to have a net out for men who need Christ, but you also need to have ways for men to grow deeper, and to become leaders if that is what they are ready to do.
The end of this is the little circle you see on the conveyer belt. Let’s look at the inset. You can draw it on your handout. Everything revolves around the center. Everything revolves around vision. The vision is to make disciples. In our actual training we teach leaders how to express this vision in a catchy way so it has resonance with the men. However it is done, ultimately it is to make disciples. It is to disciple the men. At 12 o’clock is create value, 4 o’clock is capture momentum, and 8 o’clock is sustain change. Then these three arrows that go. This is the engine of the thing.
The idea is that if you want to attract men to get involved in discipleship at any level whether it is for calling, equipping or sending them, you have to do something that creates value because men have lots of option of what they can do with their time. They can go to a NASCAR race, they can watch a football game, or they can come have coffee and breakfast with you on a Saturday morning. Or be in a small group with you or be part of your men’s softball team. Or do a three year inductive Bible study of Revelation in the original Greek language starting with a 40 day fast. Whatever it is you plan to do based in the wide-deep continuum, something that creates value for the men that will grip them, and that has resonance.
This is an overview of the model. Notice an arrow to capture momentum. The greatest amount of energy required in nature is that amount energy required to put a stationary object in motion. It takes a lot of energy to get a man moving.
We have watched churches all across America. We have done over a thousand seminars in churches across America. What we noticed early on is that the leaders spent all this energy putting on a great event and they would either have asked them to do way too much, and try to shift from first to fourth gear, or they would do nothing which is kind of like cooling your home to a comfortable 72 degrees on a hot summer day then leaving the windows open and letting the energy escape. There is a right next right step to help capture the momentum.
Let’s say you have been praying for a guy at work, for years and finally, he has a life crisis, and he reaches out to you and says let’s have a cup of coffee. That creates value for the guy; that meeting, the prospect of being able to sit down with somebody who has the radiance of the Holy Spirit is valuable for him. You create that value. At that meeting you are not going to say, would you like to commit to a three-year Bible study and meet on a weekly basis? That’s not going to work. But it is just as much of a travesty to have the meeting, to talk to him and let him go without a right next step. You might have coffee and say we have a bunch of guys at the civic center. We have a ball – a few laughs, too. Why don’t you check it out one Friday morning? It is another way to capture momentum.
Or you could say there is this marriage book. Why don’t I buy you a copy and we will meet once a week for the next six weeks? The guy can visualize himself doing that. It is called capturing momentum.
Then you see the arrow over to sustain change. Back in the church, the idea is that when you get done with these, or done near the end of these steps to capture the momentum of the guy, what is the right next step after that? How can I connect this guy to the existing and new growth of the service opportunities in our church?
How many of you need more leaders? Raise your hands if you don’t need more leaders. Everybody needs more leaders. How many of you would like more men to populate your growth opportunities? Your adult learning classes, your home groups. How many of you would like more men to populate those? Would you like to have more men to populate your service and ministry opportunities at church? Raise your hands.
We need more leaders. We need more men to be involved in leadership and service. This is a model that is perfectly designed to produce more men for your growth groups you’re your service and ministry opportunities because after you actually do create value and he recognizes that value and you capture that momentum, now he is getting excited and wonders what to do next? Then you will integrate him into existing and new service opportunities at church.
Then notice the arrow back up to create and that is because you can’t catch everybody every time with every create value but you keep doing it because the command to make disciples is always juxtaposed against the principle of the parable of the sower. Every time you go out to help men, some are going to get it and some are going to fall away at the capture step, and some are going to fall away at the sustain step. You can pick them up the next time around. You can also pick up the guys next time around who had no interest this time when you had a Saturday morning breakfast with a football player from the University giving his testimony. Somebody wasn’t interested in that but then the next time you try to create value it is a car show and you invite guys to bring hot rods and the guy is a car guy and he comes to that particular thing. That is why you keep repeating this cycle, create-capture-sustain over and over again.
Here is what it looks like. That is one cycle of create-capture-sustain. In a church, let’s say you have 50 committed men. You have an event to create value and let’s say you get 100 men to come to that, but as soon as you ask these men to small groups, you will have the principle of the parable of the sower – not everyone will do that. We know that out of the 100+ thousand men who have been through our 1000 seminars, if you do it correctly, and we can teach you how, 67% of the men will go into the short-term or follow-up small group. In our case 72% who have never been in a small group before.
Then when you ask those men to get involved in the existing or new growth and service opportunities in church some of the guys will not be ready. They have gone as far as they go this cycle. That is why you keep repeating the cycle so you get them the next time around. What happens is you have a seminar and a hundred men come, and then they only have 20 guys left at the end of the cycle and they are so discouraged. You only had 50 men to start with, and now 20 men more. That is like a 40% ROI on a 90-day cycle. Any business man would be ecstatic on that kind of return. This is what it looks like if you do three cycles. You can see the cumulative effect of doing this over and over again.
That is why this model is sustainable. It is not a one-shot deal. You have a system. You have a process to repeatedly make disciples.
The final piece is this idea of an all-inclusive ministry to men. We are not talking about a men’s ministry. We are not talking about calling men out of the things they are already doing and getting them to go into a men’s only kind of a ministry. I don’t care if your church has a men’s ministry. I don’t care if your church has a men’s only ministry. The idea is that there are men involved in the worship team, the ushers involved in teaching middle school boys, who are involved in the athletic teams, and the children’s ministry. How do we disciple those men right where they are? That is the model. The idea is all-inclusive. If you have 100 men in your church you have 100 men in your men’s ministry. That is the No Man Left Behind model.
For those of you with these nine concepts you have by intuition, you have a model that you can go out and put into practice right now. However, if you want to be more expert at it, because enthusiasm is a poor substitute for expertise. If you want expertise you can get the book, No Man Left Behind. We have them here for you for $13. If you would like to bring the leadership team through the DVD course, we brought some facilitators packets with us as well. They are $269. There are 24 DVDs and some workbooks. You can take a look at it. This is a model that is perfectly designed to produce disciples.
That is the big idea. Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting.
Look at your church. Look at your own disciple-making ministry. If you are not satisfied with it, consider using the No Man Left Behind model.
YOUR ROLE IN MAKING DISCIPLES
Your role is the role of a servant. We start as slaves, roped together, plundered by the enemy. We become sons of God through Jesus Christ. There is a very interesting thing that happens. A young son is a selfish son. Your young sons are selfish – it is all about me. It is all about what I can get. It is all about my needs. As you mature in Christ you become a man who is interested in being engaged in serving your Father.
Nothing much happened after Dan became a Christian because there was nobody there who had an intentional discipleship process to pick him up. He floundered for many years. Last November he heard a challenge from me on disciple-making. After the event in Calgary, he got together four other men and the five of them spent eight weeks going through the Man Alive book. They and their wives were so buoyed by the changes they saw that Jesus was making in their lives. They got excited.
They approached the leadership at their church to do a men’s event. They have about 130 people in their church. Two weeks ago they had a men’s event and had 30 men at the event. They formed another follow-up group in that with seven men. This past Monday night they started going through the book, Man Alive.
Six years ago they had a monthly men’s breakfast that went dormant. Dan has gotten excited and he talked leadership into allowing him to reinstate that men’s breakfast. Here is a man who is absolutely on fire because he has seen what Christ has done in his life through discipleship and he now wants to share that with others. Your role is very much like Dan. Dan would tell you that he is the most unlikely guy in the world to be leading other men in discipleship. He is a very average ordinary guy. But I love this guy because he understands his role and he understands he can’t do it without a system. The big idea today: Your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting. I ask you, what is your system? What is the system you are using? What is the defined process you have to make disciples? I encourage you to adopting this No Man Left Behind model. Let’s pray.
Lord, Jesus, thank You so much for these men. I am talking to a group of guys who are getting it done. The vast majority of these men are already getting it done and the rest of them just needed additional information so they can do it too. We pray we would be a city of disciples and that You would use our energy, our understanding of You and what You are trying to do and this model You gave us of making disciples to be intentional about discipling the men in our city to be godly men, godly husbands and godly fathers. We ask this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.