A Men Reaching Men Celebration!
The Big Idea: It takes a man to teach a man to be a man.
Men are often frustrated because they know “what” needs to be done, but not “how” to do it. That’s why in this series we focused on proven, easy-to-execute ideas to reach other men. And it’s working! You guys have gone crazy taking guys for coffee, praying with and for them, serving them, giving them a book, doing something fun together, sharing your personal elevator speech, helping men give their lives to Jesus, inviting them to a Bible study or small group, starting a regular meet up, and connecting men to your churches. Now it’s time to celebrate!
Men Reaching Men
A Men Reaching Men Celebration
Good morning, men. My wife and I went camping for a few days this week. I like to roast almonds. I like to do it myself, buy the raw almonds and then roast them. Put a little olive oil on them, salt them, get them just right. Then I decided, well, I’ll take some of those camping, so I put them in, a handful or two, in a zip-lock bag, and then put it in the cabinet in the camper. My wife put the dry dog food in a zip-lock bag and put it in the cabinet in the camper. Now this camper is about 185 square feet. It’s 8 by 20 something, but think about your bedroom being 12 by 15 feet, a bedroom 12 by 15 feet. That’s about 185 square feet. That’s how big the camper is in the inside.
I’m going to describe it to you. It has a dining room, and a kitchen, and a bathroom, and a shower, and a bedroom in 185 square feet, so it’s not very big. About 1:00 o’clock in the morning I hear this sound. “Ahhhh ahhhh ahhhh.” My wife had gotten up for a midnight snack. She had been thinking about those almonds and got up, and stumbled around in the dark in this 185 square foot camper, and instead of putting her hand into the zip-lock bag with the almonds, she put it into the zip-lock bag with the dry dog food. I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night. We’re going to close up this Men Reaching Men series this morning, and we’re going to do it by celebrating changed lives. We’re going to do it by celebrating men reaching men.
I want to go ahead and begin though with a shout out like we do. Today the shout out goes to Journey Men. They’re men from Edgewood Community Church. I did this on Google Translate. Waupun. Waupun. Waupun. Anybody know how that city … Waupun, Wisconsin. The leader there is our field rep in the area, who is Paul Neevel. He actually lives in Brandon. I should have said just Brandon, Wisconsin. They’re five men who have been meeting for a year, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at 7:00 AM. They’re using the video bible study with us, and so I wonder if you would give these men, a very rousing Man in the Mirror welcome and welcome it to the bible studies. 1, 2, 3, Hoorah! Welcome guys, we’re really glad to have you as part of the study.
Yes, the series has been Men Reaching Men and today a Men Reaching Men Celebration. A quick review. We’ve had a number of ideas, big ideas, and applications for the series but the overarching big idea has been this concept of intentional spiritual friendships. Here are the big ideas we’ve looked at; discipleship is one man caring enough about another man to help him build three things, a relationship with God, a world view that’s biblical and a lifestyle worthy of Christ. That’s sort of the, if you want to drill down, what it is that you’re trying to accomplish when you are trying to reach another man, you’re trying to help him become a disciple and that he would have a relationship with God and these other things.
Second, in following, we had be a friend and we had the idea of praying with or for a man, serving a man in some way. For example, you might help him build his fence especially if it’s between your yards and he has a loud, barking, big dog. That wouldn’t be actually serving him would it. That would be serving yourself. Then, giving and we had books here. You could take a book and give a man a copy of a book that might be helpful.
Then, Jesus called us to go, not to wait around and see if they come to us. David used the very memorable illustration that a fireman doesn’t wait outside a burning building and wait for the men to come out. Firemen go in and that’s what we’re to do, to go where men are.
Then, this idea when we looked at developing your personal elevator speech and also showing you how you might help introduce a man to faith in Jesus. Just take a man as far as he’s willing to go toward Jesus at the moment. The idea of what is an intentional spiritual friendship all about, it’s built over time, it’s a relationship not a transaction and then Brett Clemmer showed us the relationship diamond and just how relationships progress. The idea is that when you are a man and you’re trying to reach another man you’re not trying to violate the process, the normal human process, of building relationships. You don’t walk up to John and say, “Hey John, how are you doing? I’m Pat. Would you like to get saved?” That’s not the way we do it. It’s, “Hey John, how are you doing? I’m Pat. I like coffee, would you like to get a cup of coffee sometime?” There’s a normal human process of building relationships. We’re not trying to push men. We’re just trying to build these intentional relationships over time.
The last time out we talked about the importance and the necessity of really having a biblical world view about church and a real man invests in his church and then he helps other men to do so as well. The idea is that we do want to connect men to churches. That may be something that’s a few months down the road. In some cases, how knows, if a guy’s had a bad experience with a church, he’s been bruised by a church, it might be a long time. The point is that eventually it’s the community of men and women living their lives together that Jesus came to install as his kingdom on Earth.
The Big Idea for today is this, it takes a man to teach a man to be a man. Men need other men to reach into their lives. You’ve been doing that. You’ve been doing that. Today, we just want to open it up and have you share your stories, some of the stories that you’ve been able to, in these last seven weeks, we’ve had a number of different applications suggested. One would be to just have a cup of coffee with a guy. Another was to serve a guy in some way.
Brett gave the illustration of a man that he worked with that had a car in the shop and so he told Brett that he’s going to have to take the bus to come to work, to go home from work, maybe both, I can’t remember. Anyway, Brett volunteered to drive him home from work. It was a little stilted at first since Brett was his boss but after a couple of weeks the relationship began to open up. Finally, one day as Brett was dropping the man off in his driveway his broke down and wept and they had a very deep and meaningful time of connecting and ministry and Brett was able to be very helpful to that man.
We also had the idea of giving a man a book. It’s a very easy, such an easy way, to reach out to men, especially if you’re short on time. Say, “Hey, are you a reader?” Here’s how I do it. I give away several books a week. When we were camping and leaving the campground I went to the park office and told the Ranger we were leaving a few minutes early so that they could have some extra time to clean up the site for the next people if they wanted to know that. Park Rangers are not trained on how to interact with human beings. They’re kind of left to their own devices. I could be wrong. We’re relatively new at this but I’ve had enough experiences to know that some Park Rangers have great people skills and they’re right there with you and they make you feel so welcome. A good percentage, maybe not half, but a good percentage of the Park Rangers, you feel guilty that you’re coming to their park to camp at their campsites.
The guy at the camp ground where we were checking out was one of the latter. It was incredible and I was just telling him, I was trying to be nice, let him know so they could have an easier work schedule and not have to do all the work in a short period of time, spread it out a little bit. Go ahead and go in early. I was met with such suspicion, it was palpable. I couldn’t believe it. I took that as a challenge. I decided I would try to warm up the relationship. We did and finally towards the end I said, “Do you read books?” He said, “No, not really.” I said, “Good, I have just the book for you.” That’s the way I do it. I ask a guy, “Are you a reader?” If he says, “Yes.” I say, “Good, I’ve got a great book that I think you might enjoy.” He he says, “No.” I say, “Great, I’ve got a good book I think you might enjoy.”
Anyway, I’ve gotten now this connection with this man at this park. When we go back I’ll see what the next step is. That’s my story for the week. Now, what I want to do is just kind of open up the floor. During these last seven weeks what are some of the stories that you have had. Then, I want you to … You can come forward if you want to.
Michael? Can they just stay where they are if they want to? Stand where they are? You’d rather have them come up here? It’s all about you then and you’re convenience? Okay. We’ll have you come up here and tell your stories. Who would like to kick it off? Come a running. You can walk back.
Scott: Since I obviously didn’t bathe this morning, my men didn’t show up. I guess they felt the prayer breakfast was sufficient for today. I do a lot of traveling. A couple of weeks ago I was in Oklahoma City, a wonderful place to be, Oklahoma City airport. Early in the morning I knew I was going to have a long day so I stopped and had a double Whataburger with jalapenos and cheese because I’m from Texas and you can’t get that here. I had a real manly breakfast that morning. There’s only one place, really, to kind of go and be in this airport and it’s at this bar/restaurant type stop.
I eased up to the bar and it was about 9 o’clock in the morning and I ordered a sparkling water with a twist of lime and sat next to this man that was probably in his 40s and we got a conversation opened up and I watched him and he ordered a double Vodka. When he ordered it he had already had that before. I wasn’t paying too much attention but he had three of those while we were sitting there talking. I come from a real heavy drinking past in my life and I really know what tolerance is and that would have put me on my skinnies.
We got to talking and the guy was heading to a conference in Tempe, Arizona and he was asking me to help him. Obviously, he was kind of getting out of whack. When he handed me his driver’s license it said, not for driving. I went, okay, we got a problem here. I asked him, “Where are you in spiritual journey of life?” The guy literally, I mean, broke down. I’m talking sobbing, snot running out of his nose. I was one of the those, the magic button was pushed with this guy. That button was Jesus Christ. I cut off him drinking. I called the manager over and got him some popcorn. I got him to drink two full, huge glasses of water. I escorted him to the Southwest gate and sat with him until I thought he got on the airplane.
I was headed back to the bar to my seat and I hear them call his name over the loudspeaker. I went, oh my goodness. I walked way down to one end and looked in a bathroom. Walked way down to other end and looked in a bathroom. I never did find the guy but I did get the guy’s address prior to him leaving. He now is the proud owner of Man in the Mirror and several other books that I have. I didn’t quite take the man to the point of that journey of accepting Jesus Christ in his life at that exact moment because I really thought that he would have repeated anything I told him to repeat. I would rather him be sober when I had the conversation with him. I can only pray that he remembers who I was when he gets those books and that God has continued to work in his heart.
Patrick: That’s a great story, Scott. Wow, that’s a great one. Who would like to go next? Dave King.
Dave King: Thank you. Okay, I’ll try to make this short. Many of you know that I do jail and prison ministry and every week I do a message to a group of guys not quite this big but about half this size. This week the spirit was moving and we did an alter call and had maybe 30 guys come up, which is about half the room. It was pretty remarkable. That was a very interesting experience but that’s not the experience we’re talking about here. That’s a different one. I say that because I think everything that we do in this area kind of lends toward contributing to the affect and the power of all that ministry that we’re doing every day.
In this regard, the intentional spiritual friendship, I live in a condo building and there are three guys in that building that I’ve started to pray for. Just in the course of these last few weeks praying for these guys I’ve gotten to know one of them pretty well. At first, I would pass by this guy and he would be sitting with no shirt on smoking cigarettes and putting the ashes out on the walkway. I’d say hi on the way bye or I’d never say anything at all. In the course of this process, praying for him and praying for this relationship we’ve gotten to know one another because that has been a priority. That relationship has become good enough to know that he plays games, he’s a poker player. We talk about that. That’s a touch thing because I play poker too. We’ve gotten to develop a pretty good talking relationship. This is a guy who’s kind of a loner. He’s kind of by himself. Obviously, he doesn’t have a lot of friends coming around. I don’t think he goes out to see a lot of different friends.
I’m getting to the point of having that talk. I’m inspired by the instant connection. This is more, kind of, the long term deal. Hopefully it will be a relationship that we can just build on gracefully and slowly and permanently.
Patrick: Awesome, thank you so much Dave. Great job. Okay, next. Albie.
Albie: When Pat gave us this challenge I thought, well, who can I invite out for coffee. As I prayed about it I just felt like God was telling me to approach a guy that I work with. I did. I said, “Hey, let’s just go out for coffee.” He said, “Fine.” He comes from a Latino background. We went across the street and they have this restaurant that has all these different coffees so he was really into that. That was a plus.
As we got talking he said, “You know, I used to be really into music. I play bass guitar, I was in a band but now I’m married and I’ve got kids and I just don’t have a lot of time for people. In fact, I hardly have any friends and so I really appreciate you inviting me out and getting together and stuff.” Basically, he just had a lot of stuff that he’s processing because he’s from a blended family and that kind of thing. I came from that background as well so we were able to talk and stuff. After that I gave him the Man in the Mirror book and he was really interested. Twenty-four things that I can be able to find out about being a better man.
That conversation is just getting going. He’s reading that book at home. I suggested maybe we could go over a chapter when we get together the next time. Since we work together we see each other all the time. He’s warmed up in his friendship and stuff. That’s been great. It’s just a continuing story to see where God leads that.
One other thing that I had the privilege of is out at UCF I had the opportunity to interact with a lot of international students. Mostly they’re from either India or Iran. These are not guys that I can just walk up to and say, “Hey, would you like to be a Christian?” They’re people who don’t know very much about Jesus and the bible and things like that. I had the opportunity, over many cups of coffee, to be able to progressively just discuss who Jesus is and why he’s important and why it might benefit them to learn more about him. It’s a great encouragement and Pat thanks for doing all of that for us.
Patrick: Great, thank you so much Albie. Isn’t that awesome. Wow, this is great. Johnny Fitzgerald.
Johnny: All right. I had the opportunity, I live in a townhouse, kind of gated community and there’s a community mailbox. I saw this big, looked like a football player, I introduced myself to him. We got to talking. He had played football at James Madison University and of course I’m an ex-football coach having coached for 30 years. We got to visiting a little bit about football. The next thing I know he’s starting to share his whole life with me. He’s sharing that he and his wife are going through a divorce. He breaks down, this big guy, he’s probably 285 pound type of guy, probably 6’3″, 6’4″.
I get a chance to share with him at that time just about the hope that he has and about Jesus. He was a Christian. He is a Christian, he just has kind of gone away from his path. He had gone to church actually at a church that I go to. I invited him to breakfast. We went to IHOP a couple of days later and had a chance to … He just shared his whole life story with me and had a chance just to sit there and have a one on one male conversation, which I thought was awesome. He got to get it all out on the table and then I got an opportunity to share some scripture with him and pray with him. I invited him to one of our bible studies that I attend. He actually is going now every Tuesday morning with us at 6:30 to a bible study. God is working, not only those that are non-Christians, but those that are Christians that have kind of slipped away. Just praise God. Thank you.
Patrick: Thank you so much Johnny. That’s just awesome. That’s fantastic. These are great stories. Who would be next? Jim Khul?
Jim Khul: I didn’t fill in a form or anything.
Patrick: That’s cool.
Jim Khul: It is?
Jim Khul: I hadn’t intended to say anything until yesterday. I went out for lunch with my wife and Mr. Ha. Mr. Ha goes to LA Fitness where I go to and he said, “You’ve got to come on Friday because we’ve got this really, young, good looking chick who’s leading our aqua class.” That’ll be my first challenge, whether I go there or not at 9 o’clock today. We have time. Mr. Ha, he said, “I’d like to go out for lunch with you.” My wife and I went out for lunch with him yesterday. It cost me 70 bucks. I can’t believe that for lunch but I’m one third of it.
We were talking and he’s a Buddhist. Frankly I have no idea how to connect to a Buddhist, none. If any of you can help me I’d sure appreciate that. We had lunch, a long time, a two hour lunch. He’s now invited me to go with his family of 80 people to Mexico for a vacation, an all inclusive vacation at this fancy hotel in Mexico. Unlimited drinks, unlimited food. He said, “You’d love my family.” He said, “There’s doctors, lawyers, attorneys and every thing else.” He said, “They’re so humble you won’t even know it. I’d love to have you come with us.” By the time I got home I had the invitation, where the hotel is, who’s going to handle the arrangements.
You just stumble into something and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. That’s just kind of my story.
Patrick: Jim, that’s awesome. Jim is thinking about becoming a Buddhist.
Jim Khul: I should ask him, when we meet with your family are you going to try to convert me to Buddhism?
Patrick: Reverse evangelism here. David Hobreck?
David H.: Well, I could be the oldest guy here except for Patty. I’m a year older than Pat is. I’ve been coming from the beginning.
Patrick: 30 years.
David H.: Lyle told me to come up and speak. I had no idea I was even going to say anything. I will say this, men’s ministry has been real important to me personally because over the years I’ve learned by sitting there for 30 years, there’s a variety of ways to close the sale. I’m not a salesman and Pat is a salesman, as you know. He has taught us, through this process of the unique problems that men have, that we’re sometimes planting the seed. Some of us are hoeing around the seed. Some of us are watering. There, occasionally, occurs a time in our life when you actually see the harvest. Somebody does break down and they hear Jesus knocking at the door. They open the door. That’s happened to perhaps everybody here.
The one thing that I want to try to remind, and this is the personal example. Over the years, I’ve had a variety of friends, I grew up here so I went to high school here. I know people and so forth. There are events in life when God actually says to you, you know you might want to just talk this person. My wife and I go a healing service on Tuesday nights at All Saints. Some of you probably go there. I’m not Episcopalian but it’s a great place to go to meditate. People are at the very edge of their lives, some are losing their lives.
I ran into an old high school friend of mine who was there. I said hello to her. I asked about her husband who was a friend of mine. She said, “You need to go see him.” I didn’t think about, didn’t do anything about it. A couple of months later it occurred to me that maybe I should call him. I did. He said, “Well do you walk?” “Now, that I’m semi-retired I do some of that stuff.” He said, “Well, I walk every Wednesday morning.” I said, “I’ll walk with you.” He and his older friend walked and we’ve been walking for a couple of years now. During that process there have been crises in each one of these men’s lives. One of which has been very public in this community dealing with his family.
These are men who have had, they have walked with God at some point in time. At that point in time I was probably trying to water, trying to bring some comfort and also trying to explain to them that God is not asleep, that he can work with you in these periods of time. This one man, very skeptical, the first one, horrible crisis in his life and his family life. Son may go to prison.
I thought well God, now I know why you had me go there and to walk with them on Wednesday but that wasn’t the end of the story. The other man is dying as we speak. He knows he’s dying. Those of you who have suffered prostate surgery or cancer, he’s at the end stage of that and he begs us, we’re younger than he is, to walk with him. He’s the one that opened the door and let Jesus in because of the crisis. The other man’s a little younger. He isn’t sensing that.
My point in saying all that is hey, we don’t know what God brings for us. Over 30 years I’ve discovered that it’s not necessarily you saying, hey come to Jesus or you see a person having a come to Jesus moment. It’s a continuum for a lifetime. Each part of the day you may have an opportunity to plant a seed, water the seed, harvest but the point is it won’t be until heaven that we’ll really see what God allowed us to participate in.
I just wanted to leave that as an experience.
Patrick: Awesome. Thank you so much David. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Who’s next? Don Wallborn.
Don: Thank you Pat. I guess my message to you this morning would be, if you’re willing God will use you where you’re at. Recently I’ve had the privilege, opportunity, to go down to the VA quite a bit, the VA Medical Center. Believe me, if there’s a mission field, it’s down there. You see Vets from all over and they’ve got all kinds of problems. Nothing’s fast down there at the VA Center. You go in there, you sit and you wait and you wait and you wait. As you wait and start talking with fellows you begin to realize that they’re a mission field.
The first time I went down, I kept on saying, I wish I had brought my Man in the Mirror book with me. The second or third time I started packing a couple into my briefcase, my knapsack, as I went down there. As I was I was talking to people, it’s not just a matter of shoving a book at them but as you start talking to fellows and start hearing some of the things they’re going through … It’s like Pat says, do you read? I said, “You’re going through an awful lot. There’s an awful lot of things that are going on in your life. I just want you to know I care. There’s some things here. This is a book that was written by a friend of mine up in Winter Park. It’s helped me an awful lot. Would you be interested in reading it?” More often than not the answer is yes.
I usually give them a card. I try to follow up with them by giving them another card for a Man in the Mirror breakfast here in the morning and saying, “Look if you want to follow up here’s a good place to go. Here’s a place you can plug in.” The thing is, be open but be intentional too. Be intentional as you listen to them to realize where they’re pain points are. You’re not going to have the answers to their pain points but you can say, “Here’s something that’s helped me. I’m sure it can help you too.” You’ll be surprise how the Lord works. I’ve been surprised.
Ironically, I’ve run into the same man down there several times. He’s a retired doctor from the medical center. He’s been very open about sharing to me of the struggles he’s going through and how much it meant to him when I did take the time to talk with him and share with him a little bit.
Be intentional and God puts you in a place, that’s your mission field.
Patrick: That’s great. Thank you so much Don. Beautiful. Beautiful.
You can see that men reaching men, really just little small baby steps, are where you really want to start. Just something as simple as sitting next to a guy in a waiting room at the VA Hospital and opening up a conversation and getting to know him a little bit and just how meaningful that can be.
Who’s next? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.
Speaker 10: Okay, well I guess I would start out by overcoming discouragement. A couple of years ago I think I was called to talk to men. I would go out and meet people, tell them about Jesus and they were either totally turned off or just blew me off. I was like I thought I would just bring this word to people and they’d be like immediately going this is great. Let’s jump on board and let’s follow and where’s the nearest church. That’s didn’t happen.
I’ve been working with one person in my town. He’s a physicist. He wants to tell me all the scientific reasons why God does not exist and name all the famous people who don’t believe in God either. It’s not just me but another person who comes to the meeting here, Rob Hughes, who sits at our table. He also bumped into this person and started talking to him about Jesus to this person. We invited him up here to the Man in the Mirror meeting one morning. He sat down at the table but really didn’t listen. I could tell that because he was writing stuff on the back of his paper, which had nothing to do with the meeting.
We’re still trying. I saw him again this past weekend. I again, spoke to him about all this scientific baloney. I guess it’s not baloney but he’s so focused on these scientific facts that he’s missing the real big picture. Again, when you meet these people they’re not going to turn very quickly. I have not experienced that. I would say don’t get discouraged and keep on engaging the people. Keep on telling the story. If you do get attacked because sometimes your peers will get upset with you, again, don’t get discouraged over that either. Just keep on presenting Jesus in that light.
Patrick: Awesome. That’s so great. I remember that guy that you invited, that physicist. I remember him. He’s a very intriguing guy. The merging of science and faith, a large percentage of scientists are Christians. You know this right? There’s really nothing … Science discovers truth through the investigation of facts, through experimentation and observation. Einstein said that we need both science and theology because science tells us how and the theology tells us why. The merger of these. Science really does breakthrough and I realize that new scientific discoveries have to go through the adoption process. You have early adopters and then you have people who are more reticent and are late adopters and so forth of these scientific ideas. Some people think climate change is bogus. Other people are all on board with it. That’s fine. That’s not the issue that we’re trying to debate.
The point is is that there’s nothing that science has ever discovered that has been in true contradiction with the bible. The science actually helps us discover and understand more of the mysteries of the bible. There’s nothing to fear from science. I don’t know why I needed to say that or felt like I needed to. I probably didn’t need to say that but I felt like I needed to say that.
Who would like to be next? Yup, Jim. Jim Long. Good morning.
Jim Long: Good morning.
Patrick: It’s an awesome day.
Jim Long: Hi, I’m Jim and I’m a drug addict. I’ve been clean since 1986 so I guess you could say I was established in 1986 also. Seven years ago I was asked to come down to a drug treatment center and help out some fellows so I have an unlimited opportunity to share this overflow of Jesus that I have with other folks. Part of my duties is to lead a bible study on Wednesday nights and I’m currently working on my third book, my third case of books, from Man in the Mirror.
Currently, I’m working on Is Christianity for Me because I have a couple of guys down there that are on the fence with Islam and Christianity. It’s real easy for me to do that discipleship stuff because of the opportunities out there but it has become easy for me to do that because I had somebody from this room equip me in how to disciple others. I know a lot of folks in here are discipling people and even for those of you that are what I’m really saying is those of you that aren’t I think what we haven’t heard this morning was Pat’s statement of it takes a man to teach a man how to be a man and in order to be that man that can teach a man I think you can turbo charge that with getting a mentor. What started out to be an eight week mentorship with somebody turned out to be a two and a half year relationship that a man built with me that enabled me to share my overflow of Jesus with other folks.
Anyway, when Pat suggested that we have somebody and ask them out to coffee I’m saying, well 8 o’clock at night after bible study is a little bit too late to invite somebody out to coffee because I’m up at 4 in the morning like most of you guys are. I said, “Well, let’s go out to the tailgate and let’s talk.” We do that now and it’s been really neat. It’s been really neat. Like I said, I have a captive audience. These folks are down there at a drug rehabilitation and they have to stay there so I have that advantage over a lot of other folks in my little ministry. I just want to say that you’ve got to have a mentor to teach you how to be one.
Patrick: That’s awesome. Thank you so much Jim. Thank you. Can you imagine what’s going to happen and it takes a long time to build these relationships sometimes and sometimes they go quickly. Can you imagine what’s going to happen in the lives of these men that you have begun to engage. I think we have 76 men who have indicated they’ve already initiated some kind contact, 76 men, that’s how hands we got during week four, so we know that there are at least 76 men who have initiated contacts. We also know from the data that you completed in the survey a couple of weeks ago or last week, whenever it was, that many of you have been actually initiating with multiple men. Several of you have gone with two men. More than a handful have initiated with three men and some of you have actually initiated with four or more men.
The total number of contacts is already somewhere over 100 and that’s just in the first six weeks so just imagine how different this community is going to be as we faithfully execute this idea of just simply one cup of coffee can change the world. Just think about over the next 10 years all the conversations you’re going to have whether it’s one a week or one a month or one a year. If you have 100 men having 10 conversations a year that’s a 1,000 men that’s 10,000 men over the course of the next decade.
Can you imagine the impact on this community, how those families will be dramatically altered. Many of those men will come to faith in Christ or come back to faith in Christ and their entire family lineage is going to be set on a whole new course for generations to come and their children and their children’s are going to know Jesus Christ and have the peace of Christ growing in their hearts and they’re going to have a biblical world view. They’re going to have a relationship with God. They’re going to have a lifestyle worthy of Christ and it’s going to continue this to be a beacon city in the whole of the United States because of your faithfulness to go out and reach men.
This is awesome. This is awesome. Don’t think we’re just talking about having a cup of coffee with somebody. It’s so much bigger than that. Who would be next? Rick Reckler.
Rick Reckler: Thank you Pat. One of the key messages I got from Pat a while back was he said, “We need to get out there and make ourselves approachable, live a Christian life, act in ways, proclaim him, make it known who you believe it and do it with all of your heart.” Through that process the example I’m going to give you is as a result of that you make yourself approachable someone can come to you with something very serious.
Every once in a while I would have lunch with a guy and eventually he came to the point of saying my marriage is in trouble, can you help me? He was ready to cry and it was very serious. He thought he had uncovered some things. He shared with me some personal, deep issues that were hard for him to talk about but he felt safe because God gives us an area, an ability to be able to project a willingness to listen and have compassion and hear and deliver his word. He had the faith, enough faith, to open up to me. Through that process the next day we had lunch again. All of a sudden it became a daily lunch to talk about the issues and we went through things one by one. Eventually he put into practice some of the things that we talked about and at the end of this six week or eight week time frame that we’d been going he said, “I want to thank you for helping me see what I needed to see and implement the things I needed to implement because my wife and I are coming back together in a great way. I think we’re going to make it because of this.”
Patrick: That’s amazing.
Rick Reckler: God is good.
Patrick: Yes, he is. Thank you so much. Wow. That’s just so wonderful. That’s a great place to stop. Let’s tie it off. Let’s give all the men who shared a big round of applause expressing our gratitude to them. Thank you guys, one and all. Great stories of how men are reaching men and why is it important? Because it takes a man to teach a man how to be a man.
Let’s just talk about, a little bit, where we go from here. As you’re out and about just remember the … You’ve heard me talk about the seven symptoms. You also know that I love getting with guys and I’ve literally had thousands of these luncheons and coffees with men over the last 40 years. You do the math, it’s not that often really but when you have this much blonde hair you can say something like having met with thousands of men. If in you’re in your 20s you probably can’t say that yet.
These are the seven most common symptoms that you will find men experiencing when their lives are off track, when they have these inner aches and pains that we’ve heard some of this morning. I just feel like I’m in this all alone. There are a lot of guys out there and they’re just lonely. You heard it here this morning. They don’t have friends. I don’t have any friends. I just feel like I’m in this alone and by the way it happens here too. We’re guys too. If God wasn’t working with flawed men he wouldn’t have any men to work with at all. It’s not like it’s them and us it’s like all of us together. I just feel like I’m in this alone.
I don’t feel like God cares about me personally. Not really. Maybe they grew up in a church and had some bad things happen. Maybe some broken relationships. Maybe some losses of people they love and they just don’t feel like God cares about them personally, not really. They don’t feel like their life has a purpose. They feel like they’re just being pummeled by random events. They don’t have a sense of meaning and purpose.
Number four, they have destructive behaviors that they feel like keep dragging them back down. Maybe they’re addicted to pornography or something else.
Number five, my soul feel dry. Okay, I’ve made a profession of faith but you know I just feel so dry, spiritually dry.
Then, number six is that my most important relationships? They’re not healthy. Not really. I don’t know how to be a husband. I don’t know how to be a father. I don’t know how to be a friend. I don’t know how to do these things. If I was taught how to do it I’ve forgotten or maybe I wasn’t taught at all but my most important relationships, they’re just not healthy.
Finally, I don’t really feel like I’m doing anything that will make a difference and leave the world a better place.
Just keep in mind that when you’re out there, of course you feel these things too. Some of you are feeling these things now. I read the faces so I know what’s going on. We all have these things by degrees from time to time. As you have experienced them, either now or in the past yourselves, you know that every person you meet, no matter how good looking they are, no matter how chiseled they are, no matter how charismatic they are, you can know for sure that these seven symptoms are either actively going on in their lives or if you will build a friendship with them within the next 12 months one of those things is going to happen in that man’s life. You can just know that. You can go to the bank on that. Are there exceptions? Yeah, sure but you can go to the bank on that. It’s going to happen 99% of the time.
If you raised your hand at the beginning and remember I told you, don’t raise your hands for me. This is between you and the Lord. We all raised our hands. I didn’t see anybody that didn’t raise their hand that we would say, before the Lord, we were going to be a man who wanted to reach other men and we were going to make a commitment to at least have a cup of coffee with one guy. If you haven’t done that yet, it’s not a problem. Grace, lots of grace. We said this is a long term process. You may not have run across the guy yet but I want to encourage you. Keep these seven symptoms in mind and keep in mind this idea that you never know, you never know that one cup of coffee can change an entire, as I said, an entire family lineage for generations to come. You have that as the potential.
Where do we go from here? Let’s just keep doing this. For those of us who now have experienced this and maybe for the first time and you realize this is not as hard as I thought it would be. You realize that the devil’s been whispering in your ear and now you realize that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
A couple of ideas that didn’t make it in. If we had done a nine week series we would have had a couple more big ideas. These could have been them. These are ideas that I was so distressed that I didn’t get to share. I’m going to share them anyway. They’re kind of like after the movie credits they show you a few clips the last couple of clips that ended up on the cutting room floor. These are those two ideas. Discipleship is one man taking another man under his wing and showing him the ropes. It’s as simple as this. Discipleship is just take a guy under your wing and show him the ropes. We know that evangelism is just taking a man as far as he wants to go toward Jesus at any particular moment. It’s the same way with all the discipleship ideas, helping them grow with a world view that’s biblical and a lifestyle worthy of Christ.
The other one, just anything, anything works. Anything that gives a man an opportunity to think more deeply about his relationship with God, his world view or this idea of his lifestyle. It counts. Anything you do counts no matter how big, no matter how small. Taking a Buddhist to lunch and letting him convert you. Anything counts. Anything counts. Being nice to somebody at the gym. Hey, let me say this, when traffic is, during rush hour, very thick and you pause and you let somebody in from a side street you know what that is? That’s a form of evangelism. Let’s call it pre-evangelism. That act of kindness counts. Anything that we do, anything that we do that demonstrates our faith.
Remember Brett Clemmer said that the foundation of all that we’re doing is love. Any act of love or kindness does have an impact. That person will probably never know that you did it because you’re a Christian but it will change their state of mind, their perception of mankind, make them more open. Who knows that maybe in the sovereignty of God he was orchestrating you to let that person in because he had had a fight with his wife and he was going to be late to work and now he’s not late to work and so now he’s in a better mood and then one of the other guys in the room has scheduled a cup of coffee with him for later in the morning. Now, he’s going to be more receptive. You just don’t know how the mosaic is being put together by God at any particular moment.
On your tables you also have these accountability cards. We’ve given these to you before and I’d like to encourage you to pick up one of these. There are two main things to do. Two main things to think about when you’re helping a man become a disciple of Jesus, when you’re reaching a man. There are two things that are differentiated success factors. In other words, there are two things that if a man will do he will have the highest possible probability of spiritual success. These are the two things that successful spiritual men do that unsuccessful, tepid, lukewarm spiritual men don’t do. You might think, well, go to church. Well, lots of tepid men go to church. Going to church is not a differentiated success factor. It might be a success factor but it’s not something that differentiates the successful men from the unsuccessful men.
The two things and by the way after working with men for 40 years I’m a little embarrassed that it boils down to these two things but this is it. When you build these relationships with men, where do we go from here, when you build these relationships with men, it takes a man to teach a man to be a man, when you’re building these intentional spiritual friendships here are the two things that you, I think, want to ultimately help men do. Number one is to be in the word of God. Read the bible for themselves several times a week. There’s some scholarly research that indicates that about four times a week is a tipping point. Four more times a week is kind of a tipping point. You should be encouraging men just to read, get into, the bible for themselves. Ten minutes a day, four days a week, something like that or more.
The second thing is to be in a small group with some other guys and just doing life together. Life on life. It’s as simple as that. As I said, it’s a little embarrassing. I don’t have a bigger prescription after all these years but those are the two things that encourage you do it.
If you want to take the next step and Brian, let’s show them the website here. At Man in the Mirror what we do is we help men reach men. That’s what we do. We have, on our website, it says we help men disciple men, four ways you can take the next step. I want to show this to you briefly and then you can go there. Find out how, click that button and then it takes you to this website. You’ll see four buttons from left to right. Helping other churches disciple men, building a ministry with the men in my church, making disciples and then growing as a disciple. No matter where you are on the continuum, just getting started or wanting to reach a couple of guys, help your whole church or even help churches in your community, you can go to this website. Then, click on whichever of those four buttons that is more attractive to you.
Brian, let’s click on build a ministry with the men in my church since that’s a little bit deeper than we’ve gone in the series. This would kind of like being a next step. It takes you to this page. Scroll down a little bit, learn how you can apply the No Men Left Behind Model, there’s some webinars for leadership teams. You can enroll your church in the Journey to Biblical Manhood, schedule men’s events, come to our field leaders meeting at the end of February, distribute books for men. You’ve heard a lot about that this morning. You can start a Man in the Mirror bible study like we’re doing here by doing one of the video studies.
We have hundreds and hundreds … We say we have 10,000 men in the bible study. We really have no idea. It’s probably more like 15,000 guys but we just say 10,000 to be conservative but hundreds of groups meeting all over the world. We’re in all 50 states and in 80 countries around the world. There are men reaching men with Man in the Mirror resources. You can start or lead a small group for men. We have a daily devotional magazine. You can get the emails. We have regular emails on different topics to equip leaders, discipleship blog, the marriage prayer and on to your spouse, accountability that we just talked about. You can search the website for virtually any topic under Sam Hill.
If you’ll go back to the top, Brian, you can also register as a leader. We’ll send you a series of emails. Each of these four buttons that we showed you has a series of emails that you can receive that takes you a little bit further in depth. You don’t have to try to digest all this at one time. I want to encourage you, as you find the passion or the calling or both to disciple men, to reach more men, that you check out this and just see how we might be able to help you take more steps with that.
With that said I think it’s about time to tie it off. Why don’t we just give a round of applause to our first time visitors. If you’re a first timer would you raise your hand so we can see where you are, first time visitors, here and here. Let’s give them a big round of applause. We’re not going to do first and second time table this morning. We’ll just kind of move all of that forward two weeks. Next week is Thanksgiving. We will not be here so obviously keep that in mind. We’ll see you in two weeks. Let’s close with a word of prayer.
Our dearest Father, thank you for this series, Men Reaching Men. We thank you for the men who are reaching men and Lord how thrilling it is, how exciting it is to see men who have been doing this for a long time, getting fired up even more and also the men who are doing it for the first time, Lord, who are taking these baby steps, just little toppers really at it. For them to hear and see the joy that they’re experiencing as they see men responding in different ways. Father, we pray, that we would be not just a fellowship here in Orlando but we would be a force. For all the people who are online and in their communities too, Lord we pray that our Man in the Mirror bible studies would be both a fellowship and a force in our communities. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.