Mentoring Recap: Getting a Man to Say Yes
We’re continuing our Mentoring Recap by bringing you another Bible Study from one of our most popular previous series. There are seven studies in the series, and you can see the rest of them here.
The Big Idea: An intentional spiritual friendship is built over time. It’s a relationship, not a transaction.
So how exactly do men develop relationships? We tend to bond in shared experiences (verses shared conversations), and there’s a definite progression. You can see it in the way that Jesus built a seemingly random group of strangers into a band of brothers ready to die for their cause. It’s been an amazing few weeks of learning how we can engage men in discipleship! You’ll gain some new insights and tools as we look at God’s Word together and see how Jesus himself built intentional spiritual friendships.
Men Reaching Men
Getting a Man to Say Yes
Romans 15:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Colossians 3:16-17, Galatians 6:2
So this week, we’re talking, continuing in our series, this week, we’re continuing in our series on men reaching men, and the title of our talk this week is getting a man to say yes. Getting a man to say yes. I kind of want to take a minute and just review where we’ve been in this series, and the first thing is, I want to remind you that one of the things that we want to do is we want to demystify the idea of discipleship. A lot people, I think, believe that they can’t do discipleship. I can’t do discipleship. I’m not qualified. I don’t know the Bible well enough. I cuss once in a while, or more than once in a while. I’ve got these sins in my life. The biggest thing is I just don’t know what to do.
Well, let me demystify it for you. What is discipleship? It’s just having a friend, and in the context of discipleship, what we’re talking about is an intentional, spiritual friendship. It’s a friendship, a relationship with a man where you talk about important things. Not just the sports and the weather and politics and the news. Although, you know, sports are good and politics are fine and those things are good, but they don’t have lasting impact. Lasting impact is what a man believes about God. Lasting impact is a man’s relationship with his Creator. So we just want to talk about just how do you have a friend that eventually you begin to talk about these things that have an eternal impact, not just a temporary impact.
Then as we’ve gone through this series, Pat kicked us off. In the first week, we talked about that discipleship is just one man caring enough about another man to help him build a relationship with God, a worldview that’s consistent with scripture, and a lifestyle that’s worthy of Christ. That’s a very basic, solid description of discipleship.
Then the next week, we started getting, and Pat invited you to just take a guy to coffee, or out to lunch, something like that. Just take … Just start a conversation with somebody, right?
The next week, I came in and we did the next thing, but the first thing we did was we passed cards around and we said how many guys in the last week have just invited a guy out to coffee or to lunch or something, and forty-two different men here had had a conversation, had invited a new guy out for some kind of an interaction. 42 new men had taken just one step forward in developing an intentional, spiritual friendship with another man. That’s a tremendous impact. A tremendous impact.
Then the next week, we talked about some more practical things you can … The big idea was just be a friend. Pray. Pray with or for somebody. Serve. Do something that a guy needs. I’ve talked about having a pickup truck is a great way to find people that need stuff, that need stuff hauled. Or give, and we had a book that you could give. We had three different books, and a lot of you took books.
Then the next week, David came in, and he said, you know, Jesus called us to go, not wait, and so his idea was that sometimes, we have to step out of our comfort zones, and we have to go do things that other guys want to do that we don’t necessarily want to do. So you know, you may not be a big, you know, college football fan, but if you’re a friend with my friend, Jeff Kisiah, he’s going to take you to a Clemson game if you get within like 200 miles of Death Valley. I mean, he’s taking you. Okay. So sometimes, you just got to step into stuff that you’re not thrilled about, but you go to where a guy is. You meet a guy where he’s at.
Then last week, Pat talked about taking a man as far as he’s willing to go toward Jesus at that moment, and he gave us a tool, he gave us two tools, actually. He gave us a tool to develop a three-minute elevator pitch. You know, what my life was like before Christ, how I came to know Christ, what my life’s been like since Christ. Really easy. Two, three sentences each section. Then a “Man Alive” booklet, which is a fantastic tool that’s story-based, that gets a guy thinking about the things that he needs to think about if he’s going to consider having a relationship with Christ.
So this is where we’ve come so far. We’ve sort of taken incremental steps each week, hopefully, to give you the tools that you need to begin to step into intentional spiritual friendships with other men.
Now, one of the things that we’ve got on your tables is we’ve got this Making An Impact survey. Can everybody grab their survey? Looks like … Everybody, pass these surveys around, and here’s what we’re going to do. I want you to fill out the first line in this survey. Grab your pen, and fill out the first line. It’s the easiest one on the form. It’s your name. I know you can do it. All right? So everybody grab onto these forms, and here’s the deal. I don’t want you to do anything else with the form except stick it in your Bible, because I want you to … I want to invite you to bring this form back next week. Now, if you look at this form, it sort of gives you a way of checking off maybe some things that you tried to do in the course of this Men Reaching Men study that would reach another man. So it gives you a place to say how many men you’ve tried to reach, and then gives you sort of a check list of the different tools and ideas that we’ve offered to you.
Then on the back of the form is totally optional, but this is a chance for you to share with us a changed life story. So we’d love to know just the first name and last initial of the guy that you’ve interacted with so we can pray for them. Is this man married? Does he have kids? That helps us see the impact that maybe we’ve made on a marriage or on a family. Then where is this man spiritually? Does he not know Christ at all? Or is he sort of going through the motions of being a cultural or nominal Christian? Is he a Biblical Christian that you’ve sort of locked arms with and you’re moving forward together in your relationship with Christ? Or is he a hurting man? Some guy, some kind of guy that’s going through a crisis?
Then if you would, just write down a little story about either how you reached out to the man or what happened after you reached out to that man, and we’ll collect these next week. Now, the following week, the seventh week of the series, we’re going to have a testimony time. So if you would like to, we would love it for a few guys, I know Pat asked this last week, and some guys maybe got caught off-guard, but if there’s some guys that would like to share their testimony about what happened over the last six weeks of trying to be a man who reaches other men, about a man who steps into intentional spiritual friendships, we would love to have some guys that would be willing to stand up and share their story.
Also, if you’re uncomfortable doing it live, but you would be okay with doing it on video. We can video it after this week, or you can just use your cell phone and take a little video and send it to us. Then we’re going to put those together to sort of have an inspirational, encouraging time at the end of the Bible study on … At the end of the series on the seventh week, which will be the Bible study for us here live, the last one before Thanksgiving. If you take this form, you don’t have to fill it out by hand. There’s also a online form that is on Wufoo. It’s a cool little website that let’s you create forms, and so the website is on the bottom of your form, and it’s also here on the slides for anybody that’s watching this on the internet. You can just go to http://maninthemirror.wufoo.com/forms/men-reaching-men. Sorry for the long title, but that’s just how it works. What do you want for free, right? So we’d love it if you would be willing to share your experiences with us. That’ll be an encouragement to other men as they’re seeking to do this.
All right. So this is kind of where we’ve been, and we want to capture the moment that we’re beginning to create, the stories that we’re beginning to hear are fantastic, and we want to keep encouraging guys to move forward.
So here’s what we’re going to talk about today. Today, we’re going to talk about getting a man to say yes. Getting a man to say yes. We’re going to start by talking about having a winsome reputation, and then we’re going to talk about the relational diamond, which I think we’ve talked about it in here once before, maybe, but we’re going to go through that again. Then we’re going to talk about the next step in Stepping into Intentional Spiritual Friendships.
So let’s start by talking about having a winsome reputation. If you’re going to engage a man in intentional spiritual friendship, one very important thing has to be true. They have to believe that you’re a Christian. They have to believe that you have something to offer them that is something they don’t have or something that they want. They have to believe that you are a person, frankly, that they would like to spend some time with. If you’re a son of a gun, and they don’t want to spend time with you, you’re kind of dead in the water in this whole thing. I mean, God’s sovereign. He can make anybody like you that he wants to make like you, but you would make it better if you were just a likable person. You feel me? How many of you know Christians that you have no desire to spend any time with at all. What is that? Right? That’s crazy.
Think about … Think about … I’ve heard stories about Pat in the 80s, you know, when I was just a child. Being a businessman in Orlando, that other young businessmen knew, they could go to him and talk about what it was like to be a Christian in the marketplace. Why did they know that? Because he had a winsome reputation. People knew about him. They knew that this was a guy that they could talk to. They’d heard about other guys talking to him and learning from him and being encouraged by him.
My own dad. I remember my dad told me a story once. My dad was involved in the financial world. He worked on the Boston Financial District, he worked on Wall Street for awhile, and he would … So a little bit of some of the stuff that you see in the movies. Not to that extreme, but he was around those kinds of people, and he told me a story once, he was at a meeting, a national meeting, they had guys from all over the country that were involved in the finance industry, and they were sitting at dinner, and they had a great dinner, and the waitress came at the end of dinner, and she said, “You know, guys, can I get you an after dinner drink?” My dad said, you know, I was thinking how nice it would be to have a nice glass of wine at the end of dinner. I just thought that that would be a nice thing, and so they went around and they said, “Sir, what will you have?”
“Oh, I’ll have a brandy.”
“I’ll have a glass of wine.”
They got to my dad, and before my dad can answer, one of the other guys said, “Oh, Bill won’t order any alcohol, he’s a Christian.” He said he thought for a second, like, “Oh, no. Do they think I’m legalistic or something?”
Then one of the other guys said, that he knew was going to, he’s like, “Oh, oh, well, you know, I don’t need anything, either.” A couple of the guys who were just there basically ordering drinks because everybody else was ordering drinks realized that they didn’t have to do that anymore. My dad had a reputation, and he didn’t even realize it at the time, but then he started paying attention, he had a reputation as somebody who lived his life a certain way.
He wasn’t. Trust me, my dad was not legalistic. He had to walk around the finance world. He couldn’t be a jerk about it, because guys, it would have hurt his business, but men would come to my dad. I saw it at my church and I saw it in his business. Men would come to him because of his reputation. They would come to him for advice. They would come to him for support. They would come to him when they had questions about life. They would come to him when they had problems and crisis that they were going through. They knew that they could go to my dad because he had a winsome reputation.
Do you have a winsome reputation? Do people want to talk to you when they have a problem? Do they want to ask you questions when they’re not sure about how life is going? If you look at Jesus, the same was true for Jesus. Jesus had a winsome reputation. If you have a Bible, turn to Matthew, chapter 4. I’m going to show you a couple quick stories here.
In Matthew 4:18, you see, “while walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who’s called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fisherman, and he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'” We hear this all the time. “Immediately, they let their nets and followed him, and going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately, they left the boat and their father and followed him.”
Sometimes, I think we get the impression that this stranger walked up and said, “You, you, come with me,” and they went like zombies, or like a spell was cast over them, and they just dropped their nets and they went with a strange dude, and then the three of them walked up to two other guys, doing the same thing with their nets, and he went, “You, you, come with me,” and they’d never seen him before and they just dropped their nets and they went with them. But that’s not what happened. Look at the verse before this. Verse 17 says, “From that time, Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.'” What is that time? Well, it’s after his very public baptism by John the Baptist, and then he goes into the wilderness and he’s tempted, and then he comes back, and he starts preaching all around Galilee.
So when he walks up to Peter and Andrew, and he walks up to James and John, or Simon and Andrew, and James and John, he’s not a stranger. They know exactly who he is. They’re psyched. They are so excited that this Rabbi who’s been going around, preaching the Kingdom of God, is inviting them to come with him. How do they respond? “Well, yeah, man,” and they drop their nets and they go with him. Not because they’re zombies. Not because he cast a magic spell over them, but because they knew his reputation.
If you look in Luke, you see the same story, and Luke gives a little bit more detail, as Luke is want to do, and Luke, when he tells the story, he says, when he walks up to him, Simon actually takes him out on his boat so he can speak to the crowd. Why would Simon take a stranger out on his boat so that he could speak to the crowd? Because he knew who he was. Jesus had a reputation. So that then, when Jesus came to them and said, do you guys want to follow me, do you want to be my friends? I mean, think about it. There was nobody more intentional or spiritual ever than Jesus, if you were going to be his friend, it was going to be an intentional, spiritual friendship, trust me. Right? So when they heard that, they wanted to go with him, he had the reputation.
Guys, we have to have the reputation so that when we say, “Hey, would you like to get together for a cup of coffee?” The guy goes, “Yeah.” Or better than that, they come to you and say, “Hey, can we get together for a cup of coffee?” What’s your reputation?
So Matthew 4, Luke 4, both talk about these stories, and they talk about Jesus preaching, and in Luke, it even says, “And a report about him went out.” This was how widespread Jesus’ reputation was.
All right. So let’s talk about how, then, how do men form spiritual relationships with each other, and we’re going to use something called the Relational Diamond. Now, this is from a great book called Brothers. Brothers: Helping Men Build Vital Relationships by Geoff Gorsuch. Geoff is a good friend of the ministry. He’s even now in Southeast Asia ministering there out of Singapore, but this is a process that he’s helped explain how do men form relationships.
So if you look at this, we’re going to use the analogy of a baseball diamond, and men go through a very specific process of developing relationships. First, we become acquaintances. Then we become friends. Then we become brothers. Then together as brothers, we become Christ-like. The problem is, a lot of times, when a guy walks into a church, we tell him right away, “You’re supposed to be a brother. Before I even know you, you’re supposed to be my brother.” Then you become friends. I mean, you don’t even worry about acquaintances, right? But that’s not how guys work. Guys need to have a process that they go through where the trust builds incrementally. The relationship builds incrementally.
So the first thing that we have to do is we have to become acquaintances. In Romans 15:7, talks about, “Welcome one another.” Accept one another is another translation of that word. Romans 15:7. It’s in this process of becoming an acquaintance that we get to know each other. That we get to know each other. Then when we become friends, that’s when we’re moving to the next level, sort of encouraging one another. So that’s First Thessalonians 5:11. First Thessalonians 5:11 says to encourage one another. Then from friends, then we become brothers where we’re exorting one another. Colossians 3:16 talks about us admonishing or exhorting each other. That’s sort of spurring each other on. That’s going to the next level. Then when we become Christ-like, we’re doing what it says in Galatians 6:2. We’re bearing one another’s burdens. So how do you go around the bases?
Well, some of you have seen some of the management literature, and you’ve seen the four stages of forming a group: Form, Storm, Norm, and Perform. This is exactly what’s going on here. We’re forming the group. We’re forming a relationship. It’s very early on. Then we’ve got to go, then we’re going to go through some conflict together. In fact, let me throw these up, too. When we’re forming the group, we’re giving context. Why are we getting together? Why are got … We’re getting together for a cup of coffee. That’s enough of a why in that situation. Or we’re going to start a small group. Well, why are we starting a small group? Well, we’re going to study this book. We’re going to study this scripture. We’re going to do this service project together. So we have to give context when we form the group.
Then, once we’re acquaintances, you don’t become friends with somebody until you go through some kind of conflict. Okay? Either with each other, or against each other. In other words, a guy’s going through a crisis, that’s his conflict, and you walk beside him in that conflict. Or you have an issue with a guy. When I was in college, in my fraternity, I was the president, and my vice president was this guy named Brian. Brian and I did not get along. I talk kind of fast. Brian, to get under my skin, would talk very slow. Just to bug me, and it worked, but over the course of working together and of going through this conflict with each other, and realizing that we had to work this out, because we were on an executive committee together, we had to do stuff together. We had context. We had to go through the conflict, and Brian became my best friend. My very best friend, but if we hadn’t had that conflict, we wouldn’t have been able to develop that relationship.
Then from when you become friends, then comes the part where you begin to trust each other, and so you form covenants. This is the place where accountability comes in. Okay. Guys, you’ve got to understand something. You have to invite someone to hold you accountable. They can’t impose accountability on you. Accountability without relationship is legalism. Okay? If somebody walks up to you that you don’t know very well, and he says, “Hey, man, would you like to be an accountability partner with me?” And you don’t know him really well? Run. Because what he’s really saying is, “I’d like to know all the dirt about you.”
That’s not what accountability is about. Accountability is an invitation. It comes after you’ve built a foundation of trust. You’ve got to have already gone through conflict together, and be convinced that in a battle, that guy’s got your back. When I know that a guy’s got my back, now I’m willing to invite him into some of the more dangerous parts of my life that I don’t want anybody else to know about. I’m willing to say, “All right. Will you be my Covenant Eyes buddy? So that I’ll put Covenant Eyes on my computer and you put Covenant Eyes on your computer and phones and stuff, and when I go on a place I shouldn’t go, that you’re going to get the email, and you’re going to be the guy that calls me up and says, “What are you doing on that website?” I’m not going to do that with a stranger. I’m going to do something that I’ve already been through some conflict with, and I know that I can trust him.
Then that becomes the norm. Right? Well, of course I’m not going to go engage in this sinful behavior. I know my buddy Frank is going to call me on it. Then over time, God uses that to make me less and less want to engage in that sin or that activity that’s not good for me. When you do that, that’s when you’re brothers. Right? That’s when you’ve become brothers.
Then the perform, or the commission, the Great Commission. God gives us a mission together, a co-mission, to go and make disciples. To go and change the world. We’re participating with God in the ministry of reconciliation. We’re helping redeem the world. How’s that for a mission? But you’ve got to go through this process to get to that point where you’re ready to do those things together.
This is a great process, a great pattern for how men develop relationships with each other, and if you look, Jesus did the same thing, right? First thing he did was he gave the guys context. He was a Rabbi. They knew what it meant to follow a Rabbi. That was a cultural context that they guys knew what that was, and so he said, “Come with me.” There’s another point where some of John’s disciples come up to him and just say, “You know, are you the Christ?” And he says, “Well, why don’t you just come with me? Just come hang out with me.” He gives them context.
Then they go through conflict together, right? Jesus seems to have a knack for getting people to want to kill him. You know? “I and the Father are one,” and everybody picks up rocks and gets ready to throw it at him. You know? They escape that, the next thing he says is, “Hey, let’s go back there.” When Lazarus is sick, he says, “Let’s go back there,” and the disciples are like, “Do you not remember what happened last time we were there?” Then Thomas, we talked about this a little while ago, and then Thomas steps up and goes, “Well, we might as well just all go die together.” That’s brothers, man. That’s going through conflict. Let’s, we’ll just go die together.
Then the covenant. He gives them some commands that they have to obey. In this case, he’s Jesus, so he gets to do that, but he says to Peter, what? Feed my sheep. He says to the disciples, “Love one another.” He says to them, “Obey my commands.” Those are all covenants that he has with them, that he creates with them, and then with each other.
Then finally, he gives them the mission to go and make disciples. This is exactly the way that Jesus formed relationships with that band of guys that started out as strangers, and they became acquaintances, and then friends, and then brothers.
So how does that work for us? How do we engage in intentional, spiritual friendships. Well, first thing that I want you to realize is that so far, we’ve sort of … Each week, we’ve gotten a little bit more … Guys don’t like this word, “intimate”, all right, a little bit more real, a little bit deeper each week with the activities and ideas that we’ve given you. So what we’ve done is we’ve moved from the transactional to the relational. A transaction is hey, let’s go to coffee, or hey, let me help you move next weekend. Those things are kind of transactions. Kind of one shot deals. If you’re really going to engage in an intentional spiritual friendship, it takes time. You have to be willing to invest time in another man’s life.
So we’re moving from transactional to relational, and so it become longer term. Life on life discipleship requires that we do life together. It can’t just be a meeting once in awhile. You have to care enough about a guy that when he shares something with you, it stays in your head, and you remember to call him the morning that his mother-in-law’s got surgery. Because you love him. You’ve developed that relationship with him. You’ll go to war for him. That takes time to develop. A longer, life on life discipleship is long-term.
So how do we do it? Well, here’s some methods to think about. To really take it to the next level. You can get involved in a one-to-one relationship with a guy, where you mentor him or you mentor each other. You know, if you guys are sort of at the same places spiritually, you’re mentoring each other. You’re encouraging each other, and so you could do that. You could get in a small group, in like a Bible study or a discussion group, you know, where you’re studying the Bible together or you’re reading a book together or you’ve got some other, something else that you’re discussing. A service team can be an opportunity. Maybe you go on a mission trip together, and there’s all the time that you spend getting ready for that trip. That’s another way of sort of investing in another guy’s life. Or a shared interest group. This is a fancy way of saying a softball team. Or a guy that you go hunting with or fishing with or a bowling league. They still have those around. I checked.
That’s a great … I mean, think about it. If you actually … Anybody bowl in here? Let the record show there’s like a lot more hands than expected. What’s bowling? Well, I’m you’ve got to, you’re sitting there, you get up, you throw the bowl twice, and you sit down. Seriously. But what do you do? Well, you’re jabbering the whole time, right? You’re making fun of each other. “Seriously, dude, you’ve got to get some more spin on that ball.” Right? But then over time, those conversations can become deeper and deeper and deeper. Why? Time. Because you’re spending time with each other. So here’s some resources to think about. Okay?
You can go to Man in the Mirror, and there’s a Bible study that they shoot on video every Friday morning, yet you’re hear at it. Thanks for the laughter that did not happen at all. Did you not hear what Pat said about me at the beginning? Come on now. So there’s the Bible study. You can invite somebody to Bible study. That’s an obvious thing, but if you’re watching it on the internet, don’t watch it alone. Get some guys to watch it with you, right? We’ve got books that you can, if you want to read books together, there’s tons of books for guys at all different levels on their spiritual journey. If you want to mentor a guy, and you want some help with mentoring, you can go to Christian Mentors Network or Radical Mentoring. Radical Mentoring is out of Northpoint. Reggie Campbell and Christ Mentors Network is Roy Comstock over in Arizona. Two fantastic resources for you that can give you ideas for things to talk about in a mentoring relationship, and even give you some tools to connect during the week.
CBMC has a discipleship program called Operation Timothy. You might get involved with CBMC and meet a guy there and engage in intentional spiritual friendship.
Then to help with sort of at that covenant level, at that accountability level, is things like Covenant Eyes or Pure Life that you could, if you and another man need a, maybe a guy’s confessed to you that he’s struggling in the area of purity, which is a big struggle for just about every guy these days. You can use Pure Life Ministries or Covenant Eyes, and that gives you stuff to talk about. There’s tons of material out there for you to use to help you as you are thinking about, well, how do I engage in an intentional spiritual friendship.
So here’s our Big Idea. An intentional spiritual friendship is built over time. An intentional spiritual friendship is built over time. It’s a relationship, not a transaction. An intentional spiritual relationship is built over time. It’s a relationship and not a transaction.
Let’s pray. Father, it is encouraging to hear the stories of guys stepping out of their comfort zone and beginning to engage with real men around real things, talking about real life, and not just the small talk that we all do so well. So Father, I pray that all of us here in this room, all of us that watch this video, Lord, that you would help us to live the kind of life that another man would see and want to have a part of. That we would be the kind of men that others would look and say, “Oh, that guy? That guy’s a Christian. That guy follows Christ.” Even if they don’t even know what that means, they would recognize that there’s something different in us that they want to learn more about. That they want to see if they can get some of that for themselves. Even if it’s just to provide a little bit of ointment for a wound that they have. That they would recognize that what we have, even if they don’t know why or how it works, that they want to have some of that.
Lord, give us winsome reputations as Christian men. And Lord, I pray that you would give us courage as well to step into something that’s outside of our comfort zone. Asking a guy for the opportunity to get to know him a little bit better, to share life a little bit, so that we can begin to develop a relationship maybe that goes through conflict, that has difficulty. Maybe to walk beside a man, or to have to go against a man in a conflict situation so that we can get to the other side of it, and we can be bonded as brothers.
But Lord, all around us, we know that there are men who are dying spiritually and dying temporally. Guys that are ruining their lives and guys that are giving up and killing themselves. Lord, we’re broken by the rash of suicides that’s happening. Father, I pray that if we’re not broken, that you would break us, that you would break our heart such that we realize that we’re the only hope. We’re the mechanism that you’ve chosen to use to reach into a lost and dying world, and provide hope and peace and truth and light. So Father, give us this mission. Give us this desire at the deepest part of our beings to reach out to those around us and help them find the light.
Lord, be with these men in the week ahead. Put other men in front of them who need them. Make it easy for them, Lord, to start taking those initial steps towards developing friendships that in turn develop into intentional spiritual friendships. Give us courage, Lord, don’t let us shrink back. Help us to bring you glory. In Jesus name, Amen.