This week we're celebrating the 29th birthday of The Man in the Mirror Bible Study. Since February 1986, we've been discipling men with practical applications from God’s Word every Friday morning.
We originally met in a bar with 15 men. An acquaintance of mine owned a high-end restaurant here in Winter Park (Orlando), Florida. He offered us free coffee and pastries.
Men started growing as disciples, and so the numbers started to grow too. Later that year we moved to the Winter Park Civic Center where we still meet.
We formed men into small groups, each with a leader. I started meeting with the leaders to disciple them as disciple-makers on a regular basis. Nearly 100 leaders have participated and have become prolific disciple-makers. Pictured here are some of our current leaders…
And lots of the men themselves have become prolific disciple-makers too. We've had men become pastors, missionaries, start their own Bible studies, and begin ministries of their own.
We also use the Bible study for evangelistic outreach. For 29 years we have averaged four visitors each week. Hundreds of these men have prayed to receive Christ and begun the great adventure.
They recently revised book, The Man in the Mirror, was first born there in 1989.
In 2000, one of our leaders was helping Sony develop their webcasting technology as a consultant. He was traveling the country webcasting things like Foo Fighter concerts and the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the White House lawn. He began to pray, "Lord, how can we use this technology to bring glory to your kingdom?"
At our 2000 annual leaders retreat, he proposed webcasting the Bible study. I said, "Sure! What's webcasting?" (you have to remember that nobody knew what it was back then). Because we were so early, we caught the front end of the webcasting phenomenon.
Our Bible study breaks all the online video "rules" – our messages average 35 minutes. But God was in it, and the online version of the Bible study went viral.
By the end of 2014 we were averaging over 7,000 weekly downloads, many of those viewed and studied in small groups across America and around the world. It’s hard to know for sure, but we estimate somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 men attend the Bible study each week—150 for the live presentation and the rest online.
I thank God for these last 29 years. I hope teaching the Bible study is the last thing they pry out of my hands :-) There are still so many men out there who are hungry to grow as disciples and disciple makers.
Until every church disciples every man...