More Encouraging Stories From Our Field Staff

In January 2014, New Guilford Church held a Rewired seminar as the Create Value step of JBM Challenge 2. I worked with them for several months in the planning and execution of the challenge. They also asked me to teach the seminar.

Thirty-three men from five churches participated in the seminar. Two churches stayed in contact through their Capture Momentum follow-up study with the discussion guide. New Guilford had 12 men at the seminar and more than 20 in follow-up groups. Grace Brethren Church brought 7 men to the seminar and had 24 men in follow-up groups. A year later, their pastor told me there are still 12 of those 24 men engaged in discipleship and service.

I am currently working with both churches to find a good solution for partnering together on another seminar.

As an Area Director, this process was helpful for bringing churches together, modeling the NMLB principles, offering a level of value and expertise, and aiding churches in launching a process to engage more men. The whole process established credibility and developed a deeper relationship with the pastors.

Ron Crawford
South Central Pennsylvania CMD

I have worked with at least four churches to host their STM seminar—all utilizing the JBM process at different levels. Three specific churches had different results…

Calvary AG Church of Crystal Lake pretty much just put the seminar on, but emphasized the follow-up (Capture Momentum) groups, and had a great result from those who attended. However, by not utilizing the suggested 16-week planning and promotions time frame for Create Value (at least not to its full extent), they had a smaller turnout than they hoped (40-45). But all of those men—plus a few more—got involved in the follow-up groups. 
Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church of Lake Villa did almost the opposite:  they worked hard at the build-up of the seminar and, as a result, had a very good turnout (70 plus), but did not utilize the Capture Momentum step to its full extent, expecting, instead, that men would simply get involved in their already-existing men's groups. Only about half of those men did so.

Gurnee Community Church had to change their original date for STM, and had trouble getting the re-start properly promoted. Still, they had a very good response to the Capture Momentum groups, with all of the attendees getting into newly formed groups.

I've also led the "You-Teach-It" version of Rewired as a weekend retreat, with excellent Capture Momentum results, as well as the Seven Seasons (now called The Playbook) event content as a six-week Sunday School class. 

I would highly recommend any of the MIM seminars, but would emphasize the importance of doing them as part of the Journey to Biblical Manhood, utilizing ALL FIVE STRIDES, including the celebration stride. It is all too easy to use these as “just another event” if we (ADs/FRs) don't work closely with the leadership team to help them see the whole picture. We need to make sure the team has the JBM Leader’s Notebook, is VERY familiar with the processes, and works the plan. Far better to move a bit slower but drill a lot deeper, than try to fit the seminar into an existing calendar and hurry the process.

Ronn Read
Northwest Chicagoland CMD

Over my last 10 years in ministry, I have lost track of the number of events, trainings, seminars, meetings, etc. that I have been a part of putting on. And I think 99% of the time, we’ve made comments like, “If just one person grows closer to Christ through this event, then it will be worth doing.” Well, my own church’s Success That Matters event in January was a prime example of this! 

The event details went smoothly, the MIM speaker (Pete Alwinson) was phenomenal, we broke even financially, a good number of men attended, and many got plugged in to follow-up groups. (Three of the Capture Momentum groups have continued on to be Sustain Change groups and have committed to staying together long-term!) As good as all those things were, they weren’t the biggest win for us. Matt is our biggest win.  

Matt was about as far on the Wide end of the continuum as a man can get! He said he wouldn’t classify himself as an atheist; however, he just wasn’t sure that God or church had any relevance in his life. He was also getting involved in some pretty inappropriate things. And each day he was sliding deeper and deeper into a depression. He wanted to be successful at home but simply didn’t know how. Things got so bad personally that his wife was ready to leave him. She had been attending our church for a couple weeks and told him that if he didn’t go with her, she was done. So as a last ditch effort to save his marriage, he went to church. As he was walking out of the Worship Center, somebody handed him a promo card for Success That Matters. He didn’t know what it was about but figured he needed all the help he could get so he showed up!  

He took it all in on Friday night, but still was not really sure if this was where he needed to be. Then on Saturday, he continued to build relationships and joined a follow-up group. He was a faithful member of the group and has been trying to learn as much as he can. Before being a part of the follow-up group, Matt had never opened a Bible, let alone owned one. Matt now has his first Bible and has been diving in to Scripture with the help of the guys in his follow-up group. He now prays with his two kids each night and then, once they’re in bed, instead of getting on the computer or watching TV, he is reading his Bible, along with his wife, which has opened up opportunities for them to communicate more freely with each other. As he says, he still has a long way to go. But the way God has moved so powerfully in just a couple months is absolutely incredible! 

There are many chapters left to be written in Matt’s story but Chapter 1 is absolutely amazing and I am convinced that without us doing Success That Matters, following the plan Man in the Mirror provides, and using their resources, Matt would be in a world of trouble right now. Matt is that one guy that made doing this event completely worth it!

Tyler Sutton
West Central Arizona CMD