Greg Arnold, the founder/publisher of Live Bold, and I met together recently, as we try to do as often as we can. We aren’t just mens’ ministry partners, we’re brothers in Christ. We are both convinced, after years of men’s ministry, that the most powerful resource, or weapon if you will, for a man to grow spiritually in his faith and to protect himself from the enemy is to be in a transparent relationship with a small group of committed men.
As we are now rolling into a new year, Greg and I want to once again communicate the unique power of this small band of brothers.
In this first post, let’s answer the question: What does a group of guys do? What’s the over-arching purpose?
The men’s small group, accountability group, growth group, or whatever name you want to call it, has a simple two-fold purpose:
1—To develop the best offense you can as a team.
For the Christian man, this is spiritual growth. Proactively encourage, challenge, inspire, and spur each other on to growing into the image of Christ. What do you need to do to grow into His image daily? What do you need to stop doing? How do you need to change your thinking, attitude, and actions to get each other moving in His direction, together in the same direction?
2—To develop the best defense you can as a team.
For the Christian man, this is moral protection. Where are your weak points? Temptations? Sins? Secrets? Get them on the table. Get an accountability plan for each other. How can you put real teeth into helping each other change? To take responsibility for, not only your own actions, but your brothers’ as well.
Several years ago, a movement went through the American evangelical church to start men’s groups. Most of those became disclosure groups where men weekly confessed sin and shortcomings, then prayed, and left. Today, most of those groups don’t exist, because disclosure only eventually frustrates men. Certainly, confession and prayer are necessary elements to help each other, but James tells us real healing is available. Adding accountability, however, helps men change. Confess sin, talk about shortcomings, and then figure out what you can do next to help each other change. Take responsibility for each other. If you have a problem, I have a problem, and I want to help you.
But, first things first, if you’ve never met with a group of guys, then pray and start looking for your band of brothers.
If you meet with a group, but you know its just disclosure and not truly about change, maybe it’s time to re-define and re-energize your group to maximize your time and energy.
Are you currently in a small group? If so, how has it impacted your faith? If not, drop us a note – we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.