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How To Build A Mens Ministry

How-To-Build-A-Mens-Ministry-by-Vince-Miller-Mens-Ministry-Expert

Building A Men’s Ministry (That Grows and Sustains)

Here's something to think about...

I love it when men want to build a ministry to men in their church. The heart and passion is something to celebrate, not something to quench and set aside. People within the church notice right away that almost every other ministry flourishes (i.e. children, teens, women, and even the quilting club) however, the engagement of men, across all age groups, is notoriously low. And if you don’t believe me, here are the facts.

Fact About Men In The Church:
“The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.” (“U.S. Congregational Life Survey – Key Findings,” 10/29/03.)

While some will find, these facts disturbing this has been true for centuries. It's not a new phenomenon. But I, like you, believe we can change this. Here is some of my thinking and learning on this topic from my last 28 years of ministry that has helped me build a ministry to men that grows and sustains.

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First | The Men You Want May Not Be In The Church

In fact, you're reading this because they aren't there.

We must begin by changing our mindset about ministry when reaching men. An adjustment is needed because men’s ministry does not play by the rules of every other effort in the church. I watch as ministry leaders frequently assume, like the women’s ministry, that men will just show up when invited—and this is not the case. For men, you need more strategery. And before you start devising a strategy, consider this fact about your market audience and what it teaches you about men.

Fact About A Man's Engagement With The Church:
“More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only one out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.” (Barna, “Women are the Backbone of Christian Congregations in America.”)

So, you better read that a couple of times, because this single fact gives us clues to at least two marketing challenges. The first challenge is that Christian men are fine with “things as they spiritually are.” (FYI, status quo, leads to the greatest sin of men—apathy). The second challenge is that marketing to men during weekend services will reach only 1 out of 6 men in attendance. Even then, it might fall on deaf ears. Embracing this hard reality about our market is essential because this is where we must start working smarter.

If you are going to build a men's ministry, you must remember you are working with these facts. And they're facts; you cannot change them. You can only change how you work knowing them. So if men are not coming, you are going to have to find creative new ways to reach them as your market demographic.

Here's an idea—Lead With Power

One solution that I have seen work is aiming a men's effort at becoming more inclusive to Christian men within the larger community. This builds broader awareness, is naturally more inviting, and sometimes gets churches working together in their efforts for men. One group that has been very successful at doing this is Leading With Power, based in Wisconsin, founded by Keith Tompkins. They have hundreds of men in attendance at several in-state and out-of-state locations using a simple model that is attracting men. And here it is.

Each month men are invited to join other men, from all walks of life, for a gathering around a meal. They enjoy an excellent sit-down meal while hearing from male speakers who will motivate you on topics of leadership, marriage, and family. The speakers they host are men who have backgrounds in business and entrepreneurship and are recognized leaders in the community with either spiritual undertones or a direct gospel invitation. And this all happens in a one hour experience. And while this event requires a lot of work and planning, they have experienced massive success in reaching Christian and pre-Christian men in the community.

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Second | Flip The Acquisition Funnel

So try something different

In the sales and marketing world, customer acquisition funnels are used to clarify the process of acquiring clients so that you can build a client base. They attempt to capture potential at more significant events and turn them into first time and repeat customers. I know this is a lot of business thinking.

Simply put, they start with a large pool of potential customers at partner events and funnel them into a sales cycle, one step, and one decision at a time. While this works, it is cost, time, and energy prohibitive in most church situations. Especially given that you probably have a small men's team with a $200 /annual budget, which is the case 90% of the time. And let's be honest, building a customer acquisition process for men is going to require a large men's team, a $100k/annual budget, and a ton of time.

But when planning to build our men's ministry, we tend to default to the large event (acquisition funnel events) because they work. An example would be your staple Men’s Breakfast, Men’s Retreat, or Men's Conference, which men host a few times a year. Now, these events do work, and if you have the team, time, and money to do them—do them! But be intentional and strategic because they are not as successful as we always want them to be at moving men down the funnel toward more in-depth engagement.

Here's an idea—Develop A Small Movement

One solution that returns much higher engagement and costs less, requires less time, and keeps men engaged longer is a leadership themed small group. This flips the funnel in the other direction.

Fact About Small Group Explosion
"With 1 small group of men, I was able to build a ministry to 480 men in 40 small groups over 9-months. I did not think it was possible as a 20-year ministry veteran, but I had never tried it before. Why are we so surprised? Jesus's ministry still continues to grow using this model."—VInce Miller

If I were a senior pastor or men's leader in a situation with limited resources, I would recruit my most capable Christian man and have him lead a small group focused on mentorship, discipleship, and leadership development with a team of men. Yep, pick your most capable male leader in the church and have him develop a group of men. This is very biblical; Jesus did it. And while this is initially a slower process, it's right-sized for a volunteer team running on limited resources. I would tend toward materials with a general discipleship and leadership focus and spend time turning those men into leaders in your church—that build the acquisition funnel with you.

If you ever want more in-depth advice on this, send me an email. I have seen 98% success in recruiting to this type of model, and an increase of 87% total engagement over one year with groups taking this approach weekly. Yep, not a joke. And it is much easier to deploy.

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Third | Think Deploy Not Retain

Don't gather them; send them.

Okay, here is where things get interesting. I think men’s ministry, as it has been done in the past, is not a good idea.

Now, before you get too frustrated with me, let me tell you what I mean.

I think too often we look back to the olf movements like Promise Keepers with Coach Bill McCartney, and wish we could manufacture that moment again. We think, “Let’s gather men, have them all at a stadium event, and we will show the world what God can do!” And while the enthusiasm is to be celebrated, the approach is not going to work like it used to.

So, why not stop defeating yourself?

Just stop trying to retain men. Stop it all together. They aren’t coming anyway. Here are the facts.

Fact About Men in the Church Activities:
“Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.” (Barna Research Online, “Women are the Backbone of Christian Congregations in America,” 4/6/2000.)

Since these men are not coming to weekly activities, they must be doing something. So what are they doing? Well, they are busy. They work. And I know one thing, they want to do this better. So maybe instead of fighting against our market, we need to join with them. Instead of trying to lure them to our stuff, we need to help them succeed with their stuff in their way on their terms—but still with God's truth.

And rather than letting this lack of engagement frustrate us, I have found a focus on deploying men to be life-giving. Now this is a missional idea and more descriptive than prescriptive, I have seen deployment success stories that thrill me on three different levels.

  • First, on a base level, a man is deployed when he is now leading devotionals with his kids, praying consistently with his wife, and reading his Bible for personal devotion. Wouldn't it be more exciting to have every man in your church doing this, rather than attending your larger events anyway?
  • Second, at a mid-level, I love it when men are deployed into other ministries of the church and serve in youth ministry, education ministry, or even on a committee or board. Wouldn't this be helpful for church balance, engagement, and expansion?
  • Third, and my favorite sign of high-level deployment, is when a man leads ministry efforts in their place of business or decides to mentor a group of men on his own. This is where replication becomes biblical.

So rather than retain men, maybe deployment would be life-giving to you and men's ministry. And again, this is biblical and requires a new mindset.

I think one ministry that does this well is ours—Resolute. We have no desire to retain our men. We want to deploy them into your church and the world. And we hope that our content will so impact them that they will want to use it with other men, or will take on a leadership role in the church. If we can be responsible for discipling and developing in a way that serves a pastor, I get excited.

And FYI, retention of men is a fallacy. We cannot retain them, because they do not belong to us, only to God, and they are called to serve his mission.

If you are looking for material for your men’s group, or are looking for help with your small group leadership, reach out to me and I will help in any way I can. I would even be willing to come out and train your team. See more here: Men's Training

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5 Disciplines To Build In Every Man

Church Board Assessment by Vince Miller at Resolute

The end goal of the Christian life is to become the man that God wants us to be. We do this by allowing his vision, mission, purposes, and goals to shape our lives. One way we can lead men to this is through discipline. A discipline, or in our case "spiritual discipline," is a training activity that helps to shape and mold character over an extended period of time that accelerates and focuses the process. Spiritual discipline is the "strict training" that Paul was talking about 1 Corinthians 9:25.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.”—1 Corinthians 9:25

THE FIVE DISCIPLINES

ONE | Prayer

"Beginning Awkward Conversations With An Unseen God"

Prayer is a fundamental discipline, and men need to learn to build prayer routines into the daily patterns of their lives. Prayer is merely talking with God. For newer Christians, talking to an unseen God is unusual. And it's unusual because when we are having a conversation, there is usually someone physically standing in front of us that talks back. Prayer does not exactly work like this. But the small hurdle of learning to talk with an unseen God is not the central issue men have with practicing the discipline of prayer. The primary problem is all the other pressing issues that keep us from praying and developing a pattern of prayer. Daily we face demands that compete for our time. Because of this, men go days, weeks, and even months devoid of prayer, trusting only in human effort rather than also trusting in God through prayer. This can leave men feeling physically exhausted and spiritually depleted. Since so many other things compete with this priority, we need to be reminded of its priority and encourage men to strive to make time.

One of the best methods for getting men moving into regular prayer is the A.C.T.S. Method. This acronym stands for AdorationConfessionThanksgiving, and Supplication. This method is easy to learn and easy to use. Practice using this method with this one-page downloadable guide—The ACTS Method.

TWO | Scripture

"Discover the Greatest Book Ever Written, Printed, and Sold"

People want the truth, and I believe they're on a search for it. As Christians, we believe truth originates from God alone. God's Word is the revelation of the truth, and Jesus is the physical representation of truth. But we cannot know the truth if we don't know how to spend time in the Word and with Jesus. And small doses of it, spoon-fed in short readings one time a week on a Sunday morning is not enough. Men must be challenged to read the Bible, but they also must be taught how to read it, study it, memorize it, and pray it. Please remember it's not enough to inspire a man on the importance of the Bible and challenge him to read it—he must be taught how to do it. We must teach men how to read and study the Bible; it's the greatest gift we will ever give a man. And it's the primary way we hear from God. The following are a few pointers on how to get started.

First, just start reading. I would recommend starting in the New Testament with the Gospel of John with a Bible App for your phone. Make sure and choose an easy-to-read version like the New International Version (NIV) a few minutes each day. One of the great apps over the last few years that I have pointed men to is the Daily Audio Bible or the YouVersion Bible.

Second, read a trusted devotional. Short and easy-to-read devotionals teach us how to dig meaning from the Bible. I would use a devotional that includes Bible verses and then expands on these verses. When it comes from a trusted person or trusted source, it helps you to learn how to draw practical application from your Bible reading. It's like having a personal coach as you focus on a few verses from the scripture. Try the Men's Daily Devotional; it's does just this and is focused exclusively on men and our issues.

Third, establish regular patterns. This step is not so much about quantity or quality—it's about developing a routine. Setting small daily goals and repeating them is essential. Even 5-minutes per day for a month will result in positive habits and will become rewarding over time. Then increase the repetitions and the length of time as needed.

Third, go to the next level by learning how to study the Bible. This is a little more involved and requires more effort, but it's the greatest gift you could ever give yourself or another man. I would use the Inductive Bible Study Method. This method teaches men how to observeinterpret, and apply God's Word correctly. While it's great to learn from a pastor and discover how they observe, interpret, and apply the Bible, every man should learn how to discover the truths in God's Word for themselves. Try this Inductive Study Worksheet, or this Men's Small Group Video Series that teaches men how to study the Bible.

THREE | Brotherhood

"The Brotherhood We Need We Avoid"

Men need relationships with other men. Most men not only fail to develop meaningful relationships with other men, but they also lack adding in the spiritual component that must undergird it. Men prefer to go life alone for several reasons—time is valuable, relationships take work, chemistry is challenging, and autonomy is easier. But the biggest reason I believe men don't establish spiritual connections with other men is that they have never experienced one before. Having never had one, they don't know how to do it, and because of this, they have never experienced the benefit. All this leads to men defaulting to superficial male relationships that focus on trivial matters. They press the easy button.

Men who participate in one on one relationships or small groups mature faster than those who do not. This environment is a place where the previous three disciplines can be sharpened and experienced. Men need to be involved in a Christian community, and not just the occasional weekend gathering. Smaller gatherings regularly are where men can discover some things about themselves and others. Spiritual growth doesn't happen in isolation; it occurs in a community, and men need other men. When men link arms, great things happen. Take, for example, Jesus and his men. What Jesus did changed the world, but without other men, the world would have never heard the good news Jesus proclaimed.

If you want to start a small group, check out these short 5-Minute Videos or click here if you are looking for an easy-to-use study for building brotherhood.

FOUR | Accountability

"Christian Men Have The Wrong Idea About Accountability"

Accountability with another man is perhaps the leading indicator of spiritual success in a man's life. Brothers in accountable relationships make a great man of God. Jonathan made David better. Barnabas made Paul better. Paul made Timothy better. Jesus made the Twelve better. And it wasn't just happenstance and acquaintance; it was intentional brotherhood with substantial doses of accountability.

Spiritual accountability is perhaps one of the most misunderstood practices in male spiritual relationships. I believe this is because when men hear the word "accountability" in a religious context, they immediately assume a negative connotation. Men mostly hear about a need for accountability when issues of sin arise. Therefore accountability means that we need help because we can't overcome our financial problems, sexual addictions, or marital conflicts. This understanding is unfortunate because it has given accountability a bad name and leaves out all the spiritual potential of accountability in brotherhood. If we brand accountability this way, it makes a man look weak, and men don't want to feel and look this way—unless they are in desperate need of help and don't care.

Here are a few things we need to understand about accountability. First, it needs to be proactive and positive, not exclusively reactive and negative. Spiritual accountability should be focused on the things I should start doing and continue doing. While occasionally, we all need a little accountability around some areas of sin that I need to stop doing, failure to fill the void activities we've stopped with activities we need to start fails to initiate positive momentum. We need some accountability around actions that will have a proactive and positive impact on our spiritual life. For example, men need accountability in praying with our wife, regularly giving, reading Scripture, forgiving self, casting anxiety on God, and things like this. Second, men need to invite self-imposed accountability. Too often we think someone else needs to hold us accountable, and I think this idea, while well-meaning, fails to work successfully. However, when a man invites self-imposed accountability based on declared goals, there is a much higher return and long-term benefit. Accountability of any kind that is self-imposed produces more significant results—this is especially true in this case. Third, accountability needs to be spiritually-focused. We need men not only to hold us accountable but to help us dig for the spiritual aspects. Accountability to behavior change is essential but add in the spiritual purpose and potential spiritual outcomes of it, and then we focus on doing the right behaviors for the right reasons. We have to remember we are becoming the men God wants us to be, and we are doing it for his glory, not our own. Therefore, when it comes to accountability, here is what we are looking for positive willing spiritual accountability.

If you are looking for an accountability worksheet for you or another man download this Accountability Reports, it will give you some items to discuss with another man.

FIVE | Personal Ministry

"Get Off the Bench and Into the Game."

Christian men who are accelerating their spiritual growth are involved in personal ministry. Personal ministry includes things like leading a small group, mentoring other men, teaching a class, organizing a mission trip experience, serving on a board of a non-profit, or conducting a study in a workplace environment. I get excited when men do this because now they are moving from being a disciple to discipling others. They are finding unique ways to use their gifts, passions, and talents for kingdom benefits.

Some men need to be pushed to take this step. Too often men wait too long before taking this step. And I think men sometimes need a little push on this one since they prefer to disqualify themselves for lack of knowledge and because of personal sin. They need another man to say, "Get off the bench and into the game."

Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 16 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org

Top 5 Men’s Bible Studies 2019

Top Mens Bible Studies 2019
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What Are The Top 5 Men’s Bible Studies in 2019?

Finding Great Men's Content Is Hard If Not Impossible

Finding great content for men can be challenging. If you’ve been looking for any amount of time, you’ll quickly realize there's not a lot of bible study options on the market - especially for men. Many of the options that are available are dated, not geared specifically to men's issues, or ultimately fail to get men into Bible study. Here is a checklist to guide you as you look to resource your men and men's leaders — a few keys to finding the best bible study.

  • Find content that engages every a man in meaningful and relevant spiritual conversation. Men want and need a real discussion.
  • Find content that leads a conversation for men. Men don't want another 45-minute video that talks at them.
  • Find content that effectively uses the Bible and teaches how to study. Many are using little bible text, give attention to this.
  • Find content that teaches men “how to think.” Most curriculum informs them of “what to think.”
  • Find content that has a goal of moving men from spectators to multiplying leaders. We need men leading other men.

Look at some of the most popular bible studies we've found out there. We’ve rated them for you according to the checklist above.

Five great choices for men's bible study content...

BIBLE STUDY FELLOWSHIP (aka B.S.F.)

Bible Study Fellowship

BSF is a trusted resource used to lead groups through the habit of studying God’s Word. Started by a passionate woman, A. Wetherell Johnson, BSF has been providing churches with a “class format experience” in the Bible. Their four-fold approach includes questioning, discussion, listening and learning. Questioning and learning are emphasized outside of class time, while the discussion and listening happen within.

PROS - A long history of successful Bible study techniques used in a group setting. Heavy use of Scripture and learning how to understand the Bible. A moderate library of studies to use. And it comes at no cost for participants.

CONS - This resource is not focused on men while men do attend. BSF appeals primarily to an older audience with more time on their hands. Hours of homework outside of the class time are expected and encouraged. This resource traditionally has predominantly been attended by women as classes sometimes occur during the middle of the workday.

RESOLUTE

Resolute Curriculum

After the passing of his grandfather and mentor, Vince Miller spent nearly 20 years looking for mentorship. Seeing the gap, he set out resolve this issue for men by starting Resolute. Resolute content is designed around specific goals and outcomes, has a purposeful discussion, relevant study in God’s Word, robust practical application, and a positive focus for 60-90 minute meeting.

PROS - Written exclusively for men. Videos are short and promote spiritual discussion between every participant. Easy to lead with a great result in any context. Participant Handbooks are designed beautifully. Men learn how to study the Bible during the meeting instead of being told what to think. Mentoring between group members and accountability is a planned outcome. They also continue to add to their content on a regular basis.

CONS - Newest men’s content on the market. Not designed to be done alone. Requires Internet access or video downloads (DVD’s not available). Videos and handbooks must be used together.

STEPPING UP

Stepping Up

This resource is based on the book by Dennis Rainey. There are ten individual sessions designed for a group of men. This content will help men understand the five steps of manhood and lead them to develop their personalized action plan.

PROS - Focused exclusively on men, the workbooks offer a healthy amount of group discussion questions. Scripture is used throughout to emphasize principles. The group videos are inspiring and well-produced.

CONS - There are only ten sessions available. A fair amount of homework outside the time is encouraged in the workbook. A narrow focus on courage that doesn’t cover other common issues that men experience. The video will take up the bulk of the group time with less conversation.

MAN IN THE  MIRROR

Man In The Mirror

This content was born in the late 1980s when Patrick Morley began leading a Friday morning Bible study for men. MIM offers a variety of resources for men’s ministry. This content has been used in many different men’s ministry contexts. They provide books, videos, and other group resources.

PROS - A broad offering of resources directed towards men. Easy to understand lessons that are very applicable to a broad audience of men. Scripture used with a strong emphasis. The material addresses many common problems men face.

CONS - Resources are challenging to navigate and find on their website. Some content appears outdated in both look and feel. Most of the group time is consumed by watching a longer video. The Bible study portion is inferred with pre-drawn conclusions.

33 THE SERIES

33 the DVD Series

33 is a well-produced remake of Robert Lewis’, Men’s Fraternity. There are six different studies available that engage with topics that are relevant to men. Each study features a “training guide” that men follow along in as they watch the videos.

PROS - Focused on and geared toward men. The content is professionally laid out, and the videos have a high cinematic value. The topics addressed are relevant to issues many men encounter today. A variety of different presenters gives expert opinions on the material.

CONS - This is not a bible study. Scripture is used sparingly and studying scripture is not an emphasis. The facts and information presented about men can be discouraging. The videos are lengthy and consume most of any group time with a sermon-like feel. Some lessons are vague and lack clear application.

SOME OF OUR BEST SELLING BIBLE STUDIES ARE...

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Handbooks

Mindset For Men

$ 8.99$ 9.99
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Action For Men

$ 8.99$ 9.99

 

Vince Miller Founder of Resolute

Vince Miller is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate with men and has a deep passion for God’s Word. He has authored 16 books and small group curriculum for men.

Why You Should Stop Lying

Lying And Deception a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

Why You Should Stop Lying

Why it's always important to tell the truth and how we end up lying to ourselves.

"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another." Ephesians 4:25

Truthfulness is one of the trademarks of God's character. And falsehood is one of the things he loathes. But truthfulness is frequently in short supply. It begins with a meager misrepresentation, and soon these fester and grow into blatantly lies. Rarely, however, do our meager misrepresentations remain small: they typically snowball, and we dismiss them in the process as if they don't make too much difference. But these fabrications do - both to God and to others.

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Truthfulness Reflects God's Character.
Lying is deception, and God never deceives. We rely on God's Word that it's trustworthy and true. If that were not the case, we would have no standard for morality in a world where everything is relative. The Scriptures declare that God's Words are true, righteous, eternal, and a light for our path. They are the plumb line for all that is righteous and holy. Therefore we believe in faith that God is truth and we ought to be the people of the truth.

Falsehoods Reflect the Evil One.
In John 8:44, Jesus declares that Satan is the father of lies and a murderer. Interestingly, murdering and lying are related: Murdering steals a life, and lying steals the truth, and both reflect the character of the Evil One. Every time we declare truthful what it is not (lie), we reflect Satan rather than God. This is why deception (which is what a lie is) is wrong. It's impossible for God to lie, but Satan by nature is the father of all lies.

Truth Builds Integrity and Trust.
Integrity is about being whole and undivided. The man of integrity is honest and truthful in all things which means that others can entirely trust his word at all times. People value an honest individual because they can be trusted. It's not surprising, but any reflection of God's character works every time. Lying fuels mistrust, while honesty fuels trust. Nothing destroys trust in a marriage faster than deception. Or in the workplace. Or with a friend. Or in a church. And nothing produces trust more than honesty in all things. Honest people can be trusted while dishonest people cannot.

And besides, those who are truthful with others are also truthful with themselves. Those who lie to others will find it easy to lie to themselves which is a prelude to personal failure. Those who are honest with themselves can learn and grow while those who do not simply gloss over their issues when it is convenient. Thus honesty and integrity apply equally to what we tell others and what we tell ourselves.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

How To Treat People You Just Don’t Like

Opposing Fans a blog by Vince Miller Mens Bible Studies

How To Treat People You Just Don't Like

Learning how to engage people we don't like who root for the other team.

We naturally gravitate toward the people we like. And often they look just like us. But how do we engage people who are not like us? Those who irritate us because they are so different in their personal views, or political opinions, or lifestyle choices that we tend to avoid, dismiss, or marginalize them? Most of us have a few of these people in our lives (and sometimes they're in our own families). While it's easy to avoid them what's the right approach for engaging these people in your life?

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Love was more important than political correctness.
Jesus, as God's son, obliterated religious "politically correctness" in his time offending many people including spiritual leaders. He spent time in the company of tax collectors and prostitutes, often avoided by religious leaders. He traveled through Samaria intentionally when devout Jews avoided that region and people group. He was even found talking to a woman, an odd behavior for a religious man, in the region of Samaria which astounded the disciples. In other words, Jesus spent time with the sick, shady, shamed, shunned and treated them each with love and respect aside from contemporary political correct behavior, and as a man, he set a new standard. Love, not to be misunderstood as acceptance, but genuine love.

Jesus was not in the least bit ashamed to be in the company of people different from himself. In fact, I think it is with these people he was most at home. Maybe because he knew that marginalized people would respond to his love and concern because they were left out by others. And many of them did. For Jesus, there was no one different enough for him not to befriend them. But there could be an even more valid reason for his love for people who were "different." I believe he knew something unique and special about every person he ever met.

But what did Jesus know?
Jesus knew that everyone he met had been created in the image of God. His Father was the Creator. And God, when he created mankind dis something extraordinary – he created us in "his image." You and I are image bearers of God even when we misshape that image with our sin. In important ways, we reflect God's design and his likeness to the world - and Jesus saw this in every person he met, even those possessed by sin and thus marginalized by others.

But here's the thing. Everyone we meet, no matter how despicable, irritating, or unworthy we find them is also made in God's image. Believer or not. Republican or Democrat. Gay or straight. Vikings, Bears, and even Packers fan, yes especially Packers fans are due our respect. We don't need to agree with them about everything or agree with their lifestyle or views but we do need to treat them as Jesus would – as made in God's image and therefore with dignity and respect.

So the next time you walk past someone or have an encounter with an individual who irritates you, remember: They are made in God's image just as we are and due the respect that Jesus gives them as image bearers no matter how flawed and broken.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Connecting the Compass and the Clock

Connecting the Compass and Clock a blog by Vince Miller

Connecting the Compass and the Clock

Planning, goals, strategies, and making the most of your time, rather than letting life pass you by.

There is one secret that everyone who lives intentionally, rather than accidentally, knows and practices. They know how to connect their compass with their clock. Let me explain.

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET

Download a worksheet you can use to build your own annual goals using my 8-F Framework.

The Compass.
Our compass is our annual plan that includes the Key Result Areas (KRA's) we have adopted and the goals we want to reach in each of those KRAs. They are our compass because they answer the question: Where do we want to go this year? It's when we pursue that plan on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis that we begin to see progress in our lives. Without a compass, we wander. With our compass, we know the direction we want to travel and have a good shot at getting there.

The Clock.
If the compass is our plan, then the clock is our calendar. What we put on our calendar represents our real priorities. You can tell a great deal about someone from looking at their calendar. Remember that time is our most precious commodity. Money will come and go. Opportunity will come and go. But time only goes. It is spent, and you can never get it back. So how we invest our time tells the story of what is most important to us. Not only that, but our time is a premium asset, so how we use, spend, or invest it is crucial.

Having a plan is a necessity to living intentionally. The key, however, is to connect our clock to our calendar. We live intentional lives when we place our priorities on the calendar. When I commit to spending time with my kids, that commitment must end up on my calendar where I have carved out the time to invest a reality.

Our Compass & Clock Permits Us to Say "No."
All of us are forced to make choices regularly on what we will spend our time doing. When we say "yes" to an invitation, we are writing a check - a time check. Just as we give attention to the financial checks we write, we also ought to pay attention to the time checks we write. We need to ask ourselves before we write a time check whether it fits our overall priorities and whether this obligation will compromise the true north represented in our Annual Plan.

Our compass allows us to graciously say "no" to obligations that don't fit our priorities. How many times have we said "yes" to things we regretted later? Our compass gives us permission and freedom to say "no" because we cannot allow our direction to be compromised by the urgent at the expense of the important.

For more tips on intentional living see Setting Annual Goals and Living Intentionally.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Live Intentionally

Live Intentionally a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Ministry

Live Intentionally

Stop living accidentally in the busyness of life and live with purpose by being intentional.

We live in a time of growing needs, multiplied demands, out of control schedules and a tendency to be driven by the urgent rather than the important. Over time our effectiveness is eroded merely because of our busyness, drive, and overfilled schedules. This leads to a reduction of mental, physical, and emotional stamina that leaves us tired, overwhelmed, and at a loss for a real purpose. Often in these moments, we sense that there must be a better way to live life. But this is the result of living accidentally rather than intentionally.

Here are three interesting observations. First, everyone is busy. Second, not everyone is getting the same results in their busy lives. Third, busyness does not equate to better results. Activity is just an activity. Focused, directed, and intentional action is what yields results.

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Download a worksheet you can use to build your own annual goals using my 8-F Framework.

Accidental vs. intentional living.
All of us live somewhere on a continuum between accidentality and intentionality.

Accidental living can be identified by:

  • Structureless and reacting moment to moment.
  • Often emotionally bothered.
  • Limited advanced planning.
  • Unable to distinguish between urgent and essential.
  • Busy but not strategic.

Intentional living can be identified by:

  • Living with appropriate levels of structure.
  • Seldom emotional bothered.
  • Long and short-range advanced planning.
  • Distinguishes between urgent and essential.
  • Busy and strategic.

Intentional living requires a little forethought.
Here's a simple truth: All of us have the same amount of time, and we all make choices regarding how we will live. Those choices determine whether we accomplish much or little, live centered or chaotic, and conquer life or let it conquer us. Choosing to live intentionally is about building a life around carefully crafted purposes and priorities, which requires a plan that produces a sense of personal fulfillment and influence for the kingdom. But be mindful you only need a little forethought each day. We are not talking about hours of planning. It could start with glimpsing at your schedule at the start of each week and asking yourself "What do I want to accomplish this week?" And then following this by each day setting small goals that drive you toward your weekly goal. This doesn't require days of planning but only a minor level of forethought. (For more, see my blog on Setting Annual Goals).

Intentional living requires a base plan.
There is no intentionality without intention. I know deep right? As I outlined in my blog Setting Annual Goals, this requires us to identify the Key Result Areas (KRAs) in our lives and develop goals within those KRAs for accomplishing results in those areas. It's simple, measurable, and specific. Just as we would never initiate a significant business endeavor without a plan, it would be equally foolish to navigate the life without a plan. So a commitment to intentional living is a commitment to live our lives with a plan and a framework to accomplish that plan. A plan, even a simple one, moves us from intention toward action and to living out what we believe to be most important.

Take a moment to review the characteristics again of accidental living and intentional living and determine which one is more like your life. Then, with the help of my blog Setting Annual Goals, start moving toward greater intentionality.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Setting Annual Goals

Goal Setting Framework by Vince Miller of Resolute Mens Bible Studies

Setting Annual Goals

How I set my goals and crush them every year. Try these easy steps and download an easy-to-use resource.

When talking about setting annual goals for ourselves, I am not referring to the typical "New Year's Resolutions" that get left by the wayside within weeks of the new year. Instead, I am referring to a way of living that identifies what's important and establishing a plan around those priorities that is workable and specific.

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Set goals with Key Result Areas (KRAs) in mind.
Key Result Areas (KRA) are the areas of our lives that we want to give special attention that holds potential for producing the greatest holistic results. I have identified eight KRAs that I give attention to when determining my annual goals: Faith; Family; Friends; Fitness; Food; Fun; Finances and Future. I know that if I pay proper attention to these eight KRAs that I will be on track to living a holistic and healthy life. Your KRAs may differ, but I believe in focusing on behavioral results that center around character development in these KRAs.

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Download a worksheet you can use to build your own annual goals using my 8-F Framework.

Set goals with annual targets.
Once I have identified my KRA's I develop annual goals for each of them – generally with two to five items that I am committed to targeting in each. These are specific goals which can be measured so I can monitor whether they have been done. My goal is to set a target in each that stretch me but can be accomplished somewhere within the year. Remember the annual plan must be specific and measurable so that you feel like it will get done or it doesn't.

Set goals and review weekly + assess monthly = crushed goals.
On a weekly basis, I read my goals to remind myself of the commitments I have made. This builds natural reminders into the rhythm of my life at the end of one week and the start of another. Monthly, I take some extended time to assess how I am doing in each area, giving attention to where I need to adjust my approach and areas where I am falling short of my goals. With my journal, I can make some observations and any changes that I need to consider. With this weekly and monthly review, there is never any reason that I should forget what is truly important in my life.

Why use KRAs and annual plans? For this simple reason. I want to live intentionally rather than accidentally, and I suspect you do too. It is how Jesus lived, and it is how He desires us to live. And you don't need to wait till the new year to start. Identify your key result areas now and develop a plan for the rest of the year. Then annually update your strategy for each area.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

FOMO and Our Desire For More

Fomo a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Men's Bible Studies

FOMO and Our Desire For More

How to move from fear and want toward abundance and contentment with all the riches our life has to offer.

Most of us love the feeling of abundance, and at the same time, we're challenged when we have less than we wish we had. Houses, stuff, entertainment, opportunities, and success that we perceive others have can create a selfish desire for more that leaves us with a sense of vague unhappiness. Some call this FOMO or the "fear of missing out." Stop and consider this question for a moment: Do you wish right now that you had more or are you content with what God has given you today?

But don't overthink this question, because your answer should not conclude that it is wrong to have dreams about your future. Those are natural and normal. It does mean, however, that we don't see our present situation as a place of perpetual want that consumes and misleads our desires.

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Abundance is a matter of perspective.
Anyone who has traveled to a developing country and seen abject poverty comes back to the reality that North America has a ton of stuff and opportunity compared to the rest of the world. It's enough to give us a new level of appreciation for how God has given this country profound material wealth. Just consider this: You yearn for a new home, that is larger and better when much of the world has no permanent resident. We even have houses for our cars called garages, that are larger than most other people's homes in other countries. And anyone making over $100,000 is in the top one half of one percent of the wealth in our world. 54% of our society lives on three dollars or less per day.

A lifestyle of thanksgiving fosters an attitude of abundance.
Everything we have is a gift from a loving father. Pay attention to how often Scripture talks about being thankful in all things. Paul advises us in Ephesians 5:20 to be "giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Psalms are full of both thanksgiving as well as the goodness of God. A great 15-minute exercise is reading Ephesians 1 and 2 and note every gift we have been given "in Christ." Many of us live out of a spirit of wanting not understanding the riches we already have "in Jesus Christ." Make it a practice to daily thank God for all the gifts he gives, all the blessings you encounter, all the provision you receive. It all comes from him, and he is generous beyond anything we deserve. We might even say he is generous enough.

Generosity creates an attitude of abundance.
Here is an ironic truth. The more I hold on to my stuff the more I feel that I need more and the more I share what I have with others, the more I appreciate what God has already given. It is in giving back to God and others that we start to understand his care for us entirely and we begin to see life through a lens of abundance rather than want. All of God's children can live in abundance if we see life from God's perspective!

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

The 8-F Goal Setting Framework

Framework a blog by Vince Miller

8-F Goal Setting Framework

So, people, each year ask me how I establish and crush my goals. Here's how I do it.

I choose to establish a goal setting framework that is focused on character, behaviors, thoughts and measurable action that strengthens me as a man. Not one that focuses on a single aspect of success, (i.e., work) but wholistic success that will round me out as a man of God. I read my goals weekly, monitor them monthly, give effort continuously, and focus on long-term annual gains, not immediate results. Choose to steal mine framework, modify mine, or make your own - but as I say "don't do nothing."

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET

Download a worksheet you can use to build your own annual goals using my 8-F Framework.

FAITH:

  • Reading - Reading from the Bible each day.
  • Prayer - Pray regularly for my wife, children, and Elliott to be bold and courageous.
  • Reflection - Monitor emotions, mindsets, and corrupt beliefs about self.

FAMILY:

  • Spouse -  Be caring in communication & active in romance.
  • Children - Be regularly patient & teaching at each opportunity, and send the Dad’s Daily Devo to the family.

FRIENDS:

  • Meaningful Time - Schedule trips to Maui, HI and Vail, CO with buds.
  • Communication - Nourish friendship through texting, communication, and social media.

FITNESS:

  • Running - One time each week 3-7 miles.
  • Crossfit - Four times each week be in the box and give a full effort
  • Care - Listen carefully to my body when aching or hurting, and stretch regularly.

FOOD:

  • Calories - Moderate my caloric intake as appropriate for size, age, and needed energy.
  • Balance - Eat balanced macros focusing on increased protein, remove wheat and gluten from diet.

FUN:

  • Adventure - Do one adventurous thing monthly.

FINANCES:

  • Income - Increase speaking engagement and book sales attaining goals each month.
  • Expense - Watch spending and moderate, pray every time I pull the card out.

FUTURE:

  • Handoff - Focus the next 10 years on multiplication, scalability, and sustainability of work.
  • Age Groups - Turn my focus on younger generations and empowering them.
  • Network - Build growing relationships with challenging mentors, request the first meeting when I find one.
  • Writing - Write two more books this year.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Why We Should Avoid Gossip

Gossip a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute Mens Bible Studies

Why We Should Avoid Gossip

Three reasons we should avoid gossip in our conversations with others.

All of us have done it, and it is a constant temptation: gossiping about others. In putting others down (which is what gossip is), we seek to elevate self, show off our knowledge of inside information, and injure those who are an irritant to us. The dictionary defines gossip as "casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true." Gossip is found in the workplace, between friends, in the church and wherever people are located. But why should gossip be banished from our conversations?

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First | Gossip displeases God.
Paul addresses what Christian conversation ought to look like in Ephesians 4:29. "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Sharing information about others that is corrupting to another person is not edifying. Even negative news that we may know to be true, shared with uninvolved parties does not build others up according to their needs. Often, we use corrupting talk as a means to shame others and build ourselves up.

Second | Gossip is often character assassination.
Think about it. We would never assassinate another person, but we have assassinated the character of others when we have engaged in gossip. Assassinating someone's character creates negative perceptions by those around them who often accept the gossip they have heard as truth. And all too often gossip grows as it is shared until the real situation (which we are probably not privy to anyway) does not reflect reality. In essence, we are trafficking the sin at the misfortune of others. And, unfortunately, it is often not even entirely true, but only a partial truth and a judgment about the motivation of others.

Third | Gossip is destructive to relationships.
I have never seen gossip not adversely affect relationships between people. This is true in marriage, families, business, politics, and the church. Think of the supervisor or boss who is the subject of gossip by others. Do you think they are not affected? Or consider the pastor who does things exactly your way, and is the subject of comical ridicule, do you think he is not impacted by your private conversations? Or the man person who has just experienced a tragic fail, do you think your gossip is helpful for him? Those who traffic in gossip are like arsonists who start fires and then moving on to watch the victim deal with the consequences of the burn.

But the bottom line is that gossip is destructive on many levels and often impossible for the subject of our gossip to change the perceptions shared. In gossiping about them, we wound others and create distance in relationships. But a right word has the power to encourage, heal, support, and mend the brokenhearted.

Proverbs 26:20 reads, "For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases."

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

God Uses Broken Men

Chained Man a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute Mens Bible Studies

God Uses Broken Men

Regardless of what you think about yourself, or what you think other people think about you, God is still using men like you. Even when you're broken, bruised and beaten up.

I love reading about the men God used in the Bible. They are rarely the ones I think he would use. Think about Moses. He had an anger problem which led him to kill an Egyptian official, which resulted in him running for his life. He went from being in the hierarchy of the Egyptian palace to be a hired shepherd in the valley. And then when God thrust him into leadership, he complained that he didn't have the verbal or persuasive skills necessary to confront the Pharaoh. (I assume some people today would say he had a bit of a self-esteem problem.) Add to this his issues with his family of origin: abandonment; adoption; raised by a Pharaoh who oppressed his people. Had Prozac been available, I imagine Moses would have been first in line. God used him to lead the most significant movement in the Bible: The Exodus. What can we learn from stories like this about how God uses men?

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First | God is not hindered by our past failings.
Did you get that? Moses was an emotional wreck at times, and God still used him. He was a wimp at times, and God still used him. Some days he wanted to give up, and God still used him. He was overwhelmed, and guess what - yep God still used him. And other characters were much the same. David was an adulterer, murderer, and liar. Paul imprisoned and persecuted Christians. Abraham lied about Sarah being his wife, twice: and the list could go on. But why did God continue to use them? Because they had a heart for him in spite of their failures and faults - and we all have ours. Only God can redeem every part of our biography no matter how bad and refashion it for his purposes. No person and no one's story is exempt.

Second | God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary work.
Why? Because when God calls us to do something for him, he gives us what we need to accomplish it. In other words, it's never about us and always about him, his power, and his purposes. In First Corinthians 1:27 Paul writes, "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong." In other words, he uses ordinary people like us so that it is evident that God's extraordinary power is responsible for any success we have. Nice move God; more of you and less of us.

Third | God desires is a willing man.
Most of us think we not qualified for ministry. We almost impulsively disqualify ourselves. And we are wrong to do this. All of us are called to use our gifts for God. What God wants from us is a heart that wants what God wants. In First Samuel 16:7, we read these words of God as Samuel selects the next man to be king. "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." God is still seeking men with heart, a heart for him. Therefore we can see God's prerequisite is not perfection but the willingness of heart, and yes in spite of our biographies that others see. The cool part is that he takes the good, bad, and ugly of our story and uses it for his purposes.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

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