Category Archives: Advanced Tips

This is advanced training for leaders

5 Things To Do When You Fail Spiritually

5 Things To Do When You Fail Spiritually a blog by Vince Miller

5 Things To Do When You Fail Spiritually

Five things I remember when I fail that keep me moving forward as a man who is all in.

All of us fail spiritually. For some of us, this can turn into a downward spiral of guilt, sadness, and hopelessness which is a recipe for further collapse. And negative self-talk or voices from the past can whispers untruths like, "you're not worthy, you're a failure, and you'll never live up to God's expectations." Yet there are better ways and more biblical approaches to dealing with a failure of a spiritual nature.

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First | Move beyond the event.
It happened, and now it has become an event of the past. Acknowledge to yourself the failure. Learn from the failure. Confess your failure to others. But don't dwell on it too long. Instead, start taking steps to move beyond it. The worst decision we can make is allowing the failure to define us by replaying the tape in our mind and letting the private shame define us. You are a son of God, and this one event doesn't determine your identity - God does. Move beyond it with lessons learned.

Second | Identify what triggered the event.
Sin has triggers and understanding them is a key to becoming aware of our vulnerabilities. Triggers can be managed if they are identified and if we battle them with proactive tactics. For men who struggle with pornography, anger, or passivity there are usually triggers that precede the event. They are events that set the sin cycle in motion. Identify these so that you can more effectively deal with it in the future.

Third | Seek God's forgiveness.
No sin reaches beyond God's grace. None. Not one. God stands ready to forgive, but we must recognize our sin and seek his forgiveness. This is why Jesus came - to give his life for our wrongs. There is no moving on from spiritual failure without God's forgiveness, and there is no spiritual failure that is beyond his forgiveness. You cannot earn it. He gives it freely. Release it to him.

There is no moving on from spiritual failure without God's forgiveness, and there is no spiritual failure that is beyond his forgiveness.

Four | Forgive yourself.
Ok, this is easier said than done, but how can we not forgive ourselves if Jesus has forgiven us? To refuse to forgive ourselves is to reject the forgiveness of God. We cannot move on until we forgive ourselves.

Five | Move beyond cycling shame.
Shame is a cycle that is triggered by failure and then leads to additional failure as described above. Moving beyond our shame because of God's forgiveness is critical. There will be people who want you to live in continued pity: don't do it! It's why Jesus died – so we can be free from shame, guilt, and sin. Live in freedom.

Six | Find accountability and brotherhood.
Sharing our struggles with another trusted individual is a key to dealing with spiritual failure. There is a freedom in verbalizing our struggles, sin, and hunger for victory with another brother. We suffer in secrecy, but we flourish in honesty. A wise, trusted friend can give you perspective, show you grace and help hold you accountable in the areas where you struggle. Verbalizing our struggles with another and allowing them into our lives is a key to overcoming spiritual failure.

We suffer in secrecy, but we flourish in honesty

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.

3 Reasons Why You Should Journal

3 Reason You Should Journal a blog by Vince Miller

3 Reasons Why You Should Journal

Journaling is an ancient discipline that was used by some of the greatest leaders in Old Testament history, and one that is worth your time.

Journaling is one of the oldest of the spiritual disciplines. It is the reason we have such wonderful spiritual insights from so many men of faith who have gone before us and who have influenced God's people for hundreds of years. In many ways, the Psalms were mostly private journal entries of King David as he meditated and reflected on God and the Scriptures. And the Proverbs were the individual journal reflections of King Solomon, in an attempt to pass on the wisdom we need for greater success.

I believe that all of us ought to journal if we don't already. Here are three reasons why you should journal. The practice can be life-changing.

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Journaling helps your mind to focus.
Most of us have many strands of thought, concerns, and challenges running through our minds at any one time. This is normal as our minds are often processing multiple issues in the backdrop. And this is fine, except that there are many times when it is essential to focus on specific topics so that we can come to clarity on those issues as every part of life is part of our followership of Jesus. Journaling helps the kind to focus sharply on matters that might need prayer and attention in our life, and let go of the peripheral issue that might be keeping us from disciplining the mind.

Journaling helps you to process.
Suppose we are having trouble relating to one of our children or are in a struggle with them about specific behaviors. We are frustrated and irritated and cannot figure out how to approach them or deal with the actions. There is nothing like a journal to help us think through our approaches, responses, the issues at stake and which hills to die on and which to let go. Journaling helps us focus on an issue, so we think it through, and it helps us process our thinking, behaviors, reactions or actions.

Journaling helps us focus on an issue, so we think it through, and it helps us process our thinking, behaviors, reactions or actions.

Think again of the Psalms, or what I am calling David's journal. Psalm 23 helped him understand and put into perspective the presence of God in good times and bad. Psalm 51 helped him process his sin and God's incredible forgiveness. Every time we write we are clarifying and processing which is the genius of journaling.

Journaling records your growth.
Few things are more gratifying than to look back over time and see our growth. When we have a written record, we can go back and see what was an issue even a year ago is now resolved because we have grown wiser. We can look at the challenges we survived, marriages that have gotten stronger, relationships which are being healed and through all of these we see how Jesus has been faithful to us. We can also see more readily with hindsight the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our journals are a record of our growth; growth that accelerates as we journal because we have learned to focus on critical issues in our lives and process through them.

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 Structure Of The Bible For Bible Reading

Reading The Bible a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute

The Structure Of The Bible For Bible Reading

Are you a first-time reader or just trying to develop a Bible reading discipline. Here is a  fundamental structure that might help.

For first time readers engaging the Bible can be an overwhelming task. This is because the Bible is not your typical book. Many trying to read the Bible or just developing a Bible reading habit are quick to discover that the Bible is full of obscure language, unusual settings, and unique peoples, which makes it confusing and complicating to read. Add to this the fact that there are many different literary styles mixed into this book (i.e., poetry, prophetic, narrative, letters, etc.), and it's no surprise why it might be hard for someone to try to take up the discipline of reading the Bible. So when a well-meaning friend insists on Bible reading as a leading spiritual discipline when you don't know what to do or where to start, you could be tempted to throw in the towel before you ever begin. But don't, because this book unlocks the secrets of life-changing truth that will never lead you wrong. Note the Psalmist.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

I believe reading the Bible is worth a small investment of time in some simple preliminary work. It is, after all, a compelling collection of historical events and stories laid out for us, transporting us through thousands of years of God’s story so that we might know the truth that sets mankind free. Jesus once said,

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

Today my goal is to give you a high-level understanding of the framework of the Bible, and some simple steps to get you going in your Bible reading, so that you can navigate the most reproduced and distributed book in the world.

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The Structure Of The Bible.

If you turn to your table of contents in your Bible, you will notice the Bible contains 66 individual books. 39 of these books are what is called the Old Testament books, and 27 are the New Testament books. While the Bible tells a single meta-narrative about God's salvation of mankind and his son Jesus Christ, this story is told over thousands of years through the lens of 40 different authors.

But knowing a basic structure makes the task easier. Note the following flow of the two testaments.

Old Testament books are arranged by:

  • Law - Often called the Torah the first five books tell the story of our genesis.
  • History - Books that tell the story of God's people.
  • Poetry - Poetry, and songs written for the early church about God.
  • Major Prophets - The big guys.
  • Minor Prophets -  The smaller guys.

New Testament books are arranged by:

  • The Gospels – Four perspectives on the life of Jesus.
  • Acts – A book of history about the early church.
  • Paul’s Letters – Letters Paul wrote to churches he influenced.
  • Hebrews – A book to Jews who became Christian converts that  helps them understand the connection.
  • Other Letters - Letters written to other Churches.
  • Prophecy - The book of Revelations written by John.

I think this gives you a simple outline of the Bible.

But Where Should I Begin?

Now it's tempting to start at the beginning, but I would not. I encourage a new reader to start reading three books of the Bible. First, with a New Testament narrative called the Gospel of John. It is the fourth of the gospels, which is the most readable on life and ministry of Jesus. I would encourage someone to begin here because the metanarrative of the Bible is about Jesus, and this gives a person an excellent starting point to view prophecies of the Old Testament and the apocalyptical narrative of the New Testament. Second, I would then read the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament which is the book of the history of the first church. And third, I would recommend Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament. Starting with these books will help you connect with the story from the beginning, middle to end. And it might get you into the truth, the truth that has the power to set you free.

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 Have A Daily Quiet Time With God

Having a Daily Quiet Time With God a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

How To Have A Daily Quiet Time With God

Discover the challenges and importance of investing in time with God, and a simple suggested pattern.

Our lives are filled with appointments and meetings, but there is one appointment that we find hard to keep consistent. And missing this one appointment produces guilt and failure in many men - it's having a daily quiet time with God. But this regular appointment with God doesn't have to be so daunting and should be a source of life, joy, truth, direction, and a means of deepening our relationship with the God who loves us.

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ONE | Jesus loves our company.

It's hard to comprehend but God created us for a relationship with him, and he loves when we choose to spend time with him. Often I picture God sitting in an empty chair across from me when I take time to be with him. After all, he's there with me. And I imagine myself talking to a close friend who happens to be the Creator of the universe. Men like Moses, Abraham, David, Joshua, and even Jesus inferred that they communicated to God in much of the same way. And often they prayed out loud just like they would any other conversation. These conversations were ways they invested in what was a primary and essential relationship for them.

We wouldn't dream of neglecting a close friend. And often we spend time with these friends because they give us life, connection, wisdom, and support. We need their company in regular doses. And it's no different with God. Except he's not just any man, friend, or relationship, he's the ultimate source of life.

Jesus put it this way. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing…If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples." (John 15:5-8). Did you notice the operative word in Jesus' instruction? It's remaining - remaining in him. And having a daily quiet time with God is a vital method for "remaining in him and he in us."

TWO | Don't overcomplicate a quiet time with God

What kinds of things do you do with a close friend? You invest time with them. At times it's as simple as a quick phone call, to hear what going on with them and sharing what's going on with you. It is no different when we meet with God. We take some time alone with God, maybe 6 -12 minutes at the start of each day. And during this time, listen to him by reading a text from God's word, and talk to him in conversational prayer. Sometimes you might like to prepare yourself with a song of worship at the start as a way of praising him.

Think of your meeting with God as an alignment meeting to get each day started right. In quietness, bring your needs to him, confess your sin, ask for his help, learn from him through meditation on text and worship him as our Lord. Time with him daily will incrementally change your heart and mind, and as a result, you will become more like him.

THREE | Remember to keep it regular.

Our relationship with God is only as new as the last time we were with him. So keep it regular with a daily appointment. Sometimes it may be just touching base for a few minutes. And other times we may have more extended time with him, but don't neglect the best and most forgiving, loving, and gracious friend you will ever have - God.

FOUR | A suggested pattern for a quiet time with God.

[2-3 Minutes] Preparing for the meeting.
Start to slow by preparing for your quiet time with a period of silence, praise, or reflection. The goal in preparation is to move from thinking about the cares of the world to thinking about your relationship with God. During this time you will want to note where you are at personally and the current state of your heart, mind, and soul. It may be good to write out critical concerns in a journal or notepad so that you can move from "your self-concerns" to a posture of engaging God.

[2-3 Minutes] Listen to God by reading a relevant scripture.
Next, take a couple of minutes to find verses that speak to the concerns you noted. I love the Open Bible's Topic search tool for this: www.openbible.info/topics. Just type in a word or phrase, and you will find a ton of relevant verses. Stop at the one that speaks to you and listen to God's word to you. During this time just let God speak. Read the verse multiple times looking at God's instruction for your situation. It might be good to write out the action or steps God's word suggests you take.

[2-3 Minutes] Talk to God by sharing your needs.
Finally, talk to God about your situation, the direction scripture is leading you, and the challenges you are facing. The A.C.T.S. method is a great model for this conversation time. It begins with Adoration - revering God for what he has done. Next, Confess - this is to own the sin that God has brought to your mind during your reading. Next, Thanksgiving - appreciate God for what he has done or revealed to you. Finally, Supplication - ask God for what you might need for the day.

In 6-12 daily minutes, you will not only be centered for a new day, but you will deepen your relationship with the God of the universe who wants to be in a loving relationship with you. Try this pattern for 30 days and your relationship with God will be more profound and the outcomes unbelievable.

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 Study The Bible

How To Study The Bible a blog post by Vince Miller of Resolute Men's Bible Studies

How To Study The Bible

Three simple steps to successfully studying the Bible on your own. An age-old and time-tested method that will make you look as smart as your pastor.

Let's face it. Many of us find the idea of personal Bible study daunting! Especially if we haven't done it before. Don't you have to be a trained theologian to study scripture effectively? Nope! The truth is that while there are truths that we will never fully grasp because God is so amazingly great, His word is understandable for all of us, especially if we take the time to study it on a regular basis. So, what is the secret to studying the Bible on our own?

Three Simple Steps To Bible Study:
Three primary questions should be asked about any passage we are studying.

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One: Observation – What does the passage say?

This step may seem straightforward, but that isn't always true. Many of us bring our own theological biases to our reading of Scripture because we have been told what our theological grid ought to be. All of our "grids" are deficient in some way, so it's essential to allow the text to speak for itself. Just ask the question, "What does it say?"

Two: Interpretation – What does the passage mean?

This step involves discerning the author's main thought or idea behind what he is writing. So, you want to pay attention to the five C's here: What was the context of the passage; are there cross-references where the Bible talks about the same issue (scripture interprets scripture); what was the cultural context in that day; what is your conclusion as to what the passage means and if necessary consult a commentary where you have additional questions. While that may sound complicated, it isn't, and most of the time the meaning will be evident quickly.

Three: Application – What am I going to do about what the passage means and says?

This step is where first-time readers begin rather than end. They love to know the truths of Scripture, but they don't relish applying those truths that are inconvenient. But Scripture study without personal application is a waste of time and does not honor God. The good news is that God always blesses any effort we make to bring our lives into conformity with His Word. And His Holy Spirit will help us make that a reality if we are committed to the simple principle of taking God at His word and following His commands and teaching.

There are few more exciting things than to discover God to understand His plan for our lives and to see His character become our character. The book of Proverbs describes the process as being like a miner who searches for silver and gold and finds it after hard work. Every nugget in their search is a reward, and every nugget of truth discovered in Scripture is our reward as it is applied and lived out.

As you engage in your mining of God's word, keep a journal and jot down your discoveries. Then pray over those discoveries that God would help you apply the truths you found to your life.

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

Be The Man In The Arena

Be The Man In The Arena a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

Be The Man In The Arena

Three declarations for the man in the arena who feels the agony of defeat.

It is one of the most inspiring quotes of all time.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." President Theodore Roosevelt.

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Declaration One | Failure Is Imminent.

It's a pretty good picture of life. We fail all the time: we speak words we wish we could take back; reactions we want to do over; marriages we wish we could have saved; decisions that were foolish and got us into trouble; or endure circumstances that deal us a bad hand. Fallen people do fallen things, and a fallen world deals out fallen conditions, but God is always present, always redeems, and is waiting for us to trust him, get back up and continue to press on.

Declaration Two | Jesus Gets It.

The writer of Hebrews says this about Jesus. "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Why can we get up again when we've failed? Because we endure knowing he has lived in our shoes. Nothing we face is a surprise to him. He gets it, and he gets us. At his throne, there is always grace and always mercy. It is why we can approach him with confidence in our time of need and know he is in our corner and wants to help us move on.

Declaration Three | Keep Moving Forward.

What do you need to keep moving forward today? Are you holding on to some failure or some circumstance in life that is holding you back and preventing you from moving forward in your Christian life? Today, take it to the throne of grace, give it to God and then get up from the arena floor, dust yourself off and move forward again - in his grace.

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.

Becoming An Ironman

Becoming An Ironman For Christ a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

Becoming An Ironman

Learning how to run the race set before us as iron men.

It is a hard-won designation: Ironman. It indicates that you completed a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22 run without a break. And you finished in under 17 hours. It is one of the premier endurance competitions on planet earth, and it takes preparation, discipline, and resolve to complete.

And Jesus demonstrated this kind of resolve during his life on planet earth. This is the reason I chose "resolute" as the title for this ministry because it describes who Jesus was so well. Resolved. Resolute. It's a word taken from Luke 9:51, "As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." At this point in his 3-year ministry, he is no longer quiet about who he is or what he is going to do. He is resolved. And from here he progressively gets stronger, clearer, and firmer in his conviction. He is on a direct course to the cross and set to fulfill his mission. This word, "resolute" describes the man I want to be - an ironman for Jesus.

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Becoming a man of iron.

I want to be a man of iron like Jesus: going the distance; living with resolve; giving total effort; focusing on the goal; possessing the discipline need to complete the race God has before me.

So what does this look like for you?

While there are differences between you and me in our gifting, there are some constants for all men as we become iron men.

First: Ironmen embrace their title.

We live with the daily realization that our lives do not belong to us but to Christ. Anyone competing in the Ironman knows that his life, and therefore identity, belongs to the title of the race. That no obstacle can get in the way of the preparation, discipline, and resolve needed to compete in the competition because the title of the competition is who they become. In the same way, our lives, and therefore identity belongs to Christ. This means that our identity must be fully attentive to the daily discipline that prepares this identity. Each day belongs to him, not us. And each day we form more to his training, as we run the race set before us.

Second: Ironmen are resilient.

While and Ironman competitor will eventually stumble along the way, the ironman will always come back for more. More practice, more effort, and more improvement. With Christ, as we become more aware and attentive to the Holy Spirit's work in our lives, we stumble with an attitude of resilience, seek forgiveness, and move forward in grace.

Third: Ironmen are finishers.

You cannot be an ironman if you do not finish in the allotted time. And we find accomplishment of going the distance for Christ. No one who competes in the Ironman would tell you that it is easy. It can be arduous, and it will take all a man can give. But anyone who finishes has the satisfaction that they did it. We completed the race! And the Ironman for Christ is one who knows he will finish from the moment he starts. Running is done with the confidence that finishing is imminent.

Just before Jesus died on the cross, he said, "It is finished." He stated that He had completed the resolute race the Father had given him. I want to be able to say that at the end of my life. How about you?

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.

Brave-hearted Men

Bravehearted Men a Blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Men's Bible Studies

Brave-hearted Men

Becoming a brave-hearted man, when the moment calls for courage.

As men, we relate to the tale of Braveheart! Instinctively we are drawn to Sir William Wallace's courage as he avenges the death of his bride and revolts against the King of England whose troops had pillaged, raped, and killed his people unjustly. William had a cause that he was willing to give himself to entirely; one that would cost him his life. It has become a classic story of courage in the face of injustice.

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Joshua: An Old Testament Braveheart
There is a Braveheart type figure in the Old Testament – Joshua - who was Moses's successor. God's charge to Joshua reminds us of Sir William Wallace's charge: "Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:6-9)."

Joshua had a history of being courageous. He was one of twelve spies Moses sent to spy out the land of Israel forty years prior. Only two spies of the twelve - Joshua and Caleb - dared to bring back a favorable report about the land. The other ten cowards convinced the people that it was too dangerous, and thus the people rebelled against God. For Joshua the answer was simple. God told us to take the land, and God will ensure we are successful.

So what is real courage?
Now as Joshua inherits the leadership baton from Moses, God tells Joshua to be strong and very courageous, and He connects courage with following the Word of God in the Scriptures: "Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."

Real courage is the willingness to follow God even when it seems dangerous or irrational to others (like the other ten spies). It takes courage to open your life to other men and allow them to help you live a Godly life (courage to be transparent). It takes courage to be the spiritual leader of my home (courage to become a servant leader). It takes courage to admit that I need help to overcome my lustful thoughts (courage to overcome shame). It takes courage to honor God with our finances and give back to Him (courage when you feel short on resources).

Jesus calls us to live courageously.
When Jesus says, "Follow me," he's calling us to a life of courage. Courage to go against the flow. Courage to take Him at his word. Courage to follow his commands, with the knowledge that he will be with us wherever we go.

Is there an area in your life today where God has been talking to you, and you need the courage to say, "I will do it?"

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.

13 Lessons Learned From Hybels Moral Failure

What The Board of Willow Creek Did Wrong by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

13 Lessons Learned From Hybels Moral Failure

Thirteen lessons I have learned from the failure of Bill Hybels and the Willow Creek Board.

I am sure that many of us have been reflecting on the events at Willow Creek Community Church. Let me share some of my reflections and observations as to lessons that the church at large can learn from this.

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One

There are no perfect organizations, churches, or people. We are all broken in public or private ways. And we all need grace and truth.

Two

Never assume that any Christian leader is above sin or failure. Apart from God's grace we also are vulnerable.

Three

Ministry and church boards need to hold their leaders and themselves accountable for behavior regardless of their significance, size, or success.

Four

Ministry boards are far better off when they embrace the truth rather than try to spin information to protect themselves, their reputation, or their leaders.

Five

If we don't police our sinful tendencies and are not honest about them, then we run the risk of failure. No one is exempt from attacks from the enemy, and we cannot stand alone.

Six

Hidden sin inevitably becomes public. Deal with it now rather than hoping it will remain unknown. The shame will be hard, but the hiding it further can be catastrophic.

Seven

Church boards are accountable to the congregation and God, not exclusively their senior leader and his opinion, ideas, and visions. When a board does not hear and act on the information the congregation and God give them, they will eventually be found out and lose their credibility.

Eight

It takes courage to serve on a church board when the truth must be spoken. You may be considered unpopular, but silence is agreement. It usually takes at least one courageous person to open a robust dialogue.

Nine

The failure of a leader impacts everyone. It does not just hurt the staff team, it impacts the congregation, it impedes the vision, and it discredits the church at large.

Ten

All of us need a group of safe men with whom we can be completely honest about our struggles. Struggling alone is a recipe for failure.

Eleven

God can redeem but only if we come clean. True repentance isn't easy as it removes pride and requires humility. But God heals the broken and uses them when they fully submit to him.

Twelve

The Willow Creek lessons will be leadership and governance fodder for years to come. Listen carefully to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, so you or your church does not become a negative illustration as well.

Thirteen

Never discount an accusation of abuse charged against a leader. The wounded don't need to be wounded again by disbelief and dismissal.

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.

What The Board Of Willow Creek Did Wrong

What The Board of Willow Creek Did Wrong by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

What The Board Of Willow Creek Did Wrong

The three fundamental failures of the Willow Creek board and the lessons we can learn and avoid in the church.

The recent resignation of the entire board of Willow Creek Community Church is not a surprise. It was inevitable given its governance errors in dealing with Bill Hybels, and the accusations against him. Especially enlightening is that the congregation applauded when the current board announced it would step down. I am confident this applause was not intended as antagonistic, but a recognition that it would take a new board to move forward. I believe that the board failed in three crucial areas. Each area of failure made the situation more critical, not less.

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Failure One: Willow's board did not hold their leader accountable.
If anyone was a superstar in the Christian leadership arena, Bill Hybels was. Perhaps this is a contributing factor to why the board allowed itself to be manipulated by Bill to downplay the severity of the accusations against him. Also, Bill is known to be an influential figure who has proven challenging to object as a leader.

The allegations against Bill date back several years, and even with those accusations and credible voices, the board failed to hold Bill accountable for actions that would eventually bring about his resignation. Every leader needs to be held accountable, and boards that are not willing to keep their leader accountable are weak and ineffective boards.

Failure Two: Willow's board did not take the allegations against Bill Hybels seriously causing additional pain to the victimized.
Can you imagine being one of the victims who took the courageous step to come forward only to be called a liar (directly or indirectly)? In a place that should be safe – the church – it felt unsafe to many victims and whistleblowers. Amazingly, some of the accusations came from well-known women who had served the church faithfully for years, and the board listened with a voice of disbelief and dismissal. Willow Creek, the model ministry for many others, failed the "#MeToo" test. While I am sure the vigorous denials of Bill played a role in their failure to listen, the board is ultimately responsible for not acting as multiple individuals came forward with a story. In the process, they made the pain of victims and their families that much more significant.

Failure Three: Willow's board destroyed its credibility by protecting Bill Hybels.
When in damage control mode, many boards go into damage control mode where spin is more important than truth. Those watching from the outside scratched their heads in amazement as the board made pronouncements to the congregation only to need to clarify and modify in the next announcement. And the next!

Ironically the best way to protect a congregation is to tell the whole truth when situations like this occur. At least there can be confidence in the leadership to be up front even if the administration has failed. In this case, because of how they handled the situation, Bill Hybels, the board, and his successors all ended up without the trust of the congregation and resigned. A massive blow to the already wounded church. What was complicated and ugly became even more complicated as trust in all leadership is now gone!

If you serve on a ministry board, be an advocate for transparency wherever the chips may fall. Falsehoods or cover-ups do not help God they are only fuel for the enemy.

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.

Bill Hybels And Moral Failure In A Leader

Bill Hybels and Moral Failure a blog by Vince Miller at Resolute Mens Bible Studies

Bill Hybels And Moral Failure In A Leader

What lessons can we learn from the moral failure of another leader?

The news from Willow Creek over the past few months has been ugly and distressing. An icon of a church leader (Bill Hybels) resigned amidst a growing number of accusations. The elder board who defended him has resigned because of lost credibility. The senior leader and preaching pastor put in place by Bill Hybels have also resigned because of the fallout. What was a model of ministry for decades is now reeling in pain, and it will take a long time before healing can take place. So, what can we learn from the Bill Hybels story?

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One | You are vulnerable to sin.
If we take anything away from this, it needs to include our vulnerability to sin. We are sinners saved by grace, but we are always vulnerable in our areas of weakness to allow sin a foothold in our lives. Peter writes that "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." 1 Peter 5:8-9. We cannot take him lightly or our propensity to sin. And Satan will tempt us in our area of greatest vulnerability.

I'm sad that Bill Hybels fell into what looks like a long pattern of sexual sin. I'm sad for the victims, and I'm sad for the church and the reputation of Jesus. At the same time, I am fully aware that it could have been you or me. All of us are vulnerable to sin if we do not observe our lives.

Two | Get some buds; they're called brothers.
One of the most important practices we can have is to cultivate a few close friendships where we are able and willing to talk honestly about our struggles. Too many men try to struggle alone, especially with sexual sin because of our shame. Pornography, lustful thoughts, unfaithfulness to our spouse are often the result. We all know it doesn't work! What does make all the difference is a group of trusted men we can talk with candidly in a place of grace and safety to encourage us in our Christian walk and moral purity.

Safeguarding our hearts is another key to dealing with our sinful tendencies. Unless we are proactively seeking God we will remain vulnerable, The apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." What are you doing on a daily basis to become more transformed by the renewing of your mind? It certainly starts with time in the Word of God and prayer.

Three | God is in the redemption business.
David is called "a man after God's own heart," and yet he was guilty of murder, lying, trying to cover up his sin and duplicity in the adultery he committed with Bathsheba. How can that be? It is because the grace of God is always greater than our sin and God is a God of redemption, mercy, and forgiveness when we come to him in humility, truth, and repentance. Failure need not be final even when our sin is great. But first, we need to come clean, speak the truth, take responsibility and live with a repentant heart as David did in Psalm 51. I hope Bill Hybels will take this route. And I hope each of us will when dealing with our sin.

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.

Become A Man Of Dangerous Faith

Dangerous Faith a Daily Devotional and Blog post by Vince Miller at Resolute Men's Bible Studies

Becoming A Man Of Dangerous Faith

Discover a faith that is exhilarating and masculine.

What does it mean to live a life of faith?

It's not just believing in Christ although that's vital. It's not just church attendance or being in a small group although that's important. And it's not just how much of the Bible we know although that's also needed. Faith is the willingness to recklessly follow Jesus where he calls us, to do what he commands, and trust him with our lives even when it feels awkward and doesn't meet our expectations.

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THIRTY VIRTUES THAT BUILD A MAN. It’s an uncomplicated spiritual growth and mentorship guide to becoming more Christ-like. And it’s backed by the research of over 1,500 men we surveyed. Use it solo or in a group to build better men.

One | Faith Is Responding To God's Promptings.
When God told Abraham to leave his homeland for a place that he would show him, Abraham had no idea where he was going. He didn't have a G.P.S. to guide him, couldn't Google the directions, and didn't even have access to one of those old-fashioned trifold laminated maps to chart his journey. Instead, he went on a walk of faith, trusted God, and followed Him. And he did this not knowing what the journey would hold or knowing what awaited him at his destination. But he did have faith in the God he knew well. When God prompts us about something in our lives, the man of faith says, "I will follow." And he follows when the journey feels uncertain, mysterious, scary, and requires risk. But hold fast because our faith is in a God who loves us and who is more real than the challenges we face.

Two | Faith Is Choosing God's Way Over My Way.
Many men look up to Christian leaders who know and can effectively communicate Scripture. But, I have even greater respect for men who know Scripture and act on it. And even more respect for the men, who in moments of decision choose God's way over their way. Faith is the willingness to choose God's way even when the rest of the world does not. This is never more challenging than in moments when it following God will require risk and inconvenience that cost us something. The purpose of studying God's Word is not solely to gain knowledge but to know our God and to live under his lordship ad in his way.

Three | Faith Is An Invitation To Live Adventurously.
Men love adventure. We are made by God to need a challenge and to live on the edge. There is nothing more exhilarating than to live on the side of faith where we choose to follow a dangerous God who calls us to dangerous things and then gives us the strength and wisdom to get there. Here is a dangerous saying: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." (Proverbs 3:5-7). That is the life of dangerous faith.

Where is God calling you today to an adventure of faith? Will you take the challenge?

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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