Category Archives: Mentoring

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."

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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.

5 Steps To Accountability

5 Steps To Accountability a Blog by Vince Miller

5 Steps To Accountability

How to build accountability into your spiritual life with a plan that promises to produce greater spiritual returns.

In spite of the popular image of the rogue male individualist - the "Jason Bourne" type - God designed us for relationships. Even the strongest and most rugged of us need other men to live life well and to gain spiritual traction. Here are some ways that each of us can build accountability into our spiritual lives.

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One | Quit avoiding relationships.
Men can be intensely private about their inner lives. Sometimes this protective privateness is just plain old pride. A pride that keeps us from getting in touch with our deeper needs or taking the step of sharing these needs because they expose our weaknesses. In fact, when it comes to accountability in our spiritual lives, it is often the mere sin of pride that prevents advancement. Humility says, "I need to be in a relationship," while pride says, "I don't want to expose myself." This issue is directly related to the second truth.

Two | Invite honest feedback.
As humble men, we should be willing to invite feedback so that we can get help where we struggle. The first step is admitting this to ourselves – rather than pretending otherwise – and the second step is inviting others in to help. We only invite this feedback when we have authentic and trusting relationships with other Christ-following men.

Three | Ask for specific accountability.
There is no Christian who doesn't need accountability. All of us have different struggles and unique vulnerabilities, and without authentic relationships with others, we will never become better men. But here is the thing about accountability - you have to be specific to see specific results. You have two paths to choose from on this one. You can avoid specific accountability and take the easy road. Or you can start asking for specific accountability and take the harder road. But it's the harder road that produces better results. When we invite another man to hold us accountable in areas of weakness, while it might be embarrassing, or even painful to make the needed changes, this is the hard road to positive change. Accountability must be specific and measurable, so we know when we win and we lose.

Four | Make accountability positive.
We often resist traditional accountability because it reminds us of an authoritarian relationship. But accountability is not just about obeying rules, being disciplined, or being made to feel inadequate. There is another way of looking at accountability which is far more positive. It is one that asks questions like, "Can we mutually encourage each other as we follow Jesus?" Keep in mind the New Testament writers tells us numerous time to "encourage one another." Turn accountability from a negative experience to a positive one.

Five | Define small marks of success.
We will never "arrive" in our spiritual life until we see Jesus. However, every small step we take to grow in Christ builds on every other small step we have taken, and all of those incremental steps lead to significant growth on our part. Celebrate those incremental steps! Philippians 3:16, Paul makes an interesting statement. He says, "Only let us live up to what we have already attained." In other words, live what we know and keep on growing. These suggestions can help you live what you know.

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.

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 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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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.

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?

NEW BOOK: THE BEST MEN'S DEVOTIONAL WE'VE CREATED SO FAR.

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 | 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.