Church Leaders Podcast - Jason Day & Vince Miller
A podcast with Vince Miller and Jason Day from ChurchLeaders.com addressing the topic of manhood.
MAN TALK AUDIO PODCAST:
Welcome to the church leaders podcast, conversations with today's top ministry leaders to help you lead better everyday and now podcasting from scenic Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here's your host, Jason Day. Hello friends and welcome to the church leaders podcast. I'm your host, Jason Day, and we have a great interview for you. On this week's episode, I had the opportunity to speak with Vince Miller, founder of resolute men's ministries, been served and Pastoral Ministry for over 25 years before launching resolute, and he shares his fascinating story of how God's calling on his life as a young man has come really full circle to the ministry that he is leading today. Vince has dedicated his life to helping churches develop mentoring relationships among men and has authored over a dozen books and study guides, including his latest 30 virtues that build a man which will be released in time for Father's Day. This year. On this week's episode, Vince and I dig into the challenge of mentoring men in our churches. Vince helps us better understand how to be more effective when it comes to discipling men and shares what he and his team have determined to be the most important element necessary when it comes to leading men to embrace these mentoring relationships. Now, I believe you will agree that Vince really provide some key insights into this important topic for our ministries and churches. So let's jump right into my conversation with Vince Miller. Vince, I just want to welcome you to the church leaders podcasts. Thank you so much for making time to be with us today.
No, I'm excited to be with you, Jason. Thanks for having me.
Yeah, brother. Now we had the opportunity to meet face to face, um, about a month ago. I think it was a, you were here in Colorado Springs and uh, you here talking about your newest book that is going to be released and we'll, we'll talk about that in just a minute. But, uh, I just really enjoyed having the opportunity just to hear your heart and, uh, the big thing that God has put on your heart and the direction that he's been moving you and your ministry is in the area of, of mentoring and specifically mentoring men. So if we could just kind of kick this off, can you just share with us what the challenges are? Why is mentoring men kind of a challenging thing in our churches?
Thank you for the question. I think that, uh, this is probably one of the great challenges that, uh, men are going to face in the church and it's predominantly because men are advocating the church today. My think that we're seeing men less and less really engage with a church community. And I know that's true even in my own life. I think that guys just struggled to understand how they connect to a church body. We know that women are a rapidly attracted to the church, that there's attractive pieces of church life to women that make it very engaging. But for guys, they seem to kind of disengaged. I think the predominant issue is kind of this male pattern apathy where guys are just struggling to engage, uh, with, uh, the church with men of the church and find it hard to get connected to other guys. So that's why, that's where I feel called to kind of step in and speak prophetically to guys, to encourage them to reconnect with a body of Christ, take some leaps of faith, sense and some risk and engaged because we need men involved and bleeding in the church.
That makes sense. Now, Vince, what have you seen to be most effective when it comes to helping men overcome that apathy?
Well, you know, I think that, uh, just me, like any other guy have discovered, I've discovered that men really respond to a very specific call. Uh, they, they don't just like to be entertained and they don't want to go to another event. They're plenty busy enough. They have numerous things going on in their life. But if you look a guy in the eye and you invite him into a mentorship relationship and you say something to him like, I want to develop you, or you respond to his own call in looking for development, he will follow. And I don't believe this is a new idea. A Jesus came up with this idea many years ago. He, he, he challenged men with the idea or the call follow me and guys responded to it because they're desperate to be developed. Uh, they want people to pour into them. Uh, I know for a fact that everything that we've learned in life, we've learned from someone else, um, that's not a made-up idea that really happened. And Jesus just poured into 12 guys. And I think that same approach still works today. The guys are looking for other men to pour into them so that they can travel down the road of life more developed and mentored and discipled leadership development really pulls at the strings of their heart. And I think it's the same, same old tune that, that Jesus preached years ago. Hey, come follow me. Is A, is a, is a call that guys really respond to
that's solid. Now you've thrown a couple terms in into that response there and which is really segues perfectly into my next question because this is something that, um, I've had discussions on in various places with various people, but, uh, you talk about mentorship, you talk about leadership development, you talk about discipleship. How do they relate to each other? Are they the same thing? Are they different things? What's your take on that from your years of ministry?
Yeah, you know, I think people get really hung up on defining those terms sometimes. I think that sometimes we conflate the idea is we mixed the ideas and unfortunately we slice and dice them to surgically. I think, uh, I think discipleship, mentorship, leadership development is all very simple. It's a two guys sitting across from each other, sharing life regarding the truth of God's word and pouring into one another from their life experiences, the things that they'd done well and things that they've failed at. You know, my, uh, my grandfather was really the guy who poured into my life and, and his mentorship, uh, was not rocket science. You just basically spent time with me and poured out the skill and knowledge that he had and gave it a spiritual twist. So much of what I learned, I learned from my grandfather who raised me and he took simple approaches to mentoring me in my own life.
For example, one of the great stories I tell about my grandfather was a, it, uh, the, the moment that he taught me how to drive. And so my grandfather taught me how to drive on one of his vehicles. It was a 1959 Chevy Apache pickup truck. It was pristine. And when I turned 15 years old, uh, he insisted to teach me how to drive on that car. And you know, I will say there was nothing automatic about that truck. Not a single thing on that drug was automatic. And so you had to teach me how to, how to use a three on the tree transmission, a big bus like steering wheel, a starter on the floor. And he showed me all the techniques of using that truck and I'll never forget the first time I went out to take a drive in that truck and I'm putting all the tools in my tool chest to work as my grandfather had been teaching me for months, how to navigate that truck.
And from the time I was probably about 15 and a half till I was 16, he taught me one thing to do on that truck. And that was how to parallel park that truck except the, the twist to the story is I grew up in San Francisco, California. So there was no flat areas basically anywhere in that area. So he was teaching me how to parallel park, uh, uh, a fairly heavy piece of metal between cars on hills and inclines and declines. And it was remarkable. He spent every Saturday morning for three hours teaching me how to parallel park that truck. And, and I to tell you, there isn't a time in my life today that I haven't parallel parked perfectly the very first time because of all the teaching that he beat into me over many months of training me how to do that. And basically what my grandfather did was he did two things in that moment when he mentored and discipled me, he did two things that were real simple that I think we often overcomplicate.
Number one, it took the time to invest in me. And number two, he passed on skill that he had to me so I can become a better man. Now, what's funny about it is he took every, every day average ordinary skill, parallel parking, and inside of those moments he taught me bast incredible spiritual lessons. I mean, for six months, three hours a day, or three hours every Saturday. He taught me how to parallel park. And what do you think he was teaching me about during those times? He wasn't just teaching me how to drive. He was teaching me lessons about life. He was having conversations with me about God. And I think we overcomplicate discipleship. Sometimes it's just very simply taking the time, number one and passing on skill that we have other people and everybody, everybody in this life has some level of skill to pass on to somebody else. For my grandfather in that moment it was learning how to drive and for somebody else out there, it's somebody different. It's something different, but it's always passing on the principles of God during that time that turn it into something greater. It's not just mentorship in that moment. It becomes discipleship or leadership development, whatever you want to call it, but it's not as complicated as we make it out to be.
That's such a great story. I love that. Vincent, of course, you served as a pastor, uh, you know, on the pastoral team for, for many years in it, most of our listeners are pastors or ministry leaders of some sort and, and so probably Atlanta them hear that story and they think, Oh yeah, you know, I can always find kind of spiritual teachable moments like Jesus did in the everyday ordinary things of life, you know, like parallel parking, you know, how, how, how can you help us develop someone as a, as a leader or as a disciples of Christ follower in those moments. But I imagine that if we were to ask just average men who attend our church, you know, hey, do you feel comfortable sharing spiritual insights in the midst of just everyday life? A lot of them might scratch their head in and say, I don't feel qualified in some way to pull out spiritual truths when I'm teaching someone to parallel park, for example. Right? So, so how, how do we help the, you know, the average man who were attending our church, you know, a regular Joe's. How do we help them kind of see and it step into this idea of disciple-making in the midst of, of just regular life on life.
Yeah, that's, that's where the challenge I think is for pastors. You know, I've been a pastor for 25 years. I kind of understand that, that part of the world, and it kind of made this transition into what some people would call Para Church ministry. But I've learned great lessons about navigating a into this new world. And one of the lessons I've learned is I think that often pastors need to take a step into the world of a life of the common man and see things from their perspective. Um, unfortunately I think the reason why guys respond that way and feel uneducated and unqualified, I call it self disqualifying. The reason why guys self disqualify as they considered themselves not to be an expert, they consider their pastor to be the expert. Yet I think pastors look out at these guys and see them kill it in the place in the marketplace, whether it be leading a business, serving in a business.
I mean, some of these guys are incredible blue collar guys that have gifts of being able to, to master an electrical work or plumbing or brick laying or concrete lane, whatever it might be. Some of them are leading it, uh, leading, uh, meetings every day and killing it. Some of them are leading businesses and killing it. I think pastors have something to learn. I think about just stepping into the world and understanding how the world functions and to make the concepts more transferable for the average guy. If a guy is saying, uh, if a guy's disqualifying himself, then really probably we as pastors and I'm speaking about me, have made the Christian life too complicated for them. What we need to do is to make it easier for them to understand how to use their skills and transfer it into everyday life and to turn that into a living story.
I mean, just, I think plumbers are incredible guidance, for example. I think they tend to be the brunt of some jokes, but they're not. They're incredible guys. And I know that because a plumbing trip for me to the store is a three trip process, right? I don't want it and I get the wrong part. I go back and I did another part that I needed, but then I forget something I have to go back a third time. But, but plumbers are incredible. They walk in with such incredible skill and they understand how to put things together and how to arrange things. They understand the inside diameter of the pipe as well as the outside diameter. And they understand how things work and flow and fit together. And, and, uh, I think we underestimate their world. These guys are really smart. They're really intelligent. And I think pastors need to step into the world sometimes and understand them.
We invite them to step into our world every weekend, every weekend they sit in our churches. But rarely do we step into their world. And I think if we could step into their world more, we would discover remarkable lessons about life. And we'd probably be able to bridge a gap between, uh, I think these two worlds that often where there's often a lot of dissidence and what we don't want is we don't want men to self-disqualify. We have to empower them. That is our first job, is to equip and empower the saints. And uh, if, if these guys are saying stuff like that, then, unfortunately, I might have to say that maybe we're doing a poor job because our first job is to go and make disciples.
It's goodness. So let's, let's dig into that a little bit. Um, what are some practical ways that, um, that we can equip these men in our church to help them not feel like they're just coming in, you know, consuming something from, you know, the experts, the pastors, but that they have something to offer when it comes to developing and making disciples.
Yeah, I think, you know, kind of where it begins is in a, in a conversation with the people of our church, I think. I think it's valuable for our pastors to, to sit down with the average guy, for example, really get to know him, to understand his world, maybe even to meet with him in his world rather than have him only meet with them and ours, uh, develop an understanding of what he does for a living and then begin to try to figure out how the principle, the principles of the Bible translate into his world. For example, I had someone say this to me the other day, he's like, man, Vince, I love the principles that, uh, you're teaching here this weekend. Help me to understand how I can translate these principles into my place of business. And you began to tell me about his place of work, his place of work as a fortune 500 company where he can't share his faith overtly.
So I encouraged him to take the principles of the Bible, to kind of demystify it for the average joe in his workplace. Maybe even, I'm going to carefully use this term here, sanitize it of Christian language, right? And to help them to understand how to to to help him to translate those principles into workplace principles that give him an opportunity to talk about the things that he believes in and he values and great leadership principles. They can actually work in the marketplace. Jesus did this all the time with his illustrations. You shared illustrations about farming illustrations, about building illustrations about the military. I mean he went everywhere with his illustrations in the hopes that the common man would make a very viable connection with how discipleship makes its place into everyday life. And I think that if pastors, if we can begin with building relationships with the men and the women underneath our leadership, we will discover that they may have some things to teach us about life and it might start changing our preaching and our teaching and the illustrations that we use and helping people to begin to fuse the connection between the Bible discipleship and everyday life.
That's solid. Now you have developed some resources. Can you tell us a little bit of your kind of mentoring journey yourself? Because this is one of the things that, I mean your mystery has blossomed out of your own story in, in seeking mentors. So can you kinda walk us through that and then let's jump into how that opened your eyes to developing some tools and resources that are very practical, easy to use when it comes to mentoring men?
Yeah. So great question. My, my story really began with me being abandoned by my father at a very young age. My mom, I then was raised by my mom for a few years. She lived a very challenging and anxious lifestyle and uh, she endured a couple of strange marriages and then a number of poor choices that followed that. And when I was about 12 years old or so, I'll never forget the day that my grandfather came over to my mother's house and asked for permission to spend time with me. She was kind of advocating her role as a parent at that time. And then my grandfather stepped in. And what was different about my grandfather was that he was a Christian man. Uh, my, my father was an agnostic, my or maybe borderline atheist and uh, my, my mom was just had advocated or faith and my grandfather stepped in and he, you know, he just gradually started picking me up from school each day.
And then that turned into me having dinner over at my grandparents' house, which turned into me living with them as a young team. And really because of my grandfather's influence in my life during my formative formative years, I became a Christian. Uh, you know, I initially resisted as mentorship just simply because of my upbringing. And I came to discover that a lot of the principles that my grandfather was teaching me about life worked that actually worked when I was 20. I made a profession of faith and when I was 21, he died. And this was a tragic moment for me. I remember sitting at his bedside as cancer was eating him alive and watching them die. And this, this incredible man to me who had really invested in my life over about five or six years was now deteriorating before my eyes and at his bedside.
I remember as he laid down, never to get up again, I watched him painfully die over five hours and, and I remember praying a prayer out loud in that room and it was a very significant moment in my life. I said to God out loud, God for the rest of my life, I want to do for other men what my grandfather did for me, which was mentor me. And in that same breath I asked God, God, would you please provide a mentor to me to take the place of my grandfather in my life? Well, out of that moment, I started pursuing ministry right away, and I started seeking mentors. And, uh, over 20 years I asked about two to 5 million a year to mentor me. And no one ever did. I know that sounds a little bit shocking, but, uh, I've encountered many men throughout my journey in life today that have gotten the same responses.
And over those 20 years, I only heard two excuses. The two excuses were these, I don't have time, or I don't know what to do. And I can remember there was a period in my life when I was kind of irritated about hearing some of these, these answers and responses for guys. But over the years I discovered that there were many guys that did not have the time and they genuinely didn't know what to do. And after about 20 years of this, I just decided that I was going to resolve the problem that I had by mutually also following through with the calling that I promise to God back at my grandfather's bedside. And that was that I was going to spend the rest of my life mentoring other men as my grandfather did for me. And as soon as I stepped into that journey of, of mentoring men, I, I discovered that God was resolving my problem.
I went out and started inviting guys to set in groups with me. And over the period of about six weeks, I started meeting with guys, and I sat down in front of them, and I looked him in the eyes, and I said, I will mentor you spiritually in your faith. And the first 59 out of 60 guys that I asked said these words back to me when I offered that invitation, they said I'm in, I'm in. I was shocked by it because, I mean, that kind of sales rate is pretty high. Fifty-nine out of sixty and a, I suddenly learned that there were a lot of guys out there just like me looking for mentorship and wanting to be discipled, like formally being discipled. Uh, these guys were hungry for something. And I think that just the combination of the places in life they were and the challenges that they were facing.
These guys all said yes, but I suddenly discovered that I'm setting and I mentoring about 59 guys plus plus plus. And I continued to ask more and ended up being about 72 that I put into about five different groups that I was leading one every morning, uh, of the week. And, uh, I'm looking at these guys and I'm mentoring them spiritually. But I noticed on the other side of it with these guys that were now sitting in my groups that they were also mutually mentoring me. I discovered that what we had created was a mentoring relationship that was very powerful and God just blew that up. Five years ago. He took this very simple idea, which is an old idea. It's not an idea that I came up with. It's called mentoring men and a Jesus did it originally with 12 guys, and we're having a conversation today.
You and I are having a conversation today because of what Jesus originally started over 2000 years ago, and that was, he took 12 guys underneath his wing, invested in their lives for a short period of time. It wasn't forever and he just poured out what he, what he had the wisdom that he had into these men. And these guys became giants. I mean, Jesus was such a master mentor that many of these lives, many of these guys were willing to give their lives for him as we know, uh, right up to the point of death. And, uh, that really compelled me. I remember one day I read the great commission and I suddenly read it a little differently than I had read it in the past. I read it not as just something that we get to choose to do, but as an obligation, I suddenly read the Great Commission One day as an obligation for all those who believe and I imagined myself getting to heaven and realizing that when I got to heaven, Jesus is probably going to ask me if I did the one thing that he asked me to do, did I disciple people? Did I make disciples? And I felt such pressure by that, that that's really what led to the advent of bringing all these worlds together to following through with my, uh, my, uh, my call to action at my grandfather's bedside to reading God's word, to discovering that other men out there. We're looking for the same thing. And so I just stepped into this challenge and started mentoring guys and learned a lot along the way over the past five years or so.
It's an incredible story, brother. And I just so love it, and I just love your heart in the midst of all of it. Now can you tell us a little bit about how are you helping other churches kind of step into this?
Yeah. So, so one of the things I do, Jason, is I, uh, I speak to men in large groups of people at churches for example. So I'm speaking to guys all the time, all over the country. I'm sharing a little bit of my story sharing how my grandfather poured into my life. Um, I'm also a challenging men to get off the bench and into the game by stepping into churches where these guys are. I want to encourage them to get into the spiritual game by mentoring other guys. And there's a couple of things we've done as an organization to help guys do this. Number number one, we're trying to help them to take simple steps to grow in their faith. One of the tools we provide is a men's daily devotional they'd guys across the United States use on a daily basis to grow in their faith.
Another little tool that we provided is this new resource that we're talking about today. 30 virtues that build a man, which is essentially a one on one guide for a guy to sit down with another guy and have a real mentoring conversation. It is just a conversational tool, two page chapters, very short, easy to read for another guy, and they just plopped down with the book, and they have a conversation around 30 different virtues that I believe really need to be built in to a man's life and then number three, we provided a, a slew of small group content, video lead, small group content for men to use in any group, and so just each one of these tools as a tool to help guys jump into mentoring conversations with other guys. I just feel impassioned, passionate; God has called me to be a prophet to men and equip them with real tools so that they can take next steps in their faith and I'm just praying that pastors will aggressively use these tools to engage them and have their church because we need men engaged.
Awesome. Now let's talk a little bit about, because I love the resource c of the devotional and that's a via email, is that correct?
Correct. That is via email. Yep.
Awesome. Can you have that then you had the videos that you put together that the people can use in small groups and that sort of thing. Correct? Correct. And then you also have the Kennedy or printed mentoring book which kind of gives men the opportunity to walk through these conversations as you said, right? The trailer conversation. So if a pastor's listening today and says, man, we see the need to help develop these mentoring relationships among our men in our church. Can you just give us like very basic, like step by step kind of process. If a pastor were to say to you, which I know many do, Vince, we want to do this right? What would you say, okay, these here, here are the tools we have put together and this is kind of how you might, uh, you know, kind of launched this or encourage this in your church. What does that look like?
Yeah. So we, you know, we've studied men for the last five years very, very carefully with a lot of experts and we found that men need very simple things to engage. In fact, you need to make it as uncomplicated as possible, not because men are dumb. Men are incredibly intelligent, but because their lives are so busy. So what we did has we created this book, it's a guide, it's a mentor and Guide and devotional, and it's got 30 virtues in it, and these 30 virtues are delivered in two-page chapters, and it creates a question asking process for a man to have with another man. We turned it into a gift book because we know that men buy books now. Sometimes they read them, but they buy books, and they love to give them as gifts. So I would encourage a pastor to buy this for their men on father's day to give it away and just say something simple to them like this, have an on complicated mentoring conversation with another man.
That's it. You ask someone to disciple and mentor you. That's the best. Asking the world. I wish I would have had this tool when I was 20. You know what I mean? I would probably have run into fewer problems if I handed a resource to a guy that I asked to mentor me and just said, will you mentor me using this tool and it just takes all the guesswork out and all you have to do is just flop it open and do the questions as a little bit of text and it creates a discussion and it creates a storyline between two people. The moment that I discovered how uncomplicated it was was the moment that I did it with my son. I sat down with my son. I did a single chapter and my son looked across the table at me who is now, he's 17 as one of my sons, a 17, and he said to me, Dad, I never knew that story about you.
And what I realized it did was it created a dialogue between two guys that creates a storyline of learning. And so I am hoping that pastors for Father's Day, we'll just buy the resource and give it away to their guys and encourage them to have a conversation with somebody else guys. No, not a big fan of groups. They feel a little bit vulnerable in a group, but you can encourage a guy to sit down and have coffee or lunch, sit down with another man that he respects by a couple of the books and have a discussion. Just do it one time. I think you'll be blown away. It's as simple as that. And so Jason, just to make it simple, I've made it as an uncomplicated as possible. It is a gift book. Buy it and give it away. That's it.
That's easy man. I like that. Now a quick question, because you kind of mentioned this regarding groups and that sort of thing. Have you found that this is a resource that can only be used one on one or can it be used, you know, three or four guys getting together over coffee or-or something or what have you found to be most effective? Or can it be used in different ways?
Yeah, so we've tried it with a little over a thousand guys so far just to prove that it works and guys use it three ways. They either use it as a private devotional book where they answered the questions themselves, or they use it one on one with another guy, or they can use it in a group. It is good for any application. I think the ultimate application though where a guy can be the most vulnerable and asked the most insightful questions is a one on one with another guy. That's it.
Awesome brother. That is so good man. I love. I love your whole story and the way that God has has used you over the years and has kind of brought you full circle into, you know, really stepping into his calling in your life and, and I just see how fulfilling it is a for you and in the exciting things that are happening through this ministry. So can you tell us events? Why don't you give us some information if people want to get more info, if they want to be able to order the gift books, um, sign up for the devotionals, all of those things. Where would they go? How, how do they get to that?
Yeah, they would just jump on our website, be resolute.org. It's bee resolute.org, and you'll find all the information right on that homepage of the website, and they can navigate to the devotionals they can navigate to this book we're talking about today, 30 virtues that build a man. Uh, they can find some of our small group studies. We have about ten different series with about 70 different videos, ten different handbooks and there's plenty of resources on here and uh, I would encourage them to go there today, um, and pick up their copy of 30 virtues that build a man.
Awesome brother. So good. So good. And, and we'll have links to that in our show notes for our listeners. So you'll be able to click on that and get there easily. Vince, I just want to thank you. I'm not only for being with us today, but I want to thank you for your passion. I want to thank you for a really kind of following God's calling on your life and stepping into this and um, I, I think I agree with you that, that this is a, uh, an area in our churches that really there's tremendous potential and I think a lot of it's untapped potential in and um, I think this is a beautiful opportunity for the kingdom just to, to grow and to flourish. And, uh, so I, I just wanna thank you for being with us and all that you're doing for the kingdom, brother. Thank you.
Yeah, likewise. Jason, keep it up.
Awesome brother. Well, God bless you, and we look forward to talking to you again.
All right. Have a great day. Happy Father's Day, by the way.
Thank you. God bless you. I appreciate you taking the time to be with us on this week's episode. Every week is we are putting the episodes together. We're thinking of you are pastors and ministry leaders and striving to provide insightful and inspiring interviews as you seek to grow. As a kingdom leader, so we hope you're finding value from the church leaders podcast, and if so, we'd certainly appreciate you taking a few moments to head over to iTunes and leave us a review. Your positive reviews and ratings help other church leaders more easily find our podcasts so they too can benefit from these interviews. Again, we thank you in advance and if you have any comments, any questions, suggestions, or ideas for guests, I would love to hear from you. You can send me an email to podcast at churches or [inaudible] dot com, or you can connect with me on twitter. Finally, you can find this podcast as well as other great faith-based podcasts on the faith play APP. It's available for both apple and android and so we encourage you to check that out as well. So until next time, this is Jason Day encouraging you to love well and lead well. You've been listening to the church leaders podcast for articles, videos, and free resources that will help you lead better every day. Is that our [email protected] Thanks for listening.