A 3 to 8 week series designed to help men grow by sharing their experiences.
Imagine 15-30 of your men growing in fellowship and faith in the Lord as they meet after Saturday breakfast or evening coffee and muffins and hear the teaching we have enjoyed over the last 3 year's conferences and discuss how it applies to the daily lives and then pray for each other. It could be used as an 8-week series – like Alpha – or as 3 one-day conferences scattered over the year.
Like the Alpha course there will be many spin-offs as the Holy Spirit works and leaders pray:
- Commitments to Jesus Christ
- Recommitments to the Lord
- Deepening in connective fellowship
- Drawing fringe men into the life of the church
- Greater development of Men's Ministry
- Leadership development in small groups
- Men finding new opportunities to grow with other men
- Changed families and marriages
The speakers are:
- Dr. David Sherbino – pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Woodbridge ON and Professor at Tyndale in Pastoral Ministries
- Dr. Kevin Livingstone – senior pastor at Knox Church, Spadina, Toronto ON.
- Mr. Jim Turnbull – lawyer and member of the Board of Leadership Ministries with Campus Crusade for Christ
- Rev. Lane Fusilier – senior pastor Philpott Memorial Church and leader of a Hamilton men's ministry called "Men's Community".
Video 1 — Authentic Men in a Real World
Dr. David Sherbino
1. The Crisis of Male Spirituality
2. Facing the Reality of Temptation
3. A Man of Integrity in Today's World
Video 2 — Finding True North: Spiritual Growth
Dr. Kevin Livingston and Mr. Jim Turnbull
1. Living by Default or Design
2. How to Find True North (Mr. Jim Turnbull)
3. Moving Beyond "Lone Ranger" Christianity
Video 3 — A Man in the Family
Rev. Lane Fusilier
1. Men and the Women in Their Lives
2. Passing the Baton to the Next Generation
3. How to Build a Men's Group
Using These Videos
Watch them on your own for personal growth, or use them in a group setting. Each video is 25 minutes long. We recommend at least an hour to include discussion for groups. Here are some meeting options:
Option 1 — 8 x 1 Hour Meetings (over 8 weeks)
- Prayer and video (25 minutes)
- Discussion (35 minutes)
- Close in prayer
Option 2 — 8 x 2 Hour Meetings (over 8 weeks)
- Welcome gathering and refreshments (15 minutes)
- Prayer and video (25 minutes)
- Discussion sharing in groups of 6-8 (25-40 minutes)
- Prayer for each other in groups (10-15 minutes)
- Wrap-up and invitation to next meeting
Option 3 — 3 x 1 Day Events (for 3 weeks)
- 9:15 Worship
- 9:35 Session 1 of Tape 1, 2 or 3
- 10:10 Discussion groups
- 11:00 Break
- 11:15 Session 2 of Tape 1, 2 or 3
- 11:50 Discussion groups
- 12:30 Lunch
- 2:00 Session 3 of Tape 1, 2 or 3
- 2:35 Brief discussion groups and perhaps prayer
- 3:00 Worship and dismissal
Preparing a Men's Fellowship Series
1. 10 weeks before: Clear it with your minister and Session.
2. 8 weeks before: Get 5 men who can help prepare, pray and lead (1 for video and room set-up, 1 for advertising, 1 for refreshments, 1 for prayer, etc.).
3. 6 weeks before: Make flyers to give to the men in your church.
4. 5 weeks before: Announce 3 week series or Day Event in church, and give out flyers.
5. 4 weeks before:
- a. Select 20-30 men who may be interested in attending, and have your committee of 5 call and invite 6 men each. Give special invitations to all the elders.
b. Plan food for the day event.
c. Have each leader pray for the 6 men they called.
d. Appoint discussion group leaders (ratio of 1:8) and give them the questions beforehand.
6. 1 week before: Give a final church reminder and ask for a show of hands.
7. On the day of the series:
- a. Set up the room and TV/VCR. Prepare refreshments.
b. Plan places for group sharing. Get name tags.
c. Meet for prayer with leaders before the starting time.
Releasing Men Into Ministry
Hebrews 10:24 says "Spur one another on to love and good deeds … encourage one another." One powerful catalyst for releasing men into ministry is small group sharing. Most men have heard enough preaching. Now they need to speak their own "word from the Lord." After a year or so of teaching, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say I am?" Small groups provide the chance for men to "say" who Jesus is to them, where they are, and so motivate one another to maximized potential in Christ.
We encourage you to have small group discussions after each video. Each video stands by itself or could also be used in a 3-videotape series lasting 8 weeks.
Video 1 gives men the opportunity to talk about struggles in the real world — their experiences of work and temptation, and how faith and prayer helped in the battle.
Video 2 examines spiritual growth and fellowship in God's Word.
Video 3 – The first 2 sessions focus on family relationships and the importance of passing our faith to the next generation. The third talk about building a men's group could be used just for leaders, or left out completely.
Food For Thought
In the Bible we read that Jesus fed the gathering before His teaching; He also invited Himself for dinner to Zacchaeus, the tax collector's house and to teach him about the salvation and the kingdom of God. A significant component of the hugely successful Alpha Course is the mealtime before the teaching. It is also a well established fact that young children learn more effectively when they have had a good breakfast before school. Perhaps we have been created to digest food and digest teaching at the same time. At Glenbrook we have run a fairly successful men's breakfast for many years. The format has been a cooked breakfast and fellowship followed by a guest speaker bringing a Christian message. Discussion on the topic was generally not part of the format. Earlier this year we hadn't been able to arrange a speaker for some reason and decided to use one of the Maximized Men video series which I had purchased. We started at the beginning with David Sherbino's first talk, followed by a discussion of the video presentation. Pastor Ian led the discussions using the question guide which comes with the video. This was so successful that we continued in the following monthly breakfasts. Here are some thoughts from one of the regular attendees:
A significant influence in the spiritual development of men comes in the form of fellowship with other men in a non-threatening, supportive and understanding environment. Monthly Saturday morning informal breakfasts with a presenting speaker, or sometimes a video accompanied by a leader, often allows for open and frank discussion of how the topic for that morning has affected each one of us. I enjoy both the personal reflections and the challenges offered by the speakers (whether live or taped) and can usually take away something of value from these sessions. The topics presented take Scripture, illustrated using examples and anecdotes, and challenge the audience, both individually and collectively, to look at one's own life and to see how we, as men of Christ, can seek to live the life as He would want us.
In today's secular society, it is often difficult to find other males with the desire to live a more Christ-like life. These videos, presenting speakers from diverse Christian backgrounds, provoke and allow an open discussion of how men can support one another in pursuing personal growth. I have come away from some of these breakfast meetings with much soul-searching and realizing that God needs to be in the centre of my life, not on the periphery. The speakers in these videos offer practical ways to accomplish this.
During the discussion period that follows the video presentations, an exchange of views and personal reflections makes me realize that there are problems, and a grappling with issues, common to all men who seek Jesus' presence in their lives. I take away much from these video sessions. They challenge me and let me think and pray about how I might apply the principles learned to my own life, and to understand, and hopefully support and encourage others who may be facing the similar challenges.
This is only one way to use the video series and it works for us. There will be other ways to use the videos as indicated above and each group needs to find out what works best for them. This may mean a couple of false starts, but persevere. Do plan to participate in the training sessions which George Anderson referred to. Contact George directly for information. Psalm 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."