Pastor Chip’s StoryMost Christian congregations in America are significantly lacking "something". I believe that "something" is a pathway for men-beginning with a place for them to come to know Christ in a comfortable setting and continuing with a track within the church that would lead them to maturity in Christ, reproducing mature Christians over and over again. I remember first hearing of Building Brothers and thinking, "Is this just another program to fire up my men? Why will this be different?" Through the years I had witnessed my men participate in large events and get pumped up but yet only days later fall right back into their comfortable rut. I heard Dan give an overview of the "process" and immediately understood that Building Brothers was going to be different. I decided to find a man within our congregation who had a heart for building men within our church. I asked Lamar Ford to attend the Building Brothers Leadership Training with me, and together we experienced the benefit of training men in this process. In my past years of ministry there had been a sense of hopelessness in reaching men. Building Brothers Leadership Training helped me realize that reaching men is not hopeless. I walked away saying, "I can do this as a leader of these men! We can do this as a church!" Attending the Leadership Training helped me to personally engage my heavenly Father at an even deeper level. This didn't, or couldn't, happen until I took a more intense look at the whole father vacuum concept and the painful relationships surrounding this issue for me. You see, my parents divorced when I was only a year old. When I was twelve years old, my father stated, "You are none of mine." I thought I was completely over this wounding, but realized more of the healing process and a deepened trust in God needed to take place in my life. It wasn't until this training that I understood why I was beginning to learn to trust my heavenly Father. I was subconsciously saying, "I hope God won't be like my earthly father and abandon me when I need him." Well, my heavenly Father is not like my earthly father. These three days allowed both Lamar and I to accelerate through some of these large issues surrounding our fathers. As a pastor, I needed to tap into Lamar's spiritual hunger and heart for men, so I empowered him to take the leadership of the men in our church. I realized that I didn't have the time or energy to "be the man" to drive this process. Rather, I needed to have a vision to personally build into the men who can steer this vehicle-usually not the most popular individuals, or even the most gifted, but the ones who have a calling on their lives to serve. As pastors, we are to teach, trust and turn 'em loose! Lamar and I have shared this hope with the men in our church, and they have quickly caught it! We have seen these men dealing with issues that have kept them from a richer relationship with Jesus Christ. One brother in my group shared, "You are the men I'm close to, the ones I depend upon in my spiritual walk. When I need help, this is where I come!" We've established these close and personal relationships and have developed resources for these men in the spiritual battles that take place in their lives. This has generated a desire to see other men experience what they have experienced. Even though we are only six months into this process, they are already engaging other men. Reproduction is already taking place! We are having men visit our church and they are staying. One of these men recently said to me, "This church is taking me faster than I'm comfortable going, but I don't know how I can say no to God." He's pumped about the opportunity to get involved in the second year of Building Brothers. I strongly encourage pastors to attend the Leadership Training-but not alone. Bring a man, or a few men, with you who have this hunger I've spoken about. Having Lamar with me helped me to walk away and see the vision be borne out six months later. It was as if I had a Building Brothers staff member right in my church. This movement of men within our church has been a pathway that launches men further in their spiritual growth so they can engage Christ on a much deeper level. I have seen them grow into spiritually mature and Christ-centered disciples. We need to lead the way, helping them become believers building believers (we've added this to our church sign!). I've heard Lamar say, "In order to reach men we must establish a comfortable place so they will take the 'earplugs' out and really listen to us. It's only then that we can properly deal with their earthly father issues and ultimately their issues with their heavenly Father. The coloration between the two can't be ignored any longer! In these 'travels of the heart' they are brought to a place of experiencing the holiness of God, which compels them to repent and move forward spiritually." In establishing this pathway, we have assisted our men in running the spiritual race that Christ has called them, and us, to run! I praise God for the men of Building Brothers who have taught us to bring out the "something" in our church; they've come up with a viable solution to the crisis within the church. I thank them for their generous expenditures of time and energies in assisting us in becoming all that God intended for us to be in Christ. We are still in the process, but the evidence of improvement is already being experienced; the vision of what we can become is coming into focus.
Power of a Father's BlessingHe entered my office one Thursday and it only required one glance to recognize that he was agitated, and uncomfortable, but yet extremely determined. Asking if I were Larry, he said that a friend had told him that he needed to see me. Looking over his shoulder, as if to see if anyone was listening, he asked if I could help him with his anger? He began to tell me the sad account of his wife leaving with his three children, his father was in prison for child molestation (a repeat offender) and the bitterness he felt at the church for not believing him about his father's abuses of children when he was younger. I shared with him that the "well" I would be drawing upon would be solely based upon the Bible, the only place I had found genuine relief from my own personal struggles. Jim said, "Well, I do have another option, and I really can't go along with that religion thing." So, he left disappointed. The next day I was preparing a sermon for that weekend when I felt the Holy Spirit convey to me that Jim was in danger of his life-by suicide. I began to recall the events of the day prior and remembered Jim's statement that "I do have another option." I quickly contacted the friend who had referred him to me and she confirmed he had tried suicide in the past. I got a hold of him and he was slowly convinced that he should come in to see me. After what seemed like an eternity, he did come in and the conversation was even more difficult than the day before. I just kept crying out to God silently, "Help me, Lord! What do I do? What do I say?!" Suddenly I felt the Holy Spirit saying, "You know that 'father's blessing' you've prayed for young teen boys? Pray it for him." That was a terrifying thought to me, for I had only prayed that prayer for Christian youths who were disconnected from their fathers, and never for a grown man, let alone a non-Christian, who was a gruff prison employee, and angry at the church and all for which it stood. I mustered my meager courage, crying out the whole while internally, and did say to Jim, "Jim, it is amazing to me that you are not angrier with your father for the ways he abandoned you and abused others. I can't imagine how much that hurt you. God intended for us to be blessed through our fathers not cursed! Jim, you know, I've never been a father, but I have the strongest heart for fathering, and in fact I wonder if you wouldn't allow me to pray a father's blessing for you?" To my amazement, he said that would be alright. I rolled my chair a bit closer to his and reaching out (in fear and trembling) said, "May we clasp hands as I pray?" Again I was amazed that he said, "Okay," and recognized that God was indeed at work. Still crying out inside, I said, "Is it okay if I place my other hand on your shoulder as I pray?" Once again, I felt God's marvelous direction as he again indicated in the affirmative. But there was one more thing, I knew. The power I had felt in praying these prayers was greatly intensified by praying directly into the eyes of the recipient. Would this also be God's intent here? I knew that I felt that it was God's intent that I not vary in this element of the "father's blessing" as I had come to know it. So, one last time I cried out, and asked Jim for permission to pray directly into his eyes. Oh, the power of our God! In just moments as I began to pray, tears began to stream down Jim's face, and just minutes after the prayer, Jim was praying to receive Christ into his life. God has given us the tools to reconnect Him with lost generations-by reconnecting the generations ourselves in praying a father's blessing on them. Many, many times before and since I have seen God use the "father's blessing" to break down huge barriers, and to begin to reestablish bonds. Since then (just a bit over a month ago) I've been blessed myself to use it in a maximum security prison, and see a strapping 6' 5" murderer reduced to tears and desire to reconnect to humanity after killing his entire family, grandfather, and brother's girlfriend. Blessings are powerful. When they are generational in nature, even the more!
Words from a German Doctor
Matthias is a young, bright doctor in Germany. Germany has one of the most controlled and hierarchical medical communities in the world. After he understood the mandate to lead as Christ led, he went back and applied the principles of servant leadership to his job: (1) He focused on those he was leading. (2) He communicated the vision and gave it away to them. (3) He set clear parameters within which they were free to function. (4) He released them to achieve the goal. (5) He watched them to remove obstacles they could not remove themselves. (6) He celebrated with them when they were successful. (7) Lastly, he reaffirmed them for who they were and not what they did. Four months after he had committed to lead by serving, Matthias sent the following email; and shortly after that, he became one of the youngest certified chief surgeons i Germany. Dear Dan, Let's try further on with the telephone. At the weekend I should be most of the time at home, so I try it again. I have encouraging news. Since October I am in charge of the OR and one of the surgical wards. My chief trusts me very much and I can plan and check a lot of things on my own responsibility. But the major point because I am telling you this all, is the fact that I had a good opportunity to practice the servant leadership style. You told me how powerful this kind of leadership style is. Most of the patients are happy, the assistant physicians and the nurses are working very good and we have a very good atmosphere on our ward. This is now for 4 months continuously excellent. And in spite of the fact that we have to work a lot, almost everybody is happy at work. Your brother in Christ, Matthias
What is God doing in Burlington?Ten men in our church have completed Phase IV and are almost through with the interaction focus. I have really looked forward to these 12 weeks focusing on pursuing God. It was really helpful for me to draw on some outside resources when doing the interactions. Their direction was good, it just helped to round them out with deeper teaching. There was a session in which Dan Schaffer shared the touching and powerful story about losing his two-year-old son. The questions were really solid, and I remember the one that asked the difference between honesty and rebellion and are we able to truly wrestle with God. What I love the most about Building Brothers is the principles that are taught. They are awesome and cannot be found anywhere else: Phase I with the emphasis on the father vacuum and a safe environment; Phase II focusing on servant leadership; and through all of it, the need to make men foundational and build a pathway for men to join. This last year has changed my way of thinking and revolutionized the way that we approach ministry to men in our church.
What is God doing in FamiliesJulie Perry addressed this letter to the leaders in her church and shared it with us. To the "Original Twelve Men," I want to take this opportunity to thank Rick Ellsmore, Pastor Ron Brenning, and all of you "Original Twelve" for breaking ground in the Building Brothers ministry. You guys prepared the way for incredible spiritual growth in the lives of so many men! Let me tell you about a night earlier this month that will always stand out as one of those "foundation stones" along my path of family memories. The day had been filled with tension, anger, and frustration because of (as it turned out) a lack of communication between our son, my husband, and me. Late that night, having resolved all the issues and frustrations of our seventeen-year-old's very busy schedule, the three of us had settled comfortably in the darkened living room. You could sense that this was one of those rare moments you get with a teenage son. It was almost midnight, and the only light in the room was the glow from the kitchen. Then Mac, my husband, stood up and said, â€œDaniel, I'm going to lay my hands on you and pray. I want to give you my blessing"the blessing of a father to his son." Mac then laid his hands on Daniel's shoulders and began to pray. As he prayed, I sensed the most reverent presence of the Holy Spirit within the room. It was as if I were a witness to something ancient and very holy. I heard the words pour out of a father's heart and cover over his son, like Jacob draping Joseph with his "many colored coat." And the words of prayer were all at once tender, challenging, encouraging, and mighty. They were led by the Spirit and were precise as to who Daniel is and will become. I was moved deeply, with utter worship for the ways of God "the Ancient of Days" continuing to bring His heritage down through the generations, even now, here inside my own living room to my own husband and son. I was thankful to be a silent observer within the shadows. It remains to be seen, all the generational effects of a prayer like that. But, I know that the Building Brothers ministry was a seed for that prayer. Thank you and be encouraged!
What is God doing in the United Methodist Denomination?Reaching the hearts of United Methodist men. Last August, I participated in a three-day Building Brothers training event in Colorado. As Director of Men's Ministries for United Methodist Men, my goal was to evaluate the Building Brothers process for use within the United Methodist Church. I felt blessed and empowered by the experience and, further, concluded that Building Brothers effectively addressed the most foundational and critical issues facing men today. Since that time, we had Dan Schaffer share an overview of the Building Brothers ministry with 75 pastors and lay-leaders in the Los Angeles region. The response has been encouraging, as the crisis taking place in the local church resonated with the group. Building Brothers asks men in the local church with a heart for ministry to men to come together in a team, to grow closer to Christ, and to authentically model the same servant-leader behaviors that they encourage in others. Authentic Christian reproduction is the result, and its power is explosive. The local church, families, and communities will be blessed by a continuing flow of godly male servant leaders. This type of leadership is essential for the church to become effective in reaching and growing men in the likeness of Christ. A few men need to say "Yes, it starts right here, right now, with me!" With God's blessing, the United Methodist Church will implement regional models of Building Brothers in 2004 in areas across the United States.
What can God do in a year?The vision to disciple men began at Creekside with urgency. Twelve men were personally invited, and each was challenged to participate in a year-long commitment with Building Brothers. Two groups began the journey with no clue of the adventure before them. They soon learned the dynamics of male friendship and unconditional acceptance by their peers. The men began to see life beyond themselves and owned the responsibility of impacting other men. Throughout the year, transformational changes confirmed to us that God passionately longs to reach every man's heart. In a closing ceremony at the end of the year, each of the twelve received a sword engraved with the phrase 'Band of Brothers,' which represents the movement of men at Creekside Church in Aurora, Colo. A new vision was birthed over the last six months for each man to disciple five others as they had been discipled. Now, through that effort, sixty men will start the Building Brothers process this coming year! Our vision statement reads, transforming the souls of men impacting a cultural revolution. The battle for the souls of men continues. We will "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might" (Ephesians 6:10 NASB).
I Had to ComeI did not have three days to spend at another men's ministry training event. Even though I have worked closely with Dan and the staff of Building Brothers from the beginning of the vision and I shared the commitment to see men transformed rather just informed by another men's message, I had not attended the Facilitator Training. I have trained men's ministry leaders for the past 11 years and taught leadership for many more years. In addition, I had recommended Building Brothers to men across the country. This time the issue was different. My senior pastor was registered and was bringing our three leaders from my church. We had begun discussing the problems with men's ministry and, for me, it was all too clear. At a recent leadership conference, I had heard: "A problem without a solution is just a complaint." Clearly, if my pastor could cut the time out of his schedule, I should be able to find a way to attend as well. As men we must do more that just point out the problem with men's ministry at our church. We must be willing to invest. There is a major difference between attending something and investing in it. I needed to invest. Sitting at a table with my pastor and men of my church for three days was more than just significant. Together we began to see the heart of Almighty God for men and the power of a church where the building of men is foundational. For the past eight years our ministry has worked to help churches understand the need and how to develop strategies and resources for "intergenerational ministry." Many of the principles and foundational issues for our own ministry were developed side by side with Building Brothers. The principles of reproduction as spiritual fathers and transformational servant leadership that are engraved on a person's heart during the Building Brothers training is absolutely essential to spiritual maturity and ministry to men and their families. I believe that one of the great failures of men and leaders is our failure to match our clear understanding of problems with a commitment to be a part of the solution. Men's ministry is not a regular breakfast and attending an annual retreat. Churches and families will not experience all God desires for them until we understand how to help men engage in a passionate pursuit of the Living God. I have had the informational knowledge for some time. Building Brothers helped me understand the transformational experience.
Words from a LaymanI had never heard about Building Brothers before but thought it could help my spiritual growth as a man and as a teacher at Grace Chapel. I showed up to the training and immediately felt more comfortable by the way the room was laid outâ€”specifically that there were extra chairs and that we weren't all crammed into the room. Dan shared four presentations that were very thought provoking as he backed them up with stories and scriptures. The piece that stood out the most to me had to do with the idea of creating a male environment for men to grow in. It was good to understand that the church needs to facilitate and accommodate the fact that men think and process differently than women. I teach an adult Sunday morning class made up of an eclectic group of adults. I felt there was a strong take-away lesson that I could immediately apply. It was clear that to impact my church I need to first change myself. I immediately started thinking, "What is a specific, bite-sized tangible lesson that I could end my teaching time with?" I wanted to come up with a way to help them think about this specific lesson during the week and remember to bring it back the next week to discuss it. I learned that it needed to be small enough that the class could achieve what it was that I was asking them to do. I've tried to get away from the real general stuff and hone it down to something more specific and concrete. The need to do this as well as asking many questions was strongly reinforced by Dan. I've seen the people in my class thinking on a deeper level since I've made an effort to do this more often. As time goes on I expect to see more of the group feel comfortable answering and getting involved more personally in the class.
One Congregation in Wister, OklahomaI recently heard the statement that something very significant was lacking in most Christian congregations, and that "something" was the ingredient needed to produce the robustness of a bountiful harvest in local church ministries. The ingredient that he spoke of is a pathway for men-beginning with a place for them to come to know Christ in a comfortable setting and continuing with a track within the church that would lead men to maturity in Christ, reproducing mature Christians over and over again. What has Building Brothers done for our local church? Women from our church, primarily wives, are saying, "Whatever you are doing with our men, don't stop. I have never seen my [husband, son, brother] so focused and spiritually alive before." It's thrilling to see this process favorably impacting the entire congregation; approximately one half of the men are preparing to participate in Building Brothers next year. Our men, young and old alike, are more comfortable and faithful in being men of God than ever before. The Christian church has succumbed to mediocrity in its ministry among men. It has (by my appraisal) been unfavorably impacted by a sin-laden society that buys into unbiblical concepts pertaining to the roles of Christian men and women. Or, stated in a more graphic way, the Church has become very adapt at producing spiritually fat babies that seldom grow through puberty, thus making them ill equipped to reproduce themselves. However, Building Brothers has been a valuable partner at this time in the life of our church, training and equipping us with the tools needed to reverse this trend. We praise God for the men of Building Brothers who have taught us these principles. We thank them for their generous expenditures of time and energy in assisting us in becoming all that God intends us to be in Christ. The vision of what we can become is coming into focus.
Words from a PastorWe found that going through the discussion on the Father Vacuum was an important step for our men to open up and share a common, yet often hidden hurt in their lives. I observed how something "clicked" as men began to relate with one another regarding how their disappointed desire for their dad's approval was an ongoing, powerful force in their lives and an undetected barrier in their relationship with God. I see the primary value of the Building Brothers material related to this topic for me was in introducing this issue to the men in my group and providing a safe environment to reflect on some of the common hurts we share in regards to this issue. Also, it pointed them to our heavenly Father and how we can be used by God to help heal these wounds as men in the Body of Christ.
Pastor Ricci's StoryI first heard Dan Schaffer speak in 2002 at a men's rally within my denomination. I remember going up to him and saying, "You've just described my life! I've dealt with a huge father vacuum. I reconciled with my dad before he died and received his blessing, so this issue of the father's blessing is the journey I've personally been traveling." I attended the Building Brothers Leadership Training in August of 2003, along with about twenty other pastors and leaders from around the country. I arrived with high expectations-and frankly, the experience exceeded them! I found the interaction of the men to be tremendous. There is just something awesome about men sharing from their hearts, with all the laughter and tears that comes with it. That is from God! I grew tremendously from this depth of interaction. I learned so much from Dan and the Building Brothers team, especially in the way the training was handled. First of all, the questions were open-ended. Dan would pause and look at us silently, allowing us time to process; and then we were asked to respond. That was incredible-it made the material our own! Second, Dan's vulnerability at various points was wonderful. He never had the attitude, "Look at all I know. I have arrived; follow me." It was great to learn more about the process other men had personally experienced and lived out. I quickly realized that I couldn't handle the entire process of transforming men in my church alone, so I turned to a brother in my church. It was apparent that he had an appetite for service and growth in his spiritual maturity and a desire to get more deeply involved in the lives of others. I started the process of pouring my life into his life on a weekly basis. There was incredible transformation as we "did life together" and started dialoguing through the Building Brothers materials. I built into him and he took over the leadership of the Building Brothers process. I discovered that Building Brothers is a process of discipleship in which you get in touch with the wounds of your past so you can be a disciple of Christ in the present with other men of like mind. To carry out this discovering at a heart level we needed to get our men away from the normal stresses and distractions of life. So the decision was made to facilitate the Building Brothers process by using the videos as the guide for a weekend retreat. Our Phase I retreat drew a significant number of men. I remember a poignant moment when Dan, via the video, asked this question: "Have you ever had a time when your earthly father said, 'I love you'?" Seventy-five percent said this had never happened. These wounds are the elephant in the living room that everybody in the church is ignoring. I continue to hear the question, "Why don't men get more involved?" I believe it's because we as leaders within the church are not specifically addressing these wounds. Amazingly, almost every man that attended this retreat has chosen to either be involved with Building Brothers or serve the church in some other form. This was a pivotal weekend in the life of our church! I have personally experienced that most pastors don't realize that discipleship is the key. As pastors, we tend to focus more on "Bible studies" than on "intentional discipleship"-which is about forming us to become more like Christ, using the Bible as the guide. It's important that we know God's Word, but so often in typical Bible studies we tend to lose the character development and healing in the midst of the study. That's the power of the Building Brothers process: it assists in putting the pieces in place to allow men to go deeper into relationship with Christ first, and with other men secondly. I see my role as more of a grandfather to this process within my church. I am to be a spark plug in coming up with an intentional plan to reach the men in our church. Also, I am to be like a bulldog with my leaders, continually asking them the question, "What are we doing to help the people in our small groups become more like Christ?" I'm realizing just how countercultural this is in the life of the modern church; people look at me as if I'm from outer space when I use this language. Building Brothers has become a part of the fabric of my personal ministry with men and within our church. I thank them for being willing vessels to serve me and the men of my church!
Spiritual GrandchildrenIt was 14 years ago that Jim Campbell and Mark Cobler connected through a church ministry in Ottumwa, Iowa. "I immediately picked up that this was an extremely difficult time in Mark's life," said Jim. "I could tell Mark needed me to help him focus on 'being' a godly man before spending significant time on 'doing' for God." Jim made the strong commitment to meet weekly and become a spiritual mentor in Mark's life. Their relationship continued to deepen and grow as the years went by. Jim said, "Mark needed somebody to watch his back in the battles of life." They became involved as Key Man Ambassadors with Promise Keepers, and during this time Jim saw how vital their time together had been. He said, "God used me to help set Mark free. I could see that He had huge plans for Mark's life." As Mark and Jim were introduced to Building Brothers, the year-long process seemed to give Mark the vehicle to deeply build into the lives of men. During this time Mark was introduced to Brian "Bubba" Dowling. Mark started to talk with Bubba and dig deep into his life. "Bubba had a lot of deep wounds, but God used Mark to help heal them; Bubba quickly became a maturing believer with a heart to serve God," said Jim. He has gone on to take a group of struggling young men through the year-long Building Brothers process. He continues on with a deep commitment and desire to mentor others. In fact, he has become one of the key building blocks in his church to continue this process forward in years to come. "I clearly see that my job is not the 'out-front' leader, but rather one whose prime function is to mentor the leaders of tomorrow. God continues to lead me to those kinds of guys, helping them become everything they are intended to be, going beyond my abilities and reproducing themselves."
Pastor Tony’s StoryI remember asking my son, "Why don't your friends come to church?" He honestly replied, "Dad, church sucks! It's not a place where my friends want to hang out." This rocked me and was a part of God's "hook" in getting me to attend the Building Brothers Leadership Training and understand more of the process that God wanted me to be on with the men in my church. I had to ask myself, "Where were the men and why weren't they attending my church?" God was opening my eyes to the great need in my church and the church at large in America. The Building Brothers Leadership Training was one of the most impactful seminars I have ever attended. It put me in a safe environment where I could risk being completely transparent with my journey as a man and the larger journey within my church congregation. I walked away with some incredible tools to assist me in ministry. The largest tool came into focus after the training-I started to see Building Brothers as a map. People need a "map" to assist them in finding their way or they just get lost and frustrated. I see Building Brothers as a great place to start, for church leadership to gather together and use this "map" to evaluate where they are and where they need to go. In self-evaluating, we found places where honestly, we stunk! And in others we were doing well. But the bottom line was that, as men, we needed a place to be "real" and help each other out in our daily battle. It took a year of "percolating" after the training to begin the year-long process with our men. There were multiple roadblocks I had to deal with. The biggest was that I had to assist my leadership in understanding they weren't "doing what they were supposed to be doing" because they hadn't "become what God wanted them to become." Like most men, and most leaders, they had this backwards. As I met with each man in my leadership team I discovered that we didn't know where the "itch" was for our men. There are brothers who have gone before us, like Dan Schaffer, who have discovered where it is that men "itch." I realized that, as their pastor, if I wasn't going to do it, then who was? We started the Building Brothers Phase I Training, and the men were a bit skeptical at first and asked some non-threatening questions. But the trust factor started to fall into place and this skepticism melted away. The men were going from just being "attenders" to becoming spiritually impacted and engaged in the process. During that year, I was invited to try to build a spiritual bridge to the teenagers at a local youth detention facility. Many churches had tried and failed, giving up in a few months. Many of my men, some of whom used to be just "attenders," told me they were going to be a part of this. They said, "If you're going, I'm going." We now regularly have over thirty-five teens attending our interaction times, and I have witnessed fourteen of these youth accept Jesus into their lives. Also, I have seen my men planning how we can "love on them" as they leave the facility and reconnect into society. My own children call me "Pops," and some of the men have picked up on this and are calling me by this same name. One man in our Building Brothers group recently asked, "Can I call you 'Pops'?" I told him, "Sure." Because of this relationship, he has told me that he didn't have a dad in his life. His father disappeared and doesn't seem to care if he lives or dies. God has been correcting and directing us. I am very satisfied to see these young men being used in the transformational process in others' lives while I sit back and be their "dad." My actions tell them, you go "blow it out" in reaching the wounded, and I'll keep saying this message to them: (1) Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost; (2) he came to destroy the work of the enemy; (3) he came to give his life for my behalf. Go tell the world these three facts, and I'll be here cheering for you on the sidelines so you can do this well. That's what this lost world is hungry for-a real man they can rely upon and call "Pops!" --taken from Pages XVII-XVIII of Spiritual Fathers: Restoring the Reproductive Church --taken from Spiritual Fathers: Restoring the Reproductive Church
Father Vacuum HoleIn Kansas City, Dan Schaffer spoke to hundreds of laymen and leaders from the Assembly of God denomination. He really caught, captured, and captivated each of the district leaders due to the way he approached them. Dan quietly, but firmly, brought the father vacuum issue before them, and this was used to open their hearts. Afterwards an altar invitation was shared, and men packed the front of the auditorium. The father vacuum hole is the biggest gap that we face in ministering to men around the nation. Like heart surgery, we have to go back in and repair this significant place. Dan, and the material, has a no-nonsense fashion that gets the men to open up. This is something that every church needs to experience, as we all suffer from the lack of male leadership. Nothing significant grows without a relationship, and as we continue to partner with each other, I see more churches in our denomination wanting to connect with Building Brothers. Our churches want to have cutting edge material, and Building Brothers offers this as well as help building a full ministry to men.
The WheelchairI was put in charge of a small group of men. It was exciting to watch, as these men that didn't trust anybody, learned to trust and to develop potential life-long friendships with each other. It took a good four weeks for these five other guys to realize that whatever they said would stay with the group. They hesitantly started to open up and we were all very rewarded when they did. The father vacuum was one issue that really resonated with the group and me personally. All six of us in the group came from very dysfunctional families, raised in the 40's and 50's. Back then fathers didn't show love or maybe didn't know how to show love to their children. My dad had no idea how to show love or affection. At age 39 I was diagnosed with MS, and I had to be placed in a wheelchair at age 43. My father disowned me when that chair became a part of my life. My father has since died and I've lived carrying a ton of anger and hate for him. But, with the help of guys in my group, and this material, I was able to work through the issues and mentally set him in a chair to forgive him. I've told him at the grave that I forgave him and the next time he would see me I would be running up to him. I have a desire to work with men and see the men's ministry in my church to grow. I've been working with our church for about eight years and continue to run into brick walls. I know the men in my church are the most God fearing men I've met in my entire life, but they have a hard time communicating with others, especially men. I want to see my brothers united. The Building Brothers material has been a great growing and spirit strengthening course. There is no doubt in my mind that the Building Brothers process will continue to help me and the men in my church to take a huge step forward in our relationship with God and other men in our lives.
H.B.'s StoryOn Thursday, I had the privilege of addressing the members and friends of the National Coalition of Men's Ministries. This is a loosely knit group of folks who have very strong feelings about how the church should serve its men. I do, too. Continue reading...
Ingram's StoryI am reading your book “Spiritual Fathers” and studying the work book – the more I read, the more impressed I am with what you and your staff have put together in a format that is easy to understand and relate to other men. Continue reading...
Pastor Jim's StoryI want to thank you for the week you and the team invested in us. For a number of years now, I have been frustrated with the ministry models being presented by the church at large. Continue reading...
Pastor Allan's StoryBuilding Brothers has been a tremendous catalyst of empowerment among the men of Living Water Christian Church. Continue reading...
Pastor Rob's StoryGod has been at work in the hearts of men at the Evangelical Free Church in Alliance, Nebraska. It's been an incredible journey over the past 2 years, or maybe I should go back 8 years to when I first began pastoring this church. Continue reading...
Pat's StoryI am witnessing an amazing transformation in the men involved in Building Brothers. Continue reading...
Pastor Randy's StoryWe’ve been getting together now for two months, and I couldn’t be more encouraged with the transformation occurring in the lives of our men. Continue reading...
United Methodist Men's Report and VisionThe MMS launch in Cal-Pac was planned to run simultaneously with the UMM / Man in the Mirror curriculum using a one-year process for men called Building Brothers [BB]. Continue reading...
Whaid's StoryI consider it a personal privilege to have been associated with Building Brothers for the past several years. My deep sense of appreciation for the leadership of the ministry has grown even more since the Facilitators Training this past summer. Continue reading...
Pastor Chip’s StoryRead this story
Power of a Father's BlessingRead this story
Words from a German DoctorRead this story
What is God doing in Burlington?Read this story
What is God doing in FamiliesRead this story
What is God doing in the United Methodist Denomination?Read this story
What can God do in a year?Read this story
I Had to ComeRead this story
Words from a LaymanRead this story
One Congregation in Wister, OklahomaRead this story
Words from a PastorRead this story
Pastor Ricci's StoryRead this story
Spiritual GrandchildrenRead this story
Pastor Tony’s StoryRead this story
Father Vacuum HoleRead this story
The WheelchairRead this story
H.B.'s StoryRead this story
Ingram's StoryRead this story
Pastor Jim's StoryRead this story
Pastor Allan's StoryRead this story
Pastor Rob's StoryRead this story
Pat's StoryRead this story
Pastor Randy's StoryRead this story
United Methodist Men's Report and VisionRead this story
Whaid's StoryRead this story