The Five Basic Strides

by | Nov 19, 2012 | Men

Note: This is an excerpt from Man in the Mirror’s Journey to Biblical Manhood Leaders’ Notebook. Men can download the notebook and other accessories by clicking here.

Stride 1: Plan & Assess

First, choose your challenge. We recommend doing the first two challenges in order, but you are free to choose which challenges you do, and in what order. Next, choose one of three options based on how much time you want to invest in planning (taking an analogy from football):

  • Option 1: “Run the Play”— Many leaders say, “Just tell us what to do.” That’s what the first option is all about. We’ll tell you which event, resource and curriculum to use for each phase of the challenge. Every step is already mapped out to save you time and work, with limited flexibility built in.
     
  • Option 2: “Call an Audible”— Perhaps you look at Option 1, but want to see what other materials and resources may be available to accomplish the same challenge. Then Option 2 is for you. We offer you multiple suggestions for resources and events from a variety of ministries and you choose what you use. This option provides more flexibility than Run the Play, but still walks you through the process.
     
  • Option 3: “Design Your Own Play”— You’ve been through the No Man Left Behind leadership training. You’ve been able to assemble a strong team. You have the manpower, resources, and desire to develop your own plans. If this fits you, choose “Design Your Own Play.” You design your own challenge, starting from scratch. We provide guidelines and support along the way.
     

Once you’ve chosen your level of planning, and the resources to be used throughout the challenge, it’s time to set your Faith & Life Objectives–what you want to be accomplished in your men. The Journey to Biblical Manhood is built around “desired outcomes,” not activity—about becoming a disciple of Christ, not checking off that you’ve completed a course. So we’ve developed Faith & Life Objectives for each challenge.

Of course, you’re welcome to set your own objectives, and we provide the card for each challenge as a downloadable, editable template—just keep it focused on the ends, not the means. Pray that God will accomplish these for your men–and let them know you’re praying! Each man should receive one of these printed cards at the start of the challenge. 

Once you’ve established your Faith & Life Objectives, download and print your pre-challenge Assessment. Each Challenge begins and ends with your men taking a short assessment of where they are. This gives you a chance to measure progress and growth, and continues to demonstrate vision and intentionality. We’ll provide a downloadable, editable template with each challenge.

During the Plan & Assess stride, we’ll show you how to recruit new leaders to help with the challenge. We’ll also show you how to engage men who won’t directly participate in the men’s only portions of the challenge, such as coming to an event or joining a small group, with ideas to “Make It All-Inclusive.” These ideas include options for individual study and one-on-one discipleship.

Stride 2: Create Value

During this stride, you’ll promote your Create Value event. We’ll show you how to promote the event effectively through personal invitation and other means, and how to involve as many men in your church as possible. We encourage you to make this an outreach event, bringing men from outside the church on The Journey with you as well.

As you promote, you’ll also invite men to facilitate the short-term follow-up groups that will take place over the four to eight weeks after the event. We provide guidelines and handouts for equipping these facilitators.

Then you’ll kick-off the challenge with your event, creating value among the men and building momentum for the challenge!

Stride 3: Capture Momentum

BEFORE men leave the Create Value event, they will join short-term follow-up groups; we’ll show you how we’ve gotten an average of 2/3 of 110,000 event attendees into follow-up groups! This curriculum should be a short, entry-level study that is attractive to men who have never been in a small group. You’ll invite ALL the men to join these groups—not just the men who came to the event. During the first meeting, group leaders will hand out a Faith & Life Objectives card and pre-challenge Assessment to anyone who still needs them. During this stride, we’ll also show you how to involve men who aren’t participating in the follow-up groups so that they, too, are connected on The Journey.

Stride 4: Sustain Change

The Sustain Change stride consists of a longer, more in-depth study. Men can stay in their Capture groups or form new groups, and ALL men in the church should be invited to participate. During this stride, you’ll want to plug-in men who aren’t participating in the groups into as many ongoing ministries at your church as possible. Also, you’ll provide guys with tangible ways to put their heart and head change intoaction. These ideas can be found in the section Use Your “Hands” for each challenge.

Stride 5: Evaluate & Celebrate

Near the end of the Sustain groups, you’ll want to print a post-challenge Assessment form for every man in your church. When you collect these, if possible, make one report of the results for men who participated in the men’s only portions of the challenge, and one report for those who did not. Share them with your leadership team and pastor.

Then it’s time to celebrate! Plan an evening or afternoon to eat, worship and hang out together, and include testimonies from men who particularly benefitted from the challenge. Invite ALL the men in the church to this gathering. We’ll show you how to make this time resonate with your guys.

At the end of the celebration gathering, you may choose to announce the next challenge and hand out Faith & Life Objectives cards. As you get men excited about the next challenge and Create event, ask them, “Who’s missing?” and encourage them to invite others on The Journey from outside the church.

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