Like any significant holiday, wedding, or vacation, anticipation occupies most of our emotional energy in the months and days leading up to the event. We spend so much time in preparation, that sometimes the event is anticlimactic. Will the event live up to all the hopes and dreams we’ve envisioned? That is where we are at with our Stepping Up™ Super Saturday launch.
The idea of having a special day where men would convene in venues big and small all across the nation was hatched a number of months ago. Products were created. Marketing was conceived and strategies employed. Men began to catch the vision and started planning their local events. Churches were opening up their calendars for 2.2.13 events in nearly every state in the nation. Now, we are less than 24 hours from the kick-off of the first event somewhere on the east coast and watching them begin in waves from Maine across the heartland of the United States, moving through the southlands and rising above the mountains until they conclude in the two newest states in our union, Hawaii and Alaska.
THE STEPPING UP EVENT
More than 1000 venues will host a Stepping Up Super Saturday event reaching more than 22,000 men. When the idea was conceived, not a manual had been sold, a Stepping Up Video Kit purchased, or a church room scheduled. No marketing material had been printed, no word had been shared online. There was no word of mouth about the event. It was just an idea, a thought. Now it’s here. The anticipation is nearly over and the lives of men could be changed forever, tomorrow. It’s a great thought.
During this time, many people have shared their excitement about the need for something like this in their lives and our nation. Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) many of those hopeful voices have come from women; wives and mothers who desperately want the men in their homes, lives, churches, and communities to become men of God! Here are just a few of the Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts that have been shared expressing great excitement, anticipation, and hurts that need healing and hope. Prayers that this will not be an event whose anticipation exceeds it’s real impact:
Rhonda: Can’t wait to see what God is going to do. God is truly moving in this valley, to draw many men to this event. Praise God!
Donald: Recently started leading family devotions, stepped up to praying over each of my kids before they go to bed at night. I’m very excited to see what God is going to do with me in the future … I’m a babe in Christ. Birthday 04/01/12 April fools Christian …
Mary and I have a partner church in rural Kings Mtn, NC (hometown). Their youth/missions pastor began the 10-week series (Stepping Up has a 10 week video study series for small groups) with 30 young men in the fall. The deacons caught wind of what was happening and pushed for the 1-day event for Saturday (96 manuals! – 350 member church). Text just received from pastor: “I just finished my preview of the 1 day event material. This is the BEST men’s study I have ever seen. God has used you guys greatly to organize an excellent study. I cannot wait till Saturday! Be in prayer for our event. I can see how the Lord could use this to change lives of men! Wish I could fly out to Little Rock and shake Bro. Rainey’s hand!
Patrick: Pray hard that this ignites men of our churches, communities and country. Bless all of our efforts
Laura: Praise God! Women are praying for these men who are seeking to be godly!
FCOB Band of Brothers: We have 97 men registered, will hand out a “Tool Kit for Biblical Manhood” to all men who register, are hoping to have a band, and lunch is served. During lunch, we will have a panel of older men in our congregation to whom the men can address any questions they might have about biblical manhood. Spread the word to the Mid-Atlantic!
Some of the guys are already planning next steps after 2-2-13 like Stephen Cornelius: [We’re doing a] Stepping Up Check Up on 3/2/13. We are going to have some breakfast and share some concerns/struggles and things we have overcome. We already have a men’s night that will supplement that as well. Praying for you guys. pray for me as well since this is my first time speaking to a group at church! Luckily the DVD will do most of the talking!
… our own Pete is starting the 10-week series with inmates here in Little Rock. Here’s what he said: “I will be starting a series next Tuesday at the Department of Community Corrections, Little Rock with 43 inmates.”
And then another story that came to us by Dennis: “A father brought his son and two sons-in-law to one of our donor events last fall. Two weeks ago, one son-in-law drove to eastern Arkansas for a mallard hunt and brought his 12-yr-old and 18-yr-old sons with him, along with the young man who is dating his 20 year old daughter in college. All the way from Alabama up and back, they watched the videos, and this dad interacted with his sons.”
Excerpt from the blog, CindyBeall.com: “Friends, I don’t have to tell you that we need men to step up and lead their families spiritually. We do. While there are plenty who are doing it, there are plenty who are not.”
Boy Dads blog: In between picking up the chips + dip, making the hot wings, and repositioning the big screen for optimum Superbowl viewing pleasure, we have an event we’d like to put on your radar. Next Saturday, February 2, the day before, men will be participating in an event called Stepping Up Super Saturday.
Teach Them Diligently blog: Dennis Rainey and FamilyLife are right now challenging our husbands, sons, and fathers to answer the call to godly, courageous manhood and to host or join in on Stepping Up Super Saturday, a one-day, nationwide event held in churches and homes on Saturday, February 2.
The Salt Shaker blog: Before tackling a bowl of chips in front of the widescreen this Sunday, thousands of men will be training for a challenge bigger than the Super Bowl — the challenge of courageous manhood.
Joyful Mothering blog: Calling all Men: Dennis Rainey and FamilyLife are right now challenging our husbands, sons and fathers to answer the call to godly, courageous manhood and to host or join in on Stepping Up Super Saturday, a one-day, nationwide event held in churches and homes on Saturday, February 2.
Mom’s Mustardseed blog: Super Sunday is on the horizon, but I am more interested in Super Saturday A Call for Courageous Men! As I look around, I see more and more families falling apart, women stepping in to take the place of men who are afraid to step up and a society that does everything it can to belittle men. The more I see this, the more I understand the degradation of the United States and other countries on our beautiful planet.
Another story from the field: Jeff K has a buddy who is in the NFL, an all-pro left tackle, who protected the “blind side.” He is leading 30 guys through the Stepping Up ten-week series. While going through some crises in his life and family, he checked himself into The Bridge Ministry that serves men with life-controlling issues (drugs, anger, adultery, porn, alcohol, etc.). Toward the end of his time there, he began facilitating Stepping Up for his peers and continues after completing his stay. “Dude, this Stepping Up stuff is amazing. We have one session left to do. I’m going to give the guys a graduation certificate at the end of it. Every guy has been moved by something on the videos. I have learned so much about being a man. Some things I’ve done well and others I have failed at, but all in all it has been unbelievable. I would love to travel around doing nothing but walking men thru this series. Stepping Up is the left tackle of manhood. It points out, explains, challenges and protects the blindside of a mans life. Awesome!”
and another: When Tray heard about the release of the Stepping Up Video Event on the radio God started a fire in him to build a formal men’s ministry. The church has no formal men’s ministry and has only done annual men’s events. His plan is to recruit and train six other men (he has four of them now) who will start meeting regularly for prayer about men’s ministry and who will do the Stepping Up event together as part of their training. They will officially launch their new men’s ministry in August with a large Stepping Up event at the beginning of the new football season. The church has about 4500 members. Each of their annual events has attracted at least 1000 men. From the event the men will have opportunity to join or participate in a variety of men’s ministry options including the 10-week series (they would hold several), other small group options, joining a prayer group, or mentoring other men.Tray is so grateful to know that he now has access to an organization (tools) and coach (advice) to help him fulfill his vision. Praying with him was such an honor!
Men are creative in the ways they are promoting this event as well: Ken has been appointed by the Lord to launch a men’s ministry in his church at Friendship Community Bible Church in Fort Worth, Texas. The church has 2500 members … 800 men. Ken and about five other men are leading the effort. They decided to have fish fry on January 12 just before the Houston Texans football playoff game. They are promoting their event from the pulpit and have even created yard signs to advertise the Super Saturday Stepping Up event. Ken told me that politicians create yard signs to sell themselves. He wants to use yard signs to sell the men of his community on Stepping Up to live godly lives.
Can you sense the anticipation? We can only imagine what God will do with men who decide to faithfully come before Him, confess those things that the Holy Spirit brings to his heart, share it with other men, learn tools to move forward in courageous manhood, and become a changed man from the inside out. That could spark something this nation so desperately needs … men who reject passivity, lead courageously, accept responsibility and expect God’s greater reward.
Next we’ll begin to anticipate what those next steps in transformation might be for each man and church involved.