Posts in category Steps to Manhood

What is courage? Meet Red Erwin



What is courage? It’s an easy question to ask. A bit harder to define. And even harder to live out. But it’s a desire in the heart of every man.

So, what is courage? Many famous men have offered definitions:

“Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” –George S. Patton

“Courage is … a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.” – G.K. Chesterton

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important.” –Ambrose Redmoon

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.” – Plato

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” – World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker

It was another young airman in the next world war that found himself in a situation that demanded courage. His story sets the tone for the entire Stepping Up men’s video series. “Red” Erwin didn’t chose the moment, but was thrust into it. He only chose how he responded to it. Watch that segment.

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Now that’s courage. Like Ambrose Redmoon put it, it wasn’t that Erwin wasn’t scared for his own life; it’s just that he judged the lives of his 10 fellow airmen as more important.

What is courage? Meet Red Erwin

Although his actions meant a lifetime of pain and disfigurement for him, he carried with him the right to wear the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor. The greater impact, though, is one that will outlast his 80 years of life on earth is the example he is for others.

In that way, courage is something we all have the opportunity to show. Very few of us will have the opportunity to be war heroes, but courage is about making the right choice in the moment, and most moments are just everyday moments. What decisions have you made in the day-to-day of life that have shown courage?

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

A new battle for godly manhood begins



Imagine if we could call men from all walks of life to become courageous, godly leaders in their own lives, marriages, churches, and communities. Well, we can. And the new battle for godly manhood starts with you.

Super Saturday battle for godly manhood - FamilyLife Stepping UpFamilyLife proudly presents the Stepping Up Super Saturday Video Event, a DVD-based kit designed for an all-day men’s event. High quality videos deliver dramatic stories, humorous vignettes, man-on-the-street interviews, and expert teaching from 12 renowned men’s ministry leaders, like Dennis Rainey, Robert Lewis, Tony Dungy, and Bill Bennett.

On the Saturday before the Super Bowl®, you can host a life-changing one-day video event that will call and equip men to Step Up to godly manhood! It’s easy, we’ll show you how.

We’re praying that thousands of men across America will host a Stepping Up Super Saturday: one life-changing day that could turn the tide for men in your community, and across America. Last year over 20,000 men attended a Super Saturday Video Event with rave reviews.

“Loved the event. I only heard positive comments from the men in our church. It was well done, we could do it for a reasonable cost, and had 60 men involved in a church of 350 (men, women, and children.) That’s pretty good. I think it hit where the men were at. In the closing comments we had 10-12 men share they were deeply challenged by it. I could tell by their comments that the material struck a chord through which the Holy Spirit is working.”

Broadcasts for men (and their wives)



Recently the FamilyLife Today radio program featured a solid week of broadcasts about Stepping Up to Manhood.  On the first three days Dennis Rainey spoke to men, and on the final two days Barbara Rainey told women five right and five wrong ways to help their husbands step up.

These powerful broadcasts for men (and their wives) are worth listening to.  Here are the titles, descriptions, and links:

Broadcasts for men - Dennis Rainey - FamilyLife TodayThe Power of a Father’s InfluenceThere is confusion today about the meaning of manhood. Dennis calls men to step up and be real men — strong, purposeful, and spiritual. Hear Dennis tell how a father’s influence can be the compass that points a boy to true masculinity.

Defining the Search for ManhoodThere’s something in a man that inspires him to be a warrior. Hear Dennis encourage men to give their sons a vision of manhood.

Taking the Journey Up the Steps to ManhoodDennis talks about the four steps that need to be applied to help a boy develop into a man.

Broadcasts for men - Barbara Rainey - FamilyLife TodayBarbara Shares “The Wrong Way” Women Can Help – Barbara Rainey, talks frankly to women about the five things that hinder manly development.

Barbara Shares “The Right Way” Women Can Help – Barbara gives wives five suggestions for encouraging their husbands toward manhood.

4 building blocks for raising children



GPS - 4 building block for raising children

 

For a number of years, I saved a single-frame cartoon drawing that showed a freckle-faced, scruffy, blond-haired boy (maybe five years old), who was barefoot, shirtless, and in cut-off jeans, walking down a dusty trail on a hot summer afternoon. That image alone captured for me what my boyhood was like. Innocent, for the most part. Easy going. A little guy kicking around in the backwoods of the Ozarks, never too far from home or from a fishing hole.

But what still brings a smile to my face is that the boy in the cartoon was carrying a pair of skinny old cats, whose tails he had tied together in a crude knot. The caption at the bottom of the cartoon read “And he was bound to acquire experience rapidly.”

Boyhood is meant to be like that. A discovery around every corner, abundant adventure, and rapid growth — embedded life lessons disguised as sharp-clawed cats!

All men start there. Some men never leave.

Boys will be boys

This was part of a previous blog post that you can read here…

Wanted: a GPS

Men don’t like being lost, and we hate asking for directions. But we love gadgets, and that’s why we love mobile devices that have a global positioning system (GPS).

A number of years ago, I was deer hunting. It was overcast, I was deep in a dense thicket in the woods, and there were no landmarks to help me get my bearings. As an avid hunter and outdoorsman, I was proud that I had never been lost. In fact, I couldn’t understand how any real man could get lost. But after a couple of hours of walking in circles, I came to three very humbling conclusions: (1) If I went in the wrong direction, there was nothing but forest for twenty miles; (2) the sun was going down, and it was going to get dark and cold; and (3) I really was lost!

Fortunately, I stopped going in circles, and another couple of hours later, just before dark, I stumbled out onto a road not far from my truck. But if I had carried a GPS device with me, I could have plotted a course and avoided a healthy dose of humiliation.

When Barbara and I started having children, I didn’t want to admit it, but I was lost in the thick woods of parenting. I discovered that raising children involved more than potty training, settling sibling squabbles, controlling temper tantrums, assigning chores, teaching manners, and playing in the yard. With six young children, I needed a reliable guidance system, and I found it in the Scriptures. I decided to dedicate a full year of studying the Bible, discovering the irreducible essence of what children need from parents.

I found that there are four building blocks for raising children: character, relationships, identity, and mission. Every child needs teaching, training, and modeling in each of these areas.

Building block no. 1: Character — “What Is wise and what Is foolish?”

I define true character as “response-ability” — the ability to respond rightly to authority and to the challenges we face in life.

A boy doesn’t know it yet, but life is hammered out on the anvil of his choices. The problem is that wisdom does not come naturally to boys. As the book of Proverbs tells us, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” (22:15). If a boy is going to step up in life, he needs an older man who will model a lifestyle of wisdom and charge him with becoming a man of character, making right choices, and acting responsibly. A boy needs to know how to choose what is right (wisdom) and not what is wrong (foolishness).

Building block no. 2: Relationships — “How do I love others?”

When asked what the “greatest commandment” was, in essence, Jesus said, “Life is about relationships with God and others” (see Matthew 22:37–40). A boy needs to know how to build authentic relationships — how to communicate and speak respectfully, how to forgive and ask for forgiveness, and how to control his natural selfishness. He needs to be trained in how to love other imperfect human beings.

Many of these lessons will be learned in the laboratory of his home, as he gains understanding in how to relate to God, his parents, and his siblings. He needs to know that if he doesn’t have relationships, he misses life.

Building block no. 3: Identity — “Who am I?”

Every person is born with a unique identity that has its origins in God. Genesis 1:27 declares, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” A boy can never fully determine who he is unless he understands that he is made in the image of God — with a body, soul, and spirit.

A boy’s identity involves his “spiritual address” — his relationship with God. He needs to understand that there is a God who governs the world. As he grows up, he will be tempted to become self-focused and self-absorbed. He can begin to think that he is the very center of the universe and may be less likely to look outside of himself for meaning and purpose. A boy needs to realize that as God’s creation, he is accountable to God for his life and how he lives it.

Boys get their first glimpse of their heavenly Father by watching their earthly fathers. In essence, God has given fathers the assignment of saying, “Welcome, son. As imperfect as I may be, it is my desire to take the next couple of decades and introduce you to God.” If you are a father, this is your assignment. This is your privilege. No other man on the planet has the same responsibility for your son.

A boy also needs help as he grows up in this culture to answer questions such as: What is my sexual identity? What does it mean to be a boy and not a girl? He needs to have his budding masculinity affirmed and embraced as he grows up. In short, it’s not just “okay” to be a boy. It’s good. Very good.

A boy needs to understand that he also possesses emotions that are part of his identity. From the very start, at birth, his security — and ultimately his stability — depends on the love (or lack of love) he receives from his parents. The emotional support, affirmation, and affection he sees demonstrated between his dad and mom are as important as anything they teach him.

Building block no. 4: Mission — “Why am I here?”

Every boy, every person, needs a reason to live — a purpose that provides meaning and impact. The apostle Paul wrote, “For we are His [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Boys need to begin to grapple with their mission in life. And they will get the first glimpse of what having a mission looks like from their dads.

For many men, their primary mission in life is to build a successful career, provide for their families, and retire comfortably. That is what drives them, and that is the vision they pass on to their sons. But I think there is a much greater, nobler mission to pass on to boys. One of my favorite passages about children in the Scriptures is found in Psalm 127: “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” (verses 4–5).

This is powerful imagery. Think about what an arrow is created to do. Was it designed to stay in the quiver, comfortable and protected? No, it was made to be aimed and shot by a warrior at a target, to deliver a blow in battle.

Can you see the connection? Boys need to understand that they are not here on earth just to achieve worldly success and comfort. They’re here to strike a blow against evil, to make a mark on their world. Just like you. After all, dads are arrows too.

Lost boys can become lost men

These four foundational elements represent the DNA of life. If a young boy misses just one, he can miss life as God intended it.

Think of the men you know who struggle and can’t quite put life together, and see if a big part of their problem can be traced to some misguided or missing perspective in one or more of these four areas. They don’t yet know who they are as men or who they want to be. They have no spiritual address and wander aimlessly. They don’t know how to love and sustain a meaningful relationship with a woman or with a male friend, and they are lonely. They don’t know how to make good value judgments or how to keep their promises, and they are foolish. And they just don’t have a real purpose for their lives. They never seem to “nail it.” They’re drifting, dreaming, shifting, hoping — they never experience what God wants to do through their lives. And that is a wasted life.

I’ve found that many of these men never had a father or an important male figure in their lives. We’re paying the price in our culture for this lost generation of boys. It’s time for us to deal with our own disappointments, lay aside our guilt and regrets, and reach down and help a boy “step up.”

This post was taken with permission from the book Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey.  (2011-05-11). Stepping Up (Kindle Locations 757-765). FamilyLife Publishing®. Kindle Edition. No reproductions of this piece without the consent and permission of FamilyLife are permitted.

Men should be investors not consumers



Men were made to invest — to add value, to protect and make life better for others.

man smashing piggybank

Do you know any men who pout or whine when their wife’s idea of frequent sex is different than theirs?

Do you know any men who only go on dates when their wife sets one up?

What makes more than a few young men devote massive amounts of time to video games and social media?

How many husbands need stimulation from more and more porn while their physical intimacy with their wife dwindles away?

Why can many young guys hook up with girls, but not have the courage to ask them on a date or navigate a constructive relationship?

What’s causing so much perpetual adolescence among guys in their late 20s and late 50s?

God has answers to these questions which drive us to passionately reach and disciple men.

We’re facing a crisis in our culture. It’s urgent! When a boy stays a boy for life … when a man doesn’t know what it is to be a man … when he uses girls and women like property … when he fathers kids outside of marriage … when his marriage breaks up … the price paid is compounded for women, children, and society.

Men don’t need to be attacked, however. They need to be welcomed into a Christian fellowship of other men, where manhood can be bestowed. They need to see and learn the manhood model of Jesus, while in the company of friends and mentors.

Men have been tricked, and we need to help them break free from the lies and false vision of manhood. One key cause for the counterfeit versions of manhood and sorry state of marriages today is one we can beat only if we identify it. We need to understand our identity as consumers and rebuild a new identity as investors.

Think about it. Most of us Americans see over 500 advertisements a day. We are trained by Madison Avenue and Hollywood to be consumers and pleasure seekers. It makes us petty, selfish, and little.

Investors not consumers

But men were made to invest — to add value, to protect and make life better for others.  Doing that in marriage for your wife, whom you are to cherish, makes you and your children much happier over time.

In defining manhood and leading men, we need to square up and tackle the passive, selfish, small vision of manhood that shapes boys and men into the mold of “consumer.”  Men want a vision to create something significant, battle for something good, and love a woman and family heroically.

That won’t be possible with a small consumer identity.  We need to wake men up to the devil’s and society’s trick.  God made us to be investors.

Consider pro football.  In the quarterback meeting room and in drills they teach Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, and Drew Brees to throw the ball to receivers in a target diameter of one foot, perfectly serving the receiver so he need not stretch, bend, jump or dive. And they teach wide receivers, “If you can touch it, you must catch it.” Make the quarterback and the team look good. Lay out. Sacrifice. Those are investor mentalities.

Let’s break the consumer mold, call men up to being relationship investors — guys who protect the weak, bring out the best in others, and love unconditionally. Galatians 5 tells us we were called to freedom, not so we could feed our fleshly desires but so we could serve one another — to love our neighbor. It warns that if we are selfish in our flesh and relationships, we’ll be consumed ourselves.  Philippians 2 tells us to be like Jesus and look out for the interests of others, not just self.

Men investing in other men will help us all rediscover the model of manhood: Jesus, the ultimate relationship investor.

 

Jeff Kemp quarterbacked for 11 years in the NFL.  He is a vice-president and “HomeBulder Catalyst” for FamilyLife, speaking to men and equipping men’s group discipleship with FamilyLife’s DVD men’s experience, Stepping Up™.   You can reach Jeff at jkemp@familylife.com.

 

Copyright 2013 by FamilyLife.  All rights reserved.

Jackie Robinson’s story: becoming a mentor (conclusion)



This is the third and final part in the Jackie Robinson Story as carried in the book, Stepping UpBe sure to read parts one and two if you missed them.

20/20 generational vision

photo from www.britannica.com

photo from www.britannica.com

Jackie Robinson wasn’t forced to become the man to integrate Major League Baseball. Branch Rickey could have found another player, and it certainly would have been more comfortable for Robinson to follow someone else’s lead. He had the ability, however, to look beyond himself. Someone needed to make the sacrifice. Someone needed to blaze the trail so that others in the future would have equal opportunities.

I think that many of us men face a similar choice as we reach our thirties, forties, and fifties. We may never face the intense opposition that confronted Robinson, but I believe we are called to look beyond ourselves to the impact we can have on the next generation.

Becoming a mentor

Becoming a mentor is the fourth of the five steps of manhood. Some guys can see clearly where they are in life, but they haven’t developed the ability, like Robinson did, to look past themselves. A mentor, on the other hand, exhibits “20/20 generational vision.” He sees the need to pass on his faith and his experience to “faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

A mentor makes decisions and orders his life to intentionally invest in the next generation. A mentor must pass on his values — lessons learned from his mistakes, successes, and defeats — the essence of his life. He intentionally passes on wisdom to the next generation and casts a vision for how they can do the same.

It’s possible to step up and become a mentor when you are a young man, especially if you are put in a position of authority or influence over others. But in this section, I’m going to speak primarily to those of you who are entering what I call the “prime time” years.

Most younger men pour their physical and emotional energy into building their careers, raising their families, and being involved in church or community. Once their children leave home, I’ve often seen men head in one of three directions:

  1. They pour their energy into a renewed effort to capitalize on their position and experience and seek further success and influence in the working world.
  2. Perhaps fearing the onset of older age, they regress and try to recapture their youth by seeking adventure and sensual pleasure.
  3. Realizing that they won’t achieve the wealth and success they had dreamed about in their careers, they gradually become depressed and passive and end up squandering the assets God has given them.

But there is a better path — a path of wisdom. Many men in the prime time years recognize that they now have the time and energy to broaden their influence and impact for Christ by mentoring younger men.

If you are at this stage in life, my challenge to you is to step up and become a mentor. You’ll find the “view” from this step to be quite exhilarating.

Excerpted with permission from Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing.

Major League trailblazer — Jackie Robinson story (part two)



Yesterday, we started the courageous story of Jackie Robinson as shared in Stepping Up.  Today, we continue the story in part two …

Stepping Up FamilyLife Jackie Robinson sliding-2

photo from http://www.myhero.com/

Handling the pressure

Rickey turned out to be an accurate prophet. After a successful year in the minor leagues, Robinson made his major-league debut as the Dodgers’ first baseman in April of 1947. The first resentment he faced was from his own teammates. They didn’t like the idea of a black player taking a white man’s spot on the roster. Many were from the south and weren’t accustomed to equal treatment for blacks.

Dixie Walker, one of the top Brooklyn players, worried about the reaction back home in Hueytown, Alabama, if he played with blacks. He feared how it would affect business at his hardware and sporting-goods store. “I grew up in the South, and in those days you grew up in a different manner,” Walker said years later. “We thought that blacks didn’t have ice water in their veins and so [they] couldn’t take the pressure of playing big league baseball.”

On opening day, most of the players ignored Robinson. He arrived in the locker room to discover that he hadn’t been assigned a locker; his uniform was hanging on a hook on the wall.

Robinson’s first real test occurred in a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. A flood of insults poured out of the Philadelphia dugout during the game. The Phillies insulted his appearance and yelled about the diseases he would pass on to the Dodger players and their wives.

Robinson took insults like these personally. “For one wild and rage-crazed minute,” he wrote later, “I thought, ‘To hell with Mr. Rickey’s noble experiment.’ I thought what a glorious, cleansing thing it would be to let go. To hell with the image of the patient black freak I was supposed to create. I would throw down my bat, stride over to the Phillies dugout, grab one of those white sons of bitches and smash his teeth in with my despised black fist. Then I could walk away from it all.”

But Robinson withstood the temptation that day . . . and for the entire season. Instead, he let his playing speak for him. It was more than his hitting and fielding, which improved throughout the season. He also disrupted the opposing team with his daring base running. He would take impossibly big leads off base, throwing pitchers out of their rhythm and shaking their confidence. This led to more walks and better pitches for his teammates to hit. He could take over a game even if he never got a hit.

Still, he paid a price for holding back his emotions. At home he became withdrawn from his wife, Rachel, and found it difficult to sleep. At one point he called his sister and said, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m quitting.”

He received almost no support from his teammates, who excluded him from social outings and hardly spoke to him on road trips. The players’ wives met regularly for shopping, knitting, and impromptu sleepovers, but Rachel was never invited.

Rooting for Jackie Robinson

But as the season progressed, things began to change. His teammates began yelling in his defense at opposing teams, threatening retaliation if the insults continued. He was greeted by well-wishers and autograph seekers wherever he went. White kids began selling, “I’m rooting for Jackie Robinson” buttons at Ebbets Field.

Most of the letters the Dodgers received were encouraging. One fan wrote, “You’ve got a lot more friends in this country of ours than enemies. The main thing to remember is that it’s the unthinking few who generally make the biggest noise.” Another said, “If your batting average never gets any higher than .100 and if you make an error every inning, [and] if I can raise my boy to be half the man that you are, I’ll be a happy father.”

Robinson also began to see the impact he was having on the culture. An owner of an electronics factory in New Jersey, for example, was inspired by Robinson’s example and decided to integrate his factory.

Late in the season, Brooklyn fans were angered when Enos Slaughter of the St. Louis Cardinals appeared to deliberately step on Robinson’s foot at first base. One fan, Doug Wilder, was at the game that day, and he felt this may have been Robinson’s greatest moment “in showing how he would rise over and over to be the person he was. . . . It was a tremendous lesson.”  Later in life, Wilder went into politics in Virginia and became the first African American in the United States to become a governor.

Robinson was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1947, and he helped lead the Dodgers to the World Series, where they lost to the New York Yankees. After the final game of the series, each of his teammates came by his locker to congratulate him for the season.

He had succeeded in integrating the major leagues; in fact, by the end of the 1947 season, there were other black players in baseball. But his greatest impact may have been in the broader American culture. As Arnold Rampersad wrote in his biography of Robinson,

Over a period of six months, from the first stumbling steps to the victories that closed the season, he had revolutionized the image of black Americans in the eyes of many whites. Starting out as a token, he had utterly complicated their sense of the nature of black people, how they thought and felt, their dignity and their courage in the face of adversity. No black American man had ever shone so brightly for so long as the epitome not only of stoic endurance but also of intelligence, bravery, physical power, and grit. Because baseball was lodged so deeply in the average white man’s psyche, Robinson’s protracted victory had left an intimate mark there.

Final post tomorrow…

Excerpted with permission from Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing.

A Major League trailblazer — Jackie Robinson’s story (part one)



This week, Major League Baseball’s first pitch was tossed for the 2013 season.  There’s an upcoming movie, “42”, about the man — Jackie Robinson.  And in the book, Stepping Up, we shared the story of Jackie Robinson.  The next few blog posts will be selections from that chapter, sharing the impact that he had on Major League Baseball, his personal courage and integrity to team with Branch Rickey to become the player that would break the racial barriers that existed in Major League Baseball and across the nation.

Jackie Robinson didn’t see much of a future for himself in professional baseball.

Stepping Up FamilyLife Jackie-Robinson

photo from Think Positive magazine, http://74.53.231.70/~thinktpm/

The year was 1945, and he was twenty-six. A UCLA graduate and World War II veteran, he was trying to make a living by playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League. He hadn’t played much baseball; he was better known as a football star at UCLA. But when the Monarchs offered him a job, he decided to give it a try.

Jackie was infuriated by the indignities that black ballplayers faced. In some stadiums, they weren’t allowed to use the locker rooms because white owners didn’t like the idea of black men using the showers. He hated the segregated hotels and drinking fountains. In one instance, when the team bus stopped for gas and the station owner said the players couldn’t use his restroom, Robinson threatened to fill up the team’s bus at another station. The owner changed his mind.

And, of course, the worst indignity of all was the fact that Major League Baseball was segregated. For decades, some of the best baseball players in the nation —  legends like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson—were kept out of the big leagues. Robinson saw no hope for the situation changing, or for the opportunity to move up and play baseball in the whites-only major leagues. “I began to wonder why I should dedicate my life to a career where the boundaries for progress were set by racial discrimination,” he later wrote.

A legendary meeting

Robinson was contacted by Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Word was that Rickey was forming a new Negro league and wanted to talk with Robinson about joining it.

Robinson’s meeting with Rickey on August 28, 1945, became a turning point in America’s history. Robinson learned that Rickey had no intention of starting another Negro league. Instead, he wanted to break the color barrier in professional baseball . . . and he wanted Jackie Robinson to lead the way by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Rickey could have chosen better players, but he was looking for someone with the right character. He had no illusions about the pressure that the first black ballplayer would face — the hatred he would encounter from white players, and the impossible expectations he would feel from the black community. He wanted someone who was angry about segregation but could keep that anger in check. Choose the wrong player, he felt, and he would push the cause back by years

“If you’re a good enough man, we can make this a start in the right direction,” Rickey told Robinson. “But let me tell you, it’s going to take an awful lot of courage.”

In the meeting, Rickey confronted Robinson with examples of the situations he would face. He acted the part of ballplayers using racial slurs and trying to start fights. “They’ll taunt and goad you,” he said. “They’ll try to provoke a race riot in the ballpark. This is the way to prove to the public that a Negro should not be allowed in the major league.”

“Mr. Rickey,” Robinson said, “are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?” “No,” Rickey replied, “I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.” Robinson wondered if he was the right person for this. Did he have that kind of strength and courage? “Yet I knew that I must,” Robinson later wrote. “I had to do it for so many reasons. For black youth, for my mother, for Rae [his wife], for myself.”

Continued next post…

Excerpted with permission from Stepping Up, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing.

Men Stepping Up — A Super Saturday recap



Four weeks ago, we were in great anticipation of the Super Saturday Stepping Up event that was about to explode across the nation with more than 23,000 men attending more than 1,000 events from Alaska to Florida and New Hampshire to Hawaii.  Though the fervor has died down, the stories that came out of that great event are uncovered almost daily.  This past week, FamilyLife sent out their newsletter, The Family Room with an article about what happened on Super Saturday.  We thought it would be good to share some of the stories that we’ve captured at the one month mark after the event and hope you are continuing to be encouraged by what God did in so many men’s lives that day.

We know there are more events happening.  If you have an event and want to draw attention to it, don’t hesitate to share your Stepping Up event on our Facebook Page – MenSteppingUp and we’ll post it so that as many men as we can reach know about it.  Additionally, if you are starting a follow up study (like our Stepping Up 10 week video study), share that as well.  Events are great.  They are catalytic and can energize a community, church, or neighborhood.  But, eventually, the energy from the event fades and the only way any movement can be sustained is by leaders stepping up and making it happen.  Tell us those stories as well on our Facebook Page or in the comments below.  Celebration is best done together!  Enjoy the stories of what happened on February 2, 2013 and what God did and continues to do in homes, churches, and communities around the country.

Men Stepping Up - Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up on Super Saturday

History was made on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, 2013, when a record 164.1 million fans tuned into CBS and watched the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31. But the Ravens weren’t the only champions that weekend. The day before, on Super Saturday, an estimated 23,000 men gathered together for FamilyLife’s one-day Stepping Up Video Event.  These men were not yearning for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Instead, they want to be champions at home.

They met in churches, houses, offices, and on college campuses. They were at retreat centers, restaurants, prisons, and military bases. They met in all 50 states and around the world: in Budapest, Hungary …  Mexico City … the Cayman Islands.

Regardless of where the men gathered on February 2, or the size of their group, they all were taught how to step up courageously to be God’s man. They watched DVDs featuring ministry leaders like Dennis Rainey, Robert Lewis, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, Voddie Baucham, and others.

Dennis Rainey, the president of FamilyLife, decided to show up unannounced at the Super Saturday gathering at FamilyLife in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He went because it was organized by a 16-year-old young man named Westley and two of his buddies. More than 50 men were in attendance there. “I wouldn’t have missed how three young men made an impact on their peers and men of all ages,” Rainey says.

Now stories are pouring into FamilyLife about how God worked through the Stepping Up event. Here are three:

Men Stepping Up - Super Saturday Event

Lake Ridge Baptist Church and Washington Area Coalition of Men’s Ministries (WACMM)

Pastor Frank Johnson of Lake Ridge Baptist Church (Lake Ridge, Virginia) teamed up with WACMM’s conference director, Tony Dronkers, to host a Super Saturday Stepping Up event. WACMM is focused on helping not only pastors, but also the leaders of their men’s ministry. Dronkers says that Super Saturday was a great fit. Pastor Johnson wanted to jump start his ministry to his men, and WACMM was able to bring some other churches together to share the opportunity.

So on February 2, more than 60 men watched the Stepping Up videos at Lake Ridge Baptist Church. Twenty-three were from the host church; the rest were from the community and other small churches in the area. One man drove about 100 miles with his son to attend.  “I loved the conference and the impact it had in reminding us who we are called to be as men of God,” he said.

For Lake Ridge Baptist Church, Super Saturday was a starting point for a men’s ministry. Pastor Johnson is now leading the Stepping Up follow-up series for the men in his church. Twelve men attended the first session. One of them, Scott, brought his three sons, and said, “I am using this as part of the answer to God’s call to raise my sons to be courageous young men.”

Crete Berean Church (Crete, Nebraska)

Pastor Kyle Bond had been praying that God would direct him to a simple curriculum that could be used as a catalyst to get men motivated to being the men that God has called them to be. He believes that Stepping Up was an answer to his prayer.

Eighteen men, ranging from 27 to 82 years of age, came to the Super Saturday event at Crete Berean Church. Pastor Bond said, “To a man, they have all said it was great and challenging.” One of the men had recently …

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Men Stepping Up all over the country: what’s the next step?



Stepping Up Super Saturday

Our best estimates tell us that there were probably more than 1,000 Stepping Up™ Super Saturday events hosting more than 23,000 men on Saturday, February 2, 2013.  It’s a day that many men will cite as the day their lives changed forever, for the better.  In groups as small as four, and as large as 400-500, men met to eat, learn, watch, share and face the realities of where they stood in the journey of courageous manhood.

FROM THE STEPPING UP SUPER SATURDAY EVENT

We saw many stories being shared on Facebook and Twitter.  Stories like these:

I attended a Stepping Up video event yesterday in Albany, Oregon. I have to say this was a wake up call and a great reminder that I need to step up to become a better leader in my household. Also a great reminder that I need to step up and gain courage to defeat the giants that have been hindering my walk with God. Going through this I definitely gained my “bearings” on what it takes to step up and become a man of God!

Just wrapped up attending the Super Saturday Stepping Up event at Highland Park Community Church in Casper, WY. Sold out event of nearly 200 men! What an awesome day!!!

While most churches are wrapping up their event, Glen Elder Friends KS is just beginning in 3 minutes! Please pray for all men who are gathered who have come from as far as 100 miles away to accept the challenge to courageous manhood!

And, there were some photos shared, too:

Men Stepping Up at the Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up in Modesto, CA

Men Stepping Up in Alabama at the Stepping Up Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up in Alabama

Men Stepping Up in Alaska at the Stepping Up Super Saturday event

Men Stepping Up in Alaska

God showed up in big ways across the nation.  But, as incredible as that is, the work is yet to be done.  

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT STEP?

Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”  So what is it from Saturday’s event that you are NOT willing to die with it being left undone?  Here are five things to help you take the NEXT RIGHT STEP:

  1. Review your Stepping Up Creed (if you went through the manual, you would have created a Stepping Up Creed to help you with your next steps).  Of those statements, which ONE is the most urgent and important?  Write down an action step that you can take with a deadline to help you be accountable.  Then, share it with at least one other friend or your small group.  Send an email saying something like, “Bob, I’m committed to taking the next step in being God’s man.  By [date] I am going to [action step].  Would you help me by asking me how I’m doing on this?”  Or, share it via email to your small group and discuss it at your next gathering.
  2. Consider either hosting or attending the Stepping Up 10 session video series.  It has some of the material from the Super Saturday one day event but it goes into each of the issues in much more depth.  You can find out more about that study on our MenSteppingUp website.
  3. Consider spending the next seven days praying about the items God brought to your mind during the event.  Commit to spending time asking God for direction, courage and initiative to take the next right step.  Some of you will need to reconcile a relationship that’s been strained or even torn.  Maybe there’s an addiction or lifestyle change that MUST take place for you to move on toward courageous manhood as God designed.  Whatever it is, don’t give the Enemy a foothold.  Ask God for strength and let at least one other man know you are praying and have him pray with you.  Then, after the week is over (you don’t have to stop praying 🙂 ), do what men do … ACT on it.  As Nike says, “Just do it.”
  4. Dennis challenged us right from the beginning of the session to pray with our wives.  Make this a priority in your lives.  If you are uncomfortable, begin by praying for your wife alone.  It’s very hard to stay upset with someone you are praying for.  Pray for her needs, issues she’s facing, ask God to help you “love her as Christ loves you” and anything else that God brings to your heart.  Then, move to praying with her.  Somedays it may only be a quick half minute prayer and other days it may be longer.  But start.  You’ll be amazed at how it will draw you closer together.  
  5. If you’re really serious about investing your time in starting or growing a men’s ministry at your church, you need to check out one of our ministry partners, Every Man Ministries.  They have a program that will guide you through each phase of building a vibrant men’s ministry in your church.  It’s a great program and Kenny Luck is one of the key leaders in the men’s ministry movement that is taking shape in our nation.  Find out more here: Every Man Ministries
  6. BONUS: Read a book or find additional studies and resources that fit the situation you are facing or the one that is most significantly imprinted on your mind.  Ask a friend to read it with you to discuss.  Here are a few places to look for books (ebooks and paper books) and other resources that might help you take the next step (remember leaders are readers):
    1. Stepping Up Website (www.mensteppingup.com)
    2. FamilyLife
    3. Focus on the Family
    4. Raising a Modern Day Knight
    5. All Pro Dad
    6. Any books by Stu Weber, Steve Farrar  or Tim Keller (more than just men’s topics but great insight on men and their spiritual journey).
    7. If you know of others that belong here on this list, share them below for other men who come by.

Men, nothing will happen until you take the next step.  Wishing and hoping won’t work.  In fact, it’s probably what got you into this place.  You want to be a godly man but you just didn’t have the tools.  Now you do.  So, what is your NEXT RIGHT STEP?  Don’t wait another day.  Just do it.

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