Posts tagged stepping up event

The day that changed men’s lives forever

Stepping Up Event as a Men’s Ministry

by Jeremiah Kelly

Editor’s note: One of the biggest needs in our nation is to challenge men to step up to courageous manhood and meet their responsibilities as husbands and fathers. That’s the purpose of FamilyLife’s one-day Stepping Up™ Video Event, which has drawn more than 50,000 men so far this year.  Jeremiah Kelly, a civilian attorney for the U.S. Army Medical Material Command at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, helped organize one of these events, and in this article talks about the impact in his church.

We were exhausted by cotton-candy Christianity. That’s why our Band of Brothers Men’s Ministry at Frederick Church of the Brethren decided to host the Stepping Up Video Event.  Joe Fitzgibbon and I are lay leaders of the Band of Brothers, and we didn’t want our men to take the gospel for granted. We didn’t want to assume that they understood their duties as articulated in Holy Scripture.

So Joe and I organized the event, which was held on February 2, 2013. About 130 guys worshipped God together and watched the Stepping Up DVDs that featured ministry leaders like Dennis Rainey, Robert Lewis, Voddie Baucham, and others. The day was challenging, and many of the men are still talking about it. Most say something like, “That day completely changed my life and outlook on my roles as a man.”

Open forum

Stepping Up FamilyLife Stepping Up One Day Event

Before the video sessions began, we handed out a “toolkit” for every man that included a book, workbook, and a sermon series. We also started each session with some teaching about manhood. Over lunch, seven of the older men of the church answered random questions from the attendees. Everything was covered from questions about sex to salvation, from theology to culture. It was an open forum and our guys really seemed to appreciate it.

One of the discussion groups was made up of high school boys. Their dialogue about sexual purity was intense, even uncomfortable at times. I led that group and several of the boys opened up about the mixed messages they are receiving from our culture, about the lure of pornography, and about the sexual one-upmanship among their friends. I was so proud of these young men who accepted the challenge of purity and committed themselves to standing firm for Christ against the tide.

There were also several men at the event from a local rescue mission. They weren’t all Christians and most of them were alienated from their families. I had a chance to talk with a man in his mid-twenties who had a crack addiction. He also had a daughter whom he had not seen in a while.

I was blown away when this young father said that our Stepping Up event manhood conference had reminded him of the awesome responsibility and privilege he has as a man to love his children.  He said it motivated him to get off drugs and clean up his life, by the grace of God.  And because we took so much time to speak directly and explicitly about the gospel, he left knowing that he needs Christ to do it.

After the Stepping Up event

Stepping Up One Day Video event - FamilyLife

We have spent countless hours following up with the men who attended our Stepping Up event. It’s been very encouraging. Several of them have given their lives to Jesus Christ.

Hosting the Stepping Up event was a great way to draw a line in the sand for the men in our church. Instead of cotton-candy Christianity, our Band of Brothers is committed to standing for Jesus. Despite our failures, we are disciples following hard after Him as husbands, as fathers, and as leaders in Christ’s church.

Click here for more information about hosting a Stepping Up event.

This article was first published by FamilyLife’s Marriage Memo FamilyLife©

Dennis Rainey’s ‘Thank you!’ for Stepping Up on Saturday!

This past Saturday a truly amazing thing happened. Literally tens of thousands of men gathered in over 1,200 locations … churches, homes, basements, college campuses, retreat centers, restaurants, prisons, and military bases.

They met across the US in ALL 50 states … in Budapest … Hungary… Mexico City… the Cayman Islands …

They shared their life-changing experiences on blogs, Facebook and Twitter … they texted … they prayed … and many made life-altering decisions of faith in Jesus Christ.

It was the Stepping Up  Super Saturday, where men were challenged to STEP UP to courageous manhood and become God’s man!

Stepping Up at FamilyLife

I’ve heard tons of stories, but I experienced one event myself. I decided to show up unannounced at the Super Saturday gathering here at FamilyLife headquarters. Why did I go to that location? Convenience? Nope. Because it was here at the office? Nope. I’ll tell you why … it was because there were over 50 men in attendance — ALL BECAUSE A 16-YEAR-OLD YOUNG MAN, WESTLEY, AND TWO OF HIS TEENAGE BUDDIES STEPPED OUT AND STEPPED UP! I wouldn’t have missed how three young men made an impact on their peers and men of all ages by stepping up! GREAT STUFF!!!

I want to thank every one of you who attended Super Saturday — even the women who cheated and “found a way to listen in” — for caring enough about your families to step up, reach out, and make a difference. If you attended, write me. If you brought your sons and/or sons-in-law with you, tell them to write me.

But know this … Super Saturday was just the beginning. That single event is spawning hundreds of men’s groups that are now going to go through the 10-week follow-up series, where even more life change will occur. Stay tuned … we’ve only begun to battle for men!

Keep on Stepping Out and Up,

Dennis Rainey

(1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Excerpted from FamilyLife’s enewsletter, “FamilyLife Friends.”

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.


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.  


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 (
    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.

The time has come; the time is now!

Stepping Up Super Saturday

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.


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, “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.

If you are attending a 2.2.13 Stepping Up event, please share your pictures, thoughts, praises, etc., on our Facebook page and Twitter using the hashtag #steppingup.

Defining courage



Our culture today offers a marred picture of what it means to have courage. For example, in recent times we have seen revered athletes own up to their failings such as Tiger Wood’s admission of serial adultery, Michael Phelps’ admission to recreational drug use and last week’s confession by Lance Armstrong to Oprah concerning the use of performance-enhancing drugs. It seems the dutiful on-camera confession is all that is required for a reputation to be restored and the shamed are upheld for having the courage to come clean.

It’s one thing to confess and come clean, but let’s not pretend it’s courageous to deceive the public for years (in Wood’s and Armstrong’s case) and only come clean when the evidence is stacked against you. Even Oprah said of her interview, that Armstrong still seemed to be playing semantics, not wanting to fully admit his wrongs, still skirting the truth. We know that it takes a real man, a really courageous person, to admit when they’ve done wrong by others and change. True courage is modeled for us in the Bible, but sadly, celebrated confessions reflect society’s superficial standard of virtue and character.

So we’d like you to join us in a linkup to define real courage. If you have a blog, write a post about a time you (or your spouse) were faced with a choice that took courage, and link your post back to the Stepping Up men’s blog. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your definition of courage in the comments section of this post.

We want to help redefine courage in America today, so every blogger who participates in the Defining Courage Linkup will receive a copy of Dennis Rainey’s book Stepping Up, a Call to Courageous Manhood.  One lucky, randomly selected winner will receive a Stepping Up Event Kit. Posts must be linked by January 28 to be eligible for the giveaways.

Plan to participate in a Stepping Up Super Saturday event on February 2 where Dennis Rainey, Voddie Baucham, Bill Bennett, Matt Chandler, James MacDonald, Robert Lewis, Mark Driscoll, and others help you tackle some of the biggest issues facing men today.


The World probably won’t end 12-21-12, but it could change drastically on 2-2-13

Stepping Up™ Super Saturday Event!

According to legend, based on the end of the Mayan calendar, the world is scheduled to end in 22 days.  Here are some headlines from

French officials ban access to sacred mountain which believers claim will be refuge from ‘Mayan apocalypse on December 21’

Rumours say the mountain will burst open on December 21 to reveal an alien spaceship which will save those nearby from the apocalypse

French police will control access to the mountain and village to stop expected hordes of New Age fanatics, sightseers and journalists

December 21 is the estimated end of the Mayan long calendar, which some believes marks the end of the world as we know it

Though anything is possible, given Jesus’ words the world will probably not end 12-21-12.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, kso will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:36-37, ESV)

So now that we have that settled, we do believe there is a day coming that may change men’s lives forever.  On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, Stepping Up™ is holding the biggest tailgate party in men’s ministries since the days of PromiseKeepers.  We expect that tens of thousands of men in more than a thousand settings (mostly churches) will simultaneously be hosting a Stepping Up launch event.

What’s a Stepping Up launch event, you ask?  We’re glad you asked.  Let us tell you.

Imagine if we could call every man to become courageous leaders in their own lives, marriages, churches, and communities.  That’s what the Stepping Up Super Saturday event is all about.

The Stepping Up Super Saturday event utilizes the Stepping Up Video Event, a DVD-based kit designed for an all day event. High quality DVDs deliver dramatic stories, humorous vignettes, man-on-the-street interviews, and expert teaching from the following ministry leaders:

Stepping Up™ Super Saturday event

On the website we’ve got all the information you will need to

Host the event.

Promote the event.

Register your event.  If you want to sign up to attend an event near you, you will register with that church, organization, individual who will tell you how to do that for that particular event in your are)

So what about you?  Will you be a catalyst for changing men’s destiny?  What if men all over your community attended this one day event?  And what if after the event, you and others held a 10-week Stepping Up Men’s Study (find out about the extended study here).  What might your community, church and family look like if men took up the gauntlet to step up and become the men God has always intended they become?  Powerful image isn’t it.  Now you can turn the image into reality.  Let’s be like the men of Issachar, “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chronicles 12:32), men who see the need for men to lead their families, churches, communities, nation with godly strength and resolve.

See you (figuratively) on 2-2-13!

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