By CTA - Christ to All
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9 ESV).
Every new year, we hear commercials on the television or radio blaring, “It’s the New Year! Time for the new you! Join our gym today!” Every year millions of people set out to get in shape, lose weight, or just be more active. It’s their New Year’s resolution, and we know how set in stone that is, right?
Polls show that most of us forget our New Year’s resolutions in less than a month. The new gym clothes you got for Christmas are shoved in a drawer. The exercise bike gathers dust in the basement. The gym membership keeps withdrawing money from the bank without you ever visiting.
In the same way, every guy who walks through the doors of your church has goals—he wants to be a better husband, to be more patient and forgiving, to read the Bible more regularly, and to use his gifts in the church. Just like with fitness resolutions, so many men have a hard time maintaining their “spiritual resolutions.” Why, then, do so many men struggle with spiritual fitness?
It’s not that we don’t realize the value of spiritual fitness (1 Timothy 4:8), but there are so many obstacles that seem to block our path to success—we don’t see the results we want when we want, think we’re too busy, or don’t know where to start. The fitness world deals with the same problems, so they’ve come up with a solution: they offer personal trainers. What if we viewed our men’s ministries as spiritual fitness gyms?
Imagine if every man in your church was paired with a spiritual “gym coach”—an accountability partner, who worked with him on his own spiritual goals. Just look at the fitness industry; would companies be spending billions of dollars if coaching didn’t work? Why not set up a “spiritual fitness” program (also known as discipleship, mentorship, or accountability) for the men in your church?
The beauty of this is that some men are already comfortable with spiritual fitness routines, also known as the “spiritual disciplines,” on their own (while not perfectly). These men are in the perfect position to help other men who need coaching (in reality, no matter where we are at, we ALL need accountability).
A mentorship program requires two steps: pair every man with a mentor and ask them to develop a specific plan of action for their spiritual goals. Time with the Lord through prayer, reading the Word, fasting, and other “spiritual disciplines” requires commitment and consistency. Mentorship helps guys stay on track and reach their spiritual goals.
Sometimes we assume every man has the same goals. While there are common traits every man will want to pursue (the traits of Jesus), the specifics are always different. Mentorship personalizes a man’s spiritual goals to where God has them in their lives, just like a personal trainer helps the client set goals for his lifestyle. A married man with three children, a single guy right out of college, and a man who’s been retired twenty years are going to have completely different goals.
It’s a new year. Guys are thinking about their physical fitness, but they may be afraid to ask for help with their spiritual fitness. When men hold each other accountable, everyone benefits. What better way for men to increase their spiritual fitness than with a “fitness coach”?
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