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Video Transcript:

Larry Hyche

Let me go ahead and give you an official welcome. We’ll get kicked off here. My name is Larry Hyche. I work with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions in the area of men’s discipleship. We are so glad that you guys are here. This has been a long time in the prep work. We’ve tried to make this happen in person and then the pandemic hit. So the Lord knows what he’s doing. We’re excited to have Rick Burgess here with us and Andy Blanks. Rick needs no introduction. Everybody has been a fan of Rick and Bubba, for many years. Andy Blanks is with YM360, Iron Hill Press. These two guys have been working together for quite some time, to offer this resource and I just wanna say again to both of y’all, thank you for what you’re doing. This resource seems to be hitting a need that our guys are just in absolute desire for some purpose and for some strategy. So thank y’all for what you’re doing. Excited about tonight. Well guys, are y’all ready?

Rick Burgess

Yes Sir, we’re ready to get on.

Andy Blanks

Let’s do it.

Larry Hyche

All right. Thank y’all again for being here. Rick, why don’t you start us off, buddy?

Rick Burgess

Thank you very much Larry and I can see some of the things that people are saying already and we’ll get to those Q & As a the end. So I do wanna tell the person who raised their hand, don’t panic, not everybody here is a Baptist. I saw that. He was like, “Oh my goodness. “It’s all a bunch of Baptists.” Themanchurch.com, is non-denominational. It is about following Jesus Christ, period. One of the catch phrases that we have, is if you wanna be a man, then follow Jesus, because that’s the only flawless example of a man, that the world has ever known. That’s when God became one. So don’t be concerned about the denominational stuff. There’ll be nothing in the curriculum and the resources we have that would be screaming any denominational things. We’re gonna concentrate on the things that followers of Christ agree on. We’re not gonna spend any time on the things that we may not agree on, or secondary issues. So don’t worry about that. But we do wanna thank the Alabama Baptists, for putting this together, because, and coming up with an idea, because of the pandemic. At one time, you were limited to whether you could travel to our home state of Alabama and be in the room with us. You know what, the Lord decided that wasn’t the best idea and here we are on a webinar and I’m seeing people from all over the country and around the world. So this is great. We’re actually gonna probably make bigger impact with this, than we would have, under the other format. So let’s talk a little bit about why we’re here and what we’re gonna do tonight. So first of all, themanchurch.com, was put together to be a hub for men’s ministry, because one thing that we had noticed, when I was traveling around the country, speaking, Andy as well, men’s ministry, throughout history, has been pretty good in some areas, mainly in high challenge. The Promise Keepers Movement. It was very good at high challenge and they put together incredible services and there was a movement of men who were getting excited about their faith and they were getting excited about God. They were brought into the presence of God and we certainly know that there were men, that were transformed, through the obedience of those men, ultimately of course, not by those men, but by Jesus Christ. But they ushered people into the presence of the Lord. I know men that that was when they were redeemed. That’s when they were reconciled back to God. So high challenge was there. Every time I go and speak somewhere, we do a pretty good job with high challenge. But we started noticing that there was something that was wrong with men’s ministry. There didn’t seem to be a lasting effect and there seemed to be almost chasing a vapor on how to make that happen. So I want you to know, you’ve joined this tonight, whether you’re a community leader, you’re a church leader, or you’re somebody who’s just kicking the tires on this. Here’s what you need to know from the very beginning. There’s nothing tonight, that is gonna resemble anything that you’ve ever tried before, because we’re not here tonight, to just try to do what we’ve been doing, a little bit better. This is a game plan to completely transform the way you approach men’s ministry. So understand that. I mean I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people say, “Well when y’all did this though, “keep in mind, nobody’s ever really “done it like that before.” Well, we know. Like a 40 week curriculum. “Oh my God, 40 weeks? “Well nobody’s ever done 40 weeks.” Well that’s right. But undoubtedly, that wasn’t the right thing, because it hasn’t produced very good results. So what we’re trying to do is say, we’re not walking away from high challenge, because that’s the way men respond. You may have heard of some of the videos we’ve done. You may have seen the video at themanchurch.com, when you first click on it. We cover some of these points. You cannot reach a man and you cannot disciple a man, if you continue to treat him like he is a woman or a child. Men and women are equal, the scriptures are clear about this. As a matter of fact, Christianity elevates the value of women, more than any other religion, okay? But, the Bible is also clear that God made them male and he made them female, equal, but they are not the same. If you go back to the Garden of Eden, you see that God never even instructs Eve about the tree. He tells Adam that. So it was Adam’s job to tell Eve, what they should and should not do and then when there was the failure, on the woman’s part, we find out that she gave that fruit to her husband, who was there with her. So Adam stood there and watched it happen. He didn’t do the job. Then when God shows up, what do we see? This is right out of the beginning of the Word of God. We see Him never even asking Eve anything about what’s happened. He asks Adam what had happened, because Adam’s the one He instructed. So we know right now, that then God had to start a plan of reconciliation. But also, guess what happened? Adam is not our example. So what we’re looking for is what, the new Adam. So then God decided that He would become a man. So themanchurch.com is wrapped around this concept. If you’re looking for a perfect, flawless example, of how to be a man, then how about when God became one? That’s the reason why you see us with shirts and you see things with, “Be a man, follow Jesus.” That’s the example. So what we did, is we started first putting out these 40 day devotionals called, “How to Be A Man.” Andy will tell you a little more about that, coming up. We found that we got a little bit of pushback. You couldn’t even say that, you couldn’t even name it that, “How to Be A Man.” It’s like masculinity and talking about men, have become so out of vogue, that you couldn’t even, “Well you can’t say, “you know how to be a man.” Well we’re not saying we know how to be a man. Look at our subtitle. “The Pursuit of Christ-centered Masculinity.” No, we’re saying if you wanna be a man, follow Jesus. Look at the teachings of Jesus and look at the teachings of the Word of God, that come from what Jesus instructed these men and women to do. But mostly, the example of how to be a man. So what we did is, we said, well let’s look at eight characteristics, let’s look at identity, ’cause if a man doesn’t know his identity, man, he can’t even get out of the gate and we’ll talk about you can implement that. Then we got into integrity, purpose, surrender, passion, commitment, compassion, influence. So that was the first source that we ever put out, even before we created themanchurch.com. This is when me, Rick with the show, got together with Andy Blanks. So if you’re kind of wondering the partnership here, themanchurch.com features a partnership between Burgess Ministries and Iron Hill Press. Iron Hill Press runs the store, that’s who publishes the curriculum, that’s who publishes the devotionals. We have other resources that we also have made available to you. Then you have Burgess Ministries, which is the ministry that my wife and I have. This is when we’ll go out and speak and do things and all the different ministries that we do with Burgess Ministries and we just combined that partnership, to come together for themanchurch.com. So once we saw the response, to those devotionals, people were coming back, rightfully so saying, “What’s next?” We started thinking, “All right, what is next?” So we did do another 40 day devotional from the “How to Be A Man” series. This is learning from the real man of the Bible. So we take eight men of the Bible. Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul. These are designed, both of these books, to be 40 days. We have youth versions of those too, which Andy will get into, in a moment. But then, it got down to, okay here we are again. These are really made for individuals, or for a man to take his son through this, or for some men to get together. What about a church? What about a community group? Certainly you can use some of these resources, but we started thinking to ourselves, “We need to create a game plan.” So we started thinking, “Well where would “the game plan come from?” It happened with something that God did in my life, about four years ago. I was going out and speaking to a lot of events. We’re not against events. We’ll talk about that tonight either. But I kept noticing one thing, back to what I said before. There’s a lot of high challenge going on. But what I wasn’t seeing and Andy was experiencing the same thing. We didn’t see a lot of high equipping. High challenge, but very little high equipping. Even went back to the people at Promise Keepers and I said, “What happened to Promise Keepers?” The people in charge told me very clearly, said, “We put together incredible events. “We challenge men. “There was great response from the men, “but we thought that we would then send these men “back to the local church, on fire for Jesus, “and then the local church would take “this spark that was lit and then they would “take these men from spiritual infancy “to spiritual maturity.” Then sadly, the man told me and I’ll never forget this moment. “We sadly miscalculated that.” So then I started thinking, “Well why does the church”, and look, we’re partnering with a local church. We love the local church. We’re not gonna sit around and say, “You’re not doing this, you’re not doing that.” If we’re not willing to try to do something about it. So what we were discovering is, the local church didn’t really have a plan to disciple men. As you heard us talk about in our trailer, that starts at themanchurch.com, we were all hearing all these Christian research numbers, that God had given influence to the man, that was unmatched. I mean the man had the most influence, over the home, over the church and over society. But other than a challenging Father’s Day message once a year, maybe a wild game feast, maybe a prayer breakfast, there wasn’t a whole lot going on. We didn’t see any effort to really place the man in that number one position of priority, even though all the surveys we talked about and everything the Bible had talked about, seemed to indicate, that if you would disciple the man, as a priority, you would solve a lot of problems. Satan certainly believes that. That’s why he’s been destroying men, because he knows if he destroys the men, he destroys a lot. So it’s time for the church to go on offense, but you can’t tell somebody to go on offense, if you don’t give them any weapons. So we started thinking about what to do. So God convicted me that I wasn’t doing anything in my local church. The reason why I’m here to tell you, that I promise you, we’re not an enemy of the local church, is because God corrected me that I was out doing events, but I wasn’t doing anything in my own church. So I was a hypocrite and he buried me on that. So I went with some guys at our church and I said, “We didn’t even have “men’s ministry at the time.” We’d had a couple things that we’re attempting. None of them worked out. None of them had any longevity. Sound familiar? So I was like, “Why is there no longevity? “What’s going on?” So what I wanna show you now, I’m gonna pull up something on the screen and I notice that what was the problem is that most men were put into six week Bible studies, maybe. They might do a wild game feast. There might be a Bible study out of that, might not. We have a prayer breakfast, where a lot of times, we were bringing in sports figures that more times than not, if we’re honest, guys, they certainly tell great stories, but a lot of times, they awkwardly try to make football and sports stories fit into the Bible and a lot of times, it’s very awkward. A lot of them don’t have very much theological depth at all. So what we had was a bunch of spiritual infants, if they were men of God at all and nothing was happening to grow them. So I started thinking in my mind and it’s mentioned in Deuteronomy, but also in Exodus and Exodus it’s Chapter 34:23, when now God’s establishing this covenant, he’s pulled the people out of slavery and he’s weeded out those that didn’t think they could take the land and he says to Moses, “Three times a year, bring me the men.” He doesn’t say the women, he doesn’t say the children. “Three times a year, bring me the men. “Then I’m gonna instruct the men “on what they should do.” So that kind of, that clicked. I thought, well undoubtedly for some reason, Moses was not on the quarter system, but the United States of America,is. So what if we thought about the men having their own services. Not events, now if you wanna tie the events in, we’ll get into that, you can. But what if four times a year, the men were pull out of the congregation and they were in a service that was designed by men, for men. So you could speak to a man the way a man needs to be spoken to, but in this setting, you could also plug them in to discipleship classes, that would grow them from spiritual infancy, to spiritual maturity. So we had the first ever Man Church and this was a service that was designed for men. If you’re looking at this graphic right now, you can almost picture a clock. So at the top of the hour, four years ago, we had the first thing called, “The Man Church.” This is a large group gathering, in-person and it’s just for men. The praise and worship is designed by men, for men. You get your announcements, things that you need in the church for the men to be involved in. You have your small group Bible studies ready to go and you have the men that are either leading it or facilitating it. So you come into this high challenge environment, but when it’s over, we’re gonna plug you into a high equipping, small group Bible study. If you notice by looking at this wheel, the Wheel of Discipleship never ends. See that’s been the problem with men’s ministry. You do a six week Bible study. I did this. Look, one of my mentors in men’s ministry who I love and have the highest respect for. Steve Farrar came into our church and he did a weekend. He did a tremendous job. They gave us a six week Bible study. They did a great job of dividing us all into different groups. We went to Cracker Barrel. I was in one. We did the six week Bible study. Guess what happened to the men on week seven? We never got together again. You know why? Nobody gave us the next thing to do. Now the assumption was, that we would just start doing it on our own. That’s a terrible assumption, when it comes to men’s ministry. Let me tell you one thing that’s definitely flawed in men’s ministry. Never assume that men understand what they’re supposed to do. You have to, they’ll do really good, if you’ll give them, we love tasks, but give us the next task. So in these Man Church large groups, you can do them on a Sunday night, if your church doesn’t do anything on Sunday night, or even if they do, take one Sunday night, every quarter. If Sunday nights are precious and you don’t wanna do that, we have other churches that do it on a Thursday night. It could be a Monday night. It could be Tuesday night. Four times a year. You bring the men into this and they get the high challenge and then, when it gets to the end, after they’ve had a time to respond, you then put them into the small group Bible studies and you set those up on different days of the week, at different times of the day. So you don’t have the excuse maker, “Well I can’t do Wednesday night.” “Okay, well can you do Tuesday morning?” “No.” “Can you do Sunday afternoon?” You don’t let them out of it. You offer multiple opportunities for them to get into these small groups. About the time they’re finishing their small group Bible study, guess what comes up again? Here comes high challenge again. Here comes another Man Church. Either with another speaker from within the church, or from a speaker that we can help you with and provide, or somebody that you feel good about. It’s high challenge again. It’s praise and worship with the men in the room. When it’s over, guess what? There’s another offering of the next group of small group Bible studies and the Wheel of Discipleship never ends. They never come out of it. It has radically changed our men’s ministry at our church, but I will tell you this. If you do it right, the amount of men involved, will go down. I know right now, Larry may be wanting to come in and interrupt me and say, “Rick, you cannot say that. “It’s always about numbers.” No it’s not. We started ours, we attend a large church, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, in Birmingham. We started out in the first Man Church, with 600 men. We now on The Man Church gatherings, we average about 225 to 250, okay? But those 225 and 250, have grown by incredible leaps, over the last four years. So we got down to maybe our fourth Man Church, the first year and we asked the question. We were down to about 283 then. And we asked the question, “If you have been involved in “a small group Bible study, stand up.” 99% of the room, stood up. So the men who did not get into the small groups, had faded away. The men who got into the small groups were still there and they were growing. The first Man Church we had, was considered by some, to be a little heavy handed. ‘Cause it was very high challenge and you see Andy laughing. I actually got called to the office, because it was, well I’ll just tell you how we opened it. We opened the first Man Church by talking about the open sin that was going on in the church, involving the men of our church body. Now we didn’t name names. But we said, “This is going on, this is going on, “this is going on, this is going on.” We said, ’cause now, it’s men talking to men, which is why you wanna have these services for men. You can’t do this with women and children in the room and you shouldn’t, frankly. But we started out by saying, “The church would be healthier right now tonight, “and most of you would likely have a real relationship “with Jesus Christ, if we threw you out of the church. “If I was the pastor, “I would throw you out of the church tonight, “based on I Corinthians 5 “and different things in Matthew 18. “We talked about all this in the Bible. “By scripture, if we were doing church discipline, “the way it should be done, “you men should be removed from this church.”

Andy Blanks

That’s not in any of the church growth books, by the way.

Rick Burgess

Yeah, yeah, you won’t find that in a church growth book. You know what happened though? You know what happened? We had men come forward and get on their face and weep at the alter. I received emails and do you know, the men that were impacted that night, do you know that the least amount of years they had been a member of that church? The least amount? Seven years. One guy had been going to church there for 23 years and he went home and confessed sin to his wife. Others went home and poured out alcohol, who had drinking problems and they knew this. Stopped relationships with women at work. You fill in the blank. Men got on their faces and they repented, because they were challenged and they were spoken to the way that God made the man. So and it doesn’t have to be like that the whole time, but that’s the way it started and then we get into four years down the line, we cover different topics in The Man Church, but hey, let me tell you this. If you’re a pastor involved in this tonight? Guess what’s cool? You get this thing going and you need men. Say there’s a widow who has a tree on her house. “Hey guys, at The Man Church, coming up this quarter, “will you please, I need men for this. “I need men for that. “I need men for this. “I’ve got boys that are fatherless that need help. “I got a widow who needs her house fixed. “We got a mission trip coming up we need men for. “I need men in the parking lot “for the women’s event that we’re having.” Anything you need from the men of your church, you now have set up this never-ending wheel, where you have them in a setting that you can talk to them whenever you want to. So you do that four times a year and if you want some of those to be events and not services, you can do that and we’ll get into that here in a moment. But what we do in the small groups, ’cause a lot of you right now I know are thinking, “Well Rick, what do you fill “these never-ending small groups with?” Now I hope that maybe the church, you do have some men that say, “I can expository teach “and I’m gonna do the gospel of John.” Fine, you can offer that. But I have found in most cases, especially in your first couple of years, the men are intimidated by that and you have a hard time vetting out, curriculum and people teaching the small groups. Well, here’s the good news. At themanchurch.com, every year, we’ll have a new curriculum. Our first one is available now and it’s called, “The Pursuit.” Back to that pursuit of Christ-centered masculinity. So instead of taking these concepts of how to be a man, based on the person and the teachings of Christ and spending 40 days on them, we now expand that out to 40 weeks. So and they come in five week groups. You have five weeks on integrity. Five weeks on identity. Then I’m your teacher for the first 12 to 15 minutes. I wanna commend the young guys, who are great voices, ’cause you wanna listen to the guys of all ages. When we first started this, my idea, which was wrong, was that I would just teach the entire class. I had a younger guy say, “You know, the only thing about that Burgess is, “now these men will never learn to do it on their own. “Now you’re not training, you’re just giving it to them “and they’re hearing from you all the time. “They can’t hear from you the rest of their lives.” So we said, “You know what? “That’s a good word.” So I only teach, I’m kind of like the set up guy. I teach for 12 to 15 minutes, on a video and then when that’s done, the men in the room, so now a man, all he’s gotta do is facilitate. That’s all he’s gotta do is facilitate it. Set up the Bible studies. Here is the curriculum. It’s a plug and play. You’ve got study guides to go along with it and then the men will watch the video, then they go through the study guides that we provide, that can be looked at on their phone, on their iPad, they can be printed out, if they want to. Then they go through the rest of the time in the room, going through the study guide that’s coming off the video. Every year, just like you do with all the other ministries in your church, we’ll have another curriculum that you can choose from. Now if the 40 weeks spook you and you’re like, “Man, I just don’t know about 40 weeks.” Well, you could go in and say, “We’ll do 20.” Then you would buy four groups of five and you’d go in and pick and say, let me tell you this and we’ll tell you this tonight. You gotta have identity. Identity’s gotta be first. If you say you don’t wanna do the whole 40 weeks, you have to do identity and it’s gotta be first. Because, when a man doesn’t understand his identity and he can’t get that right, he can’t get going on the rest of it. So you could go in and say, “I want identity, “I want integrity, I want influence.” You can go in there and cherry pick it if you want to, a la carte, we make that available to you. But the simplest thing to do is just plug and play and say, “Hey man, I’ll take the whole deal.” Then, if you need us to help you with people to speak at your services, or you wanna get with us and make some of these services events, we can certainly do that for you. So the videos are pretty straightforward. It’s me teaching, going through all these deals. But now Andy Blanks is gonna come on now. The study guides, what we did then, to say, “You know, we need as many voices in this “as we can get.” So we’ve had about all the Burgess we can stand. We’ve almost had all the Andy Blanks we can stand, so now let’s go hear from some other voices and Andy, you did a great job of putting together a team of men, that actually put together the study guide. So talk about that a little bit and then talk about the fact that we’re not anti-event. That just can’t be all you do. We also have a couple of options on events that we can help you with, as well. So this is Andy Blanks. I’m thankful for this man in my life. He and I co-wrote the first “How to Be A Man: “The Pursuit of Christ-centered Masculinity.” He also wrote with Brian Gill, “The Next How to Be A Man: ” That’s Learning from the Real Men of the Bible.” He’s been doing youth ministry for a long time, with YM360. But also, has teamed up with us here at Burgess Ministries, with Iron Hill Press and has done a great job putting together the curriculum for men, as well.

Andy Blanks

That’s a good introduction. I’m gonna have you do that for me more often.

Rick Burgess

Thank you, buddy.

Andy Blanks

Yeah so, Rick’s done a great job of kind of setting the stage here. I do wanna say real quickly, kind of our philosophy about how the pursuit, the study guides work. There was a question asked, which is a great question, first question out of the gate was, “How does a Man Church ministry compare to “Men’s Fraternity curriculum?” It’s actually a great segue way into talking about the leader guides, the lesson plans on how “The Pursuit” works. Listen, Men’s Fraternity is a great curriculum. I’ve done their curriculum before. There’s some definite similarities into what we do and what others do, right? And a video driven curriculum. That’s what Rick was just talking about. Our philosophy, what we wanna do, is two things. One, we don’t want Rick or me, being the primary voice of instruction in your small group. I’m not in relationship with you. I’m not in your church with you. I’m not doing life with you. Rick’s not doing life with you. Rick’s a great Bible teacher, right? He’s a great voice of challenge and so what we wanna do, and God has really gifted him and called him in this area. So what we’re doing in “The Pursuit”, is having Rick kick off your small group lesson. So let’s say you do identity, which I would second Rick’s recommendation there. If you’re going to do one study, just to try it out, it’s a fantastic one to start with. I would say, identity’s a great example. So you’re gonna go into identity lesson one. You’re gonna start with a 15 minute video of Rick teaching on the first lesson of identity. It’s gonna introduce the passage, it’s gonna be high challenge. Then you’re gonna transition out of that, into a leader’s guide that allows you as a leader, to really lead that small group, that you’re in relationship with through an exegetical look at the Bible that’s very, very interactive. So one of the ways that what we’re doing is different than say Men’s Fraternity or some of the other, maybe if you’ve done stuff from rightnow.org, or Lifeway, where you’ve got a 20 or 30 minute, kind of talking head video and then you get maybe a handful of discussion questions. Again, not knocking that at all. But what we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to ground men in the Word of God, right? We’re trying to build on these concepts that Rick introduces, by in-depth Bible study and Helmsy is gonna speak to this in a little bit, ’cause he’s actually doing this right now, he’s leading one of these groups. So, you’ll come out of your video. There’ll be a couple questions to help you guide people in just responding to the video, right? How to pull out things that were important to them and things that meant something to them from the video and then you’re gonna transition into a really solid 15, 20 minute inductive Bible study. We write all of our lesson plans, the leader’s guide, so that we’re giving you the prompts, we’re giving you the questions. One of the things that we do, that if you’ve ever taught a Bible study before, you’ll appreciate this. We actually give you the answers, as well. Right, there’s nothing worse than getting a leader’s guide with 20 different questions and it’s like, “I don’t really know “where I’m supposed to go here.” So we give you the answers and the idea is, that you’re walking men through this discussion of a passage of scripture, that Rick has already kind of introduced. We’re gonna end that lesson plan with one key take away. It’s important, listen, we study passages of scripture, there’s multiple take aways, that we can take from any passage. What we wanna do, is we wanna see men’s lives change by applying the Biblical truth for that particular passage. We’re gonna key in on one thing and really help men process that, in a few different ways. The writer’s, the folks who wrote this curriculum, I was just kind of making some notes here, I mean we had a great group of guys. There’s 10 different writers, that helped us write this. I let out an editorial process. But we wanted to include different voices here. I mean six of the 10, are seminary trained. We’ve got two DMins. But the other four guys that are in there, have their MDivs from seminary. All of these men, are extremely active in their local churches. They’re teaching the Bible. They’re deacons. They’re on their leadership teams. These are guys who we personally have field tested. I mean a couple of these guys are preachers, who are communicating the Word of God, week in and week out. These are the guys who wrote, “The Pursuit Leader’s Guide.” So again, I’m not casting stones here. We’re not here to do that. What we experience in a lot of other videos and Rick said it really well, that are high challenge. You watch a video and man, you’re getting pumped up to go do something, you’re pumping your people up. But then, if there’s no equipping, so it leads to frustration. If you challenge me but you don’t equip me, while I’m all raring to go, but I don’t really know what to do and that actually leads to frustration. So one of the things we wanted to do, was to come on top of Rick’s high challenge, and equip people with a solid study in the Word of God. We’re not just giving you eight or 10 discussion questions after Rick’s videos. We’re equipping you to lead men, into the Word, where they can be transformed by the Word and the Spirit. So the curriculum, I’ve been doing this a long time and I told Rick and our guys on our teams, I’ve been creating curriculum for about 20 years. I’ve literally never had a group of lessons come back any stronger. I mean when I’m getting lesson back from these guys and I’m firing off text to Rick and our team just saying, “I cannot believe from top to bottom, “how solid this curriculum is.” We’re already hearing that feedback from some of our churches, our early adopters, who are half way through the 40 weeks by now and the feedback we’re getting is fantastic. I wanna mention something else real quickly, as we’re talking about strategy. Rick said and you can kind of hear it in our voice, when we talk about events. Rick said a couple of times, “We’re not anti-events.” Right, if we don’t say that, we may come across that we’re anti-events. The reason that where that comes from is, watching men’s ministries for decades. Be event-driven, right? There’s a difference between intentionally using events to foster discipleship and being event-driven. Event-driven events, discipleship doesn’t happen in big events. Events are part of a discipleship strategy. But discipleship doesn’t happen in big events and so, we are not anti-events. We are events with intentionality. How does this event, how does this large group gathering, fit into a disciple-making strategy? Rick mentioned The Man Church services and certainly we can help you with that. There’s two specific events that we do, as a part of Man Church, that are pretty cool. In fact, one of them, I personally don’t know of anybody doing anything quite like it and they’re pretty amazing. One is called our “Man Church One Days.” It’s really hard to get men, I had a friend, years ago, at Lifeway. I was asking him, it was probably 12, 15 years ago. I said, “Man, why don’t you guys do more men stuff?” I was like, “Everything y’all do is women’s stuff.” And I’ve got daughters. I said, “The women’s stuff is fantastic.” He looked at me and he said, “You know, you can get “a van full of moms and their girls “to drive three hours to go to a women’s event.” He said, “You just can’t get dad’s to show up.” That was actually part of my journey of becoming impassioned by doing men’s curriculum, because I felt like that was a challenge. I felt like he was telling me, “We couldn’t make money on this, so we’re not doing it.” I was like, “Well hold on, we need to do this, “because it’s out of obedience “and I believe men will show up.” I think we’re proving that. But we do know that there is a little bit more of a hurdle with guys, whether their lives are centered around sports, or hunting, or football, or whatever, right? We’ve struck a men’s weekend in our, “Man Church One Days”, down to one day. We want your guys for one day, for a Saturday. The way a “Man Church One Day” works, is we’ve got a high challenge session from Rick, that we start it off with. Just an hour of worship, right? Then we’ll go to a panel discussion. Have lunch there on the grounds, come back with another time of worship and high challenge. You can add on another panel discussion, if you want. Or you can end there. But the idea is, it is a nine to three type, something like that, one day, where we knock that hurdle down, that a lot of our men won’t participate, because they’re not willing to clear time out of their schedule. So we’ve knocked that hurdle down and we’ve had some great experiences of that. The other event that we do, that is a key part of discipleship, that is super unique. Rick and I had, the experience with this is just unbelievable. They’re called, “Make Ready Weekend.” This is a Friday night, Saturday kind of, two-thirds of the day type deal. But, “Make Ready Weekend”, is so powerful and I want you guys to really dial in here, because I think this can transform the life of your church. “Make Ready Weekend”, is a disciple-making event for dads and their children, not just dads and sons. Dads and their children. What we do is, we bring dads and children together, for Friday night and Saturday and we teach them about disciple-making together, while they’re in the room together. We challenge both dads and their children. We cast this vision for what a disciple-making parent looks like in a disciple-making home. Then we do something really neat. We actually teach a discipleship strategy, right? We actually teach them what we call a disciple-making moments. What does it look like when a dad and their children get together over the Bible, or the Word of God and how do you process a passage together? We teach that and then we do something neat. We give dads and their kids creative space. We carve out space over the course of this weekend and give you the curriculum for this, to actually go off during the event, and have disciple-making moments together. Listen guys, there’s a lot of vulnerability here. I mean I’ve done this with my children and there’s part of this where we have children and their dads talk about parenting. I’ve had my children, I’ve had my middle daughter, look at me in this environment and speak things to me, about the way that I lead her, that I did not know I was doing. And it’s humbling for me, right? There’s some moments where it’s like, “Okay, well I would change that if I knew that.” That happens at this event. I know I speak for Rick when I say, at the end of these events, there’s a moment where we have children pray over their fathers and if I think about it for too long, I’ll get emotional. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life, to be on a stage and watch hundreds of kids put their hands on their dad’s heads or shoulders and pray over their dads. “Make Ready Weekend”, I don’t know that anybody is doing anything like it and I’m just telling you, most dads and Rick and I have talked about this, most dads know that they are supposed to be the chief disciple-maker in that home, right? But they don’t know how. High challenge, low equipping, leads to frustration. “Make Ready Weekend”, teaches dads and children together and this is one thing Rick loves. It’s in an era of accountability. If you teach a dad and a child what discipleship’s supposed to look like and six weeks after that event, discipleship hasn’t happened, what’s that kid gonna say? “Dad, what are we doing? “We went to that thing together “and we’re supposed to be doing this.” So listen, accountability’s always a good thing, right? So we covered “The Pursuit” curriculum. We’ve covered the way the event strategy works in themanchurch.com and The Man Church plan. We wanna give, Rick, you wanna transition back to Michael, let Helmsy talk about his experience a little bit in actually doing The Man Church and doing “The Pursuit?”

Rick Burgess

Yeah, so thank you, Andy. The point that Andy hit is kind of the whole process. I think men get frustrated, constantly being told, “Be the spiritual leader, you’re supposed to be this, “you’re supposed to be that.” Then we’ve never taken the time to show them what that looks like, or to train them how to do it. The first Man Church that we ever did at my church, when we were developing this system, four years ago, there were 23 women that got outside the room where we were gonna have the service in and they were praying over the room. My wife got there to pray and she asked the women, “What generated this?” Do you know what the women said? “We don’t wanna be the spiritual leaders of our home. “We’re hoping this works. “We’re doing it, because”, there’s certainly women that are in sin, that have a Jezebel spirit, that are trying to take over the house. They certainly exist. But our experience has been that most women who are spiritually leading the home, are doing it because the man won’t. A lot of reasons that we have that the man won’t, either he’s a spiritual infant, he’s lost, or maybe he really does want to do it, but no one’s ever showed him how to do it. So these are things that we put together in the curriculum and certainly in the “Make Ready Weekend”, and even our “Man Church One Days”, that try to not just tell men what they should be doing, but to show them how to do it. So Michael Helms is now gonna join us, because Michael Helms, works with themanchurch.com. He’s worked with Burgess Ministries. He handles a lot of the IT stuff that we do and he works along side Iron Hill Press. But, we ran into the pandemic. So when you run into a pandemic, here we were with this curriculum, that involved men gathering together once a week, but then in their state, they’re being told they can’t gather. So we started thinking, “What in the world are we going to do? “Are we just gonna sit here and not move?” And people had purchased the curriculum and they didn’t know how they could use it. So we came up with a plan that you can actually start now, even if you’re not gonna gather, or you’re not sure about when you’re gonna gather again. Where you can use this curriculum, as we speak, and Helmsy was kind of our guinea pig, go out and listen now and see if you can teach this, through the technology that is available now, with the videos, with the study guides and with a once a week meeting to discuss all this, via Zoom. So he can speak to how the curriculum is working and he can speak to how you can do it, technologically, even if you can’t gather in person. So Helms, kind of tell us what the experience has been like.

Michael Helms

Yeah, it’s been fantastic. It’s exceeding my expectations actually and look, we can all, we’ve all chosen Zoom for some reason, but obviously, if you’re a GoToMeeting guy, or Webex, or Webinar, any of these will work fine. So whatever you’re familiar with. We just happened to pick Zoom. The two biggest differences, obviously, Rick mentioned the first one is, we’re not in a room together. We’re online together. So that is different and there’s some uncomfortableness that goes on with that, from time to time and I’ll get on that in a minute. The second thing is, everyone has access to the video. So instead of you being in a room together watching the video together, in that 12 or 15 minute space, that you have for that. Now, you’re giving them the link to that video, prior to. They’re watching it and then you’re coming online to discuss. So for us, our meetings, are going about 45 minutes to an hour. We start the meeting off with prayer. We reference the scripture that we’re gonna be talking about. The purpose of the session. We read the scripture. We discuss the video. Sometimes we flip those, depending on the feel of what’s going on. Then we walk through the study guide. The study guide, guys is, lean on the study guide. It is phenomenal. There are so many good things in this and it doesn’t matter whether you think you’re not ready to lead, or you’re as far as long as Rick and Andy, okay? This thing is Helms-proof, meaning if I can figure it out and lead, anybody can. So have confidence in that. I wanna encourage you there. So that’s the meeting. The things that I’ve noticed, we’re five weeks in, we finish up today. So we meet on Thursdays, at 11:30. Start on time. I start my meetings at 11:15 and I tell the guys, I set expectations early and say, “Look guys, here’s the deal. “I’m gonna do the meeting early, 11:15. “That’s gonna be our catch up time, “our talk time, prayer time, whatever you wanna do. “But 11:30, we’re gonna jump into the session.” Because I wanna be just like if we’re meeting at a location, I wanna be respectful of our time. The other thing I’ve noticed is, and I love this. For some reason, I can’t figure it out, men are opening up more online, more than they would if they were, I’ve led groups at churches and small groups in homes. Adults, kids, for years now and I am seeing men open up, in ways online, that I’ve never been able to get them to open up, when we’re in person. So that’s a positive about all this. Obviously, we wanna get back to meeting and gathering, but there are some positives that are coming with this. Have a back up leader. One of the things that you wanna do, is have a back up leader and make sure they have the study guide. I wasn’t even gonna mention this today, but I had an internet outage today. We were about 40 minutes into our meeting today and my internet completely went out at the house. So I had a back up leader. I simply said, “Hey look, here’s the deal.” I texted him and said, “I’m out, I don’t have internet.” So he ran with it. He had the study guide. So that was something that you’re gonna need to do. It’s like any other group, guys. You’re gonna have that first week, if I were you, it’s not gonna be like this, but I would prepare like you’re gonna speak the entire hour. Because everybody’s not gonna jump in that first week. You know that. It’s usually the second, or third, or fourth week, where people start getting involved. I would say spot your talkers. Spot the guys that are involved. Those are your go-tos and reach out to them individually and say, “Hey look, will you help me. “Will you open in prayer, or will you close in prayer? “When I ask for somebody to read scripture, “will you do that?” They’ll do it, because they’re jumping in, so just that’s something that I’ve learned, as well. Get the group talking, involved. That’s what this study guide is about. There’s so many good questions and challenges and stuff tailored for that. So make sure you’re getting them involved. The one thing that I do, that I would encourage you to do is, I’m big on communication. So the first meeting obviously, you’re gonna do an email introduction, just like if we were meeting in a location. Include, give them some expectations and say, “Hey look guys, here’s the deal. “Here’s the link to the video. “Here’s what we’re studying.” Then what I always do is, we meet on Thursdays, so either Thursday night, or Friday morning, I send them a recap of what we did. Then I send them next week’s video, with a little of a snapshot of the session that we’re doing. Then next week, around Tuesday or Wednesday, I send them a reminder and just say, “Hey, heads up.” Then I include that Zoom link, or whatever link that you wanna include there. One of the biggest things that you need to remind them, in this technology set up, is and it’s funny at times, it is, it’s comical. Is, the mute. If you’re gonna be a moderator and you’re gonna lead, you’ve gotta be able to kind of look at what everybody’s doing, because you’re gonna have guys that go in and out. You’re gonna have guys that join at different times and they’re gonna forget to mute their volume. So instead of making a big deal about, “Hey, somebody’s online and they’re making too much noise”, just reach up and mute them. But remind the group, every so often, “Hey, if you’re gonna jump in and talk, “make sure you’re unmuted, because I may have muted you “at one point.” That helps just kind of keep the flow going. There’s gonna be some uncomfortable pauses. There’s gonna be some times where, you can’t look around the room. You’re gonna have a guy that may be driving a truck, around delivering mail, joining your group and he’s put something in the mailbox and all of a sudden, he wants to chime in and somebody else wants to chime in. So, those things are gonna happen. Just kind of moderate it. “Hey David, you go ahead. “Joe, we’re coming to you next.” You’re just kind of being the quarter back of this whole thing and that’s what I love about the curriculum, ’cause it allows you to do that. You don’t have to sit there and think, “Man, I gotta carry this thing for an hour.” Ask questions, get the discussions rolling. Men wanna talk these things out. They do and it’s so amazing to see them doing that now, online. You know, you’re gonna have the same typical things that you would have with a meeting at a location. You’re gonna have your non-committals, where they’ll come one week, they won’t show up the next and then they won’t show up the next, then they’ll all of a sudden pop up and be there. Just encourage them and encourage them to keep coming and then maybe they’ll eventually get there. But I think the biggest thing is, remind them to watch the video and give them a little bit of fault, we’re not giving them the study guide, okay? But do give them the scripture. Give them a couple things to chew on, so it starts their mindset, for that next meeting. Rick, is there anything that I’m leaving out here that you wanted me to tackle?

Rick Burgess

One thing, I had a guy actually that’s in your group, that sent me a message today. He knew we were doing the webinar. He said that what he likes about choosing this option, is that now, he’s not limited to whether he can make it to the location or not. He said, “I like that I’m able to come in.” I would say, and Helmsy and I have talked about this, if you’re gonna lead one of the small groups, or you need to tell your facilitators, and we learned this with some of the churches that started out early, almost like our soft opening. You really don’t have time and you don’t need to turn the floor over to things like prayer requests. That’s always a mistake, because, before you know it, they’ve rolled off so much stuff, you’re now down to, either one or two things have happened. Your now sessioned for being an hour, which the men thought, 15 minutes video, 45 minutes of discussion, is either gonna be longer than an hour, or you’re not gonna have time to get it all in, if you wanna stick to the hour. If you wanna do prayer requests, have somebody in the group and it can be the facilitator. “Email me any prayer requests that you have. “Then what I’ll do, is send the prayer requests “out to all the men and we’ll pray with you.” Now certainly, the facilitator can say, if somebody has a death in their family, or something tragic has happened and everybody knows about it, the facilitator could say, “Hey, we wanna pray for Andy. “Andy, I know this happened this week “and I’m gonna open us in prayer, “and I’m gonna be sure and include that.” But do not open up the floor, if you’re in-person, or if you’re doing it virtually. Never open up the floor to the group, for everybody to start peppering in with prayer requests, because you’ll lose control of the meeting. So I would make that point. But we have been pleasantly surprised, that the online option, of even meeting together via technology, it has actually been better than we actually anticipated and some of the men prefer it. I don’t know why, they’re participating more, than they would in a room. But know that that option’s available to you and really though, Helms, virtually, or if we went back and did it old school, just give me your impression of the quality, of the curriculum.

Michael Helms

Yeah, it is excellent, Rick. Of course, I’m not just saying that because I love you and Andy and been a part of the show and now a part of this. But it is, it is so in-depth. What I am noticing, when we talk about quality. When I think quality, I think where are we at maturation process in our walk with following Jesus? So for instance, let’s say Rick’s here, I’m here and then we have a 14 year old boy here, okay? Well I am noticing, because I am going through this with a bunch of 14 year olds too, it’s very relatable and practical, no matter where you are. I mean, here’s another thing. I’ve heard Rick say a lot of the things that are in this curriculum, over and over and over, so much so sometimes I’m like, “Rick, I got it.” But, every single time I read the scripture, or I dig in a little bit more, I come away with something new. I think that speaks to the quality of this. The videos are outstanding. I wasn’t sure, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the videos were gonna go. Especially watching it in a room with people, which I’m doing with some 14 year old boys. Or, having the video and then them watching it and us discussing together. They’re so well thought out. There’s so much meat to these things. It is just, it tailors so well with what Andy’s done with the study guide. I’m telling you. Y’all have set the bar really high, for whatever you’re doing next, by the way.

And so, it’s good, I’m telling you. When I say lean on the study guide, I’m not saying don’t tailor it to certain things, that may fit better for your group, but just be cautious, because if you’ve got 12 or 15 men, okay, and that’s what we have. We have about 12 or 15 men. I thought 15 would be way too much, by the way. I thought, “Gosh, what are we doing? “We’re gonna have 15 men on a Zoom call “and everybody’s chiming in.” But it’s not like that at all. It’s actually gone really well. So, I would just simply say, keep that study guide in front of you, because what you’re gonna see is, you’re gonna need to manage the time. You’re gonna need to manage the conversation, that’s what you are as far as the facilitator and the moderator and have your next thing ready, because there are gonna be those uncomfortable pauses where you go, “Okay.” Look, I have my guide, you can see it right here. I have circled things. This is session three. I’ve circled things, underlined things, that I know I wanna get to. So if I look at the clock and I got 15 minutes left and I’m thinking, “Man, I’ve got all this stuff.” These are the things that are priority that I wanna hit. Sometimes, you’ll go through all of it. And you’ll think, “Wow, okay. “We got through that in an hour pretty easy.” But sometimes, you don’t. So just I take about 30 minutes to an hour a week, to prep. Probably more closer to the hour side of that. It might not take you as long. But this thing is set up to make you successful in leading your group, no doubt. Lean on it.

Rick Burgess

All right, so what we’re gonna do, is we get ready for your questions and you can ask them to Andy, or to me, or to Michael. But here’s what I want you to know, because that’ll be the last thing that we’ll do tonight, is to answer any questions that you may have, or attempt to. Hopefully we can. Themanchurch.com, it should be, you should be able to go to themanchurch.com, if you say, “I’m ready, I want to go there “and I wanna implement this discipleship strategy.” You should be able to click around, find everything that you need, whether you wanna buy, let me tell you this. There is an option for you and then there’s everything in between. There is a turn key option. I’ve had pastors tell me, “You had me at turn key.” You can literally go to themanchurch.com, and turn a key and you can have a 40 week curriculum, for your men. You can have a discipleship strategy on how to do it and we can even say for your first year, we’ll put together the teachers and speakers that you need. Okay, Burgess Ministries will handle that for you. You can do that, or you can say, “Part of it we got.” You say, “Look Rick, we always have a wild game supper “and we love it.” That’s fine. “We always have a whatever and we love it.” That can be one of your four things. You don’t have to add to the calendar. You can say, “All right, two of these “will just be services, the other two “will be these events that we have every year.” In all of these, you’ll still offer to go into these small groups. So we can turn the key for you and you can get the full thing. Or you can go in like I said and say, “We don’t want the 40 weeks. “We’d like to buy some combination “of these five week groups.” You can do that too. The great thing about men’s ministry, it should be the highest priority base in everything we know about scripture and our research. But it doesn’t cost near as much as women’s ministry and children’s ministry and youth ministry. It really doesn’t. We’ve tried to make everything as affordable as possible, because, you really don’t have to spend a ton of money on men. So we’re not gonna bang our heads against the wall and think that you got a budget for men’s ministry as big as what you have your children’s ministry, or your youth ministry, or your women’s ministry, or your adult classes. We know that that’s not reality. You know what, it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t, but here’s what it shouldn’t be. It should not be something that you’ve never thought about. If there’s no investment in men, then your Father’s Day message, frankly, needs to change. What we’re trying to do, is say, “We have everything that you need to do it.” If you’re like a lot of men and you’re saying, “I don’t know about bouncing around this website. “I’ve got some questions.” We have the great Lee Moore. Lee Moore is part of our staff. He’s listening to this, right now. He’ll get on the phone with you and he’ll say, “All right, I’ll walk you through this. “I’ll help you.” ‘Cause sometimes, men, we just wanna talk to somebody. That’s fine, that’s what Lee Moore is for. He’ll help you with it any way he can. If you need other resources, you say, “Hey, I’d like to do something around “those “How to Be A Man”, 40 day devotionals.” That’s fine. Andy talked about this. We have an adult version and a youth version, of both of those, “How to Be A Man” 40 day devotionals. So dads can do those with their kids and they have the same curriculum. We’ll help you with that. You can buy them in bulk, if you want to. We can certainly do that for you. We have other resources, from other authors, if you’d like to do that. Andy mentioned our two events. “Hey, I’d like to get together and maybe have “one of your events at my church, or in my community.” Okay, we’ve got it right on the website, how you contact us to do that. So everything that you need, is at The Man Church, and it’s themanchurch.com. Don’t do manchurch.com, ’cause you’re gonna get a website about some movie. It’s themanchurch.com. Be sure to put the letter the and we’re standing by and we’re ready to help you any way that we can. So, Larry, if you wanna help us with questions. We’ll now take questions that people may have and we’ll answer those as best we can.

Larry Hyche

All right, we’ve got several questions that have come in. The number one question, let’s talk about some numbers. “What is the ideal number of men, per small group?”

Rick Burgess

That’s hard to say. I know Helmsy’s been working with 15 and he thought that was gonna be too much. Andy, from my experiences, I think the ideal number that I really don’t like to exceed in a small group, is probably around that number Helmsy’s talking about. 15 to me, is a little bit on the high side. I usually like to try to keep it somewhere around 10 to 12.

Andy Blanks

Yeah, I was gonna say the same thing. I mean, 10 to 12. 10 to 12, in a small group, is pretty ideal. If you get less than that, there may be some guys that don’t wanna chime in, because, it feels all of a sudden, “I’m kind of the only one speaking out here.” If you’ll sign up 15, 16, 17, you’re gonna have three or four not there, any given week. So you’re dealing with about a dozen. You may not have the luxury of breaking your groups up, but I think if you get over, I’m looking at Helmsy, he’s nodding his head. If I get over 15 or 20, I’m trying to look to split that group. I’m trying to find another leader, that could take that group and now we’re multiplied, which is a great thing.

Larry Hyche

All right, second question. Had a lot of thumbs up on this one. Roger asked the question, “All right, so you guys mentioned help with speakers “for these services, for that high challenge. “What is that process like “and what would that cost typically be?”

Rick Burgess

Here’s what we normally do. If you decide, “Hey, I want the speakers “and I want them provided by themanchurch.com.” That would come through Burgess Ministries and what we do is, we just come up to you and say, “Here’s a flat fee of $3,000 to Burgess Ministries.” Then you’ll get four speakers that’ll be sent for all four of your Man Churches. Some people, we have one right now, likes being able to say, “Okay, I want the guy to come in.” We’re doing “The Pursuit” curriculum. This is going on with a church out of Opelika, Alabama, right now. They say, “All right, I want my next speaker. “We just finished identity and integrity in our 10 weeks “between our Man Churches. “Now we want him to talk about identity and integrity.” We certainly can do that. We can have the speakers come in and stay with the curriculum. Or they can come in and you can say, “Let them talk about whatever they want to “and give us the challenge.” These are speakers, now I wanna tell you this, just so you know. These may not be big names. You may not have ever heard their names. We really don’t send a lot of celebrities out. You can try to book that on your own and I can hook you up with people that can do that. Now, that’s gonna be expensive, usually. But what we do is, we’re gonna send you men that we vetted out, that we feel like they’re not gonna get up and tell you a bunch of stories and then never get to any kind of scripture. They’re coming in to challenge the men and to bring a depth biblically, to the message. These are men that we’ve worked with for years. They’ve all been vetted out. They’re the highest of quality, as far as teachers. We certainly can help you with that, if you wanna say, “I want all four provided.” Then you would then just, we would get together and you’d pay $3,000 to Burgess Ministries and then we would provide for you four speakers, for your year. If you wanted to do something in between, say, “Hey, could you help me get one, “or help me get two and then we’ll do the other two.” Then I can work with you on that too. But you would deal with me on that and I would help you with the speakers and we certainly can do that.

Larry Hyche

All right, Justin is asking a question and I’m assuming that this is dealing with the curriculum overall, the entire program. “What size budget do we need to be looking at here? “What size budget, we’re dealing with a small church, “so what’s the budget look like “for The Man Church curriculum?”

Rick Burgess

Andy, you wanna take that one?

Andy Blanks

Yeah and again, Rick mentioned Lee Moore, who is participating on this chat. Lee is our customer care lead for The Man Church. Helmsy’s a great guy to go to, if you need IT stuff. But Lee’s kind of our content sales guy. So if you have these questions, we want you to be able to talk to Lee Moore. Lee@ironhillpress.com. You can get the 40 week curriculum, we price it as a group size, which is fantastic, right? You can get 40 weeks of curriculum, for as low as 299. That’s unheard of. I mean that’s all the 40 videos. That’s the 40 leader guides. For as low as 299. It is based on your group size. If your groups are larger than that, that cost goes up. But for our small churches, we wanted to be able to price this in a way that wasn’t prohibitive. I can just tell you, from experience, that if you look around out there, this is a fantastic value. Again, we are passionate about being able to get this in your hands and we don’t ever want cost to be an issue. I just wanna say this again. Even if you’re looking at us going, “Gosh, we really wanna do this. “We feel like the Lord’s leading us to do this “and 299 is prohibitive.” Just reach out to Lee. Reach out to Lee, have a conversation with Lee. We can work with you. Our goal is to have your men become disciples of Christ and we don’t want budget to be a barrier for that, so.

Rick Burgess

Yeah and then Andy, I do wanna ask, if you decide to go a la carte, and you wanna buy five week groups, they’re 89.99.

And you get a five week curriculum, with videos, study guides and everything, for 89.99. Back to the question about the speakers. What happens on that one is, what I’m doing is try to use my friendships, and relationships, to say, “I’m gonna get these guys to come to speak to you “for a lot less if you were to book them directly.” I certainly have to pay them something, but I’m trying to use my relationships, to get them to you at a good price, if you go that route. So, for the entire curriculum, it starts at 299, for the smaller churches. That’s 40 weeks of study guides and videos and then you can buy them a la carte, in five week groups, for 89.99.

Larry Hyche

All right, so Dustin asked the question, “Can’t decide if I should gather “several men from different churches “and do The Man Church curriculum? “Or should I focus on just a group from my church only? “I’d appreciate your opinions.”

Rick Burgess

Well I wonder and I know he may not be able to answer this. I know it pains me to say this, but I’ve had men before say, that they feel some sort of pushback from their own church, when they start saying, “Hey, we need to do something.” I don’t know why and in a lot of cases, like in my case, I know our pastor said to me, “You know you’re not the only person “to come in here and say we don’t do anything for men.” I said, “I know.” He was kind of like, “So what are you gonna do about it?” He said, “Show me that you’re serious about this.” Thankfully, and I give him credit, we did and he certainly is supportive of it. I would say it goes back to what we talked about. I would start with my local church first and then of course, you always wanna reach out to unchurched men, let them join you, no matter what. You don’t have to make it exclusive just to your church. But, if you can’t get any momentum then, and you just can’t get any numbers and maybe three guys say, “I’m in.” Then I’d go around the community and I’d build my 10 to 12 group guys, from wherever you can build them from and you always, see the great thing about this wheel is, you can join this process, in one of two places. You can come into the Wheel of Discipleship and challenge through a small group Bible study. Or you can enter through a Man Church gathering. Either one of those works. But it is designed in it’s beginning, to be devoted to trying to reach the men inside a given church body, of the local church. It’s not really an event, even. These are services. We’ll certainly do an event. I don’t want you to hear me saying, “We won’t do events.” But that can’t be all we do. But, if you would rather in some small communities and we have some that do this. There’s actually some that are community men’s ministries. They are all the churches, they get together. In Dothan, Alabama, we started, “The Pursuit Men’s Conference.” You know what happened there? He said, “You know, I just couldn’t get “anything going at my local church. “So what I did is I said, “Well let’s all get together “as a community and let’s put together.” Now they’re doing an event and then they plug people in to all the different curriculum and resources that we have at that event, but they invite all the different churches to come together. But they’re doing men’s ministry, as lay people. I mean these are just men in the community, that went out, they got the room. They rented it and they said, “We’re going to “offer discipleship for men and we’re gonna try to “reach men for Jesus and disciple them.” And they’re doing it themselves. So I would start to try to build groups out of your local church. Reach out to unchurched men. And also, reach out to men that are at churches where there is no men’s ministry and so I certainly would just go with where the momentum is.

Larry Hyche

Yeah and Rick, I think that you make a great point that, even if they’re still wanting to do something with the community, that could be where they get together for that quarterly gather event. It could be with other churches, especially if you have so many small churches. In our state, in Alabama, tons of very, very small churches.

Rick Burgess

Yeah I’ll tell you the shock we’ve had, Larry, is we really kind of thought when we designed this, because we weren’t delusional. That we really were designing this for the small to medium church. But what has been kind of shocking, is there have been giant churches, that when they were presented the turn key that I just talked about, they were like, “We’re in.” ‘Cause sadly, sadly, it doesn’t seem like this is just a small church problem. Most all churches don’t have a real functioning men’s ministry to speak of.

Larry Hyche

Well and plus you already made the point, that when you said turn-key, you just did what you told us all to do at the beginning of this and that is to make the next step, easy to understand for guys. So, when you say turnkey, who’s gonna turn that down?

So, all right. Next question from Brett says, “How many men do you need to kick this off?”

Rick Burgess

Is he saying to like a first ever Man Church? Yeah, I guess he’s talking about the first gathering, I mean that’s what it sounds like. There’s no number on that. I have churches and of course, COVID-19 decided that I wasn’t gonna get to go to some of them. But I literally were going to people, that were having their first Man Church and that first Man Church, was gonna be 60 guys. Then I had some that first Man Church, was going to be 600 guys. Everything in between. So I don’t think there really is a number. If you’ve got men that are wanting to get, and here’s the beautiful thing about these guys and you can find them, look, we don’t have to help you with the speakers. But if you don’t feel good about your access to people, I’ll tell you the great way to get the first one started, is have the pastor of the church do it. The pastor of the church, ’cause, pastors if you’re watching this, or you have a relationship with your pastor, man, you need him to buy-in. When that pastor endorses this, man, it’s night and day. You don’t want it to look like you’re working against the pastor and that he’s not all in. So sometimes, if you’re a small church, with not a lot of budget, ask the pastor if he’ll kick off something. Tell him, I know some churches do this. “Hey men, we’re gonna get together.” Sometimes, the pastor will do the whole first year, because he’ll just bring the guys out into a gathering. So there’s not really a number, for you to have your first gathering. But back to what Larry just said, if you want it to be a little bigger of a gathering of men, combine some churches. One of you guys host it and what we do is, we take the men into a room, that normally isn’t used, at the church, to kind of give it their own little vibe and own little feel. You don’t wanna put the men, a small group of men, in a big room. Get them together, if you’ve got a smaller group, in a room that feels like a little more intimate.

Larry Hyche

Good. All right, Cameron says, and this is gonna be probably indicative of a lot of our folks here. “Church has a congregation that’s a bit smaller in size. “What’s your advice for situations where congregations “might not have enough men, “to endure the number of drop offs “that you’ were talking about that happened at Shades?”

Rick Burgess

Oh, that’s a great question because, there will be drop offs. I mean there’s some men that the challenge draws them in, but they are certainly some that say, you know, you can’t make a man want this. You can’t. There’s nothing you can do about that. But what we wanna do is, to take away the excuse of them saying, “Well my church doesn’t do anything. “There’s nothing here for men.” We wanna remove that excuse. So what I would do again, I know you’re hearing this a lot, I think in that situation, I would make it more of a community feel. Your church might be the host of it, meaning our church is gonna reach out to the men of giving fill in the blank community and I would invite all the men in a small community to come, no matter what church they’re affiliated with.

Andy Blanks

I might add this too, to that Rick. I mean the heart of, don’t miss that the heart of this, the pursuit, the heart of The Man Church, is your small group discipleship. That’s the heart of it. So if you’ve got three guys, five guys, seven guys, guess what you can do? Small group discipleship.

What might change for you, is the nature of your quarterly gatherings. I mean yeah, if you’ve got 10 guys, maybe a big praise and worship, with a big speaker, may be not the way you’re gonna go there. So you’re gonna improvise. Maybe your quarterly is, you’re gonna go to a football game together. Maybe your quarterly is, more of like an out of the church, with you and six great guys. You go camping. Or you go do a service project. I mean, change that part up.

But stick with that small group discipleship, that is in the wheel. That’s the important part.

Rick Burgess

Yeah, if you want to drop the gathering and turn it into just the men get together four times, do not drop the curriculum. You can do this curriculum, with five guys. You know, you can do that, so. Even if you think the gathering looks like it’s not gonna work with your size church, or your size community, then just get the guys together for these small group gatherings and then y’all go do some things together, like a fishing trip, a hunting trip, a camping trip, a ball game, just like Andy said. Andy, that’s actually a really good idea.

Larry Hyche

Yeah and you guys have already kind of touched on this next question. But he adds a little bit to it. Marshal says, “So what if the church I go to, “won’t let me do this in our church? “What’S a good way for me to get this going? “Could I do this as a Facebook Live post?”

Rick Burgess

Sure. Yeah, I was looking at Helmsy too, I mean as far as somebody saying, “I’m gonna offer this to men on Facebook Live.” Yeah, you could absolutely do that. My first thought is, you need to find another church. Yeah, you may be talking about the gatherings of COVID-19. Any church that refuses to have a men’s ministry, I’d find another church. But as far as you saying, “I’m gonna do it anyway, “using the technology available to me.” Helmsy’s saying Facebook Live will work just fine.

Larry Hyche

Okay, all right, you guys have touched on this a little bit. So, “Where do teenage boys fit into this discipling plan?”

Rick Burgess

Ladies and gentleman, Andy Blanks.

Andy Blanks

Yeah, actually the funny thing is, I was thinking about Helmsy, because, Helmsy’s actually done a lot of stuff with age groups that I would say are a smidge lower than what I would recommend.

Rick Burgess

I know, when he said he was gonna do this, with his son is 14.

Andy Blanks

Well the first time Helmsy did it, he did it with a group of like 11 year olds.

Rick Burgess

Yeah, right and so I was really taken back by that. He’s been shocked by the response, but we do have some things, I have people ask me like for instance, on the gatherings, how old, where’s the cut off? I think on that, if it comes to going to the services with their dad, you gotta know the kid. There’s some 11 year olds that can sit through a service. And some can’t. But so we actually started ours, at our church, on the gatherings, saying that you had to be at least 16 years old. But, I’m telling you, I’ve seen, when Helmsy told me the age group, he was doing the curriculum with, it was surprising and he just said he took the videos and the video mentioned something about marriage, or something about work, he just explained to them, “Now let me tell you how that applies to your life.” But, what do you say, Andy, I mean certainly, our “How to Be A Man” youth editions, on the 40 day devotionals, work great.

Andy Blanks

Yeah, I mean we’ve got the student edition in both of the 40 week stuff. Even “The Pursuit”, though it’s designed for men, we don’t have a youth version of the 40 week curriculum, but I’ll say this. You have to pick an age when you’re designing this stuff, you just have to kind of shoot for a low end. We said kind of 12 or 13, is we wrote this stuff for the teenage editions, we kind of thought on the lower end, if you’ve got a 13 year old, they’re okay to hear some of this stuff. But I mean, we have freshmen in college going through still, some of our student stuff, right? We get that question asked a lot. What we tell people is and I think one of the things that Rick just said is very interesting. We actually didn’t edit a lot of the marriage stuff out of the student version. Now we changed a lot of the questions and we changed all the analogies, and didn’t talk about work so much. Talking about school and family life. But the marriage stuff? We actually left a lot of it in, because, if most of you are like me, and I know Rick and I have shared this before, I went into my marriage and nobody had ever taught me about it.

Nobody had ever taught me about marriage. I learned on the fly and God gave me a gracious, patient wife, who allowed me space to learn how to be a good husband. I’d really like for an 18 year old, a 17 year old, to learn what a man’s role is in a marriage and how to care for your wife, as Christ loved the church. Like, before they get into a marriage. So, some of this stuff is us raising the bar a little bit, on what we’re teaching our young men, so that they’re not learning through failure. They already know the expectations when they’re going into some of their more mature parts of their life.

Rick Burgess

You said a good word. One of the biggest statements that you and I both would love to remove. No failure is not the best teacher. It isn’t. Whether it–You know, it’s not, no it’s not. The Bible is a great teacher, not failure.

So some of our curriculum, it will be designed for men who are already working and married. But Andy makes a good point. Helmsy’s seen this with the young group that he’s used, I mean he’s using “The Pursuit” curriculum, is we don’t want them to be standing in these moments and say, “So I start learning now?” You want them to say, “I was taught this “before I ever got in these situations.” I think that’s something that we’re seeing as a surprise, but if you think about it, and Andy just talked about it, it makes all the sense in the world. We’re trying to prepare, people say this all the time. “Well you’re supposed to just raise good kids.” That’s not true either. No, we’re supposed to be raising good adults. So, sometimes it’s okay to raise the bar and when you see especially a male sitting there and you’re like, “I think he’s kind of tired of “being talked to like a child.” My wife told me with our three sons and I have four sons, but one went to heaven at two and a half. But the three that God has left here with me to get past puberty, my wife said, “Once they went past puberty, “they don’t hear me the same way.” They respect their mother and they love their mother and they have a maternal connection to her. But she said, “I’ve noticed that I can say things “and you come in and say the exact same thing “and once they went through puberty, “it’s like they couldn’t hear me. “My tone didn’t work anymore.” So they hear it from a male, because they’re starting to realize that they are a younger version of the man in the house. They’re not a younger version of the woman in the house.

Larry Hyche

All right, so that question, being from Justin, that was from a student pastor, okay? So let’s jump into the college world, since you guys have kind of transitioned over there. Here’s one from Matthew. He says, “As a collegiate campus minister, “this is absolutely needed on a college campus. “We actually launched our own men’s discipleship groups “this year specifically geared towards Biblical manhood “and helping young men fight porn addictions, “with large group events like your model. “Can we implement this curriculum “in our current discipleship model, “of older college students, “leading younger college students? “Or, is this best with a local church?”

Andy Blanks

Yes, 100%.

Rick Burgess

Yeah, this is perfect for what you’re doing.

Andy Blanks

Yeah, I mean literally, especially the way the lesson plans are designed in this directive language, the lesson plans and guys, you can sample all of this, through manchurch.com. If you click on the store, you can actually sample the leader guides, you can see them, before you purchase. The lesson plans read like a script, right? It’s directive language. It allows the leader to walk through a plan. So you can take somebody like an older college student who maybe just learning how to teach, feels that call and this is perfect for them. So I would say, absolutely, no hesitations.

Rick Burgess

Oh, if I could’ve had access to this kind of teaching when I was in college. Oh my goodness! I mean, ’cause this is the kind of stuff that I just didn’t know. Now, it was my own fault. But I’m not blaming anybody else, but if this has been available to me, it would’ve saved me a whole lot of regret and trouble. So, I think it works perfect for what you’re trying to do.

Larry Hyche

Yeah, well with that curriculum, Jay has asked the question, “Can you use the study guides, without the video?” Obviously, there is a leader guide, you said that. But he said, “Is there a leader guide?” ‘Cause in their group, they’re kind of tired of the talking head stuff.

Andy Blanks

Oh I saw that question and I resonate with Jay very clearly and my part of, some of my part of this story was, as Rick brought this idea to us of “The Pursuit”, and we were talking through formatting, one of the things that I brought to the table pretty early on and Rick was already kind of leaning this way was, “Hey, if we’re gonna do videos, “let’s make them short, to set the table “for our teacher.” Because, I just have a strong reaction and listen, David Platt, Francis Chan, Tim Keller. Gifted Bible teachers.

I mean gifted. It’s hard for me to sit and watch them teach on a screen for 40 minutes. It’s hard for me to do that. By the time we’re done, I’ve already gone through my task list for that day, balanced my checkbook, like I can’t keep my attention focused for that long. So, I would challenge Jay, first of all, the answer to Jay’s question, I think it was Jay. Yes, you can. You can use the leader’s guide without the videos. It’s gonna shorten your time, you know what I mean? Like it’s not designed that way. But I wanna challenge you. I think you’ll find these videos to be different than the kind of videos that you’re used to. This is Rick, doing a great job in 13 minutes or so. Setting the table, for you, who have a relationship with the men in your church, to speak into their lives, using the leader guide. So I would, to answer your question, yes, I would challenge you to demo these videos, which you can do on the site and see for yourself and I think you’re really gonna find that they’re different than the typical talking head videos. Is that fair, Rick?

Rick Burgess

Yeah it is and I totally agree with that. Go to themanchurch.com. Go to the store. Look at a sample of the leader’s guides and yes they can stand alone, because the guys did a tremendous job with those and I wanted it to be that way, ’cause frankly, most of the things that I had and you guys already touched on it, the leader’s guides that I’ve ever dealt with, they weren’t very good. They didn’t have any depth to them. There was no challenge to them. It’s almost like the person who wrote the book, was like, the publisher said, “Oh by the way, we need some questions “at the end of these chapters.” And the guy said–

Andy Blanks

Yeah the dirty secret there from a publisher is, it’s usually two different people.

Oh absolutely. It’s either and honestly, it’s usually a general writer on staff, that reads the book and they have about two days to write those questions. And that’s what they feel like.

Rick Burgess

They feel like we’re almost trying to say, “Oh yeah, well here’s some questions.”

These leader guides are not that way. They are really well done by the guys who did it. But again, watch the video sample and then you make that decision for yourself. The answer to your question is yes. But listen to what Andy said. We tried to do the video part where it’s not like the things that we’re tired of. I try to get right to the point. Some of them are as low as 12 minutes. The longest any of them are is 15 minutes. All I’m trying to do is say, “Here’s the things y’all need to discuss. “Jump on in.” But if you don’t want it, that’s fine. But be sure you watch one first, so that you go, “It either exactly what I don’t wanna do, “or wait a minute, “this was different than I thought it was.”

Larry Hyche

All right, so we’ve got a few minutes left. Got several questions left. I just wanna encourage everybody, if you go to themanchurch.com, you’ll get a lot more information. Some of the questions are answered on their website, in case we don’t get, ’cause we’re not gonna have time probably to get to all these questions. But also, real quick, Andy, Rick, who do we contact? Like these guys who have further questions, if after our time, they have another question, who should they contact with their questions?

Rick Burgess

You need to talk to Lee Moore. Lee Moore will help you and his contact information is on the website, or Andy, what’s the direct email address?

Andy Blanks

Yeah, it’s lee@ironhillpress.com, I believe. And all that information is available. I’m looking at the website right now on my phone. If you hit contact us on the website, those questions come right to our team.

Rick Burgess

And you see here, you fill this out and we ask a few things to kind of narrow down what you’re wanting to know. Then Lee gets back with you and we begin to work with you and then if it ends up being something to do with an event, it kicks over to me. If it has to do, and Helms and I, it kicks to the person it needs to go to.

Then if you wanna talk to somebody on the phone, you just pick up the phone and call Lee and he’ll work with you, as well. Most of it, what we did, ’cause we know men, ’cause we are men. We roll through how to do discipleship strategy, if you wanna read it. Or you just click the video and I’ll tell you how to do it. Okay and then when you get over to events, you can find out the information on events, or just click the video and I’ll tell you about the events.

Andy Blanks

Before we wrap up, real quick, because I know Larry’s about to wrap us up. I just wanna say thank you to Larry Hyche and Doug and Alabama Baptist. I know we’ve got folks from all over, but, Larry’s a great example of a guy who serves churches well, loves the local church and is passionate about discipleship and I know Larry wouldn’t mind me saying this, if you guys ever have questions, especially if you’re in the state of Alabama. Larry’s a great contact. Larry’s a good dude, does good stuff.

Rick Burgess

Yeah and I echo that. Thanks, I mean Larry, you reached out to me immediately, even when we ran into some, we knew that God was in this, because Satan has tried to stop it. When Larry and I first started talking, and he can tell you that, I kept having to come back and say, “All right, we’ve run into “a snag.”

Well, we’ve had this. Now we’ve had this try to come in here and turn, honestly, for one time, I thought that we might be on the wrong track, because it was going too smoothly. But when it started getting attacked, that’s when I knew that we were definitely in God’s will, because the adversary hates it. So Larry, thank you for the support that you guys have given us and to all of our churches. You can see some of the churches who have already started doing it. We list some of those for if you need references, as well. I’m just so excited about this. There’s been things in my life that I was trying to figure out what God was calling me to do. God was not subtle about this one at all. Yeah, so and thanks to everybody on the team. You’ve done a tremendous job, you really have.

Larry Hyche

It’s an excellent resource. Thank you, guys. Well again, Rick and Andy, do y’all have any final thoughts, any other last words, before we jump off?

Rick Burgess

If we can help you at all, we’ve told you this is important. We’ve tried to make this as simple as we can. But at the same time, I believe that men would respond more to men’s ministry, if we would just tell them the truth. According to Jesus Christ, in Matthew 11 and also in the verse that we have from Luke 9, if we told men the truth, following Jesus is extremely difficult and most of us aren’t man enough to do it. I think what we’ve done is we’ve sold the gospel and the power of Christ, too low and men aren’t interested in it. Men are always making fun of participation trophies and we all should, frankly. But yet, there’s too many men that are expecting a participation trophy in their spiritual life and I think the reason why that is, is they haven’t been shown the value of it. They haven’t been shown that actually, the standard that Christ is calling us to, can only be attained by being completely submissive to Him, because He provides it and He says, “I’m the true vine.” But if you connect to Jesus, what does He say? “Then you will be fruitful.” So if these men are not fruitful, it’s because they’re not connected to the true vine. So let’s all work, as we’re told to by Christ, to make disciples and point them to the true vine and show them the call that Jesus has placed on them, is actually a very difficult one and it’s an extremely high standard. It’s time for us to stop selling the gospel so low. Yeah and so we’ll help you any way we can.

Larry Hyche

Well guys, thank you all for being here. All of our participants. God bless you, as you make disciples of the men that God has entrusted you with. Rick, Andy, Helmsy, thank you all for being a part of this tonight and God bless you all.

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