Establishing a Group Identity

  • Set a vision based on the needs of the group:
    1. Commit to a common ethos/expectation for the group. 
    2. Ask what would make it worth the commitment and time each week for each man.  Commit to consistency.
    3. Discuss your individual needs for community.
    4. Trade contact info so that you can regularly communicate.
  • Creating authentic depth:
    1. Be completely/brutally honest with each other.  If you put on a false front with your men, they will love the mask you present.  The fear is that “if they really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.”  Crush that fear by talking about your weaknesses, fears, and challenges.  Those guys will respect you, and you are trusting in the identity Christ has given you (2 Cor 12:7-10).
    2. Decide how deep and confidential this group needs to be for authentic depth to be established.
    3. Get away for a weekend together or spend a few weeks listening to each other’s chronological story.  The context of each man’s story is vital to the depth of the group and understanding of each guy in the group. Guides for this exercise are available in the men’s ministry office. It is hard to speak into a man’s life without context!
  • Be humble!!!:
    1. You may know the Bible well, but maintain a humble posture about your understanding and trusting of Scripture.  Let Scripture shape you.  Don’t prepare to impress your brothers with your knowledge each week, but instead focus on what the Lord is doing in your heart and where your trust gaps are.  Most of men’s issues are not discipline or knowledge issues, but trust issues.  Share what God is doing in your life instead of making your group an academic exercise.
    2. Most men hate correction or being fixed.  They want to be heard and walked with during hard times.  Be an encourager—one that brings out courage in that brother.  He likely knows what to do, but needs the courage to lean into it.  If you immediately offer advise or try to fix, it is likely that he will never share a challenge with you again.

Reinforcing Group Purpose:

  • If a guy in your group has a major decision to make that impacts his kingdom              purposes & roles, spend time to discuss, ask questions and how you can pray for him.  There may be some collective wisdom on the subject as well.
  • Establish a group text message and update on important moments as needed vs waiting until weekly meeting.  That will help group pray.
  • Stretched & Blessed exercise—Ask each other about your weekly pursuits.  What stretched you as a follower of Jesus, and how did the Lord bless that pursuit.
  • Gospel Conversation training is available at JF if your group wants help with             sharing the gospel.  Contact men@jfbc.org if we can help organize it.
  • The men’s ministry office has tools to help you prayerfully evaluate priorities,               purpose & roles if interested in doing as a group.
  • Short Term & Local Missions—Go on a mission trip together or plan a local one!  Make it something that you prepare and pray for as a group.

Going Deeper in True Pursuit:

  • Figure out how you best connect with God—outside in nature, on walks, in a          special chair, etc. — make intention time to spend with God in those places.
  • Get a solid recommendation on books and studies chosen, especially since it will likely impact each man’s personal pursuit for the rest of the week. 
  • Use a journal to record what God is doing in your life.  Reflect on the gifts He gave you the day before – could be a truth that resonated with you or an experience you were deeply grateful for.  Seeing God’s movement in our life more clearly will help your pursuit of Him.
  • Share daily encouragements you receive from God with your family, group, and friends.
  • Take a prayer request that you hear and ask that person privately how you can help them.  Check in with them during the week.
  • Invest in personal relationships with your neighbors and co-workers, not as a  project, but as a person who has a soul. 
  • Invite new people into your life and into your group, especially seeking neighbors.  Create relationships where real conversations take place.  Learn to be vulnerable with new people to establish relationships that go beyond the surface.  Humility with our neighbors makes us more relatable and will create more gospel conversations.