Trim bodies and firm handshakes are byproducts of Grace Community's explosive Fight Club, a ministry "By Men. For men. To Reach Men." It grows from the passionate heart of lead pastor Jim Brown, who has often stated, "Reach the man; you reach the family. Reach the family; you change the city."
Jim Brown lives the vision. His team embodies the mission. They have matching bracelets and slimmer waistlines to prove it. And they're aglow with spiritual fervor. Rumor has it that the city of Goshen has caught on. Water bottle sales in the city have skyrocketed; doughnut sales are at an all-time low.
The interesting thing about Community Grace's transformation is its contagious nature. Three steps into the hallway of the Oceola Grace Church, and I discovered an advertisement for "Men of Valor," a ministry likened to 'basic training' for men, providing "accountability and teamwork in your spiritual and physical life." At Leesburg Grace, we shared in a seven-week growth experiment called, "Man UP." Winona Lake GBC has been wrestling with the idea of purchasing the "Fight Club" kit. (You can too for a mere $249!)
The fervor for Fight Club-esque gatherings underscores several truths about men:
- Passive worship services often fail to grip a man's heart; men want to participate
- Accountability is typically too compartmentalized; men want holistic spiritual training
- Lowered bars are easy to skip over; men want a challenge--to break their back bending or leap over a wall.
Their presence inspired us to pick at fruit. Their absence enabled us to indulge on doughnuts. Next time I hope they stay for lunch. It will spare us the calories and feed further conversation.