Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fight Club Threatens the Future of Doughnuts

The men from Grace Community Church (Goshen, IN) strutted into the ministerial meeting. Their chests puffed, shoulders broadened, wrists decorated with matching "Fight Club" bands, and each man carried a water bottle. They looked good. "Sexy men of God," to quote the pastor from Raising Helen. This was neither a matter of pomp or presumption; they simply showed the fruit of healthy accountability.

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.
Our ministerial meeting closed with an on-site luncheon. Pizza Hut catered. The Goshen staff did not stay for pasta and bread sticks. They departed together, and the energy in the room immediately changed. Several men rushed to the snack table and feasted on Long Johns and glazed pastries.

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.


Unreal City said...

We did buy the Fight Club material Tim! It's great. We are using the elements of it to work into our own ministry which we are calling Brotherhood. It's just different avenues for different soil. I can't wait to get started! And yes, I too would love to have food that would allow our GCC brothers to stay for lunch and allow me not to feel sick during P90X later in the day. :)

Pastor Rustin said...

I had a cheese pizza with mac and cheese on top with a hint of barbeque sauce. (leftovers in the fridge) It was to delicious! :)

rich yauger said...

Tim, thanks for sharing all of that. Really appreciate it and it's a good reminder to me to know that, in ministry, people are watching (not just b/c I'm in Fight Club but more importantly because I follow Jesus). We're all watched and although we'll make mistakes and fail throughout our lives, our personal stories of redmeption and grace can be what cause another to "see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven." Thanks, bro.

And for the record ... I did have a donut later that day to celebrate my birthday. :)