Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherMen’s study #1; A layperson’sstudy of brokenness andtransformationA Tale of Three Kings &1 Samuel 1-141
Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherMission: To become a closely connected network of men living in the reality of the Lordship of Jesus Christ who have developed theability to influence every part of the world around us for our Father’s kingdom.Vision: To have a church full of empowered men who continue to grow as Christians by moving the concept of Jesus’ Lordship fromtheory to everyday life application by developing and applying seven key principlesPhilosophy: Our goal is an ongoing process of character development. As we apply the seven concepts and allow the HolySpirit to change our character we will become light in a dark and unsaved world and will grow in our ability to influence our family,church, friends, community and places of work. Because character development is a never-ending journey our focus will be onbecoming more like Christ instead of achieving a specific skill (i.e. instead of acquiring parenting skills we will work on becomingGodly men who will be good fathers). We want to connect with the transforming power of God’s saving love in our lives (gospel)rather than on man-made resolutions (law), which are specific achievements. We believe that our spiritual journey is a relay andnot an individual race. The objective is to build on each other’s success (relay) while working together to become more likeChrist and not trying to “beat” (individual race) our Christian brothers in an attempt to claim the top spot on the religious podium.K: Kingdom (We must be born again)KINGDOM CONCEPTSWe believe Jesus Christ is the unseen ruler of this world. We believe His death and resurrection point the way to the ultimate reality inwhich Jesus Christ is Lord of our world and our lives. We believe His death for our sins washed us clean and that His resurrection hasmade us new. We strive to live in the reality of God's kingdom and our new lives.I: Initiative (Take responsibility for our spiritual growth and character development)We believe that passivity is Adam's first sin ("the woman you gave me.") and one of a man’s most typical failures. We takeresponsibility for our spiritual growth, character development and for our world including our marriages, families, church, workplaceand community. We refuse to fall into a passive, victim mentality.N: kNeeling (Submit to authority)We believe God has established systems of authority within which we must operate. To step outside of these or attempt to circumventthem is dangerous and destructive. We believe the appropriate posture before one in authority is submission (captured here by theword "kneeling”, which is richly nuanced. We know that one day every knee will bow to Jesus Christ and that those in authority arealso under authority, whether or not they see it.). "Kneeling" also captures our commitment and the requirement to pray for those inauthority and for those under our care, understanding that the world is Christ's, not ours.G: Grace (Accept God’s grace)We learn to accept God's grace in our lives and extend it liberally to others. We celebrate the uniqueness of each person as Godcreated him to be and we do not try to change him into who we think he should be. We leave the final judgment of a man’s soul toGod. Our role is to love one another and point each other to Christ.D: Death (Be willing to be shaped and changed into the likeness of Christ)We embrace the fact that in order to enter into God's new life for us, the old, self-centered existence must be abandoned. The processof growth is often painful, challenging and goes against our nature; however, to run from pain, conflict and accountability is to runfrom the very instruments God often uses to change our character. Each day we must die to our self-centered wants and desires, andboldly pursue righteousness.O: Organic Transformation (Humility in learning)We cannot possibly understand, let alone explain, all that God is doing in other people or our world. Because each of us is at adifferent point of spiritual growth, we remain eager to learn from each other while resisting the urge to give simplistic answers,mechanical approaches and simple solutions to problems. We pray for each other while acknowledging that the answers to most oflife’s questions are complex and the most we can hope to do is to share what God is allowing us to understand at this point in ourChristian journey.M: Masterpiece (Pursuing excellence)We believe we are God's workmanship, created in His image for His glory. To shine as brightly as we can in this world we mustpursue excellence in every area of our lives and refuse to accept being average fathers, husbands, employees, church members, andleaders. By shining as brightly as we can in this world, we can draw attention not to ourselves, but to our Father in heaven, therebyallowing Him to have the glory.2
Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherPrinciple 1: Our real calling—to apply knowledgeI believe our society today is more focused on acquiring knowledge than it is on applying knowledge.Knowledge, in and of itself, is neither valuable nor invaluable; rather, it depends solely on how a personchooses to use it. This is particularly true in the church and in our spiritual lives. Christians have a tendency toconfuse knowledge with Godliness. It is sometimes assumed that if a person memorizes a lot of scripture, or ifhe reads books by esteemed religious leaders or if he has a good memory and can talk about what he reads, thanhe must be strong in his faith. This is a flawed assumption for two main reasons. First, because James 1:22-25tells us that it doesn’t matter how much we know, but rather, it is how much we put into practice that makes thedifference (be doers of the word, not just hears only). And second, knowledge can produce pride unless we stayfocused on where all knowledge comes from (God) and remember that it is He who allows us to learn.The question I believe every Christian should ask ourselves is this: “Am I applying both the truth of God andthe other knowledge that I am learning, and am I growing as a result?” When I teach business seminars Ialways ask, “Who has read the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?” and without fail, many hands goup. But if I change the question to, “How much of the book are you applying in your life?” I get a differentresult every time.One of my mentors taught me this principle: “Successful growth occurs when we work every day to apply thetruths we learn.” That is my hope for you as you work at applying the principles you will learn in this study.A part of the men’s ministry is to have studies that not only focus on learning, but more importantly, onapplying the principles learned. A key portion of the studies is the section of open-ended questions. It is vital torealize that these questions are designed to focus us on searching our hearts in order allow the Holy Spirit toreveal within ourselves.3
Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherPrinciple 2: Understanding that everything is interrelatedPersonal growth is helped by realizing that everything in life is interrelated. Which is easier to learn; history, math, science, orliterature when they are all taught as single subjects or when they are woven together into a story? In a story correct? Anytime ourinterest is engaged our minds open to learning, and when our minds open to learning we tend to absorb the information easier. Isn’tthis why Jesus spoke in parables? He told a story that people could relate to that described a principle or a truth, knowing that if wecould connect with the story then learning and internalizing the principle would be easier.The challenge I face and I think most Christians face is training ourselves to see the interrelated nature of the principles. For example,if I am having a hard time getting along with a co-worker, could it be that the lessons I learn from working through those issues mightalso work to help me work through issues at home with my spouse or with friends at church? How about challenges with asubordinate at work? As I grow in my leadership skills at work will that help me be a better parent or a better leader for mycommunity?Our goal in the men’s ministry is to grow in our character to be more like Christ, and as a result, become men capable of being gooddads, husbands, bosses, and workers. To accomplish this, we must welcome the Lord using all areas of our lives to expedite ourcharacter growth.4
Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherPrinciple 3: The process of changing core beliefsThe human brain is probably the most complex object known to man . Not only does it drive our emotions, feelings, thoughts andmotivations but it makes every human different in how those emotions, feeling, toughts and motivations are expressed. As we allowthe Holy Spirit to heal our past hurts and change our unhealthy core beliefs we become capable of ministering to others. Mat 7: 3-5;tells us to remove the plank from your eye before you try and remove the spec from your brother’s eye. Could it be that a big part ofremoving that plank is allowing the Holy Spirit to help us understand and work on our blind or hidden areas (our hurts, biasis,bitterness) before we start telling others what they should be doing? As we heal our open areas expand, we become better equiped andprepared to help others work through their process with grace and love. As we become men who learn to focus on our charactergrowth first, extend love and grace to others who are struggling will we not find more success in our careers, marriages, families andcommunities?The Johari Window represents the four windows of our lives and it allows us a way to understand the process of personal and spiritalgrowth. Johari stated that the goal is to expand the open area of our lives (which gives us freedom) by shrinking the hidden and/orblind areas of our lives (which hold us in bondage). There are several ways to shrink those boxes including our small groups, recoveryclasses, friendships and ultimately the active work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.A part of the men’s ministry is to create an environment where men are safe to work on the hidden and blind areas of their lives withthe goal of becoming more like Christ.5
Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherFor FacilitatorsI.Understand the mission/vision/goals of men’s ministryII.Understand the role of the facilitator in the groupIII.Work to ensure each member of the group feels welcome and is included in the discussionsIV.Stay in touch with MM leader and provide feedback on how the group is growingV.Be one of the last to speak after everyone else has weighed inFor MembersI. Be open to the Lord’s desire to work in youII. Keep the study focused on you and not othersIII. Share your experiences when you feel comfortableIV. Respect each person’s point of viewThis study is not about who has the right answer but it is aboutwhat the Lord is revealing to each man depending on where heis in his journeyGoals For the StudyI.This study is designed to be personal between you and the Lord; therefore, it is focused on theindividual’s point of view. It is vital that we focus on ourselves rather than on others so thatwe can see where the Lord wants to change us & make us more into His image.II.Our understanding of God’s word, laws & principles will develop and change over time justas our understanding of life issues develop & change as we mature as adults. It is importantto acknowledge that God’s words, laws and principles never change, but it is ourunderstanding that changes as we wrestle with God’s truths & work at applying theseprinciples in our lives.III.We want to be different as a result of the study. Our aim is not just to acquire knowledge,but to focus on how we can apply that knowledge in our lives. The application of truth isthe key element the Lord uses to change/transform us into His image.Growth is a never-ending journey, not a destination. We can stop along the way to enjoy theview or to enjoy our growth, but the ultimate goal is to make noticeable progress over time aswe journey to become Godly Men of Influence.6
Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformationby Daniel FisherIntroductionThe Old Testament is full of some of our favorite characters. Stories of Joseph, Sampson, Ruth, Esther, Samueland Moses are read and reread in Christian and non-Christian homes alike. Anyone reading, hearing orwatching these stories finds himself enthralled by the drama and themes of righteousness, evil, redemption andgrace. These stories tell us how the great men and women of God held onto their faith in times of great crisisand tragedy while continuing to live it out in their everyday lives. I strongly believe these stories should be partof our constant study so as to teach and guide us in the principles that taught and guided these great examples ofour faith. Perhaps by careful study we may find our own character formed in the same manner as was theirs.My hope is that by studying not only the events, but the deeper principles embedded in the Biblical account ofDavid, Saul and Absalom, we will feel compelled to give God a free hand to lead us on our own excitingspiritual journey as we mature in our faith.The story of David and Saul is about two average, ordinary men who are called by God to do something veryspecial. Saul and David are both unassuming men from blue-collar families—each without any specialqualifications or degrees, and neither seeking any special recognition. They were both focused on their ownlives until God called them and put them each on a path to greatness. Despite coming from simil
A Tale of Three Kings & 1 Samuel 1-14 Study #1: A Layperson’s Study of Brokenness & Transformation by Daniel Fisher. 2 Mission: To become a closely connected network of men living in the reality of the Lordship of Jesus Christ who have developed the ability to influence every part of the world around us for our Father’s kingdom. Vision: To have a church full of empowered men who continue .