WHY SMALL GROUPS CHANGE LIVES

“Crossing the Angry River”



Marsh Bull

This week’s guest on the Men in the Arena Podcast is Marsh Bull. What a name! Don’t you picture a giant bull moose thrashing up a meadow when you think of his name? I love it! Marsh has really a cool online ministry called Men’s Group Foundation, which is a free resource for men leading small groups. Check it out.

Guts and Manhood

I just finished Guts and Manhood: Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage, which is being edited as we speak and will be offered as a free download for the month of September only before sending the book proposal off to sell. Learn more on our website!
          This is a monumental work on courage and the four monumental things I discovered about courage from an exhaustive study of the word in Scripture. I can’t wait for you to learn about these attributes that altered the trajectory of my life. If you want to be your most courageous self, then you need this resource in your library.
          Here are the final thoughts from my book about the best way you can live as a courageous man.







River Crossings

A while back I was the keynote speaker for a men’s weekend in the Blue Mountains east of Milton-Freewater, Oregon. As excited as I was to speak about biblical masculinity, I was almost as excited for the mountain biking trip on the final day. A handful of us would ride along the Blue Mountains, drop into South Fork Canyon, cross the Walla Walla River, and ride into Walla Walla, Washington. The trip would be an epic 35 miles long with an 8-mile descent in South Fork Canyon to the Walla Walla River.
          It was a ride I’ll never forget. With spring in Eastern Oregon comes lush foliage, snow runoff, and crisp mountain air. The downhill was one of the most epic ones of my life but the highlight for me was the unexpected river crossing that nobody warned me about.
          The Walla Walla during the spring runoff is a cold, fast-moving river, nearly four feet deep in places, and 30 yards across. We skidded to a stop at the bank, and my first thought was, “How will we ever get across that raging river?” Remember, we were wearing mountain biking shoes, which have extremely stiff plastic soles and very little traction. They are awkward to walk in under normal circumstances, let alone crossing an angry river.
          Before I could ask the question, the local guys started taking off their shoes for the crossing. That answered my question. This would be a barefoot crossing. I was too frightened to hesitate and too prideful to ask questions. It was go-time. The only other option was 8 miles back up the mountain. No gracias. We were all in. Courage was the only choice. I hoped I survived it.
          Besides one incident where I slipped, submerged my bike, and drifted downstream, we made it across no worse for the wear, but much wetter.
          We’ve come to the river crossing of this book. We’re at the end of the book and are staring at a raging river and wondering, “How do I get across? What do I do next?”
          The good news is that you aren’t alone. I’ve crossed this river before and know the way across. I’d be honored to guide you. I’m not talking about a literal river anymore. I’m talking about you becoming your best version of a man in the midst of your busy life and the many demands placed upon you. You are already a good man, which is what motivated you to pick up this book in the first place. Let us help you become a great one and a hero to the family that God has called you to lead. I’m not perfect but I have been across the river and can show you the way.
          At the Men in the Arena, we have four simple stepping-stones to get you across the river to your best self. Here they are:

Stepping Stones

          #1: Follow us.
Do this by going to our website and getting our free download. It will be easily located on our home page www.meninthearena.org. When you do, we will add you to our weekly equipping blast for men. When you’ve completed this, you join the Men in the Arena Army with access to our Facebook forum, podcast, and tons of free resources to help you cross the river. You can also follow me at @jimwramos on Facebook or Instagram. I post about manhood daily. It’s an easy way to stay connected.
          #2: Invest in our resources. We believe we have some of the best small group resources for men on the market and would love to help you start a group of your own. Let us know how we can help you. If you move fast you can book me as a keynote speaker for you church, men’s event or leadership seminar and I will fly the books to you. You can find out more about my fees, calendar, and topics on our website.
          #3: Join (or start) a team. We passionately believe that the greatest stepping-stone of all is when men lock shields with other men in a safe environment where you can ask questions, be encouraged, confess sin, and receive prayer. True life change happens there. The greatest of lives are men who have a band of brothers that have their back.
          Every one of our Board Members leads a team of their own, not because it is mandated (it is not) but because they believe in the mission and have witnessed man after man becoming his best version through our resources.
          You can join—or start—a Virtual or Local Team. Virtual Team leaders go through extensive training and must meet the Biblical Qualifications of Spiritual Leadership from the Pastoral Epistles before we commission them to lead. If there isn’t a Local Team in your area, then follow our free “8 Launch Steps” on our website and start a team of your own. Our resources are simple and easy to use for the guy who lives a full life. Being in a small group in the greatest decision you will ever make. Don’t cross the river alone!
          You may be intimidated to lead. Don’t be. Our resources are designed for the Average Joe who may lack the confidence to lead a small group or Bible study. Our books are simple, easy to follow, and proven effective. We have a book for each of the five essentials of manhood: protecting integrity, fighting apathy, pursuing God passionately, leading courageously, and finishing strong.
          #4: Tell us your story. This our favorite part. We are all on a journey, but you will cross to the other side sooner than you think. When you experience a life-changing moment, we want to celebrate it with you. Every week we post at least one “Hero Story” on our Equipping Blast. We have no other way to capture the victories except through you sharing your story. When a man gets it—everyone wins!



Boots on the Ground

It’s that simple. Go to our website and pick up the free download, then buy one of our resources, start (join) a team, and tell us your story.
          Fall is rapidly approaching and with it much uncertainty. Let us help you start a team of your own or find a Virtual team you can join. Make 2020-2021 the best year of your life.

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