What men say about Dangerous Men and the Steps for Freedom retreat.
My biggest takeaway from the weekend was how I am not lacking anything needed to lead a dangerous men group, but I also am not (and cannot do it) alone. The support and bonding with everyone was encouraging to hear where they’ve been, and where they are at now, and how I have so many guys that will come along side me to help me lead, and help me become a better leader.
One thing I learned the most was understanding the difference between my job as a group leader, and God’s job. I cannot change guys’ hearts, and this takes a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s a “duh” moment now looking back, but before when I would lead groups, I took it very personally if guys weren’t interested or making the progress I thought they should be. It’s refreshing to take away my pride and allow the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting, he’s better at it anyways.
I absolutely loved jeeping. The view, the experience, and bonding with guys one on one, every part of it I want to go back and do again.
It is near impossible to narrow it down to one take-away, as there was so much to digest from the weekend. We covered topics like, “How to Lead Well,” “Sexualized Affection,” and “Understanding Sexual Identity.” All of these topics and themes are extremely helpful when endeavoring to lead a group. However, perhaps the most powerful take-away for me was, as I have seen again and again in the Dangerous Men training, is the need to selflessly serve in God’s calling to make disciples. This is probably the most difficult thing we will ever do and can lead is to our campuses, homes, and across the world. However, it gives the greatest meaning anyone can taste, for when we are following Jesus and participating in His plan of redemption, it brings true satisfaction and meaning that nothing in the world can offer.
I think that our lesson, “Sexualized Affection” was probably the most beneficial thing I learned. In it Lowell explained how Satan has twisted the world and our very hearts in order to corrupt manhood, take men out of the fight, and, perhaps most important, alter the true God-centered enjoyment of love and affection that we can experience with others in light of Jesus. Therefore, as I go in to this year, I will have a renewed excitement for seeking to show affection (both in word and deep) to others around me. As we see in I John, we are called to “Outdo one another in showing honor, love, and affection…” Yet I fall short on that in so many ways. Therefore, my goal is to call that to the forefront of my mid this year and use that to serve the men I hope to lead through Dangerous Men.
We did so many awesome things, from jeeping to the pistol range to meeting. However, one of my favorite memories came from when we spent time in the hot springs.
Because I have led so many groups already and know that God works in and through my inadequacies in order to set guys free and bring them to himself. I learned some awesome things that will be extremely applicable when I do lead again. This weekend was very helpful and encouraging, and even if I did not learn anything new (which I totally did learn many new things!) I would still be in a better place to serve because of the kind of men there.
I am beyond thankful for you, and God has been so good to bring each of you in to my life.
Overall the weekend was great. The sessions were filled with great information that is very helpful in leading a group and for some self-evaluation. Then the activities we did were great. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. It was probably the highlight of my summer.
One of the biggest take aways was the understanding of homosexuality and same sex attraction and how to deal with it. I had always had the view point that people who struggle with that need to be loved, but the question always was how do you love them? I think this weekend gave a good understanding in the background of it and how we can work with someone who does struggle with those issues.
The jeeping was phenomena. Besides the rain and even with the rain I think that it was awesome seeing how creative God is and was. The beauty of the mountain and rivers was incredible. Then also being able to ride with a bunch of the guys helped get to know them and connect with them.
There wasn’t anything that I thought or saw in particular that could be done differently. Maybe not have it rain next time.
During the weekend God revealed to me how much more of a man I need to be in regards to getting into, and then staying in the fight.
Planning and controlling the things for leading a group that I can and then praying and giving up the rest to the Holy Spirit really has helped take more stress out of setting up a dangerous men group for this coming fall.
Jeeping was my favorite because it was bad ass, never thought I would be able to experience the mountains like that!
My overall take away from the weekend is that I can lead a dangerous men group with confidence, knowing that I don’t have to be some super spiritual guy who knows all the answers and who can memorize tons of bible verses but I can be the imperfect man that I am and give God the glory and let him lead through me. To him being his boy and surrendering everything to him is all he wants. I struggled with not having enough knowledge to lead a group but I feel more assured and bold in my faith to not worry about that and to rebuke the lie that Satan is telling me that I’m not worthy to lead a group but accept the truth that God has called me to share his good news and to help men that are struggling with the same issues that I have and continue to struggle with.
I just loved the aspect of doing guy stuff and being men. We don’t often get the chance to be who we were created to be, climbing on rocks, jeeping, smoking cigars, walking around the house with boxers on, etc.
Honestly it was amazing for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.
ManUp Leadership Training John Ward
Man Up Leadership Training Retreat
A four-day training event in the mountains of Colorado the last 4 days of the last full week in July. All costs are paid if you are accepted except transportation to and from the event. You must apply in order to be considered for this event.
Does your program work for a father & son to go through one on one?
The short answer is yes, absolutely.
The long answer is that it is not a program, it is the beginning of a process that hopefully will last a lifetime. It is two tools (workbooks) that help get the process of Lust Free Living, or purity process going. I know of a several young men who found so much freedom from this beginning that they went home from college and took their dad through it. Now that says a lot for the son and for the relationship they have. I also know of fathers who have gone through it with their sons. Because it causes you to be very honest and vulnerable with each other it is a difficult and wonderful process to start with your son. It requires that you be open and honest with your past and present sexual struggles so that your son may learn from your example. I think it would be ideal if you could find a friend of your sons who would be willing to go through it with you and his father. That way the fathers could pair up and the sons could pair up sometimes.
It is written to use in a small group like that but a group of two would be okay but not ideal. I would not do it with out the Coaching Guide and videos, they set the bar for honesty and give you lots of good ideas. Make sure you order the young men’s videos and coaching guide and not the married men’s version.
Why should I be seeking purity in my life? John Ward
You need to realize that as a child of God who is seated with Christ in the heavenly places, you have the authority to resist the devil as you submit to God (Eph 2:6, James 4:7, Matt. 10:1). As a child of God, you are armed with weapons not of this world—weapons that have divine power to demolish strongholds and any argument or suggestion that is contrary to the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10).Here’s an example. You have been up late studying for a test the next day. As you lie in bed, the thought comes into your mind: “I would sleep a lot better if I looked at porn and masturbated right now.” The source of the thought is dubious; maybe it’s your flesh, maybe you are recalling a sexy image from TV, maybe it is entirely demonic. Really, the source doesn’t matter. The thought is contrary to the knowledge of God, so you need to take it captive and make it obedient to Christ. So you pray (out loud): “In Jesus’ name, I reject (name the lustful thought) and the temptation to lust right now. I am a child of God, and the evil one can’t touch me” (1 John 5:18). Now the thought is captive. That means, out of the fight.
What does the Bible say about masturbation? John Ward
Nothing. The Bible isn’t shy about addressing sexual sin: it condemns bestiality, homosexuality, prostitution, incest, adultery, and fornication (see Leviticus 18). Jesus taught that if you look at a woman lustfully, you have committed adultery with her in your heart (Matt. 5:28). Most of us today find it difficult to separate masturbation and lust because we have always associated the two.
Is it possible to stop looking at porn? John Ward
Yes. Pornography is addictive—it’s the “crack cocaine” of sexual sin, according to some therapists. Like any addiction or compulsive, self-soothing behavior, looking at pornography and masturbating feels good, so it is tempting to repeat it again and again for all sorts of reasons: stress relief, depression, anxiety, feelings of inferiority, or just plain sexual arousal. Spiritually, lusting and masturbating creates sinful strongholds in our minds. If our sins go unconfessed, Satan can use these strongholds to tempt, accuse, and shame us.
Good thing we belong to the Most High God, a true Warrior (see Exodus 15:3). Nothing is impossible for Him, and nothing is impossible for us through Christ. We know that God’s will is that we avoid sexual immorality, including pornography (see 1 Thess. 4:3). So the battle looks like this: a defeated, fallen angel and his subordinates, the world which he rules as a prince, and our own sinful habits (the flesh) versus the Creator of heaven and earth, His Son the victorious Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit as our Counselor. If we remain in Christ, the victory is assured.
How can I “celebrate my sexuality” if I am not having sex? John Ward
We must begin to understand that God has created all things and His creation is good! We are sexual from the day we are conceived. We are sexual until the day we die. Sexuality is about more than having sexual intercourse. Celebrating sexuality is about thanking God for the intricate way he wired us. Being excited about the opposite sex because of a sexual attraction can be an opportunity to worship God. We will experience the most freedom from lust when we acknowledge our sexuality and our sexual desires are from God (celebrate that) and move on knowing that not all sexual desires need to be fulfilled at all times. Somehow we have gotten deceived into thinking that because we have a desire that it automatically needs fulfillment. The desire for sex, sexual intimacy, sexual stimulation, etc, are all desires God intended us to have. Thank you God! Celibate or married, desires fulfilled or unfulfilled, we can give thanks in all circumstances because being a sexual person is a good thing.
Do women really struggle with lust, too? John Ward
Absolutely. God created both men and women as sexual beings. If He hadn’t, sex would be quite an awkward exchange wouldn’t it!? Obviously the way a man and woman’s body, mind and spirit work, looks a little different but they are both sexual. Our sexuality (man or woman) is a powerful, amazing and holy part of us because it is a reflection of the image of God. Because sexuality and sexual desire is a good thing and a reflection of God’s love when it is pure and holy, the enemy will work hard to distort, pervert and defeat it. Women have sexual desires as well. This is a good thing, but then the enemy creeps in there to deceive, entice and tempt and all the sudden a good and natural desire has now become something that we as women now feel like we NEED. It is easy to understand lust when you look at it from the perspective of being something you desire naturally becoming something you feel you need. When we feel we NEED something, we will selfishly do what we have to do to get that need “met.” An example is the huge desire a woman has to feel chosen. This could easily be a beautiful desire, but as she looks at the world around her and chalks herself up to every other woman, she will quickly and lustfully begin to use her body to entice men to get that need met.
“God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor — not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways. … God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you”