Men’s Workout #1 – May 6th

We had our first Men’s Workout session on Saturday, May 6th.

Being that it was our first meeting, Pastor Dan spent some time briefing us on an overview of this ministry, its intended purpose, and what to expect during our times together.

Our theme verse is 1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” As men, we ought to heed Paul’s commands to be and act masculine; to be active in our leadership, not passive.

Pastor Dan outlined two key areas in which we aim to grow as men:

  1. Be Disciples
    1. When we are saved, we become disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:19).
    2. As long as we live, we should be continually growing in and actively practicing faithful obedience to God.
    3. As disciples of Christ, we also ought to always be learning of God and keeping what He commands of us.
  2. Train in Leadership
    1. A good leader is capable of “impromptu leadership,” which would be the ability to comfortably lead others “on the spot” without having any specific or planned preparation ready for such opportunities. Our hope is that through our Workout sessions, we are able to grow as Christian men who are more able to lead at a moment’s notice.
    2. One of our aims as Christian men is to grow in leadership in all general modes of life – in the home, in the church, in the workplace, etc.
    3. Pastor Dan outlined five key areas in which we can expect to grow in leadership:
      1. In the Word of God.
        1. Understanding: We should be able to read the Word and identify what is obviously stated in any passage, so that we can clearly communicate and teach the meaning to others.
          1. Inevitably, we will run into passages that produce questions we cannot readily answer. In these instances, we should make note of these questions and come back to them in a future study (and in conversations with others). We can trust that God has a clear explanation for all things contained in His Word. having this confidence, we can focus on the truths that can be clearly understood in the text. We can lead others by modeling this attitude of trust in God and putting a focus on truths that are obvious in the text.
        2. Memorization: Having the Word ready in our minds and our hearts enables us to lead even without having a Bible on hand.
      2. In prayer.
        1. Practically, we ought to pray for specific circumstances, guided by aspects of truth, and with heartfelt sincerity.
      3. In song.
        1. Men can lead in singing of songs that are filled with truths and reminders of God’s grace and mercy toward us. Moreover, we are commanded to sing! Refer to Hebrews 13:15Ephesians 5:15-21, and Colossians 3:16.
      4. Teaching children.
        1. Children from as young as toddler ages (in general, 2+) can receive and learn the truths of God and His Word. We should be ready and able to teach these young children about God and lead them to Him.
      5. Church ministry.
        1. We should always be striving to serve others in the church, building up and edifying one another.
        2. In the Men’s Workout, we are encouraged to share ideas on how we can improve certain ministries or other church needs – but on the condition that the person submitting an idea is also willing to do something about it and be involved in the solution!
        3. Pastor Dan stressed that this suggestion forum is NOT a replacement of general leadership oversight (i.e. elders & deacons).

Each meeting is expected to follow the following structure:

  1. Lead Devotions
    1. One goal of the Workout is to train in being able to comfortably lead devotions (at home, with friends, etc.). To this end, we will be reading passages in the Word together, exercising how to discern obvious truths, and distilling them down to propositional statements that can be used to clearly teach others. We will also take turns leading the group in song and in prayer.
  2. Memorization
    1. We will be working on memorizing large chunks of Scripture together.
    2. The goal of the Workout Sessions is to memorize Matthew 5-7 by the time we finish our meetings.
  3. Teaching strategies focused toward children
  4. Suggestion Forum
    1. (As mentioned in 2.c.e.b. above)

This week, we started with a singing of the hymn “Hallelujah, What A Savior!” (hymn #293), led by John Lee.

After singing, we studied through Matthew 1, discussing the genealogy of Christ. We clearly saw that Jesus is the Messiah (singularly & exclusively; there is no other) and also a descendant of Abraham and David. Jesus is also clearly born of the virgin Mary, conceived of by the Holy Spirit. These things fulfill Scriptural prophecy, as noted in Matthew 1:22-23.

One interesting observation that was discussed was that the genealogy is not entirely “pure”; there are mentions of certain women who bore members of the genealogy through unrighteous relationships (such as Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba). Why are they specifically called out and brought up in the genealogy, when no other wives (other than Mary) are mentioned otherwise?

We then spent some time looking over the Beatitudes, found in the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10). We discussed how each of the Beatitudes describe people who are heaven bound. We also discussed how there are patterns in the Beatitudes that can help us frame and understanding of the list and also help with memorization. For example, the of people in the first and last blessings (the “poor in spirit” and “those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness”) share the same result: “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

We ended our meeting with a short lesson on how we can help our young children learn and memorize passages and ideas in Scripture. Utilizing physical motions helps children (and adults!) visualize the passage and can aid in memorization. Pastor Dan taught us some of the motions he uses with his children to help them understand and memorize the Genesis creation account. (Ask any of the Workout men to demonstrate these for you through the first few days of Creation!)

In general, we had a great turnout this week, and I’m excited to continue the Workout with the rest of the men in the following months.

PS. Sassoun is a master of cooking hard boiled eggs! The secrets to perfect hard boiled eggs are that you must bring the eggs to room temperature and that you must cook them in boiling water for precisely 8 minutes. They peeled perfectly and really amazed all of the men who partook.