Navigating the Journey Together
“I was in a real dark place, and this all started right at the time I needed it. God always knows what He’s doing.” This week, we’re spotlighting how the men in one Southern California church are on a journey of discovery, friendship, and transformation.
By the Man in the Mirror Team
Man in the Mirror Area Director Eric Blackwell serves local churches in Greater Los Angeles. In March 2020, he began working with Restoration Life Church after Danny, their men’s leader, subscribed to our 30-day free trial of the Journey to Biblical Manhood (“The Journey”).
After many conversations about discipling men, Eric joined Danny and the lead pastor for a video meeting and presented The Journey within the context of our No Man Left Behind training model.
They began implementing both the model and The Journey in the spring of 2021, with Eric’s support.
Throughout this past year of The Journey, Restoration Life Church has used several heart-oriented resources to connect men to scripture and each other, including Man in the Mirror events, workbooks, and book studies.
Initially, the leadership team decided to use one of our men’s events to kick off Challenge 1 of the The Journey. They chose Success That Matters, designed to help men reflect honestly on their priorities, closest relationships, and faith. It is also designed to serve as a launching pad for ongoing small groups, where men can continue to grow as they get connected with others.This has changed the culture of their church.Click To Tweet
The results exceeded their expectations. Roughly 40% of 165 men in the church attended the event and got plugged into the follow-up small groups!
Eric told us, “There is a lot of excitement and sustained momentum around the men and the changes happening in their lives. It has changed the culture of their church.”
Learning How to Navigate Life with Others
Scotty, a former gang member, gave a testimony for the men of how his life has been changed by his small group.“Thank God that He put all this together in my church for such men as me.”Click To Tweet
He shared: “At the time The Journey started, I was in a real dark place. I had just recently gotten married, and I was looking for something to help me in my walk with God and the issues I was going through in my marriage. I was the type of person who didn’t want to deal with any of that and would just walk away.
“But being in a group really helped me learn how to be intentional with my wife, how to speak when we’re going throughs storms, and how to get through them. Thank God that He put all this together in my church for such men as me to learn how to navigate through life with Him. It all started right at the time that I needed it. God always knows what He’s doing.”
Lliani, Scotty’s wife, attended the Challenge 1 celebration dinner with him, where she expressed how proud she is that her husband is learning and applying scripture and being accountable to the men in his small group.
“Two years ago,” Lliani said, “Scotty married a single mom with five adult children. My three boys had a hard life, and they gave him the most challenging time ever. He did not know how to handle my three boys at the beginning of our marriage.
“But God has shifted and renewed Scotty’s mind and healed his heart. He has used Scotty’s mistakes and hard life to teach and show my boys God’s redemption so that they can be strong young men and fathers.”
We want to see every man—men like Scotty—engaged in discipleship, in every church everywhere.
Restoration Life Church is experiencing unprecedented growth in the number of men faithfully engaged in discipleship. But the story is so much bigger than that.
As Eric put it, “It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the fruit from the Holy Spirit moving in a powerful way to change the hearts and lives of men.”
Discipleship changes everything.