Labor Day 23 Letter

Caution… potential ”ruffled feathers” disclaimer. But, take the few minutes to read this. My hope is that it invigorates us, not condemn us. This comes from personal experience having been challenged with it myself. 

Excuses. We all have them. False arguments that justify how we prioritize the stuff that we do. FinD is no different, and each of our men are under attack in the spiritual battle we face every day. The vast majority of FinD members strongly participate and contribute to the health and vitality of their groups (per their Group Covenant). They PRIORITIZE their group within their work and home calendars.

  • Work meetings are scheduled around small group meetings.
  • Fitness schedules are bent around meeting times. 
  • Wives endorse and support their commitment.
  • They are thoughtfully prepared not waiting until the parking lot before their meeting to read the lesson or passage of scripture.
  • They dial it back the night before to be as rested as possible for their brothers.

Yet still, there are a few that don't. By virtue of my conversations with so many groups, I get to see and hear so many classic excuses. What’s amazing is that these excuses are commonly recycled. It should not surprise any of us that Satan provides these false justifications. We can start believing they are legit. 

Our Father never intended us to live out our faith in isolation. He made us for iron sharpens iron fellowship. He will expand our margins and resources and help us deflect Satan's excuses and the world's obstacles. Satan’s number one goal is to destroy our intimacy with the Trinity, and he's had thousands of years on billions of souls to perfect his craft. He is the father of lies and is sly and cunning in his approach. He slowly convinces us to start adopting his worldly, me-now priorities and think it is the truth, but it is not.

Aside from the true occasional emergency, being sick, planned vacations, or rarely uncontrollable work travel - it's simply a matter of prioritization to our covenant-based commitment. If this hits home with you, don't get all bowed up and defensive about it. Look inward. Ask our Father to search you and know your ways…bring it into the Light with the help of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to increase your desire and love for the other men in your group. Your prepared presence at your meetings is your gift to your group members. In addition to receiving love and fellowship, you are also needed to love and feed others. When everyone in the group participates, everyone benefits!

So now the school year routine is back. No more, “we typically take a break for the Summer” excuses. Satan doesn’t take Summer sabbaticals. Being a disciple of Christ is being willing to die - DAILY (Galatians 2:20). Yes, you will have to leave some habits and excuses behind.. You need to love your small group brothers, be there for them, and make sacrifices for them. You will be rewarded by the sacrifices they make for you!

Michael Benes comes to mind. Michael is a member of the FinD group, the SOBs (Sons of the Bible). He’s just as busy as any of us. He owns his own appraisal business. Adores his wife, Laura. Co-raised two amazing children. Stays in shape. Volunteers for leadership roles regularly at his church having been the Men’s Ministry elder and currently the Men’s Life chair. He travels with his family, loves to go fishing … a man’s man. He likely has the highest attendance in our SOBs small group and does a deep dive into the Word and prayer daily. Remember the old Life cereal commercial. The little kid brother named, Mikey. His older brother had him try the cereal first, and then said, “He likes it! He likes it! Mikey likes it!” I can tell you that Michael Benes likes the sacrifices and investments he’s made to his group, and it’s been rewarding to him. (Perhaps this is a teaser about who the next testimonial speaker will be at our next FinD Fire Pit on November 7th at The Powder Keg.)

“For me, reliable and consistent attendance at my weekly SOB small group is a priority. It feeds my need for spiritual connection and study as well as social interaction with other like-minded men (now close friends) of faith. I try to show up prepared, not out of obligation, but out of faithfulness to the material and respect for the other men in our group. Also, I absolutely love it and can’t imagine what my life would look like without my Thursday mornings at ‘Saint Dennys’.” ~ Michael Benes (SOBs – Sons of the Bible).

“I'm here to say he goes every Thursday because he loves his time with his FinD group. He doesn't get that male bonding at work like a lot of men do. He looks forward to it all week. I honestly think your ministry is changing people’s lives, more so than a lot of other non-profits out there. FinD should know how important its work is … truly transforming men's lives." ~ Laura Benes

Love to all you, my bruthas in Christ Jesus. Press on. Fight the good fight. Make the sacrifices and abide in the blessings that will surely follow.

Real men … real discipleship.



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