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2012-11-10BrettMAN ON FIRE REWIRED, held at Cornerstone Church on Nov. 9th and 10th, was conducted by CoBAMM who organized their 8th annual conference.

Cornerstone’s worship leader, Pastor Jason, and his team masterfully prepared and performed the musical sets. The music was contemporary and was made for men to sing – with a strong marching beat and a challenging message in their lyrics.

Approximately130 men attended. The range of churches was extraordinary with participation by Cornerstone Assembly of God; Greater Mt. Nebo AME; Mt. Oak United Methodist; Trinity & Grace Lutheran; Belair, Cresthill, New Vision & Woodlawn Baptist; Belcroft Community; and New Song Bible Fellowship churches. We also had a men’s group travel all the way from West Virginia to be with us.

On Friday night, the Mt. Oak women’s ministry served us dinner and their deserts were completely appreciated down to the last crumb. Gale TeSelle then gave a brief introduction about Turn ON the Light-Bowie and our 2013 schedule of events.

2012-NeboBandofBrosAs speaker Brett Clemmer, VP of Man in the Mirror Ministries, said in his opening, sometimes it is important for us to “begin with the basics.” Vince Lombardi was well-known for beginning every football season this way by saying, “Gentlemen. This is a football.” (He coached the Redskins in ’69.)

In our first session on Friday evening, we discussed the performance orientation of men. Churches often use this attribute of men by putting them to work without even knowing if the man has a saving relationship with Jesus Christ or if the tasks given to the man coincide with his spiritual gifts. This sets the man up for frustration and failure in church. This is the last thing the man needs because he experiences enough frustration and failure in his family life and at work.

It is here that we see the need for being rewired from performance to grace. Grace is about relying on Jesus’ perfect and powerful performance and not on our own understanding and strength. The Gospel of Jesus Christ never fails. So, the question was asked: Do you want to continue to play this game of behavior modification until you are completely exhausted, or do you want a heart transformation, which will make you a conduit for God’s power and grace?

We held 3 sessions on Saturday morning after we were served breakfast by the Cornerstone men’s ministry.

Session 2 helped us to recognize how idolatrous we are. What is an idol? It is anything that we are pursuing more than God. Idols can be obvious addictions like drug or alcohol abuse, porn, and video gaming. But they can be less obvious, too; like being obsessive about being right or being organized. (Guilty as charged.) We often replace one idol for another. The love of money is an obvious idol, but the man who trades that for religiosity is also idolatrous.

Session 3 was titled “From Self-Sufficiency to Faithful Dependence” and we evaluated our work, marriage, emotions, self-image, and pleasures on a line between the two extremes: Passive Independence and Aggressive Independence. The midpoint between these extremes was labeled “Stewardship.” Learning to be a steward under the authority of God should be the goal of every godly man.

2012-GaleBrettKCThe last session was titled “Rewired for Biblical Manhood.” What does a rewired man look like? He personally studies and knows the Scriptures, prayerfully challenging and adjusting his worldview against the standard of God’s word. He also engages in corporate study, prayer and worship. He has a band of like-minded brothers around him to walk with him, to watch his back, and help him up when he falls.

MAN ON FIRE REWIRED was not just a singular event for the weekend, but a kick-off for a new season for small groups of men to meet at local restaurants and other public venues, in homes, and in churches, to continue a study in the book of Galatians. We call these groups “a band of brothers.” CoBAMM’s prayer for them is that they may truly be rewired by the gospel and and live as authentic Christian men – as men on fire.

If you are interested in participating in one of the “band of brothers,” email Al Goff at algoff@TurnONtheLight-Bowie.org and he will help you find a good fit. If you already have a group and need to purchase more Galatians ReWired study guides or other study materials, email Gale TeSelle at Galen@TurnONtheLight-Bowie.org.

First published 2012-11-14.