Ministry helps men with common struggles
BY NANCY EDWARDS
A person who starts with the man in the mirror and asks him to change his ways may not be necessarily inspired by a popular Michael Jackson song. He could be ecouraged by a 21-year-old ministry also named Man in the Mirror.
Rob Leonard, who attends Northview Church’s Carmel campus, is central Indiana’s area director for the organization, whose vision is “to engage every man in America with a credible offer of Christ and with resources to grow.”
The idea for the ministry began with Dr. Patrick Morley, who wrote “The Man in the Mirror,” a book that was inspired from his own search for meaning, purpose, and a deeper relationship with God. Dr. Morley is CEO and Chairman for Man in the Mirror.
The need for this type of ministry is due to a perception men often have regarding what it means to be a Christian, according to Leonard. Men may fear that if they surrender their lives to Christ, they are no longer a “man’s man” and must give up their freedom.
“Too often we think of Christianity as a bunch of do’s and don’ts and too much legalism,” he said. “What people don’t realize is the freedom that is found in Christ. He came to set us free and that freedom is from the bondage that this world has on us: loneliness, depression, sexual impurity, divorce, addictions of all sorts, guilt, etc.
“Man in the Mirror helps to set guys free from those things by getting them involved with other guys who can help them work through all of these issues together. Guys like to hide behind masks for fear of being judged or ridiculed for whatever struggles they may be dealing with, not realizing that so many of the other guys around them are dealing with similar issues. Man in the Mirror works with guys to help them see the freedom there is in Christ and that they can live in victory over these struggles.”
As men grow in Christ and learn to be less selfish, they also become better husbands, according to Leonard.
“As it talks about in Ephesians, God instructed us to love our wives as Christ loved the church,” he said. “When a man starts to implement that, he begins to be less selfish and starts putting his wife’s needs above his own. When that happens, great things begin to happen in the relationship. It certainly requires work and intentionality but the results can be that of a stronger bond between husband and wife and certainly a God-centered relationship.”
Leonard will soon be taking a new program from the ministry to church leaders to help them with men’s ministry efforts. The initiative, called The Journey to Biblical Manhood (JBM) will minister men’s deeply felt needs, equip them to understand who God created them to be, train them as Godly men, husbands, fathers and sons, and infuse them with the confidence and courage they need to complete their mission. Men will learn 12 different challenges in small groups with the intent of helping each other deal with issues they are struggling with from a biblical perspective.
“The challenges range from biblical/scriptural knowledge to marriage to finances to sexual purity to a home/work life balance and many other things,” Leonard said.
The organization’s website, www.maninthemirror.org, provides helpful resources for Christian men and Life Group leaders, ranging from DVDs, books, and curriculum to video Bible study groups, e-newsletters and articles.
For those interested in supporting Man in the Mirror, the ministry accepts monetary donations, which are tax-deductible. For more information on the organization, please contact Rob Leonard at email@example.com