Why Church Leaders Should Be Re-examining Men’s Roles Within

Brett Clemmer joins The Redeemed Man Podcast to discuss why church leaders should be re-examining men's roles within the church.

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About The Podcast

This month’s speaker is Brett Clemmer. Brett has been with the Florida-based ministry Man in the Mirror since the year 2000, serving as its president and CEO since 2016. The mission of Man in the Mirror is to help Christian men worldwide engage in meaningful relationships that change lives and build the kingdom of God. They focus on helping the local church reach and disciple men effectively, and specifically on helping churches reach men who are hurting, as well as younger men who have often deconstructed their faith and left the church.

Show Notes

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Welcome and Guest Introduction

Good evening and welcome. I'm Paul Amos, founder of The Redeemed. The Redeemed is an organization of men who've come together to discuss life's difficulties as well as triumph over those difficulties. Today, we are blessed to have Brett Clemmer on the show, leading Man in the Mirror Ministry, and we hope that he will be able to bring to us the type of message that resonates with each and every one of you. Brett, welcome to the show.

Brett: Thank you, thanks for having me.

What does redemption mean to you? 

Paul: Let me start today as I do with all of our guests and ask you a little bit about what does redemption mean to you?

Brett: What a great question. What a great concept. I think redemption for me means being able to come back from whatever mistakes you've made, the trials you've been through and find a new way, find forgiveness within the Christian faith. But also just from a life standpoint, I think not being limited by your past, but really living into the future that God has for you.

Paul: Yeah, I think it's that seeking forgiveness, that's an amazing part of this, and I think to the fact that when I personally got to the apex of what I needed and what I started to seek out from a redemption standpoint, I never dreamed that God had already redeemed us. When I started to read in Isaiah about the fact that God had paved this path before us and that he's already coming down that it was a little overwhelming for me personally, and I know for most people, they just don't understand that concept. So thank you for talking a bit about what you see as redemption.

Let’s talk a little bit, if you don't mind, about how you got to this place. Where are you, and tell us a little bit of your story that brought you to, not just your place in faith, but you're placed in leadership.

Brett: Sure, well, I grew up in New England. I'm Boston sports fan, unabashed Boston sports fan. So I'm now I'm a Bucks fan because of Tom Brady.  But I grew up in a Christian home, we went to church all the time. If the lights were on, the Clemmers were probably there. And so that's how I grew up.

I did youth of angels and explosion in high school, super involved in my youth group. And then I went to college and I went to a little liberal arts school outside of Boston, and I really just sort of put my faith up on a shelf. I had a couple of things happened with Christian friends versus some other guys that became my friends.

Why Fraternities Thrives

I tell people I kind of switched churches. I switch to the church of Alpha Sigma Phi, my fraternity. I found there many of the qualities of discipleship that I think I'm craving for churches to have. I had brothers, we had shared purpose, we had shared values, we had a training system that we went through together. We had big brothers and little brothers. You had this process of growing in the fraternity, of taking on more and more responsibility. Then being responsible for bringing new brothers along, new pledges along. And we live life together, we studied together, we socialize together, and we helped each other through tough times.

And certainly we did a lot of stuff that is not in any way biblical, but I would say God redeemed that in my life. And so one of the seminal moments for me when I was in college and in my fraternity was I was sitting with a group of guys. We used to have this thing called TNT, Thursday Night Tradition. And it was a poker night for the guys. And I made it a sort of a moral decision, to be honest with you, I wasn't really a spiritual decision, but a moral decision not to drink until I turned 21. I was still 20 and which meant that on TNTs, I usually won at poker because I was the only sober one at the table. That was really helpful.

Mini-Conversion

But my dad had had a heart attack, I was really close to my dad, I had a heart attack about a week before this particular night. He was skiing in New Mexico, he was fine. My parents were in Connecticut at this point, and so my dad had spent a week in the hospital in the west, and then I come back to the east and he was fine. They were going to do an angioplasty and he was going to be fine. But I was sitting at the table with my fraternity brothers, and I was really depressed, I didn't recognize it, but I was just really down. And one of my fraternity brothers who didn't even like me that much, honestly, kind of threw his cards on the table and he said, What is wrong with you?

And I said, I don't know. And he said, I know what's wrong with you. You need to go see your dad, and I want what? And he said, You're really close to your dad, you need to go see your dad. And I'm like, Yeah, but he's fine. He's like, No, you need to go see your dad.

So in the next five or 10 minutes, this guy, he turned into this whirling dervish, got my class schedule, got some pledges to go to my classes for me while I was gone, which was useless by the way, but it was a nice thought.  Called my mom so now it's like 1 o'clock in the morning, he calls my mom. He says, Mrs. Clemmer, this is Dave, I’m one of your son's fraternity brothers, Brett's okay, but he needs to come home and see his dad. So we're putting him in the car right now, he's got a thermos, a coffee, he's fine, but he's going to walk into your house at 3 o'clock in the morning. We just don't want you to be scared when he showed up. This is before cell phones, right.

So he set me on my way. I got back like four or five days later, and he had gone and talked to all my professors for me. He had these pledges go and take notes for me, and he just took care of me and my brother's kind of rallied around me.

At that point I had a foot in the Christian student group and a foot in the fraternity. And my Christian friends didn't do anything. They didn't rally around me, they didn't notice that I was down, they didn't really support me in any way.  And it's my fault too, I didn't really tell them much of what was going on. But my fraternity brothers leaned in. So that's the point that I just sort of had a mini conversion, I converted to the fraternity and lived the next few years really enjoying that brotherhood.

I learned a lot of lessons there. There are many benefits for me of being in that group of guys and many things that I think about today, and the idea of discipleship that have been influenced by being in the fraternity, in fact, on our website, I wrote an article last year about 10 lessons that I learned about discipleship from my fraternity brothers. So, that sort of was a formative moment for me.

Then I graduated from college, I met this great gal at my parents church, who also found out was the pastor's daughter and married her and dragged her to Florida. We had been here about eight or nine years, and I had worked in the social service sector, in the homeless sector. Then in broader social services, and then I ended up actually starting a software company to serve that social service sector.

When The Wife Says She’s Fine

And in 1999, we had this company. We started with five or six of us and in ‘98 and ’99 we were going like gang busters. We had a million dollars in sales, and everything was really going well. Grew from five to 35 employees, and the venture capital people were starting to look at us.  One day I was at work and I called my wife because I last met a business trip, which is a pretty regular thing for me to have a last minute business trip. I said to her, Honey, I'm really sorry, but I got to go to Texas for this business trip. And she said, When are you going to leave? And I said tomorrow, and I really, I'm sorry.

(Timestamp: 8:43)
And she said something that stopped me in my tracks, ….

she said, That's okay, it's easier when you're not here.

and I thought...I don't think that's a good thing. That it's easier when I'm not there. So I got home that night and I said, What do you mean? It's easier when I'm not here. And she said, Look, I get it, you're trying to build this company. But you're gone before the kids get up, half the time you don't get home before they go to bed, they barely know you. They were toddlers. When you are home, you're exhausted and grumpy and not really that fun to be around. The best conversations we have are when you’re 1000 miles away, and it's late at night and you're in a hotel and we talk on the phone, so we're fine.

And I would say this to any guy, like when your wife says she's fine, that's like... She's not fine. Things are not good. And so it really made me start to think like, things aren't going good right.

We’re the midst of this, we're a super involved in our church on the weekends, we're doing children's ministry all weekend long, and so I'd ministered other people's kids on the weekend, and then an abandoned my family to go try to build my company during the week. Then I rushed back home so that I could serve in the church on the weekends again, because it fed my own desire and enjoyment of leading.

The Impact of a Men’s Group

So about that time, one of my friends from church, actually, my wife was in a small group with his wife, he called me up and said, Hey, Brett, where I think we need to have a men's group.  And I said, Oh, okay,Who's going to be in it? It's all the husbands of our wives women's group, and I thought we should have a men's group because I'm pretty sure they were talking about us.

And I said, Yeah, yeah, I'll do that. And I said, What are we going to do in the group? I grew up in the church, you’ve got to study something.  And he said, Well, they gave some book out, some men's book out in church a couple of weeks ago called Man in the Mirror, just bring that book.

So I didn't know anything about the ministry, I just said, Oh, I got this free book and church. So I joined that group, and two things happened at the same time, I joined the group shortly after my wife had made that statement to me and the stock market crashed.

So in 2000, the tech market crashed, all of our venture capital money just vaporized, it didn't come in. We had leveraged the company to the hills to grow to 35 employees, so the VCs would be interested in the company, and things just started spiraling down the toilet.

(Timestamp 11:24)

So I'm with these guys in this group, my company is slowly spiraling and I'm really sad and desperate. But these guys, they just locked arms with me.

I read the book. The first chapter is called Leading an un-examined life. The second chapter is called the rat race, and the third chapter is called, Are you a biblical Christian or a cultural Christian?

So like by the third chapter, I was mad at the author because I thought he'd written a book about me, you know? So I locked arms with those guys and the company is going down. One night, I called my wife on a Tuesday when the group met and I said, Honey, I don't think I'm going to go to group tonight, I'm just so exhausted. And she said to me, honey, this is the time that you need those guys the most. You have no idea how much better of a husband you've been since you've been going to that group with those guys, so we're fine. Go to the group, we'll see you and you get home. And that's when I realized the impact it was making on my life.

God Provides

Long story short, the next four or five months goes by, the company eventually has to file for bankruptcy, and I was the last employee...first guy in, last guy out. And one of my buddies in my small group said, Hey, I think Pat Morley is looking for light like you. I think, Man in the Mirror is looking for a guy like you.

And I'm like, Man in the Mirror, What are you talking about? I'm like, holding the book in my hand, like, What are you talking about? Is just a book. And he said, No, you dummy, it's a ministry.

And so I ended up interviewing with Man in the Mirror in November of 2000 at the beginning of the month. We shut the company down at the end of the first week in November, and I interviewed the second week in November and walked into Man in the Mirror as new employee on November 30th. And that was back when guys in my field were going months and months and months without work. God put me in a new position like that. I walked around on eggshells for the first few months I was here, I didn't mention almost wrecking my marriage and having a bankrupt company in the job interview process. That's not typically the first thing you share, but they knew, and they were great.

I've had great mentoring here over the years, and so here I am 21 and a half years later, and just loving what I get to do now to help guys that are going through things like me.

(Timestamp: 14:00)

Redemption In Real Life

So talk about redemption. God saved me. I probably would have wrecked my family. I tell people, if the market hadn't crashed and we had been successful, I don't know if my faith or my marriage would have survived. I apologized all the guys that lost money, but God crashed the stock market for me, I think, so that my marriage and my family could be saved.

Paul: It feels that way sometimes, doesn’t it?  Whether the book is written about us, and you mentioned earlier with stock market crashed for us. Sometimes we feel like we are infinitesimally small and not as relevant, and other times we feel it we're the center of the world, and what God is paving the way for us.

Well, thank you so much for sharing your background. Thank you for talking about the truth and transparency of what it was like to be in a fraternity. I certainly can speak to venturing away from my faith and toward my fraternity in those days, and what that was like.

Man in the Mirror Ministry

Maybe for a few minutes, we could talk about Man in the Mirror. Just a little bit about the book, you mentioned what you got out of it, and then how it started to transform you in your marriage. Talk about what your mission is and what you're trying to do as a ministry from men today.

Brett: The mission of Man in the Mirror is to help Christian men around the world engage in meaningful relationships that change lives and build the Kingdom of God.

So our goal is to help every man reflect honestly, pursue God wholeheartedly, and live vibrantly.

Pat Morley was a local commercial real estate developer here in Orlando, very, very successful. But he was involved with Campus Crusade crew, and Bill Bright challenged him to start a Bible study, So he started a Bible study in a buddy's bar on Friday mornings, because it was empty on Friday morning. That Bible study started in 1986, very quickly grew within a year, they are out of the bar and meeting in a civic center.  And it still meets today every Friday morning, there's anywhere from 90 to 100 guys there every week. And so that was the foundation of the ministry

In ‘91, Pat left the real estate business and went into ministry full-time and really just started writing. So he had done a series in the Bible study in 1989 that a friend said, Hey, I think that would make a good book. The series was called 24 problems that men face, and that Bible study series became the book the Man in the Mirror.

* Just a quick note: the book came out about six months after the song that Michael Jackson did, but it was already in production so there's nothing they could do about it. We like to joke around that Michael Jackson heard about Pat’s book and decided he wanted to write a song about it. But there's no connection whatsoever.

Then I joined in late 2000. The way that Man in the Mirror works strategically is we work a lot through the local church. We have about 60 guys around the country that are acting sort of as church consultants, and they work with leaders and pastors and local churches in local communities to try to create a discipleship pathways for men. In the context of the church, we have a discipleship model called No Man Left Behind. Which is really a set of principles, it's not a curriculum per se, it's really more a set of principles that help a think strategically.  Wow are we reaching men? How does our men's only discipleship processes work?  But we think even more importantly, looking at all of the processes in a church that a man can be involved in, and how do we maximize the kingdom potential of every interaction that church has with every man that might walk in their doors?

Deconstruction and Dechurching

And then the other thing that we're really focusing on right now is we started a new research and development division called Mirror Labs.

I don't think it's any surprise. Right now, we're going through a great dechurching movement right now, deconstruction and dechurching. The second great awakening in a 20-year period, it was called the Second Great Awakening, and people calling themselves Christians increased by 11% in  a 20-year period. Well, in the last 20 years, 24% more people are calling themselves religiously unaffiliated.

They call us the rise of the nuns, and so it's the biggest religious movement in the history of country, and for the first time it's away from Christianity.  It's millennials and Gen Z, guys in their 20s and 30s are over-represented in this group, although they are beginning to impact the older generations as well. We're really trying to focus on guys under 40. What's the culture that they're in? How do they see the church? How do they see the Gospel? How do they understand the gospel? And how can we bring them either back or to the church for the first time?

The biggest thing that we're seeing is that these guys lack meaningful relationships. They are in a culture that gives them lots of different definitions of manhood and no matter which one, they pick, somebody else is telling them that it's the wrong definition or the wrong way to approach manhood.

Not to get too deep philosophically, but we've got this big concept of expressive individualism, which is the idea that I have my truth and you have your truth, and however we each feel, that's reality for us. And so you just have everybody walking around. In Christianity, we have a kingdom and we have a king. Now, nobody wants to be a part of the kingdom anymore, they wanted to just do their own thing, and they want to be their own king.

So this is, I think, the biggest challenge of our time.  Our strategy to address that is to find guys, our age, guys that are older and more mature in their faith, and to have them go after these young guys and become spiritual fathers. So we're in the process of building a system to train Christian men, relatively mature Christian men (because no man thinks he’s mature), but a mature Christian man to engage in a meaningful relationship with a younger guy, have meaningful conversations, and really build a relationship where the gospel can be fleshed out and really talked about in a way that makes sense to a guy living in such a crazy world that we live in right now.

So that's our two main thrust, there is one inside the church and sort of one outside the church, trying to reach men effectively and help them understand the gospel.

Partnering With The Local Church

Paul: So within the church, you're asking the church to think about things differently than how they've traditionally done.  So much of the model around the one-on-one relationships and mentorships that you're talking about really is not something that existed in the church that I grew up in. What are you all doing when you partner with churches to help them see their congregation and to see their potential members differently, and how do they approach them differently?

Brett: I think part of it is, every church we go into, I'll say this, I don't know, a pastor or a church leader, a men's leader that doesn't want their men to be discipled. It's not a lack of desire. It's really a lot of noise, I think that's getting in the way. So for a pastor, and I tell people all the time, pastoring is one of the toughest jobs there is. I tell guys, never say to your pastor that they only work one day a week. You never say to your pastor, they don't understand what the real world is like. Your pastor doesn't live in the real world, he lives in the bottom five, the grubbiest dirtiest 5% of the real world.

People don't call their pastors when they get a promotion, they call their pastor when they lose their job. They don't call their pastor to say, I just celebrated my seventh anniversary and they called her pastor to say I found strange text messages on my spouse's phone, and I don't know what to do about it.  They don't call their pastor to say, I just had a great check-up, they called our pastor, to say, I just found out I have cancer.

And so you have pastors that are really in this deluge of difficult... That's what being a shepherd is. It's in this deluge difficulty. That’s why I think there's such a great opportunity for leaders for men to step up and first of all, support their pastor, like help their pastor bear up under the weight of this incredible calling to be a shepherd. The job of the Shepherd is to get between the wild animal and the sheep.  You've got the crook to pull the sheep out of the ditch, but you've also got a staff and a rod to fight off the wild animals. So it's a tough job to be a shepherd, to be a pastor.

The other thing is, I think there's always these fads.  To me what happens is a church does something, it works really well because of the personalities and the strengths of the leadership in that church, and then they go write a book about it and then everybody tries to emulate without the same leadership, without the same skill set or strengths that the back group has. Then honestly, you go back five or seven years later, and you go back to that church that generated that book and they're not doing it anymore either because their leadership has turned over.

I do think that no meaningful change happens outside of the context of relationships.  So the church, first of all, really needs to look at that. Because we know they believe in it, so now it's down to process, so how do we engage people in these meaningful relationships. We talk a lot about content, and we talk a lot about community.  But what we don't talk about is how do we connect people together into these opportunities. And then maximize those opportunities.

One of the things that I say to leaders all the time is, there's a ton more discipleship going on in your church than you think there is. You're counting sort of nickels and noses, instead, what you need to be figuring out is what are all the different places throughout our church that people are interacting, like youth groups and Vacation Bible Schools, and the church nursery school, pre-school, and the service projects. Wherever these places are, how are we fostering discipling relationships and all of those opportunities, and not just relying on the conventional worship service and classes, but really pushing down into small groups and into one-on-one relationships.

In one sense, it's not complicated, but it's incredibly difficult. It takes persistence and vigilance, and people are really willing to make their church their life, as opposed to their church just a weekend activity that they do now for a couple of hours on Sunday mornings.

Educating a Group of Leaders Within the Church

Paul: Yeah, I can completely see that, and I can completely see why the pastors will be behind it and wanting to have discipleship.  How do you formulate and educate a group of leaders within the church to help facilitate this? Because I can't just rest all on the pastor. It's got to be the male leadership of the church itself.  How are you leading them, empowering them and holding them up in a way that helps them be an arm for the church?

Brett: So we look for that guy in the church, sometimes the pastor will point us to them, but there's usually a guy in the church who's really passionate about seeing them discipled.  Sometimes we call them the guy with the blue face paint, you know the guy from Braveheart. But he's super passionate about men's discipleship.

Then we encourage that guy to gather around him a group of leaders to do it alongside of him.  Then the first thing we tell them is, you guys need to become to each other what you want them out of the church to become. So you need to live life together, you need to love each other well, you need to study the scriptures together, and then you need to start praying for the men of your church.


Where Are the Gaps In Your Church?

And we say, let's look at these different kinds of men in your church, and then let's look at the things that are available for those guys to participate in in your church that are helping them grow. What you typically then realize is there's gaps. There's groups of men that there's really no way for those guys to grow.

One of the things we encourage them to do is plan into the gaps. It’s easy to have another small group on another book, study on another great men's book, another class on another great theological concept or another book of the Bible. But you've probably got a lot of that stuff already going on, and the people that are ready for that are already in those things.

Where we see the biggest need are on the guys that are either spiritually curious or the guys that are stale, and they've taken their foot off the gas. How do you reach those guys and motivate them to become engaged in relationships and in conversations and in the gospel in a way that that draws them in and helps them move along in their faith.

When a guy's early in his walk it, maybe he's just spiritually curious, maybe you need a softball team more than you need another Sunday school class. Maybe you need some recreational stuff that will draw guys in and get guys the opportunity to engage in conversation but with the intentionality of what's the next step.

So we have a process that we call the create, capture, sustained cycle. Creating value, drawing them in, capturing the momentum that you've created by giving them a believable next step, and then sustaining that change that you started to create in a man's life by some kind of a longer term relational opportunity.  Just consistently drawing guys in, capturing the momentum, sustaining the change, drawing guys in, and you just keep giving guys opportunities, keep giving them on-ramps and with the ultimate goal of engaging them in a relationship.

The Hurting Man

Paul: You talk about that sustain part, and I'm curious, obviously, there's some people that are going through issues that are the normal run of the mill issues but there are also people who are coming through and dealing with things like addiction that are more serious and more technical in terms of how they need to be approached. How are you actually developing and dealing with those types of issues within the model that you've got built?

Brett: I talked about these four types of men, and there's a fifth type of man that we talk about, that's the hurting man. That's a guy going through anything from a health crisis, financial crisis, marriage crisis, like you said, addictions issues, grieving, losing a loved one. Those hurting guys are all levels of spiritual maturity. And in the typical church would, in my experience, it's between 40 and 60% of the guys at any given time are going through some kind of a crisis.

So it's important to keep your finger on the pulse of the guys in your church, figure out what guys are wrestling with, and then look for opportunities to engage them at their point of pain. Unfortunately, the church tends to shoot its wounded, instead of embracing them.  Instead of saying, Jesus said come to me, all you who are weary and heavy, late, and I'll give you rest. And what we tend to say, I think is, We want really well put together people, because there's a lot of work to do. So how do we look at these people like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless and address those needs.

[Timestamp: 34:50]

I think the first thing is a little bit of stigmatizing difficulty. We all go through difficulties, and so that starts from the top down. Everybody needs to have that attitude.

Secondly, there are guys that are gifted in dealing with hurting men, but there's also some great opportunities out there, for instance, Celebrate Recovery is a great example of a ministry that can help people dealing with all kinds of different addictions issues, from substance to porn, to eating, to whatever it is, to co-dependency. I think the church needs to be willing to lean into those things and make the church a safe place for hurting people, bring in programs like Celebrate Recovery.

I'll tell you what, CR probably one of the best evangelistic Ministries a church can do because there are hurting people all over our society. They're desperate for help, and it used to be that the church was sort of the acknowledged place that you went for help and now the church is seen as judgmental and at best and hypocritical at worst. I would love to see the church restored in that place where people know that they can go for help.

I had a woman that lived across the street for me a couple of years ago, and she was very secular, and she and my wife were friends because we were neighbors, and she went through a really difficult divorce. So my wife suggested that she go to a divorce recovery group at a church that she had been to for Christmas a couple of times, so she at least had walked in the doors before, and she came back the first time, and my wife said to her, How was it? And she said, You know, It was really good, but they just talked about Jesus a lot. She's like, It was just so religious. And my wife was like, Well, you know, it's in a church, right. They're going to talk about that. She's like, I know, I know. And my wife said, So what do you think? She was like, Oh, I'm definitely going to go back. And so, as her needs were met, as her emotional needs were met, she became more and more open to the fact that she had spiritual needs as well.

The Church and Healing Men

Paul: That's wonderful to hear. What a good story.  I'd ask you, for our audience here today who's listening to you talk about uniting church, uniting people and men that are going through difficult times and these positive things. What advice would you have for the men out there today that are from all facets, about how they can get engaged and what they can expect to find from their church in terms of healing.

Brett: Yeah, well, I think first of all, the church at the leadership of a church really needs to be having these conversations periodically. Like how are we doing with guys that are hurting or with families that are hurting?  I think you'll see various different scenarios.

We recently went from a very large church to a rather small church. In the large church, what I noticed was it was incredibly easy to get lost in the shuffle. And frankly, that's why a lot of people were there. They didn't want to be found, they wanted to be in a church, but they really did, they had church hurt or they had personal hurt, and they just felt like this was a place that they could kind of go and hide. If you're in a large church and you're going to have to be really, really intentional about seeking those people out and finding them. The problem with the large church is it's got lots of opportunities and activities, but it's mostly for extroverts because you've got to be you got to be the kind of person that puts yourself out there and goes and engages in things.

They will have things like look at this book that we have that has the 76 small groups and 42 ministries that you can get involved in. But it's like, Yeah, but if you have to go to those things. I tell guys all the time, leaders all the time, inside of the heart of every man is a junior high school student, middle school student, walking into the lunch room of a new school that he's never been at before. He's like worry to death about sitting at the wrong table, because if he's a jock and he says at the chess club table, they'll never be able to sit with the jocks, and if he's a chess club guy and he says up a jocks table, he's going to get beaten up. And that's what it's like for a guy, like walking into a new activity that he's never been before.

The only way that you can overcome that is there have to be people that are heads are on a swivel, that are looking for hurting people, that are engaging them in conversation and then are bringing them, not showing them, not pointing them, not referring them, but actually bringing them to that place where they can get help.

So if you're sitting in church, and we are creatures to habit, right, so we sit in the same pew week after week, and there's a guy there, or a family there that you've started in conversations with over several weeks, and then you start finding out that there's some issues and that they need some help, and you realize that Celebrate Recovery, just as an example would be a good thing for them. Don't tell them about it. Take them to it, like, go with them.

And you're like, Well, I don't need to go to Celebrate Recovery. So what! Go to a meeting, it's not going to kill you.  It's actually the most loving thing that you could do would be to bring somebody somewhere.

In a smaller church. I think that the other issue that sometimes is that people feel very judged, because you're a lot more visible in a small church, and so it's really going to be incumbent on leaders to be open about their own struggles and their own issues to make it a safe place for people to say, I'm struggling. I'm in a great situation right now where one of our elders in my church finally had to sort of acknowledge that he was having some physical problems that nobody knew about, he's trying to run a business and raise a young family and just feeling really overwhelmed and had to set some boundaries.

He was worried about doing that and he was worried that he would give the wrong impression that he didn't care or whatever. And the guys in the church like rally around him and supported him in that and ask him about his physical issues and ask him about his emotional issues and ask them how he's dealing with his family.

And at the end of the day, it's love. It's just, how do you love people well. So I wish I could just say it's a, do step one, step two, step three. But I don't think it's really like that. I think it's people loving others really well and not judging each other.

Paul: What a wonderful environment that is, and what a wonderful environment that can be for people. I think so often they have a preconceived notion of what church is going to be like, and so it comes from the negative experiences and some of the things that you mentioned earlier, but I would encourage all of our audience, just like I'm hearing you do so is to reach back out and to try and experience things again for the first time, so that they're open to it.

Thank You and Closing

Well, Brett, thank you so much for taking so much time out of your busy schedule today to come and speak with our audience.

To the members of our audience, we thank you for taking the time to listen, to give up yourselves to share a little bit of your own mental span with and space tonight, and we hope that this encourages you to share your story and what's happening with you in life and where you are in this moment.

We thank you all for continuing to follow us on social media, coming to our website. For all of us from The Redeemed Man Podcast, we wish you the very best. Godspeed and good night.

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