March 20, 2018


Men's Groups Step Up Their Game
With the 2018 Men's NetWork WORK DAY about a month and a half away, we're getting some great job descriptions of outreach-oriented projects.

This year's WORK DAY is Saturday, April 28.

Registration details and sign-up pages are available. You can access them by clicking here . You can also find some suggestions for WORK DAY jobs on our website. Be sure to check them out; there are some good ideas in there.

For those still in the contemplation stage, ask yourself this question: How can my men's group reach out and help somebody who's outside the church? The needs are vast: homeless and recovery shelters, the elderly among us, the underprivileged and underserved, teens, moms, kids at risk. Chances are high your community has a few of these places or people your group can help.

What the WORK DAY is is a chance to spend a few hours on the last Saturday of April doing something really beneficial to somebody else. Few things give us that feel-good vibe like helping somebody out, especially if that person has a pressing need. This is where your men's group or band of dedicated bros can truly make a difference. The whole premise of the WORK DAY is to help others, to care for and serve others, to show the world what being the hands and feet of Jesus is all about.

We're encouraging men's groups to take their tools and talents to their neighborhoods and communities (i.e. off church grounds or school campus) and lend a hand to those who need it. The idea here is for the Men's NetWork WORK DAY to be a few hours of real outward connection with the community. Here's where your work can build rapport and a chance to share the Gospel in the future.

Don't forget your "group" doesn't need to be an official church men's group to participate in the WORK DAY. If you've got a few buddies and you've got a job you'd like to go after, then sign up. We invite and welcome your participation!

And if for some reason the last Saturday in April doesn't work with your group's schedule, you can do a WORK DAY any day of the year! Just be sure to let us know what you're doing. We want to see what everyone is working on and share your report with other men's groups.

As always, those joining the fun will receive a Men's NetWork cap to wear the day of the event.

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Nothing Too Insignificant
While Lent is a season of pensive reflection and introspection, it's also a time when we look beyond ourselves -- far beyond ourselves -- to that place where God did His graceful work of redemption.

The season of Lent is a time for careful observation of what God has done for us through the crucifixion and victorious resurrection of His Son. In Silent Witnesses, readers will see, perhaps for the first time, how God worked His divine purposes, even through the ordinary details of seemingly insignificant items included in the Scriptures.

In the Gospels of Mark and John, items like rope (nets), clay (pots), water (the pool of Bethesda), silver (drachma coins), oil (ointment), a donkey, a sponge, a placard (the inscription over Jesus' head), and embroidered cloth (temple curtain) figure into the public ministry of the Messiah. In the mute character of these mundane and inconsequential things, God adds significance, meaning, and subtle object lessons for us all.

Silent Witnesses is available to read online and hear as a podcast. These devotions can still be received as an e-mail subscription throughout the remainder of the Lenten season. The downloadable version, which includes a large-font text, bulletin inserts, bulletin shells, and PowerPoint slides, is available online. Audio is provided by Mark Eischer, senior producer for The Lutheran Hour, who reads the devotions. For all the details, click here.

For the Spanish version, Testigos silenciosos ("Silent Witnesses"), click here, and you can print out these devotions.

As with LHM's 2017 Advent devotions, reflection questions are available in English as a way to further consider these meditations.

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The Nuts and Bolts of LHM's Ministry: in the Layman
Fresh off the press is the spring issue of The Lutheran Layman. Here you'll find stories and photographs highlighting the mission and ministry of Lutheran Hour Ministries as it proclaims the Gospel in the United States and around the world.

The city of Heidelberg and the 1518 disputation that helped make that city famous are featured in the lead article in the March-April issue. It's in this southwestern German city that Luther defended his 95 Theses, and it's there that numerous events important to the Reformation took place. These and other telling details are supplied by Gerald Perschbacher, editor of The Layman. Also in this issue are stories that highlight Lutheran laity in action; LHM's work among Arab youth through SAT-7; new LHM Learn online courses on witnessing, the Psalms, and Lent; the continued impact of LHM's involvement in the Tournament of Roses Parade via Petal Pushers; how charitable giving makes a lasting impact; what's happening on THRED, our social media initiative; a glimpse at our seventh kids' booklet of rhymes and illustrations, Let's Be Disciples; candidate bios of individuals up for the International Lutheran Laymen's League Board of Directors; the substantial increase in television station airings LHM enjoyed over the Christmas season, and more.

Also included are comments from Dr. Dale Meyer, interim Speaker for The Lutheran Hour; Phil Johnson, chairman of the Int'l LLL Board of Directors; and Kurt Buchholz, president and CEO of LHM.

To check out the current issue online, go to LHM's homepage when you click here; then drop down to the bottom right of the page and you'll find it.

To receive The Lutheran Layman by mail six times a year, simply send your request and $5 to our offices at 660 Mason Ridge Center Dr., St. Louis, MO 63141.

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Bible Study Twofers Still Available Through March
Ready to be a hero at your next men's group meeting with two fresh Bible studies in hand? Then put on your Men's NetWork cap or shirt and hit the road.

Now if you just happen to live near some place that qualifies as a legitimate WEAR in the World landmark, you're in luck!

In that case, all you have to do is get your pic taken in front of said landmark (wearing your MNW cap or shirt, of course), tell us where you are, and send it in. Do that and we'll send you a two-pack ($35 value!) of LHM's Bible studies (your choice) for you to enjoy.

These original Bible studies feature high-quality video, expert interviews, a complete discussion guide with self-reflecting questions, Digging Deeper links for additional online info, and more. We have Bible studies on facing disasters, the book of Revelation, the Mormon Church, how we got the Bible, a Martin Luther trilogy, and several other topics.

Qualifying pictures for our WEAR in the World feature get posted to our website and will likely appear in our bi-monthly e-newsletter.

Here's how to get your Bible study two-pack:

1. The photo must show you wearing a recognizable Men's NetWork item -- hat or shirt.

2. The picture must be of an identifiable and commonly accepted landmark location! We define this as the majority of the judges can view the picture and immediately recognize where the photo was taken. If the judges have to go to the internet to find the location, it's probably not easily recognizable. NOTE: standing by a sign naming the location in the picture may not make it commonly recognizable either, unless, of course, the Taj Mahal is glowing in the background.

3. To get your two Bible studies, you must include your full mailing information.

4. The decision of our esteemed and impartial panel of judges is final.

Click here for more information and the submission process. You'll see the box at the top right of the page.

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You Tell Us, We Tell Others, We All Win!
When your men's group gets together for an event or a project, we want to hear about it. Info on what your group is doing is a perfect way to inspire and help other groups in their quest to serve their communities and churches. Letting the Men's NetWork know what your group is doing gives ideas to other men's groups out there that are looking for ways to make a difference.

When you're planning your next men's group event, the Men's NetWork has two different places to keep our audience informed online -- both before and after the event.

First of all, from the Men's NetWork website, click on the "More Stuff" button and choose "Find a Group Near You." There you can see others who have told us about their men's groups. Maybe some are even in your area. You can find out who they are, when they meet, etc. Here you'll find comments like "We meet on Friday morning for Bible study" or "Our Sunday morning meeting involves worship, prayer, Bible study, discussion, encouragement, and a pot luck lunch. We are into building Christ-centered relationships and seek to be part of what God is doing in our city and communities."

Here too is where you have an opportunity to tell us about some of the cool things your group is doing. You register these by clicking the "Events" button and choosing "Local and Regional Calendars." This is for specific stuff like "We're having a men's retreat on June 22-24," along with the specifics of the event, why they should come, who's going to be there, etc. Once you have it planned, make sure you submit the information online (just follow the instructions) to let the Men's NetWork know, so we can add it to our website. This space is for events or activities with a "begin and end" date. You never know, there might be guys in your area looking for a men's group -- and a church to go along with it.

Once these items are submitted and approved, the three most recent men's groups and three nearest upcoming events will automatically post on the home page of the Men's NetWork website, in the right-hand column. Notice also how we're including WORK DAY projects here now, too.

To take it a step further, following your "event" you will receive an email requesting that you send in some pictures of how your activity went. Once we get those shots and a summary from you, they go live on our "Braggin' Rights" page.

For a look at what other men's groups are doing, stop by the "Braggin' Rights" link on the MNW's website and click here.

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Rapid-Fire Judgments
Not too long ago, we asked unchurched people about the greatest barrier to going to church. Their most popular response was that "Christians are too judgmental."

Hearing that made me stop and take a good, hard look at myself. What do I think when I see someone living a different lifestyle than mine? What's my reaction to a person covered in tattoos or piercings? It might be my age, but I have to fight my gut reaction when I see someone who stands out from the conventional. I'm forced to remind myself that jewelry, tattoos, clothing, hairstyles, etc. are a matter of personal taste -- and not everyone needs to dress the way I do.

I wonder if I took a moment to sit down with that person, to look past all the surface stuff, to look him or her deep in the eye, what kind of person would I see. Isn't that what Jesus did? When other Jews saw a leper moving even vaguely in their direction, they hurled stones to drive them away; Jesus, on the other hand, walked up to them and touched them. The Judeans couldn't pass a tax collector sitting in his booth without spitting in disgust; Jesus talked and ate with them. He saw them for what they were, children of men who mattered to God.

Even when Jesus saw people who were clearly disobeying God's will like prostitutes, He acted differently. He didn't come at them in smug superiority. Instead, He came with dignity, with meekness, with kindness. After engaging them as people beloved of the Lord, He demonstrated His love and concern, forgave their sins, and sent them away with the words, "Go in peace, and sin no more."

Surely, Jesus didn't come to make people feel good about themselves and their sinful, rebellious lifestyles. If that was the case, why did He go to the cross? Why did He give His life as a ransom for sin? Why does the Bible call Him our "Savior," if there was nothing to save us from?

But that is precisely how Jesus wants to be known -- as our merciful Savior, rather than our stern Judge. When a woman was caught in the act of adultery, Jesus said, "'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.' When they all turned and left, He asked, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She replied, 'No one, Lord.' Then Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more'" (John 8:7b-11).

My question is how can I more closely model Jesus Christ in my life? Is it first by recognizing the sinner in me? Is it seeing how incredibly patient, gracious, and merciful my God has been to me? Is it recognizing who I am, before I start considering who others are? Or maybe it's recognizing that on the Last Day Jesus will transform every believer to His own perfect image -- forever banishing the sinful nature from us so that we can be the perfect, delightful children God created us to be -- before Adam and Eve's first act of disobedience.

How can we now, especially during the season of Lent, show God's unbound, unlimited grace to others while not neglecting the fact that Jesus came to save us from something, for something?

How do you overcome any gut instinct you may have to shun those who appear different or weird and, instead, try to connect with them, even in the smallest ways?

Your insights matter. Please click here and share your suggestions.

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Upcoming Events:
  • IN, Seymour: Men's Gathering
    April 6, 2018 - April 8, 2018
    Host Church: Lakeview Ministries
  • IA, Le Mars: Iowa District West Men's Prayer Breakfast
    April 7, 2018 - April 7, 2018
    Host Church: Grace Lutheran Church
  • NE, Grand Island: Man Feast
    April 8, 2018 - April 8, 2018
    Host Church: Peace Lutheran Church

View All Events

Newest Men's NetWork Groups:
  • King's Men
    Gardner, KS
  • Men of God - St. John
    Cypress, TX
  • Immanuel Lutheran Men's Bible Study
    Davenport, IA
view all groups