Posted by Liz Cutler Gates on February 21, 2012
For the last 12 weeks, men at Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Goshen, Ind., have been participating in Fight Club, a program developed by the staff of the church that is designed to reach men where they are. “It is an incredible discipleship journey,” says Pastor Jim Brown. “It has all the components of discipleship plus all the stuff that makes men come alive.”
It was advertised as a brand new, life-changing ministry for men. If you wanted to be part of it, then come to an informational meeting at midnight on the specified Monday night.
“Yes, we met at midnight,” says Pastor Jim, “and 323 men came to that informational meeting, which had many elements to it.”
Every participant signed a creed that required them to not talk about Fight Club to people outside of the group. They were given weekly assignments that had to be accomplished. If they weren’t, strikes were accumulated.
“We finished with 145 men,” says Jim. There were 225 men who began the journey. “Men did these assignments with hopes that their actions made a difference.”
Between meetings, the men connected through a password-protected closed website.
“It lit a fire in men and turned our church upside down,” says Pastor Jim, who developed the program from scratch, often writing it as they went. “It lined up well with what I have been saying for 16 years at Grace Community, if you get the man, you get the family. You get the family, you the community. You get the community, you get the world.”
The 12 weeks culminated with an awards ceremony when the men received a shirt with the creed on it and a leather bracelet bearing the Fight Club logo. The videos on this page are from that ceremony.
Currently he and his staff is working on developing the program so that it may be used by other churches.
“I have never been more excited about anything in my entire life!” he adds, as he prepares for another 12 week program with a new group of men.