Anvil Ministries E1: Introductions and Expectations

Below is more or less a transcription of the podcast. There is more content here because I had to edit about 5 min out of the episode to keep it close to 10 min in total length.

I’d love your feedback. Email me anytime at David@AnvilMinistries.com

Welcome to the Anvil Podcast #1 This weeks episode is going to be a little bit about me, Anvil as a whole, and what this podcast will be all about. I am sure some of my passion for men will come out too.

Well hello everyone, first of I’d like to say thanks for listening. If you don’t find anything of value here then stop. If you’d like to learn more about Anvil check out our website at AnvilMinistries.com or follow us on FB or T @AnvilMen

This weeks episode is more or less a introduction to who I am, what Anvil is, and what you can expect in our podcast. So with that lets get into it…

Topic-
About me. My name is David. I am in my mid 30’s. I have been married for over a decade, and have 2 children in elementary school. I came to Christ at a power team event when I was about 7, I did not get serious about my walk with God until the end of Jr. High when a pretty girl invited me to youth group. From the end of 8th grade to the begining of 9th I was involved in ministry as much as I could. I have served in several churches over the last 20 years or so, and God called me into full time ministry about 5 years ago. Shortly after is when Anvil was born.

One thing you will learn about me is I am a passionate man, and I have a huge burden for men. Some will call it intense, and I am sure at times it will be too intense so bear with me there. I have a great passion for men, for masculinity, working with men, and helping men find their strength.

I have worked with men in ministry off and on over the last decade or so, and try to absorb anything I can that relates to men, our challenges and struggles, and victories. I do not have a college degree, and although I have been ordained I do not hold a seminary degree either. Nothing against those things, as I will be starting to chip away at them later this year. But I wanted you to know so that when I speak, it is mostly from my heart, passion, and experience as a man, and working with men. I hope that is enough, as for the moment that is the best I have to offer you.

Last couple of things about me- I love things outside the box. I am a creative man, and I love creative stuff. I think the modern church is having such a difficult time reaching men, because it has not gone out of its way to do church differently to reach men. With that said, I also like to do stuff too far outside the box to a fault. Like “Hey man, there is a good reason no one does __this__ thing this way”. But that’s how I roll to try and find that sweet spot right on the cutting edge.

I will do my best to keep it real on here. I spent a lot of years at Sandals Church in Riverside, and they have a motto there that is being real with yourself, others, and God. So yeah that is kinda ingrained in me. Hopefully in a good way. Sorry in advance for the times that it will offend you.

The other thing that you should know about me is I love to go, I love to do. Whenever I preach, or teach, or lead something – I want action. So one thing you will find here is practical application. Something you can practically do – today to head down the path of finding your strength.

About Anvil. Anvil was born out of my passion for men. I have been involved in a handful of men’s ministries over the years, and never felt really satisfied. Accountability groups, Small group bible studies, pancake breakfasts, men’s retreats, formal and informal mentorship/discipleship programs, service projects, and outreach events. They all left me wanting more. It felt short. Like it was not enough. It was just a small piece of what I was looking for. Many times they were not well organized, and came together last minute. Some did not have much of a purpose other then just gathering the men of the church. Now hear me out here. I have nothing against any of these things. They can all be good things. But as a man I needed more. Just as I felt like I was getting somewhere, it ended, or changed, or never changed.

One such time I was battling with depression, and set up a meeting with my pastor. When I was pouring my heart out to him, expecting him to tell me I needed to be reading my bible more, or praying more, or serving more, or something like that.

Anyhow I am pouring my heart out in frustration to the guy and he kinda starts to giggle. Literally, I’ll never forget he puts his hand over his mouth, sits back in his chair and is filled with joy for some reason. So I ask him, Paul, what’s up? What’s funny? He says David I think God is calling you into ministry. It totally hit me from left field. Not at all what I was expecting. He said, he did not know for sure, but to go pray about it. So I did.

I go back home and start spending time with God and I get this overwhelming feeling I need to look at the front of my TWG notebook. Sure enough, on 9/17/2008 I wrote “Go into ministry, leading men into authentic masculinity.”

Now, I have no idea why I did not actively start pursuing that back in 2008. But I had a deep passion for men, and men’s ministry. And I had already worked with many, many men in their lives, struggles, and darkness. So this felt like God’s blessing and encouragement to go, and do it.

So there was no denying it at that point, but I had no idea where to start. So I started by talking with God about it. What do want me to do with this? How in the world do I “lead men into authentic masculinity?” What does that even mean? What does that practically look like? What is authentic masculinity?

You know what? As I pressed into God, He pressed back into me. I would get these seemingly random bits of information about men, men’s ministry, etc. That happened for just about 6mo, then it just stopped, and I felt like I needed to start putting them together. What that turned into is something that is now called Anvil.

Anvil is a completely different approach to how the church can reach out and help men. As men, we need more then a bible study. We need more then an accountability group. We need more then a pancake breakfast. Again, there is nothing wrong with those things, but men need more. You may not realize it, but there is a huge gender gap in Christian churches today. In the US. There are a ton of studies, research, and statistics out there on this I’d like to share a few of them with you-

* The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
* On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
* This Sunday almost 25% of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
* Over 70 percent of the boys who are being raised in church will abandon it during their teens and twenties.
* More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only one out of six attend church on a given Sunday.
* Fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry.

Some of you know this all to well. These are you, or your sons, your brothers, or your friends.

This begs the question WHY? In short, as a culture, and a church we have at best expected men to be like women. The truth is more like a generational emasculation. We have generations that have no idea what it means to be a man. For decades we have told men to stay calm, to stay quiet, to sit still and behave. Don’t speak up. Don’t take risks. Don’t be dangerous. Don’t be passionate.

In a attempt to “train” men we have told them that the good masculine qualities they have are bad. We mock them on TV, and in movies. At the same time we want and desire real men. A common complaint in our culture is “where are all the real men?” The answer is we have asked them to be women. We have encouraged passivity instead of valor, comfort and safety over risk and danger. And politeness and curtesy for boldness and vigor in truth. And all this began generations ago.

What we are left with is men young and old, who have no idea what it means to be a man. Most men if they are honest don’t feel like real men. They don’t know they have what it takes. They don’t know how to use their strength, or what to use it for.

You see when I started on this journey I didn’t know any of that. Through pressing into it with God, I learned, and my passion grew. In praying though this I believe God revealed something critical to me about men. You see at first my approach to Anvil and “leading men into authentic masculinity” was to figure out how to “teach” them how to be men. What God was quick to show me is that they already are men. They need to uncover who they are as men. They need healing. They need restoration. They need permission to be men, and live passionately from who God made them as men.

So anyhow there’s a little of my heart and passion about men, and Anvil. Hahaha. If you have not had a chance to do so check out our website at AnvilMinistries.com to find out more about Anvil, and what it is all about. More importantly how to find your strength.

About this podcast. It is my sincere hope, and prayer that this podcast is helpful to you. If nothing else to let you know that you are not alone. As of right now I am going to shoot for keeping them about 10 min long, and releasing a new episode every Sunday night/Monday morning. I am planning to offfer something different here then what you may find elsewhere, and hopefully that is something of value here.

I am not new to speaking, but I am new to podcasting so it will only get better from here. There are a handful of men that are already apart of Anvil, and attend Friday night Forge meetings or one of Anvil’s Phase programs. And some of them probably listen to this, I’m figuring that the majority of you are can’t, or are not. So I’ll keep the content on here as unique as I can as to avoid being redundant to those that attend Anvil. But for those of you that do, there’s going to be some overlap.

Something else that I’d like to do as much as I can is address any questions you may have. Or any topics you’d like to hear more on. I see this as a two way street so shoot me an email, and I’ll address as many as I can. This podcast is also set up with an explicit rating. Not necessarily for profanity, but adult content. Anvil works with boys, and men 15 and up. The content that we will discuss here will be explicit at times. We will talk about marriage, and sex, and sex in marriage. We will talk about pornography, masturbation, pedofillia, fetishes, and the Bible. So heads up. I recommend no one listen to this under 15 years old. Not necessarily in every episode, but this is for men, so its going to come up.

I will also have any key points, links, mentions, or other pertinent info all typed out for you in the description, and on our website AnvilMinistries.com

What’s next?-
That just about wraps up our first episode. I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to serving you through it in the future. Our next episode will start a series I am going to go through based on idioms of blacksmithing, and how we can learn from them, and apply them to our lives. Having a ministry that is themed around blacksmithing it seemed only fitting. So be sure you catch those and continue your journey with me as men.

Keep in touch with us here at Anvil. Check us out at AnvilMinistries.com. Looks us up on FB, and Twitter @AnvilMen. Shoot me an email, let me know what you think of the show. As I said earlier I love practical teaching, and being a doer. So here is something you can do this week to find your strength. Put together what your top 3 stories are, and dig into why they are your favorite with God. What about them do you relate to? Or connect with? How do they move you? Why? I think you’ll be surprised what God may show you from something like that. They can be stories straight from the Bible, your favorite movies, books, fiction, or non. Maybe some combination their of. Give that a shot, and see what God reveals.

Know that may not know you, but I pray for you regularly. Know that I am for you. You may be in a great place right now, and you may be in a very dark place. Know that God is with you. That you are His son. He knows your mind, heart, and soul. And loves you more then you know. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Continue to fight the good fight, and find your strength. I am David with Anvil Ministries. May your journey continue…