Bill Belichick was proving to the world he can put a competitive team on the field regardless of who’s taking snaps. Superstar Tom Brady started this season on suspension, so they throw out some guy named Jimmy Garropolo, who leads them to 2-0. He goes down with an injury, so Bill rolls his rookie onto the field Thursday night and the Pats cruised to an easy 27-0 victory over the Texans.
That’s when God reminded me of why I love TrueNorth. I don’t know why he picked the moment when I was lying on my hotel bed in Borger, TX to tell me this, but I’ve learned not to question Him.
I feel like most Christian men hear “Men’s Ministry” and don’t come close to grasping what TrueNorth is. It’s been an incredible journey for me, and something tells me we’re just getting started. [Nerd Alert] We’re at the point where Frodo and his boys arrive at Rivendell for the first time (or maybe we’re still on our way to Rivendell). They faced adversity journeying there, but their larger mission hasn’t even begun.
So what’s to love about TrueNorth? Well…
I love serving with these guys. I’ve sat in board meetings where we discussed issues like insurance and budgets and I walked away feeling empowered by other men in the room. My roles have varied since attending my first Boot Camp (yes, it was Boot Camp before the BaseCamp days) in 2011, but I’ve always been alongside incredible men on the same mission.
You walk into TheRock and you immediately have dozens of guys in a room who are ready to fight with you and for you, regardless of whether you’ve met them or not. I wonder how many guys the average Christian has in his life whom he can count on to pray for him, and I don’t mean text out a prayer request and get a thumbs up emoji back. I mean intense, spritually-engaged, courageous prayer. I have dozens thanks to TrueNorth.
You get to be around guys who get it. None are perfect or claim to be, but most understand we are not of this world so we’re fighting a battle for something bigger than this world has to offer. Knowing that changes how you interact with each other. We all want each other to grow. I have my brothers’ backs and they have mine.
I rarely talk about TrueNorth without sharing one of the most recent stories I’ve heard, usually from a guy I hadn’t known minutes before. One of my favorite examples came from a group of guys who just met at TheRock. One guy confessed to fighting a meth addiction, and he stressed that he was fighting it right there. It wasn’t about how he’s going to go home and struggle with it. He was being attacked in the moment. He wasn’t concerned with what we thought. He wanted us to know because he knew he couldn’t go at this alone. Another guy who happened to be listening in confessed he was having the same struggle. He had never told anyone about it before, but transparency from another man showed him he can bring his darkness into the light. Now he’s not alone. He didn’t show up at TheRock expecting to confess that addiction. The power of the Holy Spirit overcame him and he began his journey to living free on the spot.
That stuff is the norm at TrueNorth. One might think it’s crazy to celebrate someone confessing meth addictions, and in most other environments we hear “meth user” and don’t jump to support them. When you ingrain yourself in TrueNorth environments, you start listening to stories with compassion and grace because one thing is very clear: Whether you’re a decade-old Christ follower, a young Christian or not a Believer, we are all jacked up and in need of Christ. We all get that.
Drugs. Alcohol. Affairs. Gluttony. Depression. Homesexuality. I’ve heard it all.
To quote an all-time great song by Needtobreathe… “Bring all of your troubles. Come Lay Em Down.”
TrueNorth isn’t trying to take over the church. We want to partner with pastors to wake up the men in their churches because we believe when the men of the Church become engaged in the larger story, not the worldly narrative we get stuck in, the women and children follow suit and the Church thrives. We don’t want to steal men from churches so they join TrueNorth. We want a team effort so God can use our ministry to strengthen them and inject that power into the local Church.
There’s really no secret formula to what we do but there’s no denying the supernatural power at work at our environments. Nobody is in this for the sake of growing the TrueNorth name. We’re in this to spread the TrueNorth mission wherever God wants to take it. We want unity among different communities of the Christian faith.
Shout out to First Baptist Church Piedmont for rolling into our September BaseCamp in the church bus! Having a church bus at your event has to be a huge milestone, right?! Praise God!
When you plug in with TrueNorth, as a first-time BaseCamper, staff member or leadership position, you become a part of something much bigger and you feel it. Maybe you stay with TrueNorth. Maybe you showed up at a TrueNorth environment, heard clearly from God and He moved you to start a separate ministry. That’s a win for the Kingdom.
It’s not about us as individuals. It’s not about me as the writer for the blog. It’s not about Trey Dixon as our Executive Director. It’s not about Brad Montgomery as our President. We can all be
replaced replicated. Everyone within TrueNorth will tell you that God is running the ministry. He uses anyone willing to serve to orient men to Walk with God, Engage in a Larger Story and Live Free.
So while this is the first and probably last time I will use an analogy in which Bill Belichick is like God, the TrueNorth system is in place and it’s driven by God’s power, not the power of the hands and feet he’s using to carry out the mission.