The 3rd goal of the class is that each man would grow in confidence and boldness in order to be a strong leader in their family, the work place, their community, and in our church. The words strong and confident are not even close to being arrogant, obnoxious, assertive, loud, angry, bossy, or proud. To be strong and confident is having an assurance in your faith, not being timid to share a thought graciously, being quick and decisive to help someone in need, being in control of your time so you can take the time to be involved in something that matters, and most importantly a strong and confident man is not intimidated by failure, he is willing to take a chance doing something he may have never done before. There are several exercises and assignments in the class designed to build this confidence. The first is each guy is asked to memorize approximately 2 Bible verses each week and quote them in class in front of the other guys. Almost all of them say something about not being able to memorize very well when they start the class and there are many men who never join the class because of this requirement. We take about 15 to 20 minutes at the start of each class for each man to quote their verses, and I also ask them old verses that they have memorized from several weeks to several months ago, so they need to review verses that they have already quoted. Most will stumble as they try and quote the verse and will usually say, “Boy, I had that verse down cold this morning and in the car as I quoted it to my wife on the ride to church, I don’t know what happened?” The answer is that the pressure created by the other guys listening messes with their confidence and there goes their memory verse along with their confidence. But as they continue this assignment each week there is a marked improvement in most in remembering the verse but also in the poise and confidence they have as they quote it.
Another assignment is that each guy shares in a church service a 5 minute testimony about 2 months after the class has started, and then their graduation assignment is to preach a 15 minute sermon in a regular church service as well. These are my favorite services of the year. We have one coming up the last weekend of April when we will have 3 guys share in each of the 3 weekend services. Those sermons are a huge confidence builder in most of the guys. It is extremely intimidating to stand up in front of your church family and preach the Word of God to people who know you and your weaknesses and failures.
It is the most rewarding thing I have done in almost 42 years of pastoring at JBC, to teach, train, and coach men to be great leaders in every area of their life.