A High-Performance Framework For Mens Bible Study
A Good-Faith Attempt At Transforming Mens Study Groups Into A Place Of Actionable Insights & Accountability.
I see the traditional Bible study format as a missed opportunity to provide deep educational value and fellowship to high-performing men, who want to grow in their faith at the same rate as their professional skillset or even further.
In my opinion, most small groups are just far too slow for me to find intellectually stimulating. They move at a pace that works well for those who live less exciting lives, and rarely result in a way to truly apply Biblical concepts.
After trying many different study groups and being left unfulfilled, I can’t just integrate into a setting that’s antithetical to my motivated nature. I also don’t want to leave altogether and go back to pursuing my Biblical education alone…
So I’m proposing a new format that provides value through application, mutual accountability and a place to be masculine, without the apathy of this world seeping in.
After reading this, you’ll know how to re-create this new format with your Bible study group, and how we can improve it along the way.
THE FORMAT IS THE PROBLEM
A class on Lord Of The Rings or some animation series is generally filled with fun and specific takeaways to apply in your daily life.
Yet, the book that inspired every modern hero’s journey seems to only be studied with solemn respect, or off-putting enthusiasm.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground, and I think the format itself is to blame.
As a testosterone driven professional who’s constantly seeking improvement, I want to pursue my faith with an even higher level of passion and dedication than I put towards my business.
So as it stands, the common forms of study groups are too slow, too female oriented and far too school-like, with the classic format having each person read a segment aloud before asking for their thoughts.
This leads to the first person doing all of the mental work in contributing something unique and analyzing the text, while each subsequent person offers some half-hearted version of the original comment!
The reason for this, is because the traditional framework favors only one learning style, forcing everyone into a narrow method of engaging with the Word, providing greater benefits to those who learn in that way.
It’s an approach to learning that’s not the most effective, but it does force people to conform in a school-like setting by removing the “individual” from the learning process, in support of the collective.
Also known as… COMMUNISM! I’m joking, but it usually looks like this.
THAT LONG AWKWARD SILENCE
You show up ready to get powerful insights so you can grow in the spirit!
Then they ask you to read aloud …so you do.
After quickly reading the passage, they ask you;
Host: What deep meaning did you pull out of that section?
Me: Well none, I mean, I just read it.
Host: Try and think of the underlying meaning of that passage.
Me: First there’s the (insert obvious message the text conveys), besides that, I don’t really have a deep connection to this section because I have no personal anchor for it yet.
( Long Silence )
( Long Silence Continued )
Host: Alright… let’s see what someone else has to say. Person number two?
Person #2: I really feel that it’s referring to (repeat obvious message the text conveys) and I agree with what was just said…literally moments ago…
( Long Silence )
Host: Solid points, and person number three?
Person #3: I’m going to agree with the statements of those two guys as well, only I’ll do it through a meandering story that’s barely related to the passage, then finish up by restating their answers again, but this time almost verbatim… so yeah.
( Long Silence )
At this point, memories of my middle school experience come flooding back with PTSD-level clarity. Reliving days of being trapped in the time-dilation field of a class clock that won’t move, and white-knuckling my way through a teacher’s weaponized boredom.
It’s because of this consistent pattern, that I realized I had to do something or give up on group studies altogether.
Now, I’m not a fan of raising concerns without proposing solutions, so I based my suggested format on the power of faith testimonials.
Where strangers meet and tell their story of how they came to Christ and instantly become connected on a deeper level. Cutting through all surface nonsense and getting right to the core.
Why can’t Bible studies integrate that part?
APPLICATION, ACCOUNTABILITY, MASCULINITY
In addition to studying the Word, the purpose of this mens group is to reject the apathy, weakness & lethargy of this world.
Shutting out the message that tells men to be less, by setting aside all positive masculine desires for strength, competitiveness or leadership.
Which means the easily offended, passive aggressive and socially pliable are not welcomed, as there’s plenty of women’s groups available elsewhere.
The Focus Will Be Centered On Three Basic Pillars;
Specific application of the Word, in action & perspective.
Positive masculine interaction & character building.
Every week we’ll study a chapter or book of the Bible and use it as a baseline for our meet ups. These can be chosen however you’d like. A general theme, randomly, or in sync with your church’s sermon series, etc
In this new format, you’ll be doing the reading on your own, BEFORE meeting up.
Rather than be expected to discover the nuances of the Bible in real time, as in traditional Bible study groups, the idea is to show up and share the insights you’ve had time to think through, while using this new framework.
This departure from convention is key to everything moving forward, and before you ask. Yes, you can read from your Bible for reference or to explain your point… like duh, it’s a Bible study.
During the meeting, you WILL NOT be asked to read & respond as you might be used to.
Instead, you’re expected to arrive ready to talk about the study section and riff about your ideas.
Just like guys meeting to talk cars, sports or business, they start with prior knowledge about a topic and discuss their ideas in a conversational way that flows naturally. Challenging each others ideas and understanding.
If you can’t be trusted to make time for the reading on your own, then this isn’t the group for you… again, there’s plenty of women’s groups who would love to have you.
That same trust extends into how we speak to each other. Specifically starting from the premise that everyone in attendance is of reputable moral character and does not require a list of disclaimers for every opinion shared.
This form of genital renunciation is usually on behalf of some “woke” coercion that dictates the actions of men, even in private, eg; I’m not saying that…, Not to be mistaken for…, I don’t mean…, so what you’re saying is…
In order to articulate your ideas well, there must be room to do it badly or brazenly.
So at these meetings, state your mind without regard for limp-wristed scoffers.
If genuine clarification is needed, just ask, otherwise don’t waste everyones time because something is deemed “controversial”.
THE P.A.A.S FRAMEWORK
1- Identify The Principle
After reading the weekly study section on your own, identify the moral imperative or concept the passage is describing. Outline the foundational theme and its purpose.
2- Illustrate The Analogy
Through the lens of your specific skillset or vocation, notice the similarities between that very same principle, and a seemingly unrelated area of your life. This could be something you’ve experienced personally, seen used in fiction or even someone else's story.
3- Interpret The Application
Then, find a real-world example of that principle being put to use. Think back to some lesson learned, a mentors correction or coworkers mistake. Avoid going into unreasonably complex or impractical abstractions, eg; “Just become a billionaire and give it all away to the poor”.
4- Tell The Story
Narrate the story behind your application or what led you there. Aim to be entertaining, enlightening and educational. Feel free to dazzle us with your little-known facts, but make sure there’s a beginning, middle & end.
The P.A.A.S Framework;
✪ Principle - Leviticus 19:9, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.” - This helps the needy have access to food or resources, but in a way that causes them to work for it. Helping the poor without allowing them to give effort in return, robs them of their dignity, leading to a dependency on other peoples generosity and even entitlement.
✪ Analogy - You see this in people who live on government assistance programs. Instead of temporary support during a bad season in their life, it tends to create generational poverty.
✪ Application - As a substitute for selling our unused items in a garage sale, we thoughtfully place unused items on our neighborhood sidewalk with a “free” sign, or donate them directly to vetted organizations.
✪ Story - I wanted to get rid of this bunk bed so I put it outside. About an hour later, a mini van driving by slowed to look at it, then took off. They drove by two more times before stopping and getting out to look at it. I could tell they knew it was in great condition, so I yelled out to them “all the screws are still in the bag!”. You could hear their two kids singing and cheering as the father packed their new bunk bed set into the family van.
This format facilitates dynamic conversations with built-in flexibility for different learning styles. Offering countless examples of how God’s word can be practiced in our daily lives, regardless of background or circumstances.
It also makes room for the difficulties of meeting regularly. So If you can’t attend a meeting, then you’re expected to record a video or audio clip of yourself telling your story for that week.
Just be sure to send it in BEFORE your next meet up to avoid being admonished and called gay for missing out.
CONCERNS, THREATS & PRAYER REQUESTS
Near the end of the meeting and once our stories are told, it's time to talk about current events in your personal life. Whether it’s prayers for someone in need, or a rundown of your top five picks of who’s most likely to be the anti-christ, let’s do that here.
I’d like to see how you implement this new structure with your brothers and what adjustments were made. By sharing any modifications, we can improve and expand it along the way.
Hopefully this fosters a remnant of men who understand that an adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
And remember - coffee, beer, or manlier drinks are encouraged, but leave the slow cookers at home…