Continue reading in the Zoweh Allies Dispatch with Stories from the Frontlines
His brow furrowed and my friend said, “Huh?” Then it came, a blow, maybe a bit of a punch in the stomach, loving from his point of view, but very unhelpful. You know the feeling right Now that I look back at it, the dire warnings he fired off didn't surprise me. You are probably remembering the last “practical advice” you received right? At that time of my life, I was more susceptible to such “encouragement.”
I was expressing my dreams of writing books and blogs and sharing my heart through speaking and multi-media. His encouraging statements were, “That doesn’t pay the bills and you’ll not be
[left - Me (Greg) at ZAG Atlanta]
able to support your family.” I heard the whispers of the Enemy, “You are irresponsible, you don't have anything to offer, you will be a failure anyways!” As I heard this, I agreed, I signed on the dotted line and faced the “practical truth” that he was right. I was 22.
Fast forward about 8 years later, I was with my friend Tim and I was working on his website and I told him, somewhat sheepishly and guardedly, about my dream to communicate through stories, written and on stages, around campfires and amongst friends. Without even blinking an eye, he said, “You are already great at that! I think God has perfectly designed you to love people that way!” Then he said, “Let's talk to Jesus about it!” We did and I remember feeling God’s pleasure over me. This friend set me free and walked with me there in a freedom appointment by offering two simple things:
Encouragement and Truth
Friends, as we fight for the hearts of others, let me remind us about three things:
Listening is key: to knowing, understanding, relationship and ultimately to love and feeling valued.
Encouragement is enduring: it is more than just a fleeting moment of motivation. It’s a genuine boost of hope and glimpse of possibility and direction of truth. Yes, there might be work to be done. But encouragement reminds us that it CAN be done.
Speak Truth in love: Truth can be elusive to the un-oriented - as the person that is oriented, helping your men experience Jesus intimately, will lead them to a place of freedom that leads to a man moving on the path of wholeheartedness.
Our enemy will not go down without a fight. He will test whether we know who we truly are. If we don’t, then a simple spell—a wounding message, a lie that rests in our hearts and presides in our lives—can render us impotent and ineffective in battle. That is why objective number one is for us is to get our own hearts back.
- Michael Thompson
Fight well, brothers - and not alone!
What is a Zoweh Allies Coalition?
ZAC (Zoweh Allies Coalition) connects Zoweh Allies, (Churches, Organizations and Individuals) together in a region in an alliance for a combined action of fighting for the hearts of men together through regular Allies events/meetings/small groups, and more. This is a Kingdom effort across denomination and the invisible small group lines of churches and organizations.
Steve Settle, with Southbrook Men's Group in southwest Ohio
Southbrook Men’s Group (SBMG) discovered The Heart of a Warrior in 2017. We sent a few men to an Encounter and realized that we had discovered a vein of gold. After introducing it to the group, a movement began, and a tide began to swell, which turned into a mission to rescue the hearts of men. Fast forward to today and we have had over 200 men
attend various Encounters, many of them gaining a deeper understanding of the gospel and provoked into a more intimate relationship with Christ. There are some great stories as the lives of the men, and those around them, have been profoundly affected for the good.
As we have walked in this message, we began to understand that we are simply stewards of a great message that transcends SBMG, and are challenging ourselves to learn how to better invite and inspire others into the journey of the heart through events, base camps, story and speakers. We are working towards creating space for our leaders for fellowship and to engage in training so we can more effectively shepherd the hearts of other men. Additionally, we are working on a base curriculum for new attendees initially titled ‘Starting Point for Men’.
SBMG is not the only Zoweh Ally in southwest Ohio. With the help and encouragement of Zoweh, we are currently working towards more engagement with other ally groups locally in Ohio and northern Kentucky so we can support and encourage each other. Our first combined gathering will take place on August 19, with the goal to have quarterly events to not only support each other, but to invite others into a journey of freedom.
Pastor Reggie Phillips, Director of Discipleship, Southside Church in Virginia
Last year I attended a Zoweh Allies Gathering in North Carolina. While I was there, God spoke to me in a lot of meaningful ways. I couldn't help but think of other men who really needed to be there. When I returned home, I struggled to get traction inviting men to the next gathering, so I started to wonder
how I could bring Zoweh to them. After a few months of planning, Michael and Greg came to Virginia and shared with some of our men one evening to see if the message resonated with their hearts. It did.
As a team started to lean in, we planned a one-day The Heart of A Warrior gathering at Southside Church near Richmond, Virginia over Father's Day weekend. A coalition of men from a few other local churches joined us and 55 men had their hearts stirred, challenged, and equipped to find their place as beloved sons and warriors in God's larger redemption story - and we had fun being men. We loved having Michael and SJ with us. That Saturday afternoon was filled stories as men connected as brothers on the journey. They shared over BBQ, throwing axes and shooting archery (many for the very first time), and tossing corn hole. The heart of the Father was no doubt pleased.
On Sunday, Michael shared that message with the whole church and so many more men leaned in. Most of them expressed regret over not being there Saturday! We gave away The Heart Of A Warrior to all the men and quickly ran out of books.
Out of that gathering, we have started a new men's group at our church and are planning a much larger men's ministry kickoff for the fall. I am so thankful for the men who are stepping up as leaders, connecting as brothers, and investing in the hearts of other men in our community,
Lee Umberger, Johnson City, TN
A year ago, I was in a search to find a group of men with a common goal to grow in God’s word and share in a brotherhood. Through prayers, and a few Google searches, I ran across a podcast where Michael Thompson was being interviewed about his book The Heart of a Warrior.
I was greatly intrigued by the podcast, and as soon as it was over, I ordered the book and began a deep dive into reading the book, which lead me to Zoweh and the Zoweh Allies. The more I read, the more I learned that I am not the only one with struggles, questions and wanting to improve my walk with God. I knew there were others out there with the same desires to lead men to be men.
I attended Deep Roots Ministry’s Anvil weekend and what a weekend it was. I found a group of brothers spread all over the South. That followed up with a trip to The Forge and the Zoweh Allies Bonfire Weekend. And boy, did that help ignite the passion of bringing Zoweh Allies home to my church and the surrounding areas of upper-east Tennessee. I prayed and laid out a plan to start the process of meeting with my Pastors at Hope Church in Johnson City to get the ball rolling.
This was a journey that I started myself and continued in attending The Heart of a Warrior Encounter. At Hope Church we started the process of pulling men together with the same passion for the hearts of men and meeting as a group to get to know one another. On Father’s Day we handed out over a hundred copies of the book The Heart of a Warrior. We are starting the process with Zoweh to begin building our Battle Plan! With Zoweh’s guidance we will continue to build a solid team of warriors at Hope Church so that we can go out and build our men’s ministry. As we start out on this journey I know with God’s help and guidance we will have a thriving community of redemptive brotherhood. One of my favorite parables is the parable of the mustard seed. I knew in my heart if that was the faith I started with then it would grow. This tiny seed is really starting to grow and spread!!
Recalibrate, Season 3
Recalibrate is a great time for your small group to join us. We have about 15 mins of fellowship on the front end, 20-25 minutes of teaching, then 20-25 mins of your questions and comments that sometimes leads to longer conversations. We hope you’ll join us.
September 15: An Allies prayer
October 20: Re-Entry, Coming Home and Not Losing Your Heart!
Zoweh Allies are Churches, Ministries and Individuals who are creating environments where redemptive friendships lead to communities that focus on deeper intimacy with God and others. Think you might be an ally? Connect with our Allies Team by sending us an email.
The mission of Zoweh Allies is to rescue hearts and advance the Kingdom through Redemptive Friendships.
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