Man Challenge creates a space for men to study Scripture and be challenged to act upon it.
“It’s a great opportunity for men to gather together to learn and grow as husbands, fathers, employees and men in the Word of God,” said Southeast Christian Church Crestwood Campus Connections Pastor Scott Gordon. “It’s heavy on the Word of God. For example, at Crestwood, we always say, ‘Coffee, men, Bibles. That’s Man Challenge.’ It’s a great atmosphere because we’re able to just be real. No ladies allowed.”
After a break for summer, Man Challenge is set to resume at six Southeast campuses.
Man Challenge is an opportunity for men to be equipped and encouraged in Scripture together. Each session lasts about 75 minutes and offers a mix of teaching and small-group time.
Gordon himself grew from the relationships he built at Man Challenge.
“For me, when I first started coming to Southeast and was brand new, I came to Man Challenge because I was a new dad and thought I probably should come,” Gordon added. “I just grew quickly as a new believer and felt comfortable.”
Gordon said men of all ages and in all stages in their walk with Christ are welcome at Man Challenge.
“It wasn’t, ‘Hey everybody, open up to Habakkuk,’” he said. “And I’m like, ‘I don’t know where that is.’ It was none of that. You could be who you were in your walk.”
Jordan Satterwhite, who leads a table at the Blankenbaker Campus, has also experienced the power of a people united under one banner.
“We’ve seen men that have been 100% driven toward pursuing the dollar just stop and evaluate their priorities,” Satterwhite said. “They look at their life differently, ‘Maybe my wife doesn’t need a bigger house or my kids don’t need that vacation.’ We’ve seen guys decide that alcohol is a barrier between them and their relationship with Jesus, so they’ve given that up. We’ve seen people battle pornography and are beating that. We’ve seen marriages healed.”
Satterwhite knows some of these struggles firsthand and is grateful for the support of a group of men.
“Without Man Challenge, I don’t think that I would be where I’m at today,” Satterwhite added. “God used it to save my marriage, and I just started working for a nonprofit. We sold our business, took a huge pay cut and are trying to be more intentional about furthering His Kingdom.”
Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study
When longtime Southeast member Cecil McGee, who passed away in 2017, had an idea to start a Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study, even former Senior Minister Bob Russell didn’t think it would stick.
Southeast member Joe Donaldson, who’s been teaching the group for 12 years, said Russell was surprised to see the Bible study’s success.
“It was Cecil’s big idea, and Bob just thought men aren’t going to come out on Saturday morning at 7 a.m.,” Donaldson said. “He just didn’t think that would be real sustainable. It caught on because men wanted to do it, and Bob did it. For years, it was called Bob Russell’s Bible Study particularly because Bob was different on Saturday morning than he was on Sunday morning. Bob was certainly more casual, just a guy talking to other guys.”
Almost 30 years later, around 250 to 300 men continue to show up to the weekly Saturday Morning Men’s Bible Study at 7 a.m. in the lower Fellowship Hall at the Blankenbaker Campus.
The group currently is studying the Book of Mark.
About a third of those who attend aren’t Southeast members, which Donaldson said is because of the way the group is structured.
“It’s very easy to come to,” Donaldson added. “You can come to it at any week because you don’t feel behind and can pick up where we left off. You’re not broken up into groups, so it’s easy to walk in and out of. It’s very conversational. People ask questions, and we interact together. Because of that, people have felt very comfortable inviting others.”