Warrior Training Weekends - English

Towards the end or shortly after the 33 Day Challenge, we recommend holding a Warrior Training Weekend with a small group of men. We believe that this time away can be a breakthrough for many men - and set them on a powerful journey of growth. 

Vision and Purpose:
The weekend is about the passing on of the spirit of manhood and the strengthening of each man’s desire to be more of a man of God. It is profound to do this with other men who are willing to be vulnerable, who love God, each other and love their wives (if they are married).
  • Kingdom minded men gather for a time of open sharing and to develop deep connections. 
  • Freedom and intimacy grows as we truly become a “band of brothers.”
  • To not just talk, but an opportunity to model, practice and to encourage each other to live as real men.
There is no set pattern, but here are some guidelines:
  • Plan either one or two nights away.
  • Invite 4-8 guys; it is helpful if they have been doing the 33MW with each other but it is not essential.
  • It is good to have a variety of different men there for each man illustrates a different aspect of manhood.
  • Accommodation should be affordable.
  • If possible choose a location in nature as it really helps to relax and is good for doing some physical activity.
  • Consider having meals prepared or provided to increase time for connection and sharing.
9am - Meet up for physical activity & lunch.
2pm - Onsen! (hot-spring)
4pm - Hotel - get together - worship, share story
6pm - Dinner
7pm - Evening get-together - share story

9am - Morning get together - worship, share story
11am - “Welcome to Manhood” time.
12pm - Lunch
1pm - Onsen
3pm - Finish
EXAMPLE SCHEDULE: Two Night, Three Day
6pm - Meet, have dinner
7pm - Evening get-together - worship, share story

9am - Physical activity & lunch.
2pm - Onsen! (hot-spring)
4pm - Worship, share story
6pm - Dinner
7pm - Evening get-together - share story, discussion on manhood

9am - Morning get together - worship, share story
11am - “Welcome to Manhood” time.
12pm - Lunch
1pm - Onsen
3pm – Finish 

Physical Activity
Include some good physical activity during your time away.
Eg. A good hard hike, challenging for the guys - not just a walk! Or a obstacle course, paint-ball, swimming, a meal in a forest around a fire etc
Alternatively, any sort of physically challenging activity; some guys got together to do cleaning at a Christian campsite. It could be volunteer work etc. but shouldn’t take more than 1/2 a day.
Ultimately you can do any activity that builds both community and a level of intimacy between you.

If there is someone who can play guitar etc. then ask him to lead times of Spirit-led, intimate worship. If not, consider worship through reading Psalms and praying as a group. Either way, take a good amount of time to welcome Jesus to your time together, and invite the Holy Spirit to lead.

Share Your Story
The key to our time together is based on each man sharing their story; no one controls the weekend and each person has the opportunity to share their journey to manhood. Everyone there needs to feel the freedom to share and influence the flow.

This is a place where Kingdom minded men can talk openly as real men of God together in freedom and intimacy. It is the building of this intimacy that makes the weekend.
To not just talk about being men but feeling and experiencing our masculine spirit. 
We share life together and seek to make sure there is nothing in our conversations that gets in the way of purity.

We bond through vulnerability and sharing weaknesses, not in pretending to be strong. When we are vulnerable there is room for everyone to open up.
While during the weekend we seek to be men for others, God also helps us to learn more about ourselves. 
We each become a man among men; it is profound for each of us to experience this in community: brothers together building the Kingdom of God.
These weekends model the level of intimacy that men long for - a place where they deeply experience the Kingdom.

Consider these questions:
Share these questions before the time away so people can prepare themselves for what they want to share.
  • Share an overview of my life - family, challenges, joys.
  • When did I really encounter God?
  • When did I really become a man?
  • What are some significant battles?
  • What are some significant victories?
  • Where am I at now in my journey?

Some guidelines on sharing story:
  • The first person to share should model openness and vulnerability to the others so they can see how it works.
  • Depending on the numbers and the time you have aim for 1 hour total per person; 20 minutes sharing and then everyone giving feedback, blessing and praying for the brother - giving prophetic words and encouragement. (Use a timer if need be. We don’t want anyone to miss out!)
  • The most important thing is to be real and honest. It is about setting up a safe warm environment where men’s spirts are free. 
  • We agree to listen to each other and don’t try to fix anyone up. We are not giving advice but sharing stories. 
  • We take the opportunity to break anything in their past that may hold them back from being God’s man. 
  • Stay open to the process and what you sense is right – then you will know what is good to share and do.
  • Make it clear what happens over the weekend stays amongst us -  we don’t share it with others what is said. This totally helps to build a safe environment.

Here are some useful questions for giving feedback:
  • What touches you from his story?
  • What do you want to affirm in them?
  • What is God saying to you through it?

“Welcome to Manhood” Opportunities
“Boys need elders to step up to show them how to grow into good men.” (Jessica Shapiro)

Is there anyone in the group who feels challenged to make the journey from boyhood to manhood?
This time is a kind of a rite-of-passage, to challenge men to leave boyhood behind to become a man; It is a powerful prophetic act that often becomes a turning point in a man’s life.
As we reach out to affirm the man we are initiating, seeing him and validating his journey and his spirit - we can see more clearly our own spirit and the markers of our own journey to manhood.

Again, prepare in advance before the weekend by asking your 33MW brother something like:
  • “When did you really become a ‘man’?” 
  • “How do you feel that happened?”
If the Holy Spirit shows them that they haven’t really made that journey, then invite them to be part of the “Welcome to Manhood” time during your time away.

Location: There is freedom: this has been done in freezing lakes in mid-winter, at hot-springs, or at the beach in summer!

  • The man being initiated is usually younger, but older men who feel God leading them can do this too, of course! They just feel the need to “wash away the boy” and be welcomed to manhood.
  • Have them share story, just before the washing ceremony (if possible); share feedback, prophetic words (someone write them down.) and pray for him.
  • You can have them consider these questions to answer if need be:
    • What does it mean for you to be a man?
    • Where are you most alive?
    • How do you want most to live it out?
    • When you are 70 and look back what do you want to be most thankful for?
  • Their “older brother” can take them into the water - and pray over them while declaring 1 Corinthians 13:11 or similar:
    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
  • Have them declare with their own mouth something like: “I leave the boy behind, and choose to become a man for my LORD!”
  • Dunk him in the water.
  • After coming out of the water, draw a line in the sand, have all the rest of the men stand on one side and invite him to step over the line to “manhood”.
  • When he does that, gather around him, hug him and welcome him to manhood!
  • Share our commitment to him and pray for him; 
  • Finally, prepare in advance to give him a small gift representing the masculine journey; a symbol of his call, something to remember the weekend by. It may be something you make for him or something that you feel you would like to give him as he steps into manhood.
  • If the man hasn’t been baptised yet, this can be an opportunity to baptise him, but please check first and make sure they this is what you feel the Spirit leading.

Open Discussions
If everyone has finished sharing, and you have the time, you may want to stimulate a discussion on the masculine journey, or what it means to be a man. This can be a great chance, particularly for “boys” who will be becoming men, to ask questions about following Christ and being the man the Father is calling us to be.

Prepare and use engaging questions. Eg:
  • “How would you describe what manhood is in one word or sentence?”
  • “How do you live a life as a man of God?”
Don’t avoid difficult topics; eg. regarding sexuality etc. Be as real as possible.
Share from a place of vulnerability – not giving answers to everything. Remember it is a discussion!

What else does God want to do?
Encourage active participation and the responsibility of each person gathered to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Have each brother ask God: “What are you wanting to do now, Lord?”
When praying for each other, ask God:
  • Do you want to fill someone with your Holy Spirit?
  • Do you want to cast out a demon?
  • Is there something you want to physically heal?

Perhaps during the final meal together, or at a follow-up gathering (in person or online) you can ask each other these questions:
  • What has been significant about the weekend for you? 
  • What was the highlight for you?

Other Practical things to remember:
  • Try to keep a photo record of the weekend and even possibly produce a video.
  • Have a team of people praying for the weekend.
  • Make a commitment to ensure brothers are not left on their own after a significant weekend; continue the discipleship process intentionally.

Final Thoughts 
We believe that your Warrior Weekend will strengthen each man’s own journey to manhood and become a marker in their life. 

“If we can reawaken that fierce quality in a man, hook it up to a higher purpose,
release the warrior within, then the boy can grow up and become truly masculine.”
John Eldredge

Complied by Marty Woods & Jef Linscott