The Sunday Mail
In an environment where moral decadence is rife and the economic environment is turbulent, being faithful and sticking to straight forward dealings seem like a tall order for many.
However, it is very much possible. This was the motivation behind the recently held Faithfulness Workout Session, which was themed ‘‘Real man, Be that man’’.
The Sunday Mail Society got to know about The RealMan Movement through Mr Nigel Chanakira’s tweet last week.
Out of great interest, this reporter found herself in a sea of men who had gathered for the session. Mr Chanakira actually had to seek a special clearance for me to attend the session as the only lady who comes anywhere near the men’s meeting is their secretary, Mrs Memory Madzorera.
As he took me through their paces, getting to interact with the ordinary man behind Mr Chanakira was humbling.
The RealMan Movement, which is an inter-denominational initiative being spearheaded by Celebration Church International, is doing a great job in moulding resilient men through a one-year mentoring program.
Pastor Tom Deuschle is the programme’s visionary. Culturally, men are deemed strong. They cannot cry or show their weaknesses in public. This has resulted in a crop of men who are broken on the inside.
Yet there is a place where men can show their weaker side and feel safe to display their vulnerabilities. When they get there — at The RealMan Movement — they freely shed tears as an expression of their pain.
Mr Munya Nyandoro, one of the men driving the programme, explained that the movement is divided into two parts.
“The first one is ‘Be that man’, a level where men go through seven months of mentorship (meeting once every month). They read literature and brainstorm before they graduate.
“We tackle a lot of topics, including faithfulness, sexual integrity, communication, courage and finance, among others. But the testimonies are the most important.
“A lot of us were completely lost out there. While we are not perfect, we are at a much better place now,” Mr Nyandoro said.
The second level of the programme, dubbed ‘‘Majoring in Manhood’’, involves in-depth study using Pastor Deuschle’s seminal book ‘‘Building People, Building Dreams’’ and Dr Edwin Louis Cole’s writings. Dr Cole is an American pastor who has mentored Pastor Deuschle. He is also the founder of the Christian Men’s Network.
Dr Cole’s organisation is devoted to building stronger Christian men. Participants go through 10 books and meet in small groups of seven to openly discuss the issues they face in their daily lives. In addition, their group mates also become their accountability partners.
“Some are having problems with their marriages while some have problems with money. Others are haunted by childhood problems. A lot of them struggle, especially with father-son issues.
“I believe a lot of problems we have in Zimbabwe are because a lot of fathers are not there entirely. We work so hard to provide for our families and we think that is enough. We don’t spend time with our sons and therefore they don’t have models to look up to.
“Men should be able to minister to each other. They should be able to serve their families, communities and churches. Through this programme, we observe you for a year before commissioning you,” Mr Nyandoro said.
At the commissioning ceremony, graduates are given swords to symbolise that they can now defend their families and faith. Graduates go on to disciple other men. The Men’s Movement has now been introduced in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, as well as Maputo in Mozambique.
Mr Isaac Jeche said it is crucial for men to accept that they do not have answers to all the problems. He said acknowledging God in one’s life is the starting point to getting a clearer direction in life
“There are no self-made men. We are all going through the same challenges but the crucial thing is that this nation needs God because in Him, we will find stability. That’s where we need to get our bearings right.
“What’s happening right now is that men are trying to do things out of their own might, wisdom, and intellect. But the Bible is very clear, He says, ‘My ways are not your ways, My thoughts are not your thoughts’.
“When we submit all our challenges to Him, including the economy and our pride, God will begin to show us the way. In all our wisdom with all the education we have, things will not go smoothly for us until we give the Holy Spirit the chance to lead us. We need education from the Holy Spirit,” said Mr Jeche.
He revealed that men, whether religious or not, grapple with similar issues that have to do with faithfulness, responsibilities, sex, communication within the family and at the marketplace, among others.
“What makes a real man is just having the courage to say I’m sorry and that I don’t have all the answers. So men need to encourage each other and use the Biblical principles as a foundation for everything in their lives,” he said.