1- Hello Bill, can you please tell us a bit about you?
I am Director of “Man Up” Adult Bible Fellowship at Sugar Land Baptist Church, Sugar Land, (outside of Houston) Texas, U.S.A. Additionally, I am the host of “Man Up: Spiritual Oasis for Men” Podcast. An entertaining Podcast going into its second year on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Facebook. “We’re not Pastor’s, just regular guys”. Professionally, I have been a DJ/MC, written a couple of books, movies and have a feature film streaming on Amazon. Personally, I am married with two children, a Navy Veteran, a native of Dowagiac, Michigan. I always loved church whether it was with my parents at the Methodist or grandparents at the Mennonite Church. Nothing magical, it just seemed to make my life better.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
Men and their spiritual journey. We train so hard our bodies, minds to be the best that we can be, but we neglect the soul. The soul is not an organ, but it directly affects the heart, mind and ultimately the actions of a man. Faith is a discipline that needs to be exercised. It may not be today, but someday your faith is going to be tested. We say, be ready to “Man Up”.
3-How do you describe the Man- Up program in few words?
“Man Up” is a spiritual leadership movement. Men are leaders, whether it is in the workplace, community and/or home; their circle of influence, they are leaders. Now how they lead is up to them. We uniquely equip men to lead.
Attend one class and the next one you teach, yes. Of course, we give them the lesson and material, but they are expected to moderate a discussion. Over the years, I’ve seen amazing leadership and confidence growth in men who hadn’t considered being a leader actually looking for leadership opportunities.
4- Where do you think the work is making an impact?
Men are being impacted. Most Men’s Ministry is “Service”, say paint someone’s house, fix something etc. and that is fine, but you cannot neglect the spiritual side. “If you don’t rest the horse, you’ll be pulling the plow yourself” That’s why we are different. It isn’t the “Church answers”. Our listeners continue to grow and get engaged with the podcast and our twitter and social media. “Authentic, Engaging and Fun” are the most common comments left.
5- How did you build up a motivational spirit, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
I was in Sunday School for 40 years before I was promoted to a teacher. Learn, Live, Legacy is the stages of life. I was lazy, I needed to change. It was time for me to stop being a consumer and start helping other Men on their Spiritual Journey the way I had been helped all those years.
I’m a natural encourager, I’m optimistic and enjoy life. I feel that if you use the gift that God has bestowed; not only will you be blessed, but you will bless many.
I asked my Grandpa, who was a Mennonite “Why he went to Church every Sunday”. He thought about it and said “Well, it straightens me up. And, it lasts about 7 days”.
6- Tell us about your style?
I worked as a Wedding DJ and MC for many years. Additionally, I have been trained in Stand Up, Improv and Sketch Comedy. So, being Host of “Man Up” is right in my wheelhouse. However, the big difference is that this is can be fun, but it’s a serious endeavor with many layers.
So, I’m kind of a “Ring Master” that has a light touch. Basic format, but I will let the discussion go down a “Rabbit Hole”. One could say that I am only “vaguely in control” of the group. But my platform and on-camera skills adapt well to the “Man Up” production and has helped a lot.
7- Do you think your mindset has anything to do with success?
Absolutely. It is my time, no plan B. People did it for me. Now I see a need. Instead of sitting back complaining about it, or waiting for someone else to step up, I had to do it. I’ve been fortunate to have a group of other committed fellows and support of the leadership. We are organic and filling a need. It is the need that will dictate our direction.
8- If you could turn the time, what would you love to do in regards to your fellowship program?
Take it to the next level. We’re in our 6th year as a class/group, 2nd year as a Podcast and have started the show. I expect we’ll be reaching and training more and more.
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
Working with the fellows. Each of them is so different. I mean, when do you get a “Writer, Gambler, Attorney, Prosecutor, Insurance, Deacon, Trainer, Professor, Salesman, Actor” spiritually with no filter? The process and shows are so awesome. It feels so “in the moment” of success arriving.
As with most things, the excitement is the anticipation. Oftentimes the result is disappointing when compared to expectations. “Man Up” is a Movement. It is for men to realize that they are leaders and to become a better one. We are organic, authentic and entertaining. “We’re not Pastor’s, just regular guys” and you don’t get the “Church answer”.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
Men are repressed. They study hard, get good grades, get a good job. Men train hard, dedicated themselves and win at athletics. They want to brag about it at church and their wives say “don’t brag..”. And what’s even worse, if they are hurting, they won’t say anything. In “Man Up”, if you are awesome, say it, but also, if you are wounded, you can say that too…