HOW WE DO IT
THE WARRIOR'S WHEEL
[Infographic representation of the Warrior's Wheel is coming soon. Below are some key highlights]
STEP 1: INSPIRE
ENCOUNTER THE BEAUTY OF GOD =
KINDLING TO PREPARE THE HEART FOR A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
[40% OF OUR EFFORTS]
- INCLUDE the isolated, especially new parishioners, recent graduates, young fathers, single fathers, the sick, the suffering, & the elderly
- HIGHLIGHT lived examples of the Warrior Virtues in the lives of our brothers & of the saints
- OFFER immersive experiences of brotherhood through fellowship, service projects, & time in nature.
- FLOOD the senses with beauty: nature, sacred art, sacramentals, music, & movies that lift the mind and heart to God.
- IMPLEMENT over-the-top acts of heroic self-gift of time, talent, & treasure which we call incarnational magnanimity (devoting time to listen to a brother, to serve others with your gifts, or give away free resources for spiritual growth)
WE DO EVERY EARTHLY THING POSSIBLE TO PAVE THE WAY FOR A LIFE-CHANGING ENCOUNTER WITH THE LIVING GOD.
We do this in imitation of St. Paul who said, "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some" (1 Corinthians 9:22). St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Grace builds on and perfects nature." Therefore, we focus on doing everything possible from a natural earthly perspective to build a foundation for God's grace to build upon when the timing is right for a divine encounter in a particular man's life.
This is also our response to John Paull II's call for a New Evangelization in which the same Gospel message is spread but with a proclamation that is "new in its ARDOR, new in its METHODS, and new in its EXPRESSION." (emphasis added, 'Address to the Latin American Bishops', 1983). New ideas by their nature can appear foolish. Therefore, we call this 'brainstorming stupid ideas' for the Kingdom of God. By this we mean to say that we do not write off an idea to advance our mission simply because it is new or uncommon or 'stupid' in the eyes of the world. We have a constant focus on implementing new ideas and 'trying stuff', and if they bear no fruit then we allow God to course-correct our discernment. In so doing, we strive to overcome fear of failure and fear of the opinions & judgments of others, and to reduce our mission to the very simple call to LISTEN to God, and then OBEY God as best we can based on our discernment no matter the cost.
GOAL OF STEP 1:
Inspire men to personal holiness through committing to the WARRIOR'S DAILY RULE
STEP 2: IGNITE
ENCOUNTER THE GOODNESS OF GOD =
LIGHTING THE FIRE OF FAITH
[30% OF OUR EFFORTS]
- INSTILL identity as a son of God through teaching, testimony, truth declarations, & brotherly encouragement
- CREATE environments & opportunities for an encounter with the love of God & the power of the Holy Spirit while surrounded by a supportive band of brothers (worship nights, availability of confession & Mass, retreats, pilgrimages, etc.)
GOAL OF STEP 2:
When men enter into a deeper relationship with God, they also desire the real accountability and brotherhood of a WARRIOR SQUAD
STEP 3: INVEST
ENCOUNTER THE TRUTH OF GOD =
FUEL THAT DEEPENS RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD & ALLOWS PERSEVERANCE IN FAITH
[20% OF OUR EFFORTS]
- IMPART the timeless wisdom of spiritual theology (principles of growth & development in the spiritual life), with an emphasis on practical tools for spiritual warfare and best practices for deepening of brotherhood within Warrior Squad men's small groups
- IDENTIFY the unique gifts & mission of each man, and provide opportunities & encouragement to use and strengthen those gifts
GOAL OF STEP 3:
Once a man has had an encounter with the Lord and is walking in discipleship in a Warrior Squad, he begins to hunger for the consistent practical & concrete teachings at the monthly ARMORY MEETING where all Warrior Squads come together.
STEP 4: IMPACT
ENCOUNTER THE UNITY OF GOD =
GOD IS ONE. HE IS UNCHANGING. HIS LOVE IS CONSTANT. WHEN WE HAVE AN UNDIVIDED, SINGLE-HEARTED FOCUS ON GOD'S PRIORITIES AND UNIFY WITH JESUS' MISSION TO SEEK & SAVE THE LOST AS INDIVIDUALS & AS AN ORGANIZATION, WE ALLOW THE LOVE OF GOD SPREAD LIKE WILDFIRE. WHEN WE COME TOGETHER ACROSS PARISHES, WE FULFILL JESUS' PRAYER THAT 'THEY MAY BE ONE' (JOHN 17:21).
[10% OF OUR EFFORTS]
- ADVANCE the Kingdom of God in your sphere of influence: spouse, children, extended family, friends, co-workers, parish, community, & culture
GOAL OF STEP 4:
For the individual - Have the courage to use your gifts to spread the gospel in concrete ways. When a man has had a life-changing encounter with the Lord and has consistently pressed into the truth of Scripture and Church teaching, a sense of Gospel urgency toward mission begins to take over his entire being. He must spread the love of the Savior he has come to know! This calling will be expressed differently by each man based on his state in life, his vocation, and his unique gifts and talents with which the Lord has blessed him.
For WSM as a Group - Look for opportunities for UNITY AMONG PARISHES for periodic joint events, service projects, etc. Offer resources to help support other men's ministries across your diocese & region.
WHY DO YOU DO MORE TO INSPIRE AND IGNITE, AND LESS TO INVEST AND IMPACT?
1 ) 'INSPIRE & IGNITE': Fidelity to Our Core Mission
Our stated mission is to 'awaken the Warrior Spirit within the hearts of Catholic men.' Therefore, our calling from God is to inspire men to conversion and to lead them to a profound encounter with the love of Jesus. In our experience, if we are successful in doing this, men will naturally dive deeper into learning about their faith because it becomes second nature to learn more about the Savior whose love and mercy they have come to know. We use the analogy of a funnel. The wider the funnel is at the top, the more effective it is at delivering the largest quantity of the poured liquid to its intended destination. Therefore, we strive to have touchpoints of inspiration to meet every man exactly where they are in hopes of leading them to that divine encounter which is the hinge moment that allows the rest of the 'Warrior's Wheel' to take place.
2) 'INVEST': ABUNDANCE OF AVAILABLE CATHOLIC CONTENT
There are already so many wonderful ways to learn about the richness of our Catholic faith through various books, programs, DVD series, & streaming resources, that we are not called to 'reinvent the wheel'. Therefore we focus less energy on creating a breadth of new programmatic or highly intellectual content. Rather, we point men to resources to dive deeper into Church teaching, while also providing very specifically focused practical resources on the topics of personal growth in holiness, spiritual warfare, and brotherhood.
3) 'IMPACT': FOCUS ON EQUIPPING FOR INDIVIDUAL MISSIONS
Lastly, the mission of Warriors of St. Michael is focused on 'awakening the Warrior Spirit' as previously mentioned. Therefore, inspiring conversion and igniting an encounter with Jesus are the focus of our impact as an organization. The reason we spend the least amount of time focusing on a more robust array of other kinds of outreach (i.e. pro life work, marriage & family ministry, etc), is because our goal is help men identify and awaken their own God-given individual missions. We don't want to do additional outreach for its own sake. Rather, we want to raise up an army disciple-makers who can hear the voice of the Lord. As men are inspired, ignited, transformed, & invested in, the 'impact' in their sphere of influence becomes an overflow of a life of abiding in Jesus. Rather than adding additional apostolic outreaches as an organization, we are called to bless, encourage, & support the men of Warriors of St. Michael in the ways God has called them to serve as individuals.