In the Arena

President Teddy Roosevelt is well-known for having cast a powerful call to men to engage in the public and personal challenges of life, rather than sit passively on the sidelines. His talk is entitled “The Man in the Arena,” and is the theme of Craig Glass’ teaching in this video series. Learn Why Men Matter, how to Be Men of Courage on behalf of others, how to Stand Firm in the Faith, and how to effectively live out your roles as a Son, Husband, Father, and Grandfather. Grow in becoming the kind of man who engages in leadership, service, and dependability in the middle of life’s arena.

Episode Notes & Discussion Questions

  1. What emotions do you feel as you put yourself in the place of the man in the intro clip? Does anyone else know that’s how you feel?
  2. What, or who, serves as a source of inspiration for you?
  1. Broadly speaking, our society often portrays men, especially fathers, in a disrespectful or demeaning perspective. Have you noticed this before? Why do you suppose our culture does this?
  2. Speaking honestly, was your father’s influence on those around him, primarily one of blessing, or largely harmful? What’s an example?
  3. Considering your observations in the first 2 questions, how do you personally move beyond any lingering motivations of resentment, toward constructive motivations such as blessing others, in your choices as a man?
  4. When you picture walking into your arena, what is the full spectrum of emotions you feel?
  1. Our heart is the source of our Purity. We need to guard it from Lust.
    In order to guard the purity of my heart, what lines do I need to establish?
  2. Our heart is the source of Joy. We need to guard it from Anger.
    In order to guard the joy of my heart, what anger do I need to let go of?
  3. Our heart is the source of our Inspiration. We need to guard it from Depletion.
    In order to guard the inspiration of my heart, what boundaries do I need to establish?
    What life-giving people, circumstances and experiences will I pursue?
  1. Normal responses to calamity are: Gut emotional response, Creeping sense of powerlessness, Visceral rage, Pointless floundering. In the past year which of these have you experienced? What in particular set them off?
  2. Psalm 20:7 says: “Some trust in chariots [modern technology] and some in horses [brute strength], but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” In what ways have you found yourself relying on technology or sheer effort to resolve your challenges? How have those fallen short?
  3. What is a quality of God’s nature that you are grateful for?
    • He is in charge
    • He is refining us
    • He will deliver us
    • He will bless us
  4. Name one aspect of your life right now where you want to Stand Firm by trusting
    in the name of the Lord your God.
  1. How would you explain the difference between guilt-conviction from the Holy Spirit and shame-condemnation from the Enemy?
  2. Without mentioning any names, is there an example you can give where you have seen shame cause someone to hold back or hesitate to act with courage?
  3. Everyone at some point is harassed by shame in some form. Do you have an example in your own life where you recognized the pressure of shame from the Enemy, but you were able to rise above it? If so, how did you do it?
  4. Without being specific, would any of you men like for us to pray for you in regard to this subject? Perhaps you sense you could use a little extra boost right now.
  1. What was a time in your life when you felt powerless?
  2. When was a time in your life when you were powerless, and then God provided unusual strength for you?
  3. What about right now? What challenge(s) are you facing that cause(s) you to feel powerless?
  4. What next step might you take that would demonstrate your reliance on God’s strength, not your own?
  5. Pray for anyone who needs strength right now.
  1. Which one of the charges below is the Lord leading you to live out more than you do right now? Why that one?
    – Be on your guard, for the benefit of others
    – Stand firm in your faith, for the benefit of others
    – Be a man of courage, for the benefit of others
    – Be strong, for the benefit of others
    – Do all of these things more lovingly
  2. What is one practical step you can take today to do that?

Eph 6.:10-18

  1. Imagine yourself as the man in the arena in the intro clip. What do you feel today? (Weary? Confused? Fearful? Fed up? Prepared? Ready to bail? Dedicated?)
  2. We tend to live our lives as the “main story” with a vague awareness of a distant spiritual battle going on—when the opposite is true— our personal life is a fairly limited blip in time, in the midst of timeless ongoing warfare in the heavenly realm. Do you agree with this perspective? If not, why not? If so, what difference does that make for you today?
  3. Who in your life needs you to “stand in the gap” for them? What might that look like?
  4. Which of the verses Steve referred to in his talk gives you the most encouragement?

Eph 6.:10-18

  1. Can you think of a time in your life when the Enemy sought to distance you from God? When and how?
  2. Is he trying to do that right now? How is he doing that?
  3. As you review the armor of God, where do you feel well-protected? (e.g. Belt of truth, Shield of Faith, Prayer Warrior, etc.) Where do you feel most vulnerable?
  4. As you turn to the men in your group, in the Zoom call, or in your life, how do you want them to pray for you today?
  1. What kind of spiritual leadership model— good or bad—did you see at home or at church while growing up?
  2. What are the benefits of leading spiritually in your home? For you personally? For those in your family?
  3. What is a specific area of spiritual leadership you struggle with?
  4. What advice would you give a young man asking about spiritual leadership?
  1. What kind of emotions do you think our guest speaker, Jim Hughes, went through while fighting in his arena this week? Can you relate to those feelings in your own arena? How?
  2. Son: Describe your relationship with God the Father. How do you feel, really feel, as his beloved son?
  3. Brother: Who is the man, or the men, you do life with? Why him/them?
  1. How would you describe the model(s) of fathering you saw and lived under while growing up? What, if anything, do/did you want to emulate as a dad? What did you want to never repeat?
  2. When you hear the trials and losses of Ron’s story as a father, what feelings on his behalf come to the surface for you? Can you relate to those feelings in your own arena? How?
  3. If God were to intervene in your arena as a father, and clearly redeem some current circumstance you struggle with, what specifically would you want his help with?
  4. Who in your group needs prayer?
  1. If you are not currently married, either because you never have been or you were but no longer are, do you hope to be married some day? Why or why not?
  2. How do you honestly evaluate your marriage right now? One of two ways: What are 4 adjectives/descriptors that most accurately describe it? Or, on a 1-10 scale, 1 being “I’m not sure I can take it anymore” and 10 is “It’s everything I hoped it would be,” what number would you give your marriage?
  3. Which of Clarence’s 7 principles stood out to you as particularly new, intriguing or inspiring? Which would you like to do better?
  4. As you look ahead to the summer what hopes do you have for yourself in growing in your role as a husband? What practices, reading or conversations might help you in that hope?

For more from Clarence Shuler visit

  1. What did you like or not like about your grandfathers?
  2. How do you respond to having a role of blessing?
  3. What do you find most difficult about being a blessing to others?
  4. How would you most want to be a blessing this summer to your children/grandchildren?

“Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:9

  1. What was an event when you experienced extreme fear of another person or a group of people? What caused you to be afraid? What felt at risk for you?
  2. As you picture your opponent in the arena, as in the intro clip, can you tell if it’s a person in your life? Unrealistic expectations you or others place on your shoulders in certain circumstances? What spiritual force may be at work?
  3. Which of the 4 Commitments Craig mentioned would you like to implement more effectively? Which is your biggest challenge?