Christianity – A Coach’s Perspective

Episode #654

Do you consider yourself a Christian who resonates with The Powerful Man’s teachings, yet doesn’t know if it fits in with your faith?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today. 

In this episode, Brad and Doug discuss why TPM principles align with your faith and what you can do to live your best life with your family.

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Doug Holt  00:01

Hey, guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Powerful Man Show. As you can tell, my co-host here is not Tim Matthews, but instead it is one of my best friends, but also my brother and one of the coaches at The Powerful Man, Brad Holt. Brad, thanks for being here, brother.

Brad Holt  01:01

Hey, Doug, how are you doing bud? Really glad to be here.

Doug Holt  01:05

Doing great. It’s fun, we use the term brother to talk about the kinship that the men within the group have. But you know, to being true of my biological brother, as everybody can tell that’s watching this, definitely my older brother as we go. But also, Brad’s passion for those that don’t know, your passion has been helping men, right, and helping men grow. You’re a little further down the road, so to speak. You’ve been very successful as a husband, very successful as a father, and very successful as a business leader. You also teach at the university, you’ve been coaching and mentoring business leaders for a very long time, you joined The Powerful Man team to continue doing that, as well, and so many other things.

One of the things that you’re passionate about, and the reason I wanted to bring you on today is your faith. Right? So, not only are you a husband, a father, but a business owner, but you’re also a coach of men within the movement we call The Powerful Man. Now The Powerful Man, I want to be very clear with everybody, we have men of all faiths, whether it be Jewish, Muslim, Christian, agnostic, atheists, you name it, we have the whole rail.

But we also have a large number of men whose faith, Christian faith, is so important to them that we actually have a subset group for them so they can talk about how their relationship or their business is going and affects Christianity. As someone whose faith is very strong with you, one of the things I want to talk to you about is as a coach, and as a Christian man yourself, what are you seeing with the men coming through whose faith really, really guides and leads them? What are some of the things that are occurring for them?

Brad Holt  02:43

Wow, that’s a great question. I’m not going to let it slide that you said I’m more experienced, and it’s — [crosstalk]

Doug Holt  02:48

I didn’t say more experienced than me.

Brad Holt  02:43

— subtext is I’m old. Nice slip in there. That’s a great question. I think this goes with all men, like you said, of all faiths, of all backgrounds, is that we start to go down a path and we forget our long-term vision, who we want to be, who we want to be our best selves. And since my faith is the most important thing to me. I’m amazed how often I forget where I want to be, and how easily distracted I get with worldly things or trying to achieve objectives or get other people’s acceptance. So, the men in the movement have the exact same problem, those who are in the Christian faith, and those who aren’t.

And for us, Christians in the group, we often get choked up by religion and the rules of religion. And we start to get down and build habits and do things. And before we know it, we have walked away from the very thing we believe in. And we are no longer great fathers, we are no longer great husbands. And we really aren’t really walking in our faith. We have a tendency to have walked away from it and start just doing things. And one day we wake up and a lot of the men have discovered, oh my gosh, how did I get here? How did I get so far from my faith and my family? Which isn’t different for many of the men who aren’t Christians as well.

Doug Holt  04:11

Yeah. And again for those of you that aren’t Christians, I implore you not to stray away from this podcast because I think there’s going to be a lot there for you. Although we are going to specifically, I’m going to try to steer this conversation down that pathway. As always, there’s nuggets for everybody along this journey. And again, The Powerful Man is not a faith based course whatsoever. We just noticed, hey, we got a lot of guys in here about 70% happened to be Christian, so many so that we have a subgroup for those guys to congregate, if you will, going through there.

Now as a coach, Brad, as a guy that’s leading men through the activation method, leading them from their loss, to passionless marriage, to getting back on track going through, oftentimes what we hear from guys when they inquire about the program or guys that haven’t inquired, and we’ve just end up in conversation with them is, yeah, I’m concerned, Brad. I’m concerned that going through something like the activation method is going to be counter to my faith. What would you say to that guy?

Brad Holt  05:14

I totally get it. Because first, when I was hearing about The Powerful Man, it’s almost like reading the newspaper, and you just read the headline, and you make all these judgments and don’t even take the time to read the article. The Powerful Man actually completely parallels my faith. And it took me some time to understand that, when I got to know what the movement was really all about, is really leadership in the home is what The Powerful Man is all about.

It’s the exact same kind of leadership in my faith is a servant leader coming home and leading. But not leading because I’m powerful, I’m strong, I’m dominant, but leading because I love my family, okay. I’m leaving, because I love my spouse. And it’s from a servant leadership I serve my family. Whereas many of us, we come home and go, I’m done for the day and we just let everything down. And we go, and we give our family crap. And inside of the activation method, we do the same thing. We teach people to invest in themselves, to be the best version.

So, for everybody, of all faiths, or all backgrounds, it’s about being your best self and redesigning your life to be the person you were designed to be. As a Christian, I want to be — my vision is to live the life that God designed me to live, to use the gifts that God gave me, but that applies to everybody. And that’s my personal goal in life is help everybody be the best version of themselves. I’m not here to convert people, I just want them to be the best they can be, and have the relationships they have. So, for men who are of Christian faith, who have hesitancy, I’d really look into what we’re all about at The Powerful Man, and understand that it has complete parallel with everything that the Bible tells us we should follow.

Doug Holt  07:07

Yeah, it’s interesting. You mentioned a couple of things here, I wanted to just touch on. One, is I love that analogy of just reading the headlines. You know, we’re all so busy these days, right? We have attention — everybody’s grabbing for our attention every second of the day. Whether it be your Apple watch, your phone, you have Slack dinging off, you have all these things that are occurring for us, that it’s easy just to read the headlines. And it’s become such a prevalent thing that news organizations and everybody else comes up with these sensational headlines just to grab your attention. So, rather than actually going further and reading through.

I’ll also go ahead and say that a lot of men the reason I wanted to bring this topic to the table, is what we’re hearing is our advisor, so just for those guys that haven’t gotten a call with The Powerful Man is first thing you got to do is you got to fill out an application, right? We’re not for everybody, right? We are for business leaders. So, business men who are married, that’s who we work with. And when you get on a call, you get on a call with an advisor, and they’re going to listen to your situation. Their goal is to give you an insight, what you can do now to take action to get you where you want to go. And they’re going to point in the direction and say, yeah, you do want to go further and look into this, or we’re not the best place for you, go over here.

And so for people that get on those calls, and the advisors tell me, Brad, is that a lot of guys will use excuses. We’re men, right? We use excuses for anything. We’re always looking for why this won’t work. And for Christian men in particular, something that comes up over and over again, that we hear, and I’m being told by the advisors, is men will use their faith, right, being a Christian as a reason not to take action. What would you say to a guy that’s sitting there going, well you know, my faith is really this important to me and to my wife, our marriage is completely crappy right now. But I don’t want to dive in because what if this is counter to things that I believe and feel?

Brad Holt  09:04

Well, who likes to be sold? Nobody likes to be sold. And I think we have a natural instinct to put up our defenses. And using our faith is a great one. Well, I can’t do that because, I’m worried about this because, but it is just another excuse. If you’re happy where you are, maybe you don’t need to be at The Powerful Man. But if you want to be the best version of yourself, drop the excuses.

What really surprised me and it’s hard for me to share this without going through it myself is we take men through a process over eight weeks in the activation method and there’s another thing called the Alpha Reset that Doug and Tim talk a lot about during the podcast that has changed men’s life because it amplifies things. So, if you are someone who wants to be A, we can amplify you to get you where you want to go. The Powerful Man is not trying to design a certain type of person. They’re trying to help you be the best version of yourself.

So, right now I’m working with a group of nine men, which are awesome. Actually, all nine of them happen to be Christians, but they’re all different types of Christians, cultural Christians, conservative Christians, liberal Christians have totally different views. And when they go through this process, you can see how when they’re making their adjustments, they’re being better version of themselves, very different from each other, though. Okay. So, I wouldn’t see our faith as an excuse. Let The Powerful Man help you get to where you want to go, and help you amplify your faith. And make sure if your faith is really important to you, challenge it. Okay, not because my parents were Christians, but because I believe in it.

And for all the men that I’ve dealt with in The Powerful Christian Man, I’m amazed how many of them will say, second to my baptism, the Alpha Reset was the biggest changing moment in their lives. And I go, what are you talking about? That’s crazy. Marriage, kids, job promotions. And when I went to the Alpha Reset, not only was it impactful to myself, but to see the men that I met for the first time on a Monday, and see them on a Friday, holy crap, who were — One of the guys and I love him to death, the first day I met him, I think, oh, my gosh, this guy is so uptight. And he’s just not very fun.

And by Friday, he had let gone of all this baggage. He had become and reborn and he is living his best life. And I can tell you, I would have not physically known these are the same people. That’s how much of a dramatic change this person one had. So, to answer your question, Doug, The Powerful Man isn’t trying to change our faith. If anything, it challenges us to be the best versions of ourselves.

Doug Holt  11:55

Yeah. Well, it was definitely true. I mean, in fact, again, we have a subset for the Christian faith, because we had so many men. We have a theologian, we have pastors that are involved and said, hey, look, I like to have something where we can — the men can meet once a week, right, meet once a week, answer questions about their faith, about their relationships, what’s going on from a faith based perspective. And as somebody who quite honestly, and transparently doesn’t share the same faith, right, we were fine with that. Hey, yeah, run with it. If it’s working for you, go with it.

And we have a guy named Tin Man who has been — it’s his nickname, because he found his heart. And to your point, Brad, he said, “Man, besides when I was born again, the Alpha Reset was the most influential part of my life.” So, he’s just giving back, but of his own will to go this. And he’s codified based on our teachings, actually, in the Bible, which we didn’t bring them directly from that. But it just shows you that a lot of the principles that we’re teaching are based in, I’ll just say historical evidence, in the sense that they’ve been passed on time and time again, over time, because they work, right. They work in the ways for men of all faiths, in general, to come back together.

Now, when we look at your role as a coach, right, and your role with you and your faith and you’re talking about these nine guys who are all Christian, but Christian from different backgrounds. Does that ever play into the role as they’re trying to repair their marriage? Does their faith come back into the conversation? Or for most guys, is it just something that’s on the sidelines?

Brad Holt  13:33

That’s a great question. For me, I treat all the men equally, because my only goal and my only focus is helping them be that person they want to be and challenging them on some of their assumptions and holding them accountable. Now, if their faith is a big part of it, and they’ve shared that, more one-on-one, I might challenge them and say, hey, if this is important to you, are you following these tenets that you subscribe to? And are you doing this as you discussed? Because it’s very easy for Christians, because we’re just the biggest mess as everybody else, and maybe a lot of times more. It’s easy to say, but maybe our actions don’t match up our words. And sometimes I’ll challenge them, you say this, but your actions are doing that. And so in those cases, I do bring it up to them as individuals, not too often though, in the group.

Doug Holt  14:30

Hmm, okay. Yeah, it was talking to the Gentle Warrior, another guy’s nickname that came out of this. And the way that he brought it up to me because I’m just very inquisitive by nature. I’m just very curious. And I asked him, he said, you know what Doug, I’ve done so much work through the church and with the church, right, as a pastor as an advocate, and so much men’s work. And he said, it was great, by the way, and he said it was awesome, but it was all theory based. And the activation method where the practical applications to that theory. Like, in other words, he’s like I went to it for years. I’m still stuck in this crappy marriage.

And he went, transparently, he went through a process where it’s like, hey, do I want to stay married to this woman? My faith tells me I need to, but my heart’s saying maybe not. Right? So, I’m in this conflict. And he did a lot of work with the church and there was a lot of organizations that came into his church, there’s books, and I won’t mention all of them. But most of the men, no woman probably read them, gave them a lot of theory, and equal amounts of confusion. And he said what happened when I went to the activation method is it gave me a step by step methodology where I could go, okay. Let me apply these tools and tactics that are proven. And that completely changed his whole paradigm and actually saved his marriage.

Brad Holt  15:47

Now, those two men, Tin Man and Warrior, incredible humans, —

Doug Holt  15:51

They are.

Brad Holt  15:51

— incredible men. Yeah, there is — what we teach in The Powerful Man parallels the Christian walk. The challenge is, most men who come into The Powerful Man have been really successful in one part of their life. Okay. And in another part, they became a shit show. And they were able to hide it, they had the facade. Just recently, two or three of my guys used almost the exact same analogy that said I have a great Facebook life.

Doug Holt  16:27

Yeah, I look great on Instagram.

Brad Holt  16:30

So, if you ask anybody from the outside, our family is the best. And I thought it was a very powerful thing, because when they shared and both these men happened to have a strong faith, they said oh, it’s just the opposite. When we get behind closed doors, it’s a mess, our communication, everything else. So, everything we do in the TPM is trying to help them break down those barriers to improve that life. And if you’re Christians, it’ll help you improve your Christian life. If you’re non-Christians, it’ll help you improve your non-Christian life.

Doug Holt  17:01

Yeah, I mean, it’s a great point. Again, I keep trying to steer this conversation back to Christianity. However, you know, we’ve had the same conversation with men who were Muslims, right, of Islamic faith. We had the same Christian — Jewish, agnostics, atheists. As your point, which I really like it, and I’m going to steal and make it my own is it’s an amplification, right? We challenge men to look at their lives, what is working for you and what’s not. Sometimes their faith is not working for them, right? There’s a historical thing, a lot of times men will come back to their faith in a different way. That’s much stronger. A lot of men step — who are already leaders within their church, for this example, become better leaders, because all of a sudden home base is what I call it, you, is more solid.

And Brad, the way I look at it is through the activation method, I’m going to give everybody that cheat sheet of what we do here, is all we do is strip away the BS. The crap that life has put on you, society is put on you, the mojo, you’ve kind of lost since your 20s as you’ve gone through and tried to fake it till you make it or have the Facebook lifestyle or gone after the money because the money is going to get you love and respect and everything you want. And really, you just figure out oh, crap. I just spent more money. I have a nicer house with more problems than I did before. And we really stripped that away and allowed the man to be the man and make those decisions based on what he wants to do from then and we encourage him to continue that path.

Brad Holt  18:30

No, I love how you say it, to strip away the bullshit, and that’s what it is. My wife and I, just five years ago, were going to a small group, maybe a Bible study, you might call it. And we’re chit chatting away, where it’s a beautiful day out here in Southern California, and all of a sudden we enter the home and changed our voice. We looked at each other like it’s like, oh, it’s church. We just lowered our voice, we spoke more reverently, and it’s so instinctual to put that facade on. It’s just natural. And just for the people who don’t know me, more than 50% of my friends are not Christian. So, this topic is about Christianity in the TPM, but everything we do at TPM is agnostic. It happens to parallel my faith, which is most important to me. I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t.

Doug Holt  19:24

Well, yeah. And I think that’s important. And the reason I wanted to have you on for this particular topic is, one, is I know, as your brother and you’re one of my closest friends is how important your faith is to you. You also — we all know those people that are around us. It’s kind of — I’ll use the CrossFit analogy because someone used it on me because I was complaining I’m sore from CrossFit. They said do you want to know how someone does CrossFit? Don’t worry about it, they’ll tell you. And we also know those people of faith who go around and try to convert everybody and I’ve never found you to be one of those. You’re happy to share it. But that’s not your, you know, you’re not pushing anything on anybody, nor the men in our community. That’s just not what it is.

And I think it was you or somebody else who explained to me is like, hey, my role as a Christian is to be Christ-like, is to be, right. And if that pulls you forward, great. If it doesn’t, great. It’s up to you. And so I do think that’s important for all the guys to know because we are a place for everyone. And to reiterate, for you guys listening, I know a lot of you guys are using this as an excuse to not step up, to not step forward. And trust me, guys, nobody has more excuses than I do. I can come up with excuses ad nauseam. I can also tell you, somebody who’s been coaching for decades now at this point, in one way or another, that our excuses — the smarter you are, the more excuses you’re going to have.

And the men that come through The Powerful Man tend to be very intelligent men. You’ve been very successful in business guys, you’re a business owner, you’re a cut above the rest. And because of that, you are going to be an amazing excuse making machine, right. You’re going to be very good at making excuses. I can just quote a study that will tell you that drinking alcohol is good for you. I can also quote another study that says it’s horrible for you. Whichever one I want to be on for my excuse making machine I’ll do.

And so what a lot of you guys are doing, and the reason I asked Brad to be on for this is you’re using your faith as a reason not to step to the line. Your marriage isn’t working, or you just feel stuck. You’re not sure what the next move is. But you’re hiding behind this idea that well, what if? What if this is countered to what I believe? And so what I’m trying to do here in this discussion is give you another paradigm to look through, another point to read past the headlines, if you will. And as Brad is saying, and Brad’s one of our coaches. And you came on Brad, because you and I had a conversation, and you’re at a point in your life where you’re like, hey, I want to serve more people, I want to help more men. My faith is important to me. Sports are important to me, it was a part of the conversation we had. And this is real guys trying to put out something that actually makes a difference in the world.

So, when you look at this, Brad, coming from your perspective of someone whose faith is so important to you, what advice would you give to a man who’s listening to this right now, who’s a little stuck, right? When we’re stuck, we’re a little down. And as a business guy, odds are we’re going to turn to our business. That’s where our focus is going to be. We’re going to double down where we’re getting our accolades, where we’re finding success, and we’re going to hope things get better, but isn’t actually jumping on a phone call isn’t going past the headlines; what advice would you give him?

Brad Holt  22:41

Well, that’s great. This actually came up in a conversation we had in our group not too long ago, is if one of your employees was having problems, and they weren’t dealing with it, what would you tell them? You would tell them to move into action. And not just a little bit of action but massive action to move forward. And one of the secret sauces we have at TPM, I think that coaches are great. And I can’t tell you — I could spend hours telling you how great they are. But the community in the movement, we’re not alone. Okay. And sometimes getting with men who are going through similar, not identical situations, is critical.

And secularly, we always say, iron sharpens iron. But actually, it’s biblical. Okay. This is Proverbs 27:17. Iron does sharpen iron, you’re not alone. I’m going to challenge you to take that step forward and be in a community of men who are going to wipe away the crap, so you can emphasize what’s inside you. We have a saying, it’s, be, do, have. Be the best version of yourself so then you can have things. And for whatever reason, all of us in this world, we especially in the United States or Western society, we have got that backwards. And we’re collecting things and hopefully in the future, it’s going to get better. What we’re going to challenge you is take that step, talk to the advisor. This is not my specialty. But don’t just read the headlines. This is all about being the best version of yourself. And the advisors will tell you if this is a fit or not.

Doug Holt  24:14

Well said and it’s something I think is really interesting for me, right? So, I’m vested. I’m completely vested. Obviously, I left my previous career to be here to help men. This is my mission. I know it is yours, as well, Brad, as it is Tim’s and all the coaches and the 30-some people that make up, men and women, that make up The Powerful Man movement to make this organization run so we can serve more people. We have big dreams, we want to make a big global impact.

And we think about this, of all the people that are out there doing this. We actually have men in the community who raised their hand and said, Doug, if any guy has a question, right, they want an unbiased or relatively unbiased because these guys have been through the program. They want to actually get on a phone call and talk to a guy who’s been there done that? I’ll jump on a call with them. No questions asked, no strings attached. Now guys, you got to imagine this. This is like you saying, hey, I’ll get on a call with a stranger to talk to them about their problems, or what’s going on with them. Because problems is such a heavy word, if you will, but what’s not working well or optimally for them. These are normal men, they’re business leaders, husbands, fathers, in most cases, but they’ve also been on the other side. They’ve been exactly where you are and they’ve been on the other side of it.

And they go like, hey, it’s better over here on this other side. And so much so that I’ll raise my hand, I’ll jump on a call or two a week, and talk to guys that — and tell them like, hey, let me help you read beyond the headlines and let me tell you what I went through and where I am now. It’s because it works. And it works so well for so many men that these guys become advocates there. Naturally, they don’t want to be on video, they don’t want to be on a podcast, they don’t want to be on a show. They don’t want to jump on a phone call with a stranger, except the fact that they know that this is going to help them and they wish somebody would have pushed them first.

The number one thing, we survey all the men when they’ve been through the program, the number one thing they say is I wish I would have done this sooner. I wish I would have done this sooner. And you can’t force somebody to do it. All I can do guys is present an opportunity in front of you. And as we always say in a moment of insight, so if this is grabbing you, something that Brad has talked about, in the moment inside take massive action. And that massive action is just friggin’ get on a phone call, it’s just getting on a call. The advisors turn away more people and say yeah, it’s not the right place for you right now than they do accept them. We have a limited bandwidth.

Our group, to Brad’s point, it’s nine guys. It’s a very small group that we keep together. And I can also guarantee you and Brad can tell you, those nine guys are going to know each other, have a bond so much greater than probably people they’ve known most of their lives. Because it’s not the Facebook stuff. This is real. This is real life. Brad, any parting words you would give to a guy who’s sitting there going, yeah, I’m thinking, so maybe I’ll put that on my calendar for some day when I’m done with the gym, or I’m done with his walk with the dog or I’m done driving in the car, what advice would you give them?

Brad Holt  27:22

There’s two pieces. One, I’m a big fan of empathy towards others, but also give empathy to yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourselves. We’ve all made mistakes. Think of your younger version of yourself. What advice would you give him? Don’t stress about it, that’s holding you back. And second, don’t have any regrets though. Think of yourself 20 years in advance. What would they tell you? And they would tell you don’t sweat this stuff. You know, take an action if it’s with TPM, without TPM. But don’t make excuses because that’s the worst thing you can do is just sit there and go around in a wheel and don’t grow. My hope for you is you just live your best life, Christian, non-Christian, whatever that is. But don’t wait.

Doug Holt  28:10

I love it. Guys, some day does not exist on your calendar. It’s only today. Today’s the only day that’s promised. And as we get older, and Brad, you and I have talked about this offline, we know more and more guys that just aren’t with us anymore; fit, healthy, all of those things that you’re supposed to do. Guys were on the other side, this is the back 40 for a lot of you guys coming into this. And this is time to take action, not action tomorrow, but action today. And gentlemen, as we always say again, in the moment of insight, take massive action. Brad, thanks so much for being here, brother. I really appreciate you and all you’re doing for these guys. And I look forward to having you on again.

Brad Holt  28:44

Hey, Doug, thanks for having me.