As Will Peters was growing up, he felt that the Lord was leading him into the field of missionary aviation, so, with that goal in mind, he prepared academically and vocationally. But the Lord led in another direction, and today, Will works in the machine shop of a pipe manufacturing company.
Dwain Swanson owns a landscape, maintenance, and irrigation company, and as he is out working on landscapes and mowing lawns, he sometimes has time to focus mentally on other things, such as Scripture memorization and meditation, and prayer.
Both men desire to be men of the Word and to finish strong as husbands, fathers, and encouragers of other men, as well as servants of God.
At the 2013 Big Sandy Family Conference, Will and Dwain discussed how the Lord had been speaking to them through the messages. Will realized that he needed to get into the Word on a daily basis and be accountable to someone else for that discipline. Dwain wanted to reach out to other men and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. He also had the unique idea of ministering to one man in every state. As the two men talked further, they began to think that maybe they could combine these goals and work together on them.
After the conference was over and the men were back into their normal routines, they began to talk on the phone daily, encouraging each other in their daily time in the Word, and noting the difference in their lives when they were consistently in the Word. They put together a list of disciplines important to any believer—disciplines foundational to the Christian life and that would build a solid foundation:
1. Read the Bible daily.
2. Answer questions related to Bible reading.
3. Memorize Scripture.
4. Reach out to and encourage other men (positive encouragement and accountability).
5. Witness; share the Gospel.
6. Encourage others to join us (the more men who are at least reading the Bible, the better).
7. Disciple other brothers in the Lord.
But Will and Dwain were not always successful in maintaining those disciplines, and they knew that if they were struggling, most likely others were struggling, as well. So “Courageous Men of the Word” (CMOW) was born.
Both men had “down time” on their jobs, as well as extra time here and there that they were just wasting. What if they could take the mundane and make it meaningful? What if they could “redeem that extra time” (see Ephesians 5:16) that God had given them, and use it for ministry to others? So they began to keep each other accountable with daily text messages containing the Scripture reading for the day and a brief commentary. More men joined their little group. The text messages soon included an audio commentary. Their numbers continued to grow, and today, there are nearly 400 men all over the country who keep each other accountable for these spiritual disciplines. There is now also a daily e-mail which includes prayer requests and praise reports.
If you need fellowship and accountability with like-minded men, you are invited to join Courageous Men of the Word: www.cmow.net.
Special note: CMOW is planning their 2nd annual “man camp” for fathers and sons, August 24-27, 2016, at Fort Rock Family Camp in northwest Arkansas. This year’s theme is survival camp. Register through the CMOW website or at www.fortrock.org.