Reaching The Heart Of A Man


Discipleship is more about heart transformation than about behavior modification.  In the following video, Dr. Yagel presents 6 principles for shaping your men's ministry so that it reaches and transforms men's hearts.  


Gary's Recent Past Speaking Engagements

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Our Beliefs

  • We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
  • We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.
  • We believe that salvation is by God alone, as He sovereignty chooses those he will save.
  • We believe His choice is based upon His grace, not on any human individual merit or foreseen faith.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him alone for salvation.
  • We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people, not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust God and follow Him.
  • We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people unto Himself.
  • We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
  • Family Builders’ teaching is consistent with the doctrinal standards set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith.


Could your men use some fresh inspiration in their pursuit of godly manhood?  Then invite Gary to speak on one of these topics!


“Your Wife’s Feminine Heart: What Does She Really Need?” Loving our bride as Christ loves his means sacrificing to meet her needs. But, what does she need?  This talk gives husbands and future husbands a clear understanding of what God designed her feminine heart to need from them.


“Three Obstacles to Winning at Home.” Leadership success at home is based on the quality of a man’s relationships with his wife and children. This talk focuses on overcoming the obstacles that hinder close relationships at home, including men’s problems with anger.


“True Masculinity.”  All men want to be masculine, so we and our sons will gravitate towards what we believe is true masculinity. But do we get that definition from the world or from Scripture? This talk examines Jesus as the ultimate example of what redeemed masculinity looks like.


“Seven Keys to Excellence At Work.” Men are created to be workers. The primary place where a man lives out his calling and brings glory to God is at work. This talk inspires men with a fresh vision of the importance of their work and how excellence at work is profoundly honoring to God.


“I’ve Got Your Back.” Nineteen out of twenty Christian men have no best friend. Satan is having a heyday attacking isolated men who are fighting their spiritual battles alone. This talk inspires men to become a true band of brothers.


“Focused Manhood.” Men are made for mission. They want to live for Christ and follow his priorities, but their lives often feel out of control. This talk gives a clear definition of our mission as Christ-followers and looks at the example of Jesus, who shaped his life by staying focused on his mission.


“A Cause Worth Dying For.”  Men have a deep capacity for loyalty to their commanding officer. This talk provides men with fresh inspiration to love Christ with all their heart and give their fullest allegiance to the High King of Heaven.


These talks work very well with a weekend barbeque, a weeknight meal on the way home from work, or a Saturday men’s breakfast. Gary will help you with the format that works best for you. Email him,


Enjoying God




“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  Prov 4:23.


“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart” Deut. 6:5


“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Ps. 37:4


“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.”  Rev. 2:4


"One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal.  You were created to treasure Christ with all your heart--more than you treasure sex or sugar.  If you have little taste for Jesus, competing pleasures will triumph.  Plead with God for the satisfaction you don't have.  Quote Psalm 90:14, 'Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we might rejoice and be glad all our days.'  Then, look, look, LOOK at the most magnificent person in the universe until you see him the way he is."(John Piper)


"Man's chief end is to glorify God and to ENJOY Him forever."  (Question #1, The Westminster Shorter Catechism)


It is vital that we set our affections on the Lord as our first love.  He is the answer to our deepest longings.  We are created to love him with all of our heart and mind and strength.  When we are not delighting our heart in the Lord, we are more vulnerable to the pull of other "gods" in the world that promise to satisfy the desires of our hearts.


In today's world, the root problem for many men is idolatry--we are looking to sex, success, acceptance, prestige to be the God that promises us happiness.  But men are also saying--don't just tell me my problem is idolatry--help me satisfy my soul more in my love relationship with Christ.  We have some great tools to help you with this challenge!


Click to find out more about the FOCUS Notebook, which has a whole section on how to delight out heart in the Lord.


Click here to find out more about Allegiance: Building a Foundation of Loyalty to God. This 30 day devotional is designed to awaken a deeper masculine love for Christ.




A.  Looking for ultimate satisfaction other places


1.  Explanation:  Because of the fall our sinful nature directs us to seek heart satisfaction in any place but God himself. Whatever we look to for soul satisfaction become idols.

  • Success at work provides us with a treasure chest of intoxicating rewards
    --Recognition from coworkers
    --Positions and titles that build our self esteem
    --Authority over others that makes us feel significant
    --Financial rewards that let us wear things, travel places, and buy things that make us feel good
  • Immoral sexual gratification provides fleeting pleasures along with false intimacy
  • The desire for control, or security or peace and comfort can be the god that drives our outward behavior 

2.  Scripture

  • “You were made for God, and He is the answer to your deepest longings”I Corinth 6:13
  • “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.” Ps. 63:4-5
  • “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand”  Psalm 16:11
  • “You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:3
  • “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him.  For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the father, but from the world.”  I John 2:15ff
  • “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”  James 4:4

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.”  CS Lewis ”The Weight of Glory”


B.  Guilt


1.  Explanation:  Guilt blocks all relationships.  Only the offering of forgiveness and the receiving of forgiveness along with genuine repentance can fully restore the relationship.

  • God, in his mercy forgives the sins of those who are in Christ
  • If we do not really understand grace, our shame will cause us to hesitate to come to God
  • We will experience distance in our relationship with God if we are harboring pockets of sinful behavior patterns that we refuse to give up.

2.  Scripture

  • "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men.” Rom. 1:18
  • "When I kept silent about my sin my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”  Ps 32:3-4
  • "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice."Psalm 51:7-8

C.  Inability to grasp the truth of our adoption as sons


1.  Explanation:  Many men have grown up with fathers who have been absent or emotionally distant, leaving them with no pattern for relating emotionally to their heavenly father.  Initially, they will have trouble building a personal relationship with God, but if they persevere, the doctrine of their adoption into God’s family as sons will become very precious, as will the privilege of calling God,“Abba.”


2.  Scripture:      

  • “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him, we cry Abba, Father.”  Rom. 8:15-16
  • “Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.  Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me…”Mark 14:35-36
  • “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God!  And that it is what we are!”  I John 3:1

“Adoption is a FAMILY idea, conceived in terms of LOVE, and viewing God as FATHER.  In adoption, God takes us into his family and fellowship, and establishes us as his children and  the heirs.  Closeness, affection, and generosity are at the heart of the relationship.  To be right with God the JUDGE is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the FATHER is a greater.”   J. I. Packer, Knowing God


D.  Busyness


1.  Explanation:  No relationship can grow without frequent time together.

  • In a culture dominated by secularism, our focus is constantly riveted to the outer, physical world, not the inner, spiritual, world.
  • You always make time for what is important to you
  • We feel like our heavy responsibilities are an obstacle.  The irony is that Jesus prioritized our responsibilities and the very highest is to love the Lord our God with all our heart.
  • All of life is about relationships.  We know that, first, because God is the ultimate relational being, existing as a perfect love relationship (God is love) among the 3 persons of the trinity—God the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit. His relational fingerprints are all over the universe.  Second, God summarizes our covenantal responsibilities in relational terms:  (vertically) love
  • the Lord your God, and (horizontally), love your neighbor as yourself.
  • All relationships die when they are neglected.

2.  Scripture:

  • “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.   This is the first and greatest commandment.”  Matthew 22:37-38
  • “If you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, THEN YOU WILL FIND YOUR JOY IN THE LORD.”  Is. 58:13-14

Overcoming Anger


“I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to the judgment.  Again, he who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin.  And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fires of hell.” Matt. 5:21-22


One of the most universal struggles of Christian men is with our tempers.  We know that our anger causes us to wound our wives and drive our kids away from us—but we sometimes feel powerless to overcome this foe.  The first step towards defeating anger is understanding it.




Fundamentally, anger is a response to pain.  It is a secondary emotion, always a  reaction to some form of pain.  In fact, you could say that anger is deflected pain.  Pain comes in and our self-protective instincts put up a shield of armor and that pain is reflected back out as anger.


This response to pain that we call anger is usually an emotion of hostility towards others.  It is true that Jesus got angry, God gets angry, and at times Christians ought to get a lot more angry.  But most of the time our anger is selfish anger that directs feelings of hostility, even if only momentarily, towards others. 


Many sources of pain can generate anger.  When her husband is late for dinner for the fourth time that week, the dinner gets cold and the wife gets hot.  What is the cause of her anger?  It is the pain of disappointment, combined with the pain of feeling like she isn’t as important to her husband as work.


Three forms of pain seem to generate the most anger:  1) the pain of frustration, being blocked in reaching our goal, 2) the pain of injustice, having our rights violated, and 3) the pain of having our self-esteem attacked.  Our masculine make up is such that we regularly experience these three types of pain, so it should not surprise us that men struggle with anger.  Let’s look more closely at these three.


1.  The pain of frustration.  Men are by nature task oriented.  We want to accomplish our mission and move on to the next task.  That is why my 11 year old doesn’t like shopping with his sisters.  “When it comes to shopping you girls are gatherers—you want to spend all afternoon looking.  But I am a hunter.  I go in the store, get what I need and want to come home.”  If it is in our masculine hard-wiring to be task oriented, it follows that we will experience a lot of frustration, which is, by definition, the pain of obstacles preventing us from reaching our goals.  That pain often leads to anger.


2.  The pain of injustice.  Because men are assigned the task of working outside the home, men usually see the home as the place they come to rest, refresh, and relax.  Because most of us work very hard to bring home the bacon it is easy to feel like we have earned the right to a little peace and quiet, and a little rest, not to mention the right to control the remote.  When these rights are violated, we get angry.


3.  The pain of having our self-esteem attacked.  The most intense anger is usually generated by an attack on our self-esteem.  When we feel put down, we usually lash back instinctively.  The home front is a place where men have a great need to be admired and respected.  Paul sums up his profound teaching about the roles of husband and wife, by singling out the wife’s need for love and the husbands need for respect.  Eph. 5:32 “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”   Most men feel more respected at work than at home.  Most men feel like they can’t figure out how to please their wives, and that their wives know the needs of the kids much better than they do.  When their kids defy their authority, their instinctive response is anger.  When men feel put down by their wives or their self esteem is wounded by a lack of responsiveness to their sexual advances, men can react by hardening their hearts in anger, and withdrawing emotionally.




“In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are stillangry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Eph. 4:26-27


1.  Venting it.  Most of the time anger is expressed through hostility towards another.  Cain became angry and murdered Abel.  In Matt. 5:21-22, the angry person sends a barrage of verbal bullets that tear into the tender self-esteem of another person.  Angry words have deeply wounded the spirits of many wives and children.


2.  Ignoring it.  This can be a deadly response because the anger is suppressed, but will still float around in our souls until it is dealt with.  It can lead to bitterness, revenge, future explosions of pent up anger, the hardening of the heart towards a mate. Paul saw the destructive potential of ignoring anger, when he commanded us not go to bed angry lest we expose ourselves to further temptations, which simmering anger will expose us to.




Click here for an PDF of 5 steps to overcome anger.


Click here to download Men's Bible Study on Anger

Brothers in the Battle




“The stakes are too high, the battle too fierce, the enemy too wily, the attacks too frequent, the cost of defeat too severe for any Christian man to fight his spiritual battles alone.”  Gary Yagel, Forging Bonds of Brotherhood


All Christian men fight inner battles with their sinful nature.  Lust, anger, selfishness, pride, resentment, jealousy, impatience, discontent, idolatry are just some of the forces that seek to overpower us as men.  Many times we lose these battles for a  simple reason—we are trying to fight them by ourselves.


Whether fighting in the street or fighting in Iraq, men know they are likely to become a casualty if they fight alone.  The same principle holds true with the battles of our inner lives. Yet most Christian men are fighting their spiritual battles alone.  Not long ago, a survey was taken of over 120,000 Christian men, who were asked, “Do you have a best friend?”  An astonishing 95% answered, “No.”  Nineteen out of twenty Christian men in our country are so disconnected that they have no best friend.


Scripture reveals a profound truth that explains why so many Christian men are losing spiritual battles in the twenty-first century.  "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecc.4:9-12 


Christian men are born to be warriors and called to wage a fierce, three-front battle.  We must daily battle the enemy within, our sinful nature, which relentlessly seeks to overpower us.  We must resist a world that continually bombards us with enticements that would take our hearts captive and turn us into traitors to our sovereign, Jesus Christ. We must engage a spiritual enemy who wants to “rob, and kill, and destroy” us and our loved ones (John 10:10.)  Yet, nineteen out of twenty Christian men are alone in their battles.


Those fighting alone even include many men in small group studies with other men. They study the Bible together, but often don’t risk sharing where their true spiritual battles lie. Do you have someone fighting beside you in your spiritual battles?  Do you have anyone who even knows what your spiritual battles are?


But how do you find a few close friends to help you in your spiritual battles?  The answer is that you may not be able to find them; you may need to forge them. The Forging Bonds of Brotherhood material available at this website is designed specifically to do that.  It presents the biblical support for the truth that God never intended Christian men to fight their spiritual battles alone. It gives a practical understanding of how trust is built in a relationship because trust is the foundation of all friendship and accountability. It also provides the tools required to forge lasting friendships with a few brothers who will love you, encourage you, stand beside you in your spiritual battles, and watch your back.


Not only is the sixty page Forging Bonds of Brotherhood a fun, easy read for an individual; it is also designed to be used as a small group Bible study. If you currently attend such a group, by reading and discussing it together you can forge the foundation of trust with the other group members required to become true brothers in the battle.


For more information about Forging Bonds of Brotherhood click here.


To listen to Gary’s message, “Fighting Your Spiritual Battles Alone Spells Disaster,” click here.


To find out how Gary can inspire and assist the men in your church to become a true band of brothers click here.




The most common venue for helping men get connected in today’s church is a men’s bible study.  However, it is very unusual for a church to have more than 10-20% of their men in small groups.  If we are to help the majority of our men get connected in the twenty-first century, we need to think outside of the box.


Today’s men, who are committed to a regular discipline in their lives  like working out, would prefer to do that as a part of their work day instead of coming home from work and then going back out.  Part of the Forging Bonds of Brotherhood material is designed with this fact in mind.


Our Check 6 partnerships are for 2-4 guys who meet for a sixty minute meeting.  Such meetings usually take place at breakfast before work, at lunch, or in a once a week phone call to an old friend. The agenda for this one-hour meeting is not studying the Bible directly, but answering a series of questions that enable men to discuss how they are seeking to apply the Bible in their everyday lives.  Such groups are:

  • Not a couples’ group, but a band of brothers
  • Not a 2 hour Bible study, but a 1 hour breakfast, lunch, or phone call
  • Not an evening away from your family,  but an hour from your work day
  • Not 6-8 guys, but 2-4 guys
  • Not focused on learning, but focused on fighting
  • Not a meeting agenda that generates opinions, but a meeting agenda that generates connection as brothers.

The agenda for guys who are just getting started comes in a pocket tri-fold called, Forging A Foundation. The agenda for a  deeper level commitment with accountability comes in a pocket tri-fold called, Check 6. These questions generate 95% encouragement along with the 5% of accountability that we all know we need.


Neither pocket tri-fold is sold separately. They both come with the booklet, Forging Bonds of Brotherhood. However you can click here for a free download of the Check 6 questions.

Overcoming Busyness





A huge challenge that 21st century men face is that the deafening demands of our outer world drown out the call of Christ in our inner world to live for Him. In the words of Gordon MacDonald:


“Our public worlds are filled with a seeming infinity of demands upon our time, our loyalties, our money, and our energies.  And because these public worlds of ours are so visible, so real, we have to struggle to ignore all their seductions and demands.  They scream for our attention and action.  The result is that our private world is often cheated, neglected because it does not shout quite so loudly.  It can be effectively ignored for large periods of time before it gives way to a sinkhole-like cave-in.”  Ordering Your Private World


Does the following picture remind you all too much of yourself?


Picture of a Man Who is DRIVEN

  • His life is hectic and very fast-paced, yet doesn’t seem to have a very clear direction.
  • Often his life seems out of control.  Like a pinball, he “bouncesoff” whatever happens to be in front of him.
  • He spends 98% of his time and energy focused on the outer world, giving his inner, private world the leftovers.
  • He is haunted by vague doubts about whether he is really following God’s priorities for his life.
  • He is extremely busy, sometimes exhausted by the paceof life, yet inwardly not that fulfilled.
  • He is carried along by internal drives and outward circumstances without any internal compass to evaluate or give direction to what he does.
  • He has little sense of a clear mission for his life.  At work he has goals,  a strategy, priorities, and a plan. But in his personal life he is reacting his way through life.
  • He is not very effective as the spiritual leader of his home. He has no clear definition of what his wife and kids need from him, much less a plan to get there or the discipline to regularly take inventory of how he is doing.

“Why is it that for so many, the answer to personal tension and pressure lies not in going to the bridge of life but rather in attempting to run faster, protest more vigorously, accumulate more, collect more data, and gain more expertise.  We are of an age in which it seems instinctive to give attention to every cubic inch of life other than our inner world—the only place from which we can gain the strength to brave, or even beat any turbulence.”  Ibid.


Portrait of a Man Who Lived Out of His Calling


This portrait is the life of Jesus. Jesus stayed focused on his mission because he lived out of a sense of calling. We often see Jesus going to the wilderness to retreat to his private, inner world.  One of the clearest instances is in Mark 1.32-39.


Jesus’ Hectic Outer World.  "That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was."


Jesus Retreats To His Inner World. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: 'Everyone is looking for you!'”


Jesus Changes Direction In His Outer World. "Jesus replied, 'Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.' So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons."


We Christian men need help shaping our outer lives according to our inner calling. The more we do so, the more our lives will be characterized by energy, passion, and the satisfaction of knowing we are living to please Christ. No one says this better than Os Guiness:


“Answering the call of our Creator is “the ultimate why” for living, the highest source of purpose in human existence…Calling is the truth that God calls us to Himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to His summons and service.”  The Call


Christian men need to follow Jesus’ example and schedule some time to talk with their Commander In Chief on a regular basis.  An ideal, God-given time to do that is to set aside an hour Sunday afternoon or evening to review your mission with your CO and to form your game plan for the upcoming week.


Setting aside this weekly time has been the general practice of Gary Yagel for the past 25 years. He misses probably more than he makes—but even so, meeting with the Lord (not just for a daily quiet time but) to review and discuss his mission twice a month has had a huge benefit in keeping him focused on his mission.


One of the tools available on this website to help you do the same is a “game plan” called the FOCUS Notebook.  It describes in detail what Christ’s mission for a Christian man is and gives him the tools to accomplish it in his unique life.  Christ’s agenda begins with learning to love and delight in God, moves out to the development of Christ-like heart attitudes, then out to our relationships with our wife and kids, then out to our work place, neighborhood, church and community.


To find out more about the FOCUS Notebook click here.


To find out how Gary can inspire the men in your church to move away from the driven life-style and live more out of their calling click here.


To download the free men's bible study, Living As Called Men, click here

Called to the Workplace


"YOU WERE CREATED TO WORK, and you will feel most happy, most alive, and most useful when you are doing the work you were created to do. Unfortunately, over 50 percent of all workers are dissatisfied with their jobs -- a record high -- and as many as 80 percent are not in jobs best suited for them. That's tragic, since about half of your 112 waking hours each week will be devoted to work and your work commute."  Pat Morley, A Man'a Guide To Work. 




A.  View your job as God’s unique calling for you.

            Genesis 1:27-28

            Eph. 2:10

            Col. 3:23


B.  Reject mediocrity!

            I Corinth. 10:31


C.  Pay attention to the details.

            Prov. 27:23

            Prov. 22:29


D.  Always give others more than they are expecting.

            Luke 6:38


E.  Realize that professional excellence rests on the foundation of consistent character.

            II. Pet. 1:3-8


F.  Get connected  to a band of brothers who will help you sustain excellence.

            Eccles. 4:9-12




1.  “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men;knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Col. 3:23-24


2.  “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Prov. 16:3


3.  “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.”  Prov. 18:9


4.  “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”  Prov. 19:2


5.  “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  Prov. 19:21


6.  “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”  Prov. 21:5


7.  “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”  Prov. 22:1


8.  “Do you see a man skilled in his work?  He will serve before kings.”  Prov. 22:29


9.  “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.”  Prov. 27:23-24


To find out how to have Gary inspire your men to excellence in work, click here

Spiritual Leadership at Home




Spiritual leadership at home is the ability to get my wife and kids to follow me as I follow Christ. Leadership is influence.  When the kids are young it is training them to be obedient and shaping their character. When they are older, it is helping them to own their own faith and want to follow Christ.  In both cases our ability to impact their lives is called leadership.


There are 3 components to leadership:  the leader, the follower, and the objective to be reached.  There are 3 parts to this process: 1) The leader must stay focused on the goal himself so he is modeling commitment to it. In this case the goal is being a fully devoted disciple of Christ. We must encourage men by letting them know that modeling is not about perfection, it is about direction.  2) The leader must build a caring, meaningful relationship with his followers. Failure to do this leads to wounding our wife and children.  3) The leader must equip his followers and assist them to reach the goal of spiritual maturity. This leadership process is pictured below.



To find out how Gary can inspire and teach your men to be effective spiritual leaders see the "Winning at Home" talks, seminars, and retreats.  These messages give men practical steps to effective spiritual leadership.  They learn how to avoid three relationship busters that block their influence in their kids lives and how to build close relationships that dramatically enhance their influence, based on Jesus example.  They also learn how to equip their sons and daughters for living out their commitment to Christ in the world. 


This material in printed form is found in the FOCUS Notebook


Click to download The Character Development Training Plan


Click to download A Perspective on Time for Fathers


Click for more information about The Great Dads Seminar


Becoming a Good Husband




“Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”  Eph. 5:25


Surveys show that Christian men identify help with their marriage as their number one spiritual need.  Perhaps that is because our Lord set the bar so high.  We are to love our brides the way he loves his! 


There are many Greek words for love.  Romantic love is "eros."  Friendship love is "phileo." Familial love is "storgee."  The command for husbands to love their wives uses none of these.  Rather, the word used is "agape."  Agape love is giving what is most dear to you in order to meet another's needs. God so agaped the world that he gave what  was most dear to him--his only begotten son--so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life--our need was for a savior.


Loving our brides the way our Lord loves us has two parts. First we must understand what her needs are.  If we are to sacrifice to meet her needs, we must have a clear picture of what a wife is designed by God to need from her husband. One thing is certain; a wife's needs are far different from the needs of husbands.  For thirty years I have been trying to develop and stay focussed on a clear picture of what my wife's needs are. I have read many, many books, and failed numerous times--but I have been keeping notes!  As an ordained pastor, I've also been providing marriage counseling for many years.


In my opinion the most importan four needs of a wife are:  


1.  Emotional intimacy with you--the yearning for a soul mate who knows and understands her heart.

2.  Being partners with you--feeling that she has a companion beside her, meeting life's responsibilities TOGETHER

3.  Spiritual intimacy with you, her spiritual leader--her husband carrying the weight of spiritual leadership so she can stay in her role as assistant.

4.  Words of affirmation from you--hearing often that she is highly valued by you and has the ideal combination of beauty and feminine virtues that you need


These needs and how to meet them are described more fully in the booklet, Four Needs of a Wife That Only Her Husband Can Meet.  Click here for a free download of the first chapter


Another very popular resource that helps a couple understand the differences in their intimacy needs is the booklet my wife and I wrote together, Intimacy: God's Design For Marriage


Clearly understanding what our wife needs from us is only the first step though.  The second step is sacrificing what is dear to us to make sure her needs are met.  This commitment requires taking charge of your scedule so that you set aside time to think about her needs and your spiritual leadership of your home.  That discipline may be one of the highest prices to pay.  Meeting her needs requires spending your time and emotional energy.  It means giving up what is most dear to all of us men--OURSELVES.  We need to deny ourselves and put our wives first in order to follow Jesus!.


For inspiration in the battle to overcome our selfish nature, you may appreciate this free download.


To find out how you can have Gary to your church to inspire your men to better love their wives click here.



Forging Bonds Ministry


The mission of Forging Bonds of Brotherhood is to help churches win the battle for the souls of men. We help churches build effective, sustainable, disciple-making ministries to men in three primary ways:

  • By providing a speaker for men’s ministry events such as breakfasts, dinners, seminars, and retreats, as well as unique printed materials for Christian men.
  • By providing the tools men need to get connected and become a true band of brothers in the spiritual battle.
  • By providing coaching to assist churches to build effective, sustainable, disciple-making ministries for men.

We invite you to browse this website to discover the many resources available to help men be more faithful followers of Christ.


Forging Bonds of Brotherhood is division of Family Builders Inc., which is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the local church to repair the family’s foundation.  As a 501(c)(3) tax exempt ministry and in accordance with IRS regulations, copies of our application for tax exemption, as well as our three most recent 990 reports may be obtained upon request from: Edward L. DeHoff, CPA, 7327 Rosewood Manor Lane, Gaithersburg, MD  20882.


Copies of our current budget and business plan may be obtained upon request from: Family Builders, Inc., 18211 Bluebell Lane, Olney, MD  20832.   

Sexual Purity




1.  God made sexual release the greatest form of physical pleasure there is. “During sex, chemicals called endorphins and encephalons rush to the excitement center of a man’s brain…making his brain and body feel their absolute best.  (Dr. Doug Weiss, Sex, Men, and God)  When we are down, tired, lonely, angry, or bored, we want to feel good, and sexual release makes us feel very, very good, momentarily.


2.  God created men to be sexually stimulated visually, by looking at the naked female body—no relationship necessary.  Thirty years ago there were fewer than a thousand X rated movie theaters in America.  Now they are a click away in nearly every home via the Internet.  There used to be social barriers to hinder the pursuit of pornography—going to a sleazy part of town and asking the drug store clerk to give you Penthouse. Those barriers are gone.


3.  God has designed us so we sexually glue to whatever we are looking at when we have a sexual release—a fabulous idea if we never have a sexual release except with our wife.  That way we would never tire of sex with our wife nor lose interest when she loses her youthful beauty.  But in a fallen world, we fantasize and look at porn for sexual release. This behavior addicts us slowly to porn, instead of addicting us sexually to our (future) wife.  “When a man ejaculates, his brain receives its maximum chemical reward. Whatever he looks at while having an ejaculation is what he will sexually ‘glue to.  Whatever his eyes focus on when he sexually releases—a person, image or object—will become etched in his brain as a photographic attachment towards that person, image, or object.  I call it ‘sex glue.” (Ibid) Repeated use of porn along with masturbation glues us (binds us) to desiring sexual release through porn and fantasy. This bondage explains why 99.9% of married men who had regularly used porn while single return to it after marriage.


4.  Sexual impurity is a deep-rooted idol that enslaves the heart, and buries it in shame. Many Christian approaches to the battle with lust are more about behavior modification than heart transformation.  They may work for a while but the old surrender to lust soon comes back.  Breaking the slavery of lust is possible, but it will only happen through a process of heart transformation. 




1.  It begins with building a deep rooted understanding of grace.  Shame is the biggest weapon in Satan’s arsenal to keep men enslaved by sexual lust. Shame convinces us that God may tolerate us, and even forgive us because of Christ. But he really doesn’t like us that much.  If I believe that God’s basic attitude towards me is disgust—I will never want to draw near to Him to have my deepest need for love and intimacy met.


The gospel of God’s grace is the only antidote strong enough to overcome men’s toxic shame over their sexual lust. It is the only motivation compelling enough to pick fallen men up, when lust has bloodied them, and send them back into the arena to fight again. It is the only force potent enough to change the heart desires that lead us into sexual sin.  As Tim Keller points out, “We can only change permanently as we take the gospel more deeply into our hearts.”


At this website, you can purchase a unique, small-group study that really does enable guys to get free from the slavery of sexual sin.  It is unique because it takes a grace-centered approach to men’s battle with lust, and hearts are only changed permanently as they are transformed by grace. Click here to find out more about it.


To find out about our seminar that will equip your men with a grace centered approach to fighting and defeating lust.  Click here.


2.  The second part of this strategy of heart transformation is to delight our hearts more and more in the Lord.  As John Piper points out, “One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal.  You were created to treasure Christ with all your heart—more than you treasure sex or sugar.  If you have little taste for Jesus, competing pleasures will triumph.  Plead with God for the satisfaction you don’t have.  Quote Psalm 14, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we might rejoice and be glad all our days.”  Then, look, look, LOOK at the most magnificent person in the universe until you see him the way he is.”


When the Apostle Paul is addressing the sexual sin of the Corinthians, his approach is not to simply say, “Stop it!”  Rather, he tells them that the answer to their deepest longings is not the false intimacy of sexual sin but true intimacy with the Lord.  “You were made for God and he is the answer to our deepest longings.” 1 Cor. 6:13.  In my life, I've learned that I have to keep drinking gulps of intimacy and love in my relationship with God or else the polluted water of sinful sexual gratification will appeal too much to my thirst. 


We’ve designed a 30 day devotional for men, that is written to deepen their heart connection to their God and love for Him.  For more information about Allegiance, click here.


3.  Part three of a heart-transforming strategy for defeating lust is to guard and protect our hearts.  Proverbs 4:23 urges us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  The motivation to watch over our heart comes from realizing how much sexual sin costs.  Sin always costs—the wage is death.  Something is lost or damaged when we surrender to sexual sin.  It is only when we realize what sexual sin costs that we can hate it, as Paul commands us in Rom. 12:9, “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Here is just a cursory look at the cost of sexual sin:

  • Surrenderingto lust inflames your sexual desires making it harder to resist temptation next time.
  • Every surrender brings you closer to the destructive life style of sexual addiction.
  • Surrendering to lust damages you spiritually.  “I urge you to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against your soul.”  1 Pet. 2:11
  • Training yourself in sexual indulgence may eventually cost you your wife and children as it has many including King David.
  • Pornography inspired masturbation trains and locks a man into impersonal sex, an approach to sex that will eventually be completely unfulfilling to his future wife.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap life.”  Gal. 6:7-8.


Called To Sexual Integrity lays out the biblical principles for fighting the battle over our hearts.  To find out more about this resource click here.


4.  The fourth heart-transforming strategy for married men is given in Proverbs 5:19, “May her breasts satisfy you at all times. May you be intoxicated with her love.” God tells us that when it comes to sexual desire one of the best defenses is a great offense.  God not only wants Christian couples to be drunk with sexual desire for each other , but he tells us that is part of his plan to help couples resist temptation.


When a Christian husband and wife are feasting their hearts on emotional and sexual intimacy with each other, they are far less vulnerable to temptation than when there is a loss of such intimacy. But often, there is a gradual loss of such intimacy in marriage.  In fact, 83% of men say that their wives don’t understand their need for sexual intimacy, and the same percentage (83%) of wives say that their husbands don’t understand their need for emotional intimacy.


This intimacy misconnect can send a marriage into a downward spiral with each partner feeing unsatisfied and distance setting into the relationship.  A wife needs emotional intimacy—feeling close to her husband before she wants sex.  But husbands need sex to feel emotionally close and committed to their wives.  This problem set into my own marriage.  That is why my wife and I wrote a booklet  that a couple can go through on 3 dates to help couples work through this issue, better understanding and meeting each other’s intimacy needs. It is called Intimacy, God’s Design for Marriage. For more information about this popular, marriage-transforming resource, click here. For more information on the seminar, "Your Wife's Feminine Heart: What Does She Really Need,  in which Gary explains the intimacy misconnect click here


5.  The fifth part of the long-term heart transforming strategy for defeating lust is to stop fighting the battle alone.  Satan is ravaging our land because his strategy to divide and conquer is working. Joe Dallas is right when he says, “Sexual sin thrives in the dark.  If you’re caught up in any sexual vice, one thing is certain; the secrecy surrounding your behavior is what strengthens its hold on you.  However ashamed you may feel about admitting your problem to another person, the reality is this:  you can’t overcome this on your own.  If you could, wouldn’t you have done so by now?”


All Christian men fight inner battleswith their sinful nature.  Many times we lose these battles for a simple reason—we are trying to fight them by ourselves.  Whether fighting in the street or fighting in Iraq, men know they are likely to become a casualty if they fight alone.  The same principle holds true with the battles of our inner lives. 


Tremendous power results from having a brother standing beside you in this battle.  We’re not talking about an external accountability that uses shame to bludgeon outward conformity but the power of real, heart driven connection as brothers who love each other and are committed to encouraging and lifting each other up in their battles.


But how do you find a few close friends to help you in your spiritual battles?  You may not be able to find them.  But you can forge them.  You can build a bond of brotherhood with a few Christian men who will encourage you, love you, and stand with you in your spiritual battles. Our ministry specializes in helping men form such friendships, through our Forging Bonds of Brotherhood materials.


Click here for more information about the Forging Bonds printed material.


Click here to find out how Gary can inspire and assist the men of your church to become a true band of brothers. 


To find out how to have Gary present these heart-transforming principles to the men of your church through the Grace Transformed Sexuality Seminar, click here.


Click here for a five minute YouTube interview with Gary about why the GTS material is so effective

Biblical Manhood




“The tendency today is to stress the equality of men and women by minimizing the unique significance of our maleness or femaleness…. Confusion over the meaning of sexual personhood today is epidemic.The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony among gender-free persons …but more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.”  John Piper


The World’s Message About Masculinity


1.  It Views the very subject of male/female differences as destructive.


In our secular, feminized culture, there is resistance to even discussing masculinity or femininity; we have to apologize for even mentioning male/female differences.  It is assumed that even mentioning differences is sexist. But making generalizations is fundamental to the way human beings think.  It is using the generalizations to put other’s down that is the sin.  Our culture is about “personhood,” not masculinity or femininity.


But Paul Jewett points out: “Sexuality permeates one’s individual being to its very depth; it conditions every facet of one’s life as a person. As the self is always aware of itself as an ‘I,’ so this ‘I’ is always aware of itself as himself or herself.  Our self-knowledge is indissolubly bound up not simply with our human being but with our sexual being.  Man As Male and Female


God has created no sexless human beings.  “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  Gen. 1:27


2.  It seeks to strip boys of their masculine identity.


“You need to know, Dad, that your son and thousands like him are presently being stripped of their maleness by a modern, secular, feminist, culture. Over the last few decades this culture has steadily and relentlessly undermined healthy notions of what it means to be a man.”  Robert Lewis, Raising A Modern-Day Knight


Efforts have been made to push girls to play with trucks and boys to play with dolls, but every parent knows this “socialization” is futile.


As John Eldredge points out, “Capes and swords, camouflage, bandannas and six-shooters— these are the uniforms of boyhood.  Little boys yearn to know they are powerful, they are dangerous, they are someone to be reckoned with. How many parents have tried in vain to prevent little Timmy from playing with guns? Give it up. If you do not supply a boy with weapons, he will make them with whatever materials are at hand. My boys chew their graham crackers into the shape of hand guns at the breakfast table. Every stick or fallen branch is a spear, or better, a bazooka. Despite what many modern educators would say, this is not a psychological disturbance brought on by violent television or chemical imbalance. Aggression is part of the masculine design; we are hardwired for it.   Wild at Heart


3.  It no longer views masculinity as a noble calling to strength, courage, and sacrifice but as a problem to be overcome.


Contrast this attitude to the biblical perspective:  “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.”  1 Kings 2:2-3




“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to WORK it and KEEP it.” Gen. 2:15


1.  “Work it” =  (Heb. “avad,”) work, serve, labor, cultivate, bear fruit, produce, build, shape

Amplification:  To order, build, shape the environment

“We are to called to ‘work’ whatever ‘field’ God has given us…Christian men should desire to cultivate something worthwhile for the glory of God and the well-being of their fellow man.”  Richard Phillips, The Masculine Mandate

“Work it” =  To Produce/Provide –he bears fruit to provide the sustenance for his family


2.  “Keep it” =  (Heb. “shamar,”) guard, protect, watch-over

 Amplification:  The word is used of soldiers, shepherds, priests, custodians, government officials

“This calling, to keep rounds out the masculine mandate of the Bible. A man is not only to wield the plow, but also to bear the sword.  Being God’s deputy lord in the garden, Adam was not only to make it fruitful but to keep it safe.” Phillips, The Masculine Mandate

“Keep it” =  To Protect --He is designed to be a warrior!


3.  Concerning the dance with woman

  • Adam is brought to the garden “to work it and take care of it.”  Eve however is brought to the man to be a “suitable helper” for him. 
  • His focus is the world.  In some ways he stands between his family and the world—protecting them from harm from the world and equipping them to be successful in the world (Gen. 2:15, 18)Her focus is her husband and eventually her family.  (Gen. 2:15, 18) Eve’s orientation in this subduing is ordering her family and home.  (Prov. 31:1-31)
  • After their sin, Adam’s punishment concerns his primary task—cultivating the garden, and Eve’s punishment concerns her primary task caring for her husband and children.  (Gen. 3:16-19)
  • Adam is given the leadership role in the relationship. This means he is not passive but takes initiative.
  • Christian husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves his.   Like Jesus, we are called to:

Pursue her

Protect her

Provide for her


Summary of Paired Polarities:


Masculine Orientation                       Feminine Orientation

                To initiate                                 To respond

                To lead                                     To assist

                To provide                               To nurture

                To protect                                 To beautify




To initiate           Selfish pursuit, or passivity

To lead               Overly-controlling, harsh, or abdication of leadership

To provide          Providing material but not emotional need, or financial irresponsibility

To protect           Overly protecting, or protecting families physically but not spiritually and emotionally  




“At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.”  John Piper, “A Vision of Biblical Complementarity”


“A real man rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, and leads courageously for the greater reward.” Robert Lewis, Raising a Modern Day Knight


“Every man needs an adventure to live, a beauty to rescue, and a battle to fight.”  John Eldredge, Wild at Heart





Reject passivity, accept responsibility for your mission--to rule your life and world for your King.


3 Facets:

Provide: Sacrifice to meet others needs--love.

Protect: Be a warrior—fight the good fight.       

Pursue your woman & God’s goals for your family.  Take the initiative—lead


Heart Motivation:

Allegiance to your commanding officer--loyalty to the High King and His Kingdom



Click to download the PDF article, "Boys, Masculinity and the Church: Why Boys Need Churches With Strong Men's Ministries."

Click to download Gary's By Faith article, "Check Your Masculinity at the Door."



Upcoming Schedule

Listed below is Gary's upcoming speaking schedule, beginning with his most recent event.  To see where Gary has spoken in the recent past click "Speaking Archive" to the right.

Helping Men Walk With Christ & With Each Other



Once a month Gary sends out his e-letter, Helping Men Walk With Christ and With Each Other. Since it is sent out through Constant Contact, it is easy to unsubscribe. This short e-letter includes insidghts into how to apply Scripture to the everyday life experiences of men. It includes valuable insights about how to build an effective men's ministry, and it includes links to other helpful resources on the topic being discussed. Many of these articles are also included in Gary's Blog at this website.


To subscribe to Gary's e-letter click here

Frequently Asked Questions

These are what I have found to be the most frequently asked questions about men's ministry along with my answers.


The mission of Forging Bonds of Brotherhood is to help churches win the battle for the souls of men. We help churches build disciple-making ministries to men in three primary ways:

  • By providing a speaker for men’s ministry events such as breakfasts, dinners, seminars, and retreats, as well as unique printed materials for Christian men.
  • By providing the tools men need to get connected and become a true band of brothers in the spiritual battle.
  • By providing coaching to assist churches to build effective, sustainable, disciple-making ministries for men.

Our Effectiveness


“Gary, as always, AWESOME! Thanks for saving my marriage, making me a better man, father, husband, leader, Christian, and equipping me for bringing the message to others.”  Marine in Afghanistan


“God used you to turn my husband’s life completely around. He is now a Spirit-filled Christian. It all happened at the Great Dads Seminar you led. THANK YOU SO MUCH.”  The wife of a man who attended the Great Dads seminar.


“Thanks for all the material in the FOCUS notebook. The material on marriage is helping my wife and I understand each other better. This is humorous but she picked up some of your materials that talked about the male sex drive, and it really opened her eyes. I’m a little bit happier now in that respect…”A Happy Husband


To Review Our Most Recent Annual Report Click Here for the PDF


To Donate


Family Builders, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non- profit ministry, gifts to whom are fully tax deductible.  If you would like to support our ministry, make out your check to Family Builders, Inc., and mail it to:

            Family Builders, Inc

            18211 Bluebell Lane

            Olney, MD  20832


Donations Through PayPal


From Gary Yagel

Here are some thoughts about following Christ as men.

Meet Gary Yagel

Retreat Packages


   Build men who are the spiritual leaders of their homes

  • Understanding what spiritual leadership is and isn’t
  • Three needs of a wife that only her husband can meet
  • Designing your own game plan for the home front

  Follow-up Tool:  Intimacy: God’s Design For Marriage




   Build men who shape their lives according to  Christ’s mission for them

  • Overcoming the “driven” lifestyle
  • Staying focused on Christ’s priorities
  • Gaining fresh energy for our mission

Follow-up Tool:  FOCUS Notebook




   Build men who are winning their spiritual battles because they

        no longer fight them alone

  • Why Christian men are often alone in their struggles
  • Lessons from Jonathan and David
  • I’ve got your back

Follow-up Tool:  Forging Bonds of Brotherhood Small Group Study




    Build young men & men who are equipped to resist the pull of

       sexual temptation in their life-long battle with lust

  • Why is lust such a battle for men?
  • Escaping the slippery slope of Internet addiction
  • 7 grace-centered principles which change a man’s heart, empowering him in his battle with lust

   (Special break-out session for husbands: “Solving the IntimacyMisconnect: Men Spell Intimacy SEX,Women spell It TALK)


Follow-up Tool:  Grace Transformed Sexuality Small Group Study




    Build men who model biblical masculinity, raising masculine

        boys, and feminine girls

  • The pursuit of true masculinity changes our lives
  • Perfect Masculinity: What Jesus Models
  • Loyalty to the High King

Follow-up Tool:  Allegiance: Building A Foundation of Loyalty to God



Partnering With Your Local Men's Ministry




Gary Yagel is a specialist in men’s ministry. He knows how to increase attendance at your men’s events, ignite deeper commitment to Christ in men’s hearts, and help men forge bonds of brotherhood for encouragement and accountability.


The best way to partner with Gary is to invite him to speak at a weekend retreat or conference at your church. He will impact your men, provide free training and consulting for your men’s leadership team, and bring the tools to help men become the godly men God designed them to be.


Here is a partial list of the churches with whom Gary has partnered.


          All Saints Church, Woodbridge, VA

          Catalina Foothills Church, Tucson, AZ

          Christ Our Hope Church, Wake Forest, NC

          Covenant Life, Sarasota, FL

          Covenant Pres, Chattanooga, TN

          Covenant Pres, Ft Payne, AL

          Covenant Pres, Harrisonburg, VA

          Covenant Pres, Little Rock, AR

          Covenant Pres, Naples, FL

          Evangelical Pres, Annapolis, MD

          Grace Covenant, Williamsburg, VA

          Grace Redeemer, Teaneck, NJ

          Highlands Pres, Jackson, MS

          Liberty Church, Owens Mills, MD

          McLean Pres, McLean, VA

          Shady Grove Pres, Rockville, MD

          Trinity Pres, Plano, TX

          Village Seven PCA, Colorado Springs, CO

          Westminster Pres, Lancaster, PA



Testimonials about Gary’s Ministry


“Great retreat—thanks so much for your superb ministry to our men.”  Father Mark Brown, All Saints Church, Woodbridge, VA


“We’ve been implementing the principles Gary taught us for several years. Our men’s ministry is now having such an impact on the men that the women’s ministry leaders came to us and asked for our advice.Jim Blair, Covenant Pres., Harrisonburg, VA


“Gary Yagel has been helping us implement the principles from the Reaching Every Man seminar and it has made a huge impact in the effectiveness of our men’s ministry.”  TE Tucker York, Westminster Pres., Lancaster, PA


"Gary, you did a great job speaking at our men's retreat.  You really understand men--and I love your passion!   Senior Pastor, Joseph Wheat, Highlands Pres, Ridgeland, MS 


How to Partner With Gary


1.  Browse this website, especially the Speaking and Study Topics sections, to see what topics Gary might address with your men.

2.  Browse the Discipleship section to see what training might help your leadership team.

3.  Consider what format (retreat, conference, seminar, breakfast) would work best for your church.

4.  Include some time for Gary to meet with your men's leaadership team.

5. Contact Gary  301.570.5097.

Free Downloads


Effective Men's Ministry

Click title to view video


1.  How Does Men's Ministry Fit Into the Mission of the Church

2.  How to Build Spiritually Strong Men –The Discipleship Pathway to Spiritual Growth 

3.  How to Help Men Down the Discipleship Path 

4.  How to Plan An Effective Men's Event

5.  Combatting the Epidemic of Male Isolation 

6.  How to Help Men Forge Brotherhood Bonds

7.  How to Build a Strong Men's Ministry Leadership Team

8.  How to Get Men to Attend Your Event

9.  Church Wide Strategy for Helping Men In the Battle with Lust

10. What Spiritual Leadership at Home Looks Like



Click to Download PDF Articles


“Boys, Masculinity and the Church: Why Boys Need a Strong Men’s Ministry


Grace Centered Men’s Ministry


"Where Do I Find More Disciplers For My Men?"


Doctoral Dissertation:  Discipling Men's Hearts

Training For Effective Men's Ministry



Effective Men's Ministry

(8-12 minutes)



Listen YOURSELF for fresh encouragement

Pass it on to your CHURCH LEADERS to help them see why men’s ministry is so important

Pass it on to your men’s ministry LEADERSHIP TEAM to rekindle their commitment to men’s discipleship


1.  How Does Men’s Ministry Fit Into the Mission of the Church? (Click on title to see video)

2.  How to Build Spiritually Strong Men –The Discipleship Pathway to Spiritual Growth (Click on title to see video)

3.  How to Help Men Down the Discipleship Path (Click on title to see video)

4.  How to Plan An Effective Men's Event (Click on title to see video)

5.  Combatting The Epidemic of Male Isolation (Click on title to see video)

6.  How to Help Men Forge Brotherhood Bonds (Click on title to see video)

7.  How to Build A Strong Men's Ministry Leadership Team (Click on title to see video)

8.  How to Get Men to Attend Your Event (Click on title to see video)

9.  Church Wide Strategy for Helping Men In the Battle with Lust (Click on title to see video)

10. What Spiritual Leadership at Home Looks Like (Click on title to see video)





Does your church have an effective discipleship process for all the men in your church and community?


If not, don’t miss this training to build an effective discipleship ministry for men in your church.  Over 200 leaders in 6 different geographical regions have received this pca-approved training taught by Gary! 


Seminar Content:


Twenty years of ministry experience and research by three PCA leaders, Pat Morley, David Delk, and Brett Clemmer inspired the creation of “Reaching Every Man—Introducing A Strategy for Men’s Ministry to Leave No Man Behind.”Based on the book, No Man Left Behind, this, dynamic, encouraging training will inspire your men to:

  • Build a strong ministry to your men, which moves them down the discipleship path.
  • Design events that reach the men not already involved.
  • Help men develop deeper friendships so they are not alone in their spiritual battles.
  • Get men to take advantage of the already existing programs in your church.
  • Shape your ministry to men so that it changes their hearts, not just their behavior.

Seminar Details:


Time Commitment: The 4 hour training is usually held on Saturday mornings from 8:30-12:30

Cost:   $38/man, which includes a conference notebook.

             $28/man in groups of 4 or more, also including a conference notebook.


Your Church or Presbytery Can Host This Training:


All that is normally required is for a large church or several churches to work together for a minimum of 25 paid registrations. If you’re interested, we’ll help you find additional churches to partner with you. For further information contact Gary Yagel at 301.570.5097


These Principles Work!


“We’ve been implementing the principles taught in the Reaching Every Man seminar for several years. Our men’s ministry is now having such an impact on the men that the women’s ministry leaders came to us and asked for our advice.Jim Blair, Covenant Pres. Harrisonburg, VA.


“Gary Yagel has been helping us implement the principles from the Reaching Every Man seminar and it has made a huge impact in the effectiveness of our men’s ministry.”  TE Tucker York, Westminster Pres. Lancaster, PA



To Download a PDF about this training


For more information about hosting this training contact Gary




Check out these life-changing, biblically-based resources!


Please let us know how we may serve you!

Drop us a line!

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Speaking To Men




"Gary, what men love so much about your speaking is your passion.  When you speak, you ignite men to action."  Jim Blair, Men's MInistry leader from Harrisonburg, VA.


“Great retreat—thanks so much for your superb ministry to our men.”  Father Mark Brown, All Saints Church, Woodbridge, VA


 “The Grace Transformed Sexuality Seminar was excellent, excellent, excellent, excellent.”  LtCol. Chris Braddy, U. S. Marine Corps, Ret., Director of Officers Christian Fellowship, Quantico Marine Base, PCA Ruling Elder.


"Gary, you did a great job speaking at our men's retreat.  You really understand men--and I love your passion!   Senior Pastor, Joseph Wheat, Highlands Pres, Ridgeland, MS


 “I enthusiastically endorse the Grace Transformed Sexuality seminar and think IT IS A “MUST DO” EVENT IN EVERY MEN’S MINISTRY.”  John Hutchinson, Sr. Pastor McLean PCA, McLean, VA


"Your seminar on masculinity was excellent.  Every church needs this teaching.  What can I do to help you get this seminar to more churches."  Assoc. Pastor, John Kuebler, Covenant Pres, Harrisonburg, VA.


"Gary, thanks for a great job in your messages to our men at our steak outs this summer. You have really taught me a lot about how to speak to men."  Assoc. Pastor, Tucker York, Wetminster Pres, Lancaster, PA


"Terrific job speaking to our men.  We'd like to fly you down to speak to our men every year."  Sr. Pastor Scott Cook, Christ Our Hope Church, Wake Forest, NC,


“Once again I want to thank you for the seminar, “Grace Transformed Sexuality" held at Valley on Saturday. It was extremely profitable and timely for our men. Every normal man struggles with temptations in these areas. Your insightful and biblically-based wisdom gave us direction and guidelines to put into practice both personally and in our marriages.  I heartedly endorse the seminar for all of our churches. Also, I would like to purchase 3 more of the “Intimacy - God's Design For Marriage” booklets for my 3 married sons.”  Tom Osterhause, Sr. Pastor, Valley Presbyterian Church in America


Check out the talks, retreat packages, and seminars that Gary offers on the right side bar.

Ministry Team




Bob Johnson:  Director of Network Systems


Bob Johnson joined the Forging Bonds staff in January, 2013 on a voluntary basis to guide the development of a robust network of communication and interaction among churches served by Forging  (See his bio below)  


This network will enable FB to achieve these important operational goals of its ministry:


  • ·         assembling a core constituency of churches to advise our ministry
  • ·         regularly contacting the churches we have assisted in the past to understand how their                   efforts to build a discipleship ministry for men are progressing  
  • ·         discovering how we may better serve local churches to build life-changing men’s ministries
  • ·         providing additional  strategies, resources, and encouragement  to assist stalled men’s                 ministries to recover their momentum and begin moving forward again.


The core of the ministry will be the development of an improved database that will retrieve, assemble, and use information from the churches that are participating with the Forging Bonds ministry as well as link to other ministries and information sources that will assist participants in Forging






                              (As pictured left to right)


Todd Czerner: Todd has worked many years in communications technology, in both engineering and management roles and with both large and small companies.  Todd brings technical expertise in the virtual world, attention to detail, a strong awareness of counseling issues, entrepreneurship, and managerial expertise to the Board. 


Eric O'Neill: Eric is the Chief Financial Officer of the Short Line Railroad. He is responsible for making budget recommendations, and insuring that correct accounting procedures are implemented throughout his organization. His expertise is invaluable in making sure we at Family Builders dot our i's and cross our t's correctly.  Eric serves as the treasurer of Family Builders, Inc.


Robert Johnson: In 2013, Bob retired as the Chief Executive Officer of the Wildlife Habitat Council. As such, he had the responsibility for formulating and implementing the WHC's strategic plan for accomplishing its mission, formulating and raising the budget, and overseeing the WHC staff. Bob and his wife, Marsha are part of the core team of a new church plant in Germantown, MD.


Phil Fleming: As a senior Estimator/Project Manager for Congressional Ironworks, Phil lives every day in the world of men and is daily involved in the managerial process. As past members of both the local and regional Young Life Committees, Phil and his wife, Susie, also have years of experience assisting and supporting non-profit ministries.  They are also presently part of the core team of a church plant in Germantown, MD.


Gary Yagel: Gary is the Founder and Executive Director of Family Builders, Inc. Click to view his bio.


Jim Blair (Not in Group Picture): Jim is a marketing specialist for Lantz Construction Company, in Harrisonburg, VA, a general contractor and design/build firm.The recent reduction in building projects because of the economy has created a shortfall in revenue, which Jim's efforts help fill.  He is also the point man for his church's men’s ministry team and has been dedicated to discipling men for 30 years.







Carlisle Reformed Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, PA 
Christ Church, Arlington, VA 
Liberty Church, Owings Mills, MD  
Pilgrim Presbyterian Church, Martinsburg, WV  
Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, Rockville, MD





PCA Men's Network

Grace and Men  

Man in the Mirror

PCA Men's Ministry  

Tun Tavern Fellowship  

Next Steps For Men


Saturday Morning Seminars

Seminars are a fantastic tool for impacting men's growth in discipleship!  Here are 3 reasons:  1) The right speaker can re-ignite their passion for Christ and His kingdom.  Most men already know what they should be doing; what they need most is a fresh dose of energy and inspiration to live for Christ.  2)  Since most men read very little, a 3 hour seminar can give a man more content that is relevant to his walk with Christ than he normally gets in a whole year through reading. 3)  What men need, even more than biblical content, is connection with other men who face the same challenges and struggles they do.  Our seminars always include discussion groups.


Can Our Church Afford to Host Such a Seminar?  The answer is most likely, "yes."  Most of our seminars are 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours long.  Our standard seminar fee is only $25/man with a minimum guarantee of 25 men.  The host church would need to cover travel expenses of over 50 miles. Contact Gary for more information about our seminars. 


Which Seminar Is the Best One to Start With?  The answer is the one that best fits the needs of your guys.  If they all match the needs of your men, here is a suggestion. Start with Recovering Biblical Manhood in year one.  Host Called to Be Men in year two, which gives him apractical tools and a game plan for living out his calling as a man. Then follow up with  Grace Transformed Sexulaity or Becoming a Band of Brothers.  However, any seminar works as a starting place if it addresses the needs of your men! 



Build men who have a clear definition of godly masculinity

and passion to honor Christ by being godly men

  • What Does Godly Manhood Look Like?
  • What Does a Son Need From His Dad to Grow Into Godly Manhood?
  • How Does an Authentic Man Pursue a Woman?
  • Jesus: God's Portrait of True Manhood

For testimonials and detailed information, click here



No man wants to fail at anything—but especially he doesn’t want to fail those he loves most—his wife and kids.  But few men have been taught what their wife needs from them or how to be the spiritual leader at home that their family needs.WINNING AT HOME   


Seminar Content


Four Needs of a Wife That Only Her Husband Can Meet (And Are VERY DIFFERENT from his own!)

  • Understanding what her feminine heart was designed by God to crave
  • Understanding What Romance is to a Woman
  • Solving the Intimacy Misconnect That Happens In 83% of Marriages

Being An Effective Spiritual Leader at Home (Whatever the heck that means)

  • Understanding What Leadership Is and Is Not
  • Identifying Four Relationship-busters that Undermine our Influence at Home
  • Foundational Principles for Training Kids to be Responsible and Self-controlled

The seminar presents very practical, biblical principles in a manner that encourages and inspires men, instead of shaming them with everything they are doing wrong as a husband and father. Even singles love this seminar because they want to understand how a woman is wired and expect to be married with a family one day. When this seminar was field tested this fall the men rated it 9.6 on a 1-10 point scale.

This is a great follow-up seminar to the Rediscovering Biblical Manhood seminar.





Build men who have a passion and practical game plan 

for living out their calling from God TO BE MEN

  • A Man and His Mission--How can we overcome busyness & stay focused on what Christ wants us to accomplish? 
  • A Man and His Lady--Agape love is sacrificing to meet our wives' needs, but what are those needs? 
  • A Man and His Brother--Men don't naturally get close so how can we become a spiritual band of brothers?

For testimonials and detailed information, click here




Build young men & men who are equipped with grace-

centered biblical principles for their life-long battle with lust

  • Further your biblical understanding of sexual desire and why lust has such power. 
  • Sharpen your thinking about the heart, its idols, and how to protect it from the steep slope of Internet addiction.
  • Discover 7 grace-centered principles, which change the way a man battles lust.
  • In a safe environment, be revitalized in your battle with lust, knowing you're not the only one struggling.
  • Leave, determined that when you get knocked down in this battle, you will get back up

   (Special optional break-out session for husbands: “Solving the Intimacy

    Misconnect: Men Spell Intimacy SEX, Women spell It TALK)


Follow-up Tool:  Grace Transformed Sexuality Small Group Study


For testimonials and detailed information click here. Here is a YouTube interview with Gary on why this material is proving to be so helpful to men


Click here for the answers to FAQ's about the GTS seminar




Build men who are winning their spiritual battles because they no

longer fight them alone

  • Why Christian men are often alone in their struggles
  • Lessons from Jonathan and David
  • I’ve got your back

Follow-up Tool: Forging Bonds of Brotherhood Small Group Study



“GREAT DADS”  (Great for Outreach)

    Build men equipped to send godliness down the line of their

        descendents to the third and fourth generation

  • What kids really need from their dad
  • How to provide unconditional love and affection
  • How to instill moral and spiritual values

Follow-up Tool: Great Dads, by Bob Hamrin




Building Ministries to Disciple Men

As a youth pastor, church planter, and senior pastor, Gary was focused on building effective men's discipleship ministries for over 30 years. Since then, Gary has served as a trainer/presenter of Man In the Mirror's 20 hour course on Men's Ministry, No Man Left Behind. He has received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, where his dissertation was on Discipling the Heart of A Man, and teaches a seminary course called Making Kingdom Disciples at RTSDC. He has been honored to be able to assist over 75 churches as his denomination's Men's Ministry Coach.  Here are 6 ways to access his help: 


1. Visit the FAQ section where you will find some biblical, experienced-honed answers to many common questions about building an effective men's discipleship ministry.


2. Subscribe to Gary's monthly e-letter, Helping Men Walk With Christ and With Each Other. (Over 700 men now receive it.) See the side colum to subscribe 


3.  Consider bringing the Reaching Every Man training to your church or presbytery.


4.  Listen to the free training video, "Reaching the Heart of a Man"


5.  Invite Gary to your church to speak.  When Gary speaks at a church, he nearly always arranges his schedule to spend 60-90 minutes with the men's leadership team to coach them about their unique ministry, at no additional charge. Here is information about his seminars and retreat topics.


6. View the tutorials on Effective Men's Ministry on this website and share them with your leadership team.

Study Topics

Gary speaks on all of the topics listed to the right.  This section gives you the seminal points of his teaching as he seeks to apply Scripture to the everyday life experiences of men. Click the bar to the right to see and/or download this material.

About Dr. Yagel


Gary’s Background


Dr. Gary Yagel began his ministry as a volunteer Young Life leader while attending Penn State University.  He continued to work as a Young Life leader after moving home to the Washington DC suburbs and working for the Department of Labor.  He later graduated from seminary and served four years as a youth pastor at the Presbyterian Church of Atonement in Silver Spring Maryland, where his favorite part of ministry was discipling the high school guys. 


In 1982 Gary began a twenty year career in the Presbyterian Church in America as a church planter and senior pastor.  In 2002, after reading Bob Buford’s book, Halftime, he realized that God was calling him to focus 100% of his energy on his real passion—helping the church disciple men.  With his courageous wife, Sandy, Gary stepped out in faith to begin Family Builders, Inc.


Since then, Gary has led the men’s division of Family Builders, serving as the Executive Director of Forging Bonds of Brotherhood.  In this capacity, he is busy nearly every Saturday speaking on men’s retreats or leading men’s seminars he's designed like “Rediscovering Biblical Manhood,Winning at Home, or “Grace Transformed Sexuality.” He taught his discipleship course, “Called to Be Men” for  several years at Quantico Marine Base in Quantico, VA and is the author of many resources available on the website.


Gary’s Credentials


Gary has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, where his doctoral dissertation was on the topic of discipling the heart of a man.


Dr. Yagel's experience as a husband of over 30 years, a father of 5 children, and pastor of growing churches in the busy suburbs of Washington DC has equipped him to understand the needs of men in the fast-paced 21st century.  His church planting experience training leaders and equipping members to use their gifts has perfectly prepared him to train men’s ministry leadership teams.


Besides functioning as the Executive Direcor of Forging Bonds of Brotherhood, Gary serves as the Men's Ministry Consultant for his denomination, the Presbyterian Church In America.  For many years he was a Field Network Trainer and speaking faculty member for Man In the Mirror.  He continues to serve as a presenter for Great Dads and is currently a visiting faculty member of Reformed Theological Seminary, DC where he teaches on discipleship.     

Welcome to

Dr. Gary Yagel is a specialist in men’s ministry. He helps men understand biblical manhood, spiritual leadership, sexual purity, and how to meet their wife’s need for emotional intimacy as a Christian husband. His men’s bible study, Forging Bonds of Brotherhood, helps men become true brothers in Christ. He serves as the men's minisry coach of his denomination, the Presbyterian Church In America, and the Executive Director of Forging Bonds of Brotherhood. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, where his dissertation was on the topic, "Discipling the Heart of a Man."

NEW! Boys to Men: Five Week Father/Son Study on Godly Manhood

Check out Dr. Yagel's latest book designed for dads to go through with their sons aged 11-15.  Every boy wants to be masculine.  Why not build on this God-given deisre and steer him towards GODLY masculinity. See our products now.




Speaking Events

Rediscovering Biblical Manhood

Ingleside Pres
1001 Old Snellville Hwy, Lawrenceville, GA
Saturday, Jan 24, 2015

Winning At Home

Hixson Pres
1005 Gadd Rd., Hixson, TN
Friday, Mar 20, 2015 - Saturday, Mar 21, 2015

Rediscovering How Disciples Are Made

Hixson Pres
1005 Gadd Rd., Hixson, TN
Sunday, Mar 22, 2015