Crucible Community News

Crucible Community News

Check on the latest and ongoing Crucible Project information based off the Crucible Community News that is emailed out to subscribers.

Upcoming Staffing Opportunities

Initial Crucible Weekend, St. Charles, IL
Leader: Bob Locascio
August 11-13
Applications Due: June 4

Initial Crucible Weekend, Como, CO
Leader: Chris Mosher
August 25-27
Applications Due: June 23



Chris’ Corner

Welcome to “Chris’ Corner,” a place where the Crucible’s Executive Director will be sharing news with the Crucible community. 

Almost a year ago the Board adopted a Strategic Plan that would grow The Crucible Project.  Some key elements of this plan are to invest in our volunteers, help them grow as leaders, and to launch into new communities.

Whether it is starting a new curriculum group in the Chicagoland area, sponsoring a first-ever Initial Weekend Retreat in the Kentucky/Southern Indiana area and in Connecticut, or launching a new Two-Year Transformational Program Skype group – it will take men who have stepped up and said they want to lead.

Leadership is key to our growth. We are looking to YOU to lead.  As a king with a domain you lead in your family, your church and in other areas.   I strongly encourage you to be doing that!  My invitation is to consider if you can also lead within The Crucible Project.

What is your gift as a leader? Is it to lead an Exercise, Soul, or Curriculum group? Is it to lead on the carpet as a facilitator? Maybe being an Elder in our community is your call. Perhaps leading on the Regional level is where God is calling you to serve, bringing organization skills or special ability to engage men.  Whatever it is, we want and need it.

We are in the process of hiring a man to lead this charge. As the Manager of Leadership Development, he will be tasked with relaunching our Leadership Pathway and guiding men into the various roles in which they are called to serve.

This goes way beyond Retreat or Carpet leading…they are only two of the many leadership roles we value in our community. Stay tuned, you will be hearing more about this! Pray with us as we finalize this hire and create a plan that will serve you by growing you as leader!

Food Coordinator Challenge!


After my initial in May 2010, it took me a couple of years to step into staffing, which led me to kitchen duty as is often the case for rookies.  I enjoyed cooking at home.  I felt comfortable cooking for my family and maybe a few others at holidays or when the occasional party came up, and I had no fear pulling together a meal based on whatever is in the pantry to get avoid a trip out to the store, or make it until payday.  

While serving on kitchen duty, the food coordinator acknowledged that I knew how to handle a knife and could dice tomatoes at what I learned was an above-average rate.  Soon the conversation turned to my cooking habits, etc. and he challenged me “You should consider becoming a kitchen coordinator.”  The thought of cooking on that scale made me more than a “little” scared to say the least. Still, the bug had been planted and I sat on it for a few months.
My shadow often comes at me with messages like “You’re not good enough” “You’re going to let them down” “You’re going to f#$% it up.” This was one of those moments that my shadow would often shut me down and lead me to sulk away from a challenge.  This time I chose to step up with my shadow and take that fear to build a workable solution for me to learn how to cook in this type of a setting.  I worked out an arrangement with the experienced kitchen coordinators to shadow for a few weekends until I felt comfortable taking on the role as a lead.  I took on various aspects of the process, and eventually led a few meals on a weekend before stepping into my first coordinator role on a smaller 2 carpet weekend.  Everyone left with full stomachs, I received many accolades, and amazingly, I survived!  That weekend ran me raw, and I was exhausted beyond belief, and I felt a great sense of accomplishment and support from our community.  
Since that first time, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve served as food coordinator for initial weekends in Chicago, Colorado, and even as a guest cook for a 2nd level weekend. I’ve taken my new-found skills and training to serve my church, leading the meal planning and prep for our evening vacation bible school for a couple of years now, serving 200 persons each night from a ramshackle kitchen.  My culinary skills have taken off and my confidence has also taken a boost as I have introduced new procedures and meal prep activities that save precious time in the kitchen.  
You do not have to be the 2nd coming of Bobby Flay or Justin Wilson (“little mo’ wine”)  to step into the kitchen coordinator role.  The Community needs more men who are willing to step up to the plate and serve through their gifts of organization and creativity to feed the men (and cut the cheese/sausage) on these weekends.  Will you accept the challenge to join me in the kitchen?
If you sense God might be challenging you to explore this position, reach out to Bill Snyder via EMAIL .
*There are definite needs in the near future (Aug. 11-13 Illinois, Oct. 6-8 Illinois, Dec. 8-10 Wisconsin).


Brandon Brunson has been recognized by The Crucible Project’s leadership team as a Certified Retreat Leader!  He went through his last step in the Leadership Pathway, a “hot seat” process with other Certified Leaders earlier this month and becomes The Crucible Project’s 10th Certified Retreat Leader.

Brandon attended his initial Weekend in August 2008 at Williams Bay, WI.  Following his Weekend, he attended all 4 second level retreats.   He began his work toward becoming a Retreat Leader by staffing 27 initial weekends and 3 second level weekends.  Additionally completing both basic and advanced carpet training, Brandon worked hard to put in the reps and get what was needed to be able to lead a weekend.

Active in the Midland, Texas community, Brandon has been on the local leadership committee, and was on staff at the initial Texas weekend!  As part of the launch in Texas, he helped Barry Thomas gather a trailer load of materials, fully stock the initial carpet bins as the original materials coordinator.  He has served as a group leader, having been been certified while leading 12 week curriculum groups in the Midland community.  Brandon also feels a deep affinity with the Houston Crucible community – and was the one who invited his brother-in-law, Roy Wooten to attend the initial Texas weekend, launching that community.

If you’d like to let Brandon know “the gold you see in him” and what you think about his accomplishment, you can email him HERE.

Welcome Brandon – we look forward to serving with you!

Resources for the Journey

Sometimes, especially after a man does work on his initial weekend, other issues come out that haven’t been addressed.  Oftentimes those issues have to do with addictions.

Sexual addiction is an issue that 18-24 million Americans struggle with yet help seems difficult to find, because of the tremendous power of shame.

One valuable resource is LIFE Recovery International, an addiction recovery ministry that provides resources for not only sexual addiction, but other addictions as well. Based on the L.I.F.E. guidebook written by Dr. Mark Laaser, who leads Faithful & True, a Christian Counseling Center that offers intensive weekends for men, women and couples, there are hundreds of Faithful & True small groups that meet weekly around this issue all around the country.

Both websites have helpful self-assessment tools, free resources and downloads, workshops and podcasts.  Both men and women, husbands and wives travel to Minnesota for the workshops that are offered.

Buy Now
Buy Now
Books for the Journey

Seven Desires: Looking Past what Separates Us to Learn what Connects Us.  By: Mark & Debbie Laaser

If you’ve longed for deeper insight into what we all long for and the common longings in every person’s heart, Mark & Debbie Laaser’s book, Seven Desires, is an insightful read.

The Laasers use Biblical insights, counseling stories and sound psychological principles to explain and pinpoint the common desires God gives you: to be heard, affirmed, blessed, safe, touched, chosen, and included.

When I read the very first chapter, my heart skipped a beat as the initial explanation reflected many issues I haven’t been able to put into words.  That chapter was worth the price of the book and more.  I was able to instantly recognize the main desires that I have been ‘chasing’ all my life.

With helpful “Points to Ponder” at the end of every chapter, this is a book that can be experienced individually or in a small group.  It’s great to read with your spouse.

The Crucible Project does a great job at meeting these seven desires, and I can see this book as a next level type of reading for those that have been through an initial weekend as well as seasoned Crucible vets.


Books for the Journey
Buy the Book
Buy the Book

The Road Back to You

An Enneagram Journey To Self-Discovery  By: Ian Morgan Crow & Suzanne Stabile

Ian Morgan unravels the mystery of the “Enneagram”, an ancient personality system that helps people understand who they are and what makes them tick. When I say ancient, think monks from 400AD. By the early 1900s a teacher developed a nine pointed geometric figure, thus “ennea(nine)gram” to illustrate this system. Fast forward to 1970 and the personality system came to the United States where millions of people have used the system and swear to its accuracy.

OK, enough history already! Why should you read this book? Other than the obvious reason of answering the question, “what number am I anyway?!” I’d offer three reasons.

First, to understand yourself better. To date I’ve never found THE absolute and total system that gets to the heart of how I tick. The Enneagram is one of many tools that can help you do that. By reading about your “type” it gives you a greater appreciation for your gold and shadow. The truth be told, it is more about the sin that most trips you up. By seeing it from a higher view it helps you make choices about how you want to live.

Second, to understand those around you. My wife and I read this book together and we’d often stop and comment on how clearly it described me, her, or one of our kids. After reading one chapter we joked “they should rename that chapter ‘Susan’ (the name of our friend).” To live in harmony and understanding with those around you, the first step is often seeing how the other is wired. Different is just that – different.

Third, to share a common language with others. I’ve noticed that more and more men in The Crucible community are being exposed to the Enneagram through reading, workshops, and blogs. A friend of mine shares the same personality type. We are able to address certain issues in light of the Enneagram that gives us greater understanding of the soul work we are doing. Coupled with the tools offered in Crucible I have found this to be very helpful to go deeper.

On a final note, let me say the book is very easy to read! The lead Author, Ian Morgan Cron uses a humorous narrative throughout to illustrate the various types and gently shows us where our sins trip us up. He speaks from his own experience (think “I statements”) and invites his reader to do the same. You’ll read this book to “figure out what number you are” and discover you are reading it to “figure out who others are” as well. Fascinating, entertaining, insightful! A must read for any man on his journey. –  JJ

Books for the Journey
Buy the Book
Buy the Book

If you’ve ever seen Truth in places where some don’t – you’ll enjoy “Waking The Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive,” by John Eldredge.  The author of “Wild at Heart” takes on the tenant that Christianity offers life – full life, as promised by Jesus himself in John 10:10.  Eldredge’s purpose is to ignite that life that is already within us.

He uses biblical and cultural examples to communicate God’s great purposes in redeeming us even in the midst of a wounded and shell-shocked world.  At the same time, John communicates that the path of following Jesus is a narrow path in the midst of spiritual warfare.  The chapter on “Fighting for Your Heart” takes that whole topic on to a place you might have never considered.

If you want to live your life in a way that is FREED in following God, and challenge some of the lies you might have believed about yourself and your heart, this is a great place to start.  Added bonus:  It’s now on Amazon Kindle for $1.99 here: Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive


Books for the Journey
Buy the Book
Buy the Book

“Scary Close – Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy” is Donald Miller’s most recent book.  The author of “Blue Like Jazz,” Miller has an engaging conversational way of writing.  It feels like you’re with a good friend.  I’d read other Miller books, and was looking forward to this one – yet this book seemed different.  It was a more mature man, coming to grips with his need for intimacy, while at the same time scared to death of it.

With chapter titles like, The Distracting Noises of Insecurity, You are Good at Relationships, Why Some Animals make Themselves Look Bigger than They Are, Five Kinds of Manipulators and Do Men Do Intimacy Differently, there is really something for every man at every stage of their lives.

I think a good author is someone who can peel off the common layers that we all have, and get to the nitty gritty of life.  Miller does that here.  I have so much common ground with his “voice” in this book, that I really feel that his story is my story.  When I read the chapter on parenting – I couldn’t help but traverse through all the emotions on display with the parents who talk about intimacy and the role it plays with their kids.  You’ll be shocked and comforted most likely, like me.

Donald is a storyteller, and because of that, alongside with the conversational writing, it’s truly hard to put down.  That’s always a sign of a great book, in my opinion.  Every man should read it.


Next Man Stories: Michael Byrd

Michael has experienced God’s transformation through the Crucible Project.  He has worked in the social service arena his entire career from in-patient psychiatric counseling, out patient family therapy, pregnant drug treatment case management, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Administrator to now as the Assistant Superintendent (Warden) of Programs at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice – Illinois Youth Center- Chicago (Juvenile Prison).  He has been married 25 years and has 3 daughters, ages 30, 18, and 14 with 3 grandchildren, ages 4 and 2.  Growing up as an only child, he was adopted within his family, though he had an older brother.  All 4 of his parents are now deceased as is his brother. Michael has recreated his family through a long standing fictive relationship that started when he was in high school and continues to this day.  The Crucible brotherhood also fills the role of family for him as well.

Q:  Your animal name is “The Rebirth of Cool Stallion,” which is a pretty cool name!

It was formerly White Stallion until my carpet on the Sexuality Weekend where I was born again and I borrowed from a Miles Davis album title because I no longer felt unwanted and not accepted, not cool.

Q:  Rollback to your initial weekend, what transpired?

My initial weekend was May of 2014.  Pastor Phil Jackson coerced me into attending.  It gave me healing from shadow related to powerlessness over my mother’s death when I was an infant and of a sexualized assault that occurred by a younger but bigger boy when I was around 12.  My sense of powerlessness and being devalued had been a whispering, lingering voice hiding in the shadows impacting me and my choices for so long, but that weekend helped me to identify this powerlessness and gave me a sense of my strength.  I did a push of the negative voice out of the room and managed to push past my safeties, one of which was a former professional football player that created my sense of Stallion and has so taken me to a place where I stand in my Warrior energy definitively and much more cleanly.  I went from a hatchling: weak, wet, begging for food, vulnerable with my eyes sealed shut still to White Stallion, pure, undefiled and strong with a presence that exudes the ability to stride through with force if need be.

Q:  Tell us about next steps and the benefits of that in your journey.

I joined a Soul Group soon after and have remained a part of it for these past 2 years.  I have been walking in leadership as I support our groups energy and challenge our groups health and integrity.  It has been a safe space for me to go and look at my shadow, be authentic in my check in with myself and have a group of brothers who hold me accountable.

I have become more centered and comfortable with looking at my shadow.  I recognize that I have unresolved wounds which create angry reactions in my marriage, in my self image, in my acting out of my sadness and hurt.  I am challenged to face my wound around not being valued and walk in tenderness for myself.  I have always been so hard on myself because I had seen myself as a looser, weak and fragile unable to defend myself from self-esteem attacks.  But now I’ve been born again and almost every time I reflect on that great experience of being birth into the waiting arms of my new mom, Brian Smith (sorry dad but the focus of that experience was mom) I begin to smile uncontrollably and often break into giddy laughter.

I feel like this Crucible work is a natural extension of the use of my Gold which I have been doing since my career started.  That is, being a catalyst for change and transformation for people who need/want it. This work helps me continually and I love being a part of sharing in the transformation of other men and their families.  I need to be a part of making that change because I know what it is like to live in a family where I’m carrying secrets which are cancerous and infested with dysfunction.  I know men and their families need someone to who is not afraid to face the journey with them.  

I’m need to delve into my father issues more.  To date I have done the significant part of my work on my mothers but haven’t done a lot with my father.  That should be next, as some hurt came up last month when we did a father exercise where I had to introduce my father.

Q: Being involved with “Urban” men – what would you say are the greatest challenges in Crucible for them?

I think one of the great challenges in Crucible for urban men is the decoding of the racial disparities which create distance and walls between urban crucible men and our sub-urban brothers.  Generally speaking it seems more sub-urban brothers have more disposable income than the urban brothers.  Financing attendance at an initial weekend is a car payment or a gas bill in the winter months or part of a child support payment.  Making the choice to pay for the weekend vs. a stocked refrigerator is a huge choice walking into the unknown value of the weekend pre-carpet experience.  

Frankly the coded title of the “Urban weekend”, which attempts to target primarily, men of color is a challenge; which points out that our ability to identify each other through our limited mutual language is a place where work is needed. Another challenge is being able to trust.  My sense is that men of color have not been given reason to trust institutions run by White men, especially those who have secret methods that are on the surface appearing to be governed by a White male board and where an overwhelming majority of the participants are White men who can not claim to know intimately a man of color, to have read a recent book by a person of color, who probably have misconceptions of Black & Latino culture but because of the impact of the shadow of institutionalized racism they don’t know it.  

Trust is a big challenge because men of color have too often found themselves subjugated by White men who have the power to influence outcomes on a micro and macro level when it comes to where men of color can choose to live (red lining), jobs (glass ceilings), education (poorly funded public school systems).  

Q: What other insights do you have to offer other men?

Men need to meet themselves and other men authentically and be able to be vulnerable, to be able to be touched literally and figuratively without being harmed and to be held accountable in a way that is loving, teaching, firm without allowing a pass but without abusing.  Men of Crucible remaining men of integrity, accountability, and genuinely expressive of their SASHET emotions demonstrate to men who have not been initiated but need help with their woundedness are drawn to this work.  We have to be authentic though and deal with both shadow and gold and not wear mask or disguises when dealing with both our initiated and not initiated brothers in our lives.

Next Man Stories:  Larry Korbus

Larry has been a husband to Linda soon to celebrate 29 years of marriage.  Larry declares that their relationship is the best it’s ever been.  Their “kids” consist of a pack of 7 rescue dogs (so far).  He’s had three careers in his lifetime.  After college he managed a drafting department for an engineering firm.  With additional education, he became an associate pastor for a church in Chicago’s suburbs.  Currently, Larry is an independent, FT day-trader who has recently taken the PT reigns of the Operations Manager position for The Crucible Project.

Q: Tell us about the new role in Crucible?

Larry:  Since the first time I staffed, I have consistently served as one of the weekend coordinators. I told myself that the proficiency with which I performed these tasks confirmed my abilities and resulted in the offer to serve as TCP’s Operations Manager. In that role, I have a variety of responsibilities – everything from customer service and support, preparing budgets and approving payments, working with weekend coordinators, as well as database and document management.  

Q: What is your initial weekend experience story?

I attended my Initial Weekend in March of 2012. In addition to Bible studies, I had been a part of different recovery and support groups in a variety of church and secular settings. However, in one of those groups a man casually mentioned The Crucible Project. I really wasn’t looking for another group. But, I conducted research online and was intrigued enough to pick up the phone to ask a few questions. I now know the man who I spoke with was Greg Huston. He left me with the impression that this group could be different from anything else I had been a part of – and was he right!

In my lifetime, there have been three major events that have radically changed my life for the better. First, coming to know and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Second, marrying my wife – including every challenge and blessing that has come since our wedding day. And finally, my Initial Weekend (along with the 2-Year Program and four 2nd Level weekends).

 Q: You got right into the 2 Year Program and how has that benefited you?

I knew, after the graduation ceremony on Saturday night of my Initial Weekend that I wanted everything TCP had to offer. I returned home and discussed with my wife the financial investment it would take. I began the 2-Year Program the very next month.

Although I have been a part of many groups in my lifetime, I lived the majority of my life in isolation – especially from men (since I did not consider myself their equal). However, as a direct result of my work in TCP, I am now surrounded by men who accept, support and love me unconditionally. Consequently, I am freely and confidently building healthy, meaningful and close relationships with many of my brothers. 

Q: What motivates you to keep going in Crucible work and what does 2017 hold for you?

I have a strong desire to use my talents to give back to the TCP community for all that has been given to me. I also want to provide the encouragement and support (just like I was given 5 years ago) to men on their Initial Weekends as well as in my post 2-year group.

Carpet Work has had a profound impact on me. So much so, that in December of last year, I embarked on the journey to become a certified Carpet Facilitator. This journey requires not only the acquisition of specific skills but a deep and intense look at my own “issues”. In November of this year, I intend to complete the second leg of that journey. However, throughout this year, I look forward to practicing my newly acquired talent in my post 2-year group as well as any Initial and 2nd Level Weekends I will staff. 

I would encourage all initiated men to continue their work in some form – soul groups, 2-year program, second level weekends and/or staffing. I highly suspect that, without continuing the forward movement that began on my Initial Weekend, I would have easily and quickly slipped back into old patterns.

Next Man Stories:  Tim Rush

Tim Rush (Advancing Charger) spend 11 years in Mexico working with house churches and built a retreat site for inner-city Christian social workers.  He currently serves as the Equipping Minister at Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Tim is married for 18 years with three kids.

Q:  Describe your initial weekend and how that impacted you?

Tim:  In May of 2012, I attended the weekend at Land of My Grandfathers outside of Houston, Texas.  My mission teammate, Chadd Schroeder invited me as he also had a vision to bring Crucible into Mexico.  Initially, I put off going to a weekend – but the fear of missing out on future ministry in Mexico motivated me.

I was blown away at the weekend!  That initial fear of missing out changed after I did the pre-retreat interview in finding my want for the weekend.  I realized that “played small,” never wanting to be truly seen.  Thus, my initial animal name was Ant, while I looked to find a sense of my own personal value.

Q:  And what became of Ant?

Tim:  Besides realizing that I really do have what it takes, I also discovered some harmful patterns I repeated with my children.  Before the weekend, I would have said I was a kind and loving father.  During the weekend, I realized that anger was a real issue for me and by denying it, I was giving it power to come out sideways – doing a lot of damage to my kids.

Q:  What kind of changes have you seen in your life?

Tim:  I am a much better father that I was before.  When I notice that I’m becoming angry with my kids, I can recognize that feeling before it comes out sideways.  I’ve also awakened to the need of blessing my kids.  It’s given me tools to make that a real part of our relationship.  I’m a better husband.  I am learning to listen better when my wife is upset, even though I wanted to avoid conflict at all costs.  In owning what I need own and be ok with listening, even though I don’t agree – allowing her to feel her feelings – without taking on baggage.  She fells like she and the kids are seen by me, and more highly valued.

Q: You’re continuing to staff and do second level work – how is that going and what motivated you to keep going?

Tim:  I didn’t join a Soul group for a couple of years, which I really regret.  I remember getting back home and waking up Monday asking, “Did that really happen?”  Did I say my truth out front of all those other men?  And I think from that point, until I staffed for the first time, I felt encouraged by the weekend, but in a somewhat surreal way.  I felt like it was a good experience, but it was too large to take in fully.  Staffing future weekends, and then finally joining a Soul group helped me to ground what I was learning.

My first time to lead a group just so happened to be while I was also searching for a new job.  To be honest, I don’t think I could have accepted my current job if not for the group.  Serving that container of men helped me give value to my own giftedness.

I’m motivated to stay involved by what I see going on in my own work as well as the men I serve alongside here in Tulsa.  When I see men around me stepping deeper in their love for the wives, kids and brothers, it motivates me to continue this work.  I’m also looking forward to attending my first 2nd level weekend this year.

Q:  Tell us more about what is going on in Mexico!

Tim:  An encouraging aspect of The Crucible Project has been witnessing it’s impact in Mexico.  Originally, we were worried that there would be a lot of cultural-specific aspects that wouldn’t translate, or would just be considered offensive.  But some of the areas we were concerned about have been zones that Mexican men have been longing for.  There seems to be a consistent theme: “This is what our country needs” coming out of the participants.

One of the leaders mentioned that the Old Testament ends with the prophecy about the arrival of John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Jesus.  Malachi says that he would prepare the way by turning the hearts of the fathers toward their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers.  I think that can sum up The Crucible Project.  It turns the hearts of fathers toward their children.  Sunday morning check ins are always peppered with comments like, “I can’t wait to get home and love my kids!”  Witnessing that again and again reminds me that we are doing kingdom work together; that as a brotherhood of men, we are joining together to prepare hearts, young and old, for Jesus.

Next Man Stories:  Matt Ewen

Matt Ewen lives in Brownwood, TX, Southwest of Dallas and is the Assistant Director at Heart of Texas Baptist Camp.  He is married to Christy, and has a son & daughter.  While Matt is originally from Wyoming and missed the mountains, trout fishing and courteous drivers out there – he states that God has him where He wants him.  And The Crucible Project is a part of that.

Q:  Tell us a little bit more about your background and how God set that up.

Matt:  I felt the call to the Gospel ministry in my teens. All through my college years, I didn’t really know where that calling would take me. Turns out, through many growth experiences, God was molding me specifically for the camping ministry. I didn’t know camping ministry was even a thing until He called me to it. I am currently serving in the capacity of Assistant Director at Heart of Texas Baptist Camp in Brownwood, TX. With 12 years of experience in the field, looking back it is easy see His hand at work throughout my life. I continue to experience spiritual transformation as He continues to guide my path. My calling to the camping ministry centers around the transformational power of Christ in the lives of individuals through the camp setting. My goal is to be used by God to help facilitate that experience. My tools to reach that goal are; exceptional service, compassion, grace, authenticity, self-sacrifice, silent strength, and humility. The theme my life has centered around is found in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Q:  What’s your story about how to came to attend an initial Crucible weekend?  You heard about it in a unique way!

Matt:  My initial weekend was January 23-25 of 2015 here at Heart of Texas Camp in Brownwood. The camp had been hosting Crucible weekends for a few years, and I operated the facility end of the retreat. I never really understood what was happening as I witnessed the activities that I could see taking place. It seemed secretive and strange compared to other retreats that utilize the facilities. Byron Myers had been encouraging me to attend for a while. I finally decided to take him up on the offer. I’m sure some of his reasoning was so I could understand what the unusual facility requests were all about. Now, having experienced the weekend, I realize that each activity, gathering and procedure had an intentional purpose as a part of the process. So, what seemed ‘strange’ and ‘secretive’ at the time is what made the transformational experience so powerful.

Q:  How did that weekend impact you?

Matt:  The initial weekend was really an awakening for me. A revitalization of the dreary drudgery, which I had come to know as my spiritual life. I grew up in a strong Christian home. I’ve been going to church and listening to preachers my entire life. I’ve been to camps and retreats. I showed up to Crucible expecting the typical retreat where everyone sits around listening to someone drone on about God and His love and how He wants the best for your life. Boring. I know this already. I’ve heard it all a million times. Instead, what I got was a completely new, hands-on experience that shattered my perception of what it really means to be an authentic and passionate man of God.

Q:  How are you involved now?  What else are you up to?

Matt:  I am not involved with a Soul Group. Instead I have developed a local network of men whose purpose is to foster an atmosphere of accountability for each other. I attended the 2nd level ‘Dark Side of Leadership’ weekend in February 2016. From that experience, I discovered unpleasant truths about myself in regards to my leadership style. One of the biggest discoveries was that my lofty expectations of others is my own way to deliberately cause others to fail, in order for me to feel more powerful. The experience taught me that a leader causes those who follow to succeed through guidance, love, and compassion; rather than coercion.

Q:  How have you seen transformation in your life?

Matt:  The biggest transformation for me has been the process of breaking the chains of fear I have wrapped myself in. Fear of failure, fear of being exposed as a phony, and fear of being a disappointment. By breaking these chains I allow room for confidence, authenticity, passion, and truth to reign in me.  

The relationships that I have developed with the men is my motivation. Next to that is my passion to be used by God to help facilitate transformations that crush the old fearful man in order to create a new and confident man.

Q:  What are you looking forward to in terms of growth this year?

Matt:  I most look forward to the opportunities to serve the individuals who come to camp searching for transformation in their spiritual life. My own growth is directly related to my service to others. I am currently scheduled to staff an initial Crucible weekend this month as well as attend the ‘Discovering and Living Your Mission’ 2nd level weekend next month.

Q:  What would you share with other men who are interested in growing?

Matt:  The only way to grow spiritually is to be authentic with yourself. The only way to reach others is to be authentic in your relationships. Opening our eyes to the opportunities we are given each moment of every day is vital to that spiritual growth. Crucible has played a key role in that growth in my life.

 My oldest brother had a saying, “If you don’t know Jesus, GET to know Him. If you know Him, ACT like it. Live your life intentionally.” Make each attitude, decision, relationship, thought and commitment in your life an INTENTIONAL act with the ultimate purpose to bring honor and glory to God. When we put our life in perspective by thinking heavenly minded, we see that the trials we face in this short time on earth will pale in comparison to eternity with God. Crucible will help each man put their life in perspective. It did for me.

Next Man Stories:  Terrance Foster

Terrance Foster lives in Chicago and engaged deeply in Crucible work.  Here is his story.

Q:  Tell us about your initial weekend?

Terrance:  I attended my 1st weekend November 2012.  I was invited by my good friend and mentor, Phil Jackson.  The first thing he did was invite myself and six other men to a Crucible graduation, and upon hearing the testimonies of the men who had just completed the weekend – I knew I had to go.

Q:  How did the weekend impact you?

Terrance:  You know, it was an eye opener. I had already been on this spiritual journey of finding myself.  I felt like this weekend was one of the necessary components to my journey.  I had so many issues with who I was, and how many times I had failed in life, that I was afraid to even think about who God said I was and who He wanted me to be.  This weekend was the day I was reborn.  I was able to start the process of dealing with the parts of myself that have held me back from being the real me.

Q:  Tell me about your experience with a Soul Group.

Terrance: I did not start a soul group directly after my weekend.  It took several months after, but I had a conversation with Chris Mosher, who was leading the soul group at the time, and he told me what the commitment was and if it worked for me.  That was it for me!

Q:  How have you transformed from being involved in The Crucible Project?

Terrance:  I’m more aware of who I am and who I want (and don’t want) to be.  I challenge myself more to do things that I’d never do.  I am able to openly admit my wrongs and my rights to others.  I’m not so quick to respond in anger to things that upset me.

Q:  You do a lot of Second Level stuff, including staffing, inviting other men – what motivates you to do that?

Terrance:  You know, it’s like having insider information on a stock that can make you and your friends very rich.  You know when you hear people say, “if I knew what I know now and could back in the past, my life would be totally different?”  That’s how I look at the weekends, staffing & inviting other men.  This is all valuable stuff that I need to tell other men about.  The fact that we can deal with our past and present issues to help change our lives today is wealth to me.  So I increase my wealth every time I staff, invite and serve other men.

Q:  What’s coming up for you – you’re working on going overseas for a weekend?

Terrance:  This fall I was invited to go to Africa to Nairobi, Kenya for two weeks in February 2017 to attend a men’s conference and staff two initial weekends. I’m so excited that (1) someone thought to invite me and (2) to be going to Africa to be able to serve other men in another country.

Q:  When we staffed together this past November, you said something very poignant at the final staff check in – regarding race and reconciliation and the role Crucible plays in that – could you explain further?

Terrance:  Yes, i realize that we are people are broken and that in that brokenness is hurt, judgements, and fear, which has created some of the world’s biggest problems with racism, and prejudice.  I think people are scared to talk about this and how it plays out in their lives & environments.  So the issues get buried even deeper when we don’t deal with them.  I know some some feel people need to move on or act like none of these issues exist or effect them, but in order to have real reconciliation, we must talk about these issues.  Even though it is going to be hard and uncomfortable.  I feel that The Crucible Project is a perfect place to start the process to talk and deal with these issues.  I want people to see me and my skin color as well and then take time to get to know me as a person, a man.  And if you have issues with people that look like me, then let’s talk about it.  I want to reconcile our differences so that we can work together to build a healthy future for our families.

Q:  I remember Judson Poling, one of the weekend leaders respond to you and said he was willing to follow your lead in dealing with racism & reconciliation  – I was blown away.  What were your impressions?

Terrance:  You know, even now as I think back to that day at that moment, I am overwhelmed with joy, excitement & tenderness.  The fact that someone would even want to follow my lead on anything scares the heck out of me.  At the same time it makes me feel empowered, seen & heard.  For that, my respect level and trust of Judson’s leadership has risen even higher.  It also let me know that I was in the right place with the right people.

Next Man Stories:  Brian Marshall

briantcpstaffWe recently sat with Brian while he was staffing an initial weekend.  Here is his story.

Q: How did you come to attend your initial weekend?

Brian: I attended my initial weekend in May of 2015 to provide support for a friend of mine who wanted to attend but didn’t want to do it on his own. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into when I registered but quickly realized that the weekend would be life changing once I arrived.

Q: What happened and how were you impacted?

Brian: My experience on my initial weekend was life changing. I was already a Christian (since birth), but I did not have a relationship with Christ prior to that weekend. It was on Saturday night that I felt the unconditional love of Christ and surrendered my life to him. It was at that moment that I came to Christ and my life was forever changed.

Q: What’s changed since you attended your initial weekend?

Brian: Everything changed for me from that moment forward. The trajectory of my life, family and business have changed since my initial weekend. Christ is now at the center and is the chief strategist. I have learned to accept that which is not within my control and have found peace in the process.  I have attended 2 of the 2nd level weekends since my initial weekend and am part of a Crucible Soul group that meets twice a month.

Q: I noticed that you have a good number of men attending their first Crucible weekend – what motivated you to invite so many men?

Brian: I have been blessed to have formed so many solid relationships with other men in throughout my life. Most of them started out as business relationships where I was their coach or mentor, and ultimately became friends. Frankly, those men witnessed my transformation and became very interested in what was going on in my life. I felt compelled to share my journey with them as part of my life mission to “Motivate, Mentor and inspire others to be genuine, courageous servant leaders.” This mission was something that I was able to discover as part of one of the 2nd level Crucible weekends that I have attended since my initial weekend.

If you are interested in sharing your story with us about the impact of The Crucible Project in your life, please reach out to us via EMAIL.

Second Level Weekends

You’ve faced the fire, felt the heat, and stepped into the Crucible during your Initial Weekend. Now what?

Many of you are in communities of men where you are growing together, getting challenged, learning about your shadow and your gold. That is great…and there’s more. Step into the life-changing power of a Crucible Experiential 2nd Level Weekend.

In 2017 there are several opportunities for you to take the next step in your growth.  The time is NOW for you to register!

Leadership:  Moving through Barriers Towards Joy, March 31-April 2, 2017 in Brownwood, TX

Register Here

Leadership: Knowing and Taming the Dark Side, April 28-30, 2017 in Como, CO
Learn about authenticity, integrity, brokenness, courage, vision, servant-hood and blessing in leadership.
Identify the ways you limit your leadership and then break through those barriers.
Learn to lead from your true essence and power instead of image or persona.

“Amazing content. I was able to release the dark heavy handed side of leadership to find the tender, loving side of leadership.  Instead of pushing people,  I’m able to reach my hand out and welcome people, inviting them into a process rather than force them into it.  It was a powerful change in my direction – I have felt free and happy as a leader, opposed to angry and frustrated.” – Paul

Register HERE


Two Year Program BenefitsNext Step:  The Two Year Program

You finished your initial weekend, but know there’s more to the journey.  We’ve designed the Two Year Program to help you keep the momentum going.  Watch this video to hear other men’s experience in the program.

The benefits include coaching, monthly meetings with other men, all four Second Level weekends and more.  We even have groups that meet on SKYPE!

After watching, you can learn more details, as well as inquire HERE.

John Jackson assumes new Director of Operations role for The Crucible Project

johnjacksonIn an important step, towards the fulfillment of the strategic plan for growth in The Crucible Project, John Jackson has been appointed as the new Director of Operations for the organization. In this full-time role he will be responsible for working in close partnership with the Executive Director to oversee the ongoing operations of the ministry, developing and refining systems and assuring an infrastructure to provide outstanding support to the ministry as a whole, including the expanding operations of regions across the globe.
John brings a passion for people and process to this role. Those that know John know his pursuit of excellence in all he does, whether serving on a weekend, connecting with a brother or creating an effective and efficient business system. His educational background in Business and Communications (BA Cedarville College, MA Ohio University) have been used over the years in both profit and not for profit worlds.

John has worked over fifteen years in lead operations roles for Thomas Interior Systems and MagnetStreet, both privately owned businesses going through periods of considerable growth and change, creating, managing, then supervising each department in the company. Prior to his work in business John and his wife served in various Christian ministries for over ten years including teaching in China, working for a Christian school, and serving mission organizations including The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) where he created a communications department and worked with volunteers and supported missions funding.

John’s involvement with The Crucible Project began with a weekend in August 2010, followed by the Two-Year Transformational Program and has continued with an alumni group since that time. He has been active in staffing weekends and is on the Leadership Track for the ministry. His mission is to “connect with people everywhere to create a world where broken people experience grace and truth to become fully alive.”

John just celebrated thirty of marriage with Deanna and has three adult children, Katherine, Alex, and Ben. They reside in Wheaton, IL.

jjfamilyYou can reach him at or calling him at 630-532-7046.







staffinghighHighlight on Staffing
Whether you’re an old pro, or considering the possibilities, read the responses that seasoned staffers offered to these questions.

How long have you been staffing?

Kenny C:  Since 2014, just completed my 10th this past weekend!

Dan K:  I believe I staffed for the first time in 2011, 2 years after my initial weekend.  After this sexuality weekend in October and initial weekend in November it will be 11!

Tim F: I’ve staffed twice since my initial weekend that was in March 2016. I did back-to-back weekends in Como in August and September. I’m staffing in November in Chicago and seeking more opportunities before my plan to serve in January in Como. 

Don S: Two year now, and I’ve done three so far.

What was the reason you first decided to staff?

Kenny C:  I felt that engaging in this community and being with emotionally healthy leaders on a regular basis would bring about growth in me and help me connect more fully to my heart! Connecting more fully with my heart was my work on my initial weekend.

Dan K: I wanted to give back some of what I was blessed to gain in my initial weekend. For me, there’s no better feeling than knowing you’re making a positive difference in someone’s life–something I’ve seen consistently in the Crucible experience!

Tim F: My initial weekend was the single most impactful experience of my 25 years as a follower of Christ. God immediately called me to be in deeper fellowship with other initiated men as well as to continue to look for opportunities to serve and grow. Staffing is a big motivator for me to continue my own work and growth. The opportunity to be a part of serving other men as they go through their initial weekends and to grow my relationships with other staff men is an incredible blessing in my life.  

Don S:  I wanted to re engage with The Project  to help others and also to learn more about the how’s and why’s of the exercises. I wanted to increase my capacity to be of greater service to others.

How does God stretch you in the staffing experience?

Kenny C: God continues to stretch me, grow me and reveal more about my Shadow traits during staffings. And these experiences provide a platform for greater understanding and meaning behind my story and brokenness. With that meaning, I am able to step more fully into my sustainable life purpose and I transform more fully into the whole man I desire to be.

Dan K: I am stretched emotionally and spiritually every time I’ve seen a man do work in an area in which I still need to do work!

Tim F: As I see God show up and show off powerfully throughout the weekends, He continues to call me to a place of continued growth and personal humility. God uses the stories and carpet work of the men on their initial weekend as well as the men within my staffing containers to stretch and challenge me to be empathetic, passionate about my work, and humble before Him and other men. The depth an authenticity of the relationships that He’s brought into my life motivates me to be transparent and authentic. 

Don S: He gets me out of my comfort zone by  having me actively step out and up to help others.

What would you say to someone considering staffing for the first time?

Kenny C:  If you desire to be stretched and in community and fellowship with strong and loving men, don’t let anything stand in your way of taking that first step outside the boat.

Dan K: I strongly encourage men who have done the initial weekend to return as a staff person. I, personally, have gained as much from staffing as I did participating.

Tim F: If you feel that God might be calling you to serve by staffing, step up boldly and declare that you will be obedient in that calling to serve for Him. Prepare to be stretched, challenged and blessed beyond measure. The experience of giving yourself fully to something so much greater than yourself is magnificent. The more I serve, the more filled I become. Immersing myself into an experience that should drain me physically and emotionally yet leaves me overflowing with joy and energy is invigorating and supernatural. 

Don S: Don’t think, do!

Be encouraged!  Next opportunity to staff – Apply!!!

5ways5 Ways to Engage

Have some men you know who could use a Crucible weekend?  Here are 5 ways to engage them.

  1. Acknowledge and encourage them!  If you see a man who is working on his life, or going through a life transition (career or relationship loss, etc), prayerfully look for ways to acknowledge what he’s doing/going through and offer support.  “I see the work you’ve been doing in your life, and you’re doing a good job.  I think you’d benefit from a Crucible weekend like I did.” OR  “After I lost my job, I needed some direction and guidance.  I got that from the Crucible weekend I experienced.”
  2. Share your story!  Tell them what God did for you on your weekend.  While you cannot give specifics about the weekend, you can share what you were going through BEFORE the weekend, what happened to you while attending, and how things have changed since.  If you can’t meet them one on one, email them or share your story and send them a Crucible video. The Invite A Man page is available online for registered users HERE.
  3. Use your platform.  Queen Esther used her position to save her people from persecution.  While this isn’t as life or death (or is it?), you have an opportunity to help God transform men’s lives.  What area of influence in your work, family, church do you have to make a difference?
  4. Challenge them.  Most men like a challenge, especially when someone else has done some trailblazing work.  “I was challenged by the weekend like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  The Crucible Project is a retreat like nothing you’ve ever experienced.  I think you’d be challenged as well.”
  5. Gang up on someone.   If you know another Crucible man, who knows the same men, have them be involved in the recruitment process.  Maybe you both work together or attend the same church – work together to encourage your common contact.  Two are better than one.

A business study concluded that 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer a product or service.  Yet, only 29% do.  Stretch yourself. God wants to transform men’s lives.  You are invited into that awesome mission!

2500MenTCP2500 Men & A Need for New Staff

Recently, the 2500th man completed an initial Crucible weekend!

With our continued growth, we are envisioning significant expansion of Crucible communities that help transform men’s lives.

We are implementing a strategic plan to support this growth in new regions across the United States and gradually around the world.

By accelerating the development of leaders, partnering with churches and strengthening the Crucible infrastructure, we hope to support our growing ministry.

Over the next several months, we will be building a team of full time and part time staff to provide leadership in these areas, and are now openings a search for a Director of Operations.

In our new future plans, we envision many more Crucible communities!  In five years we will have ten fully mature communities – conducting weekends, developing both weekend, carpet and group leaders, supporting groups of men, conducting mentoring and training, providing funding for the ministry and reaching out by planting new Crucible communities in partnerships with other regions.  Expanded funding will be needed to accomplish this.

To achieve this vision, our first step is to hire a Director of Operations.  If you are interested in this position, please READ MORE HERE.  Over the next few months, we plan to add leaders in the areas of ministry development, leader developments, church and partner relations and fundraising and communications.

May 2016 Roach MO Initial RetreatKC, Tulsa and St. Louis host first regional Crucible weekend!

Chris Batz reports on an amazing initial weekend:

“Kansas City, Tulsa OK and St Louis MO hosted the first regional initial retreat this past 27-29th May 2016 in Roach, Missouri.
This first initial weekend was glorious and challenging.
28 staff from Kansas City, St Louis, Tulsa, Chicago and Denver bonded and served the participants non stop.
Of the 28 staff, two-thirds were rookie staffers.
The rookies along with the experienced staff did an amazing job serving the participants.

18 participants faced the fire and received their gold on the weekend.
There were 4 men from St Louis, 6 men from Tulsa, 8 from Kansas City.

A majority of these men are doing soul groups and many enrolled in the two year process.

The Roach, Missouri location is in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  The facilities had some issues that were challenging.
Logistically, men were challenged by the layout of buildings and terrain along with a broken AC in one of the buildings.
The kitchen crew was nothing shy of heroic. They were split among two kitchens and had several ovens quit working.

We were fortunate to have Byron Myers, Judson Poling, Roy Wooten, and Chris Cleghorn as weekend leaders. They helped us remain lighthearted and focused on the men we were serving.

The Lord showed up in many ways: From how smooth weekend processes went to how the rain held off.  So much camaraderie and lightheartedness was built among the staff.
And as we all know,  the participants were powerfully impacted by the safety, acceptance and truth of the weekend. To say the least, our weekend was a success.”

Jason Wilson & The Cave of Adullam
If you are aware of where future King of Israel David hid while current King Saul was hunting him down, then you’ll know it was the fortified Cave of Adullam.  400 men gathered with David in that place.  They were in distress, troubled and lost.  As they rallied around David’s leadership, they became the “Mighty Men of Valor” and stabilized an entire nation.

One of our very own Crucible brothers, Jason Wilson leads The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy (CATTA) in Detroit, Michigan.  Jason started the Academy in 2007 “to empower boys and young men to live a life guided by faith and spiritual strength, instead of succumbing to their emotions.”  Jason experienced the healing power of The Crucible Project in 2015, when “after decades of traveling to conferences and reading books on the father wound, The LORD healed my father wound in 3 days of isolation in the woods at this retreat.”

Recently featured on Bishop T.D. Jakes website this summer, Jason was also recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service award in D.C.

This video features Kaden, an energetic and optimistic boy who just completed his initiation test into the CATTA.  While his father was absent from the ceremony, God the Father showed up in a loving way.
God is using Jason’s vision with CATTA to make significant impact in boy’s lives – and God is transforming boys into Mighty Men of Valor.
For more info, go to the CATTA website.

A Leader’s Philosophy of the Two Year Group
September is a good time to start the Two Year program.  In the Chicago area, there will be group openings on Monday or Thursday nights.
If Chicago is far from you, Crucible also has SKYPE groups which are surprisingly amazing.
Click here to see what Scott Selby has to say.
Go here for more info.

CChris Cleghorn President Messagerucible President Message in May 2016
Chris Cleghorn gives a special message about The Crucible Project’s past fiscal year.
The Crucible Project’s fiscal year ends June 30th, 2016.
Watch Now.



Two Year Program BenefitsBenefits of the Two-Year Program
Two-Year grad Bill shares why you should join the Two-Year Transformational Program.
Watch Now.
For more info, Go Here.

Contact Bob Locascio with questions.

The Crucible Project goes to Uganda, Africa
TCP Africa Trip
Back in February of this year, Jim Burgen, lead pastor from Flatirons Church in Colorado, led a team of 24 Crucible men to Kenya and then Uganda where they put on the first ever Crucible weekend in Africa.  Crucible Community News interviewed Eric Veve and Adam Micheli who staffed the trip.

CCN:  How did an initial Crucible Project weekend even get started in Uganda?  What’s the connection?

Adam:  Pastor Jim Burgen has been to Africa many times over the past 20 years and has developed great relationships with other Church/Community Leaders.  Chris Mosher (Crucible Leader) from Flatirons was also a big part of doing the Crucible weekend there.

Eric:  Jim had a vision given to him by a pastor over in Africa years previously: “You’re going to be a part of something big in Africa, but you’re going to do it with a group of other men.”  Most of the men on the trip had never been to Africa.  I’ve been on mission trips that were project focused., but this was different. This was to build relationships in Kenya and then do an initial Crucible weekend in Uganda.

CCN:  How was it going into this weekend and how did God show up?

Eric:  The main truth that God was impressing upon me in Uganda was, “Don’t try to put me in a box or try to understand how I do things.”  That’s my whole relationship with Him – I say, “well God, what are you doing?  This doesn’t make sense, if you do it THIS way, It will work out better.”  When I don’t understand something, I start to get distant.  God impressed on me that I can’t define and understand His ways.

AfricaTrip9Adam:  One of my shadows when I staff a weekend is that God won’t show up and do to others what he has done for me on my weekend – then – WHAM! – God shows up and reminds me how powerful He is – every time.  This weekend was special and had such a great impact on my life.  The Spirit felt so present there, and God really spoke to my heart.

CCN:  How were the Ugandan men impacted on the weekend?

Adam:  Just like in Como, Colorado, the men showed up nervous and were wondering what the heck is going on.  By the end of the weekend, the men looked full, happy and expressed they didn’t want to leave, or for us to leave.  That was awesome and special. Overall, it ended up being like the staffing I was used to, the men were hungry and didn’t like the food until the last day, tired, scared, angry, did amazing work and were blessed.

Eric:  Culturally, there were some enormous boundaries for Ugandan men.  The whole tribal system has things that are confusing.  We went in knowing that, but God opened in a way that I still don’t understand.  He drew relationships out, connecting as men, and their struggles are the same as ours – I’m not enough, People don’t accept me.  The same core issues.  However, we’re in a jungle, sleeping in tents.

CCN:  That must have been challenging.

AfricaTrip13Eric:  They hated to be in the jungle and were scared to be in it.  There’s snakes, gorillas, jaguars.  They couldn’t understand why we brought them to a dangerous place.  When we blindfolded them, and beat the drums, they thought we might sacrifice them!!!  There’s monkeys jumping around – we’re doing carpet work outside in the jungle on a concrete floor.

Adam:  The men in Africa are not used to staring into each other’s eyes.  Maybe this was from their childhood when they were told to look down as they were being punished.  Some were definitely nervous to be around a bunch of white men and angry because they could not check Facebook! (Laughs).

CCN:  Talk more about the Carpet work.

Adam:  During one of the exercises, it started to rain and we ran into a small shelter and got right back to work.

Eric:  Men were wrestling with their shadows when it started to rain – it was pouring cats and dogs.  I said, “There you go, God, you met your match!”  We rolled up the carpet, running through the mud, laughing, we couldn’t believe this was happening.  Standing in a toilet house – smelled great.  Then we go into this 10 x 20 building with 45 people.  Carpet rolls out and takes up most of the floor!  And it has a tin roof!  There are bats hanging from the ceiling and a tarantula!  We hoist some lanterns up – and the rain is beating down – The carpet work restarts and it’s beautiful.  I never thought I would be in this situation and it would be successful.

Adam: It was loud, wet and God reminded us that He will do His work anytime, anywhere.  It was very powerful.

AfricaTrip3CCN:  So what’s next in the plans for Africa and The Crucible Project?

Eric:  From my understanding there are more weekends being looked into for Kenya and Uganda.  Before we did our weekend, we were a part of a men’s conference called “Man Enough” in Kenya.  These men are really ready for The Crucible Project and the leaders have gone though their initial weekends in Como, Colorado.

Adam:  Jim is taking a group back to Kenya, with some second level training possibly going on.  There is something in the works for February 2017.  I’m thankful for Crucible and the way God shows up in the hearts of men no matter where – Uganda, Texas, Australia, Chicago, Kansas City, and Colorado.

Adam did his initial Crucible weekend in May of 2015.  Eric did his initial weekend in January 2015.


Looking Back, Now, & Ahead
  • The Crucible weekend of April 22-24 in Houston we were concerned about all the flooding and if it would affect the weekend.  The weekend went great!
  • This same weekend was a Chicago area Men in the City initial Crucible Urban weekend.
  • Australia:  Five members of the Australia “region” visited the U.S. for facilitation training, Second Level weekends, and meeting with the Crucible board and leaders.  They continue to work on leadership development and building community.  In May, there will be training sessions and another initial weekend.  Special funding is needed for this.
  • Mexico:  The American and Mexican leader team just completed the fourth weekend in Mexico 15-17th.  This time they even contended with a brush fire that was threatening the camp!
  • Uganda:  Flatirons Church in Colorado brought a team of 24 men and conducted an Initial Crucible weekend this past February 11-13, 2016.
  • Colorado:  Crucible networks its growth in new churches.  The first Level 2 weekend is planned for May (Mission/Purpose).  Initial Crucible weekends in Colorado fill fast!
  • Kansas City: A new Initial weekend is in the planning for Memorial Day weekend.  KC is working with St. Louis and Tulsa.  Developing a regional approach for this launch!
  • What happens to a man after an Initial Crucible weekend?  We have launched Pathfinders, a pilot program that pairs interested new Crucible men with a mentor who can assist them in next steps.
  • Strategic Planning Update:  Board members and other leaders have been engaged for their expertise, input and support.  We are on pace to get our strategic plan for adoption in June of this year.  Top themes included are: local community development, leadership development and partnering with churches.
  • Staff News:  Bob Locascio has taken on the role of Ministry Manager for weekends, groups and the Two-Year program.
    • Others serve The Crucible Project in Part Time roles.  The men work a day to day and a half a week.  All Crucible staff/paid ministry are the equivalent of two full time employees:
      • Brian Heiser as Operations Manager
      • Russ Glab as the Finance Manager
      • Tim White as the Communications Manager
  • Volunteers:  The Crucible Project is a ministry that overwhelmingly depends on volunteers to drive its work and serve more men.  Volunteers make up the vast majority of weekend staff, and volunteers serve on regional leadership teams, supporting groups and doing special projects such as managing materials, hosting meetings, supporting communication and reaching out to men.
  • Financial Report:  Overall, the Crucible Project is doing alright, at a slight surplus.
    • Weekend registrations are above projections.
    • Administrative and operations expenses have been kept below budget.
    • Contributions are behind.  We are at 73% of our projected budget; behind $44,000.
    • Our fiscal year ends June 30th.
  • New Insurance Coverage:  We were hit by cost increases due to a settlement of a lawsuit that was brought against us.  It will be +$4,000.
  • The Two Year Program:  The Chicago area, the Colorado area and via SKYPE is being built up.  There are currently opportunities to join the SKYPE Two-Year group, which “meet” on Monday evenings.
  • Crucible Communications is creating a video series about the advanced work and Second Level weekends.  Keep looking for those.

Attending Mission/Purpose Weekend
Hear insights from Kyle about the benefits of attending this second level weekend.





Four Second Level Weekends are Offered after your First Weekend
  • Mission:  Discover your mission & purpose
  • Leadership 1:  Tame the dark side
  • Leadership 2:  Lead from joy
  • Sexuality:  Experience healing & freedom
The blogs listed above give you a taste of the topics covered on these weekends.



Experience More of The Crucible Community
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Should the 2 Year Transformational Program be your priority this year?
Get the accountability and care that it takes to continue your journey
  • Get coaching by a trained facilitator monthly
  • Meet three times a month with a group of men committed to life change
  • Attend Second Level Weekends bundled with the cost
  • Get priority staff placement for Initial Crucible weekends
Available via SKYPE
Email for more info
Jim Burgen

Watch Jim Burgen from Flatirons Church in Colorado talks about his transformative experience with The Crucible Project.

Share this video with friends as an intro to an initial Crucible Weekend.





Old Chris’ Corner

There are exciting developments with regions that are warming up to host Initial Weekends in the next 12-18 months! Pray for those in Connecticut who have a vision and are preparing to host a weekend and lead groups. Also of note is the South Bend, IN area that has a growing group of men and a desire to host an Initial Weekend and start local groups. There are other communities where men are considering developing local Crucible work.  We want to grow and need to build the capacity to support this continued expansion.    

Key church partnerships are vital to The Crucible Project and we are now seeing several opportunities across the country.  We are currently crafting communications for pastors and church leaders about how Crucible soul work “fits” within a church’s spiritual development of men.  Also, we are working on identifying pastors and men in ministry who are already connected to Crucible to serve them and enlist their support to reach out to churches.   

We are now adapting a new database called “Salesforce” to build a robust and flexible system for managing Crucible relationships and supporting our growth.  A special shout out to JD Ackley who is volunteering to help us with this transition!

Recently I was reminded of this from Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”   This is The Crucible Project’s call related to matters of men’s hearts – good news, freedom for prisoners, the oppressed and sight for men who are blind.