Thursday, July 14, 2016

What is DCMC?

Prospect Mark Leibold
Redemption Crew

When I joined DCMC I had some thoughts.Wouldn't it be cool to be different than everyone else that I know.Out there riding with colors on my back.  A bonifide sticker.Showing the world that I am about something.  I am going to be someone.  Something.  Different.  This is going to be fun.  It's exciting and cool and shiny. 

I've seen a few things now........seen a few people leave.  No one that I knew for real thankfully.  It hurt me though.  I had a few phone calls and online conversations with some of these men.  Now they are gone.  Their names faded to gray on the Facebook pages. 

I've seen the withering stare of the National President and founder James Johnson.  I think I also caught a glimpse of the weight he carries....  In a meeting at 3am he called me by my first and last meant something to me.  I've had the experience of sitting with Disciple Freebird at a restaurant and being asked my name over and over to the point of not knowing what was going on.......then he handed me Hangaround patches......I felt honored.   That night I gained a road name.....Slipperz.......I've built with my bros, Disciple Homer, Disciple Hawk, Chris, Darren, PB,  Knuckles and Oral, in our prospective charter.  Been to some club houses.  Seen broken people acting fine. 

Welcomed back a member who had quit before I joined.  I had his hangaround patches on my chest.  Interestingly enough I sewed his new set onto his cut for him just a couple weeks ago.  It seemed like full circle.  I prayed for my Bro Marty when he went down during a run.  Saw the pictures of his broken body.  Prayed more.  Felt helpless.  I've read the posts about drug abuse and addiction and commitment issues and.......hope. 

There are so many experiences I didn't expect.  I laughed until I cried at the National Run in PA with bros and their wives late at night.  I slept in my inside out Cut in a steaming hot room.  I sang O Canada at the top of my lungs standing on a picnic table with my Canadian Bros and then repeated the event standing on chairs that night in the meeting where I cried when Disciple Eagle handed me my bottom rocker and MC cube.  I said my eyes were sweating but I was crying. 

I met Disciple Big Beard and shook his hand.  He said he felt like a Rockstar.  He is a Rockstar.  I like that guy.  I talked to Slim.  I met Disciple Shun and listened to stories that were being told by Disciple Peanut and Disciple Soap.  I met guys like Sparkplug and Lookout and Chris and Enrique......I helped Disciple Barry unload his broken bike from his trailer.    I rode in the dark with Disciple Everywhere. He told me to eat hot sauce on crackers.....and I did.  And I liked it.   I could go on and on and on.  In fact maybe I just did.

I didn't know I was going to see mens hearts and there heart for God so clearly.  I'm afraid that I have been infected and affected by this club.  What if someone I need to be here quits? What happens if more than what I can give is expected of me?  What happens if I am disciplined and it hurts too much? What happens if I chose a bad attitude and do something stupid?   I didn't know what I was getting into. I didn't know it was going to be such a deep experience.  I didn't know reading my Bible was going to make my life harder.  I didn't know that there was going to be those good things and hard things.   Prayer, worship, fasting.....sowing. 

What if joining this club changes my whole world.......What is my point?My point is that I think it has changed my whole world.  If you have joined this club be careful.  It isn't safe.  They are going to make you do things that will change your world.  If you don't want your world to change don't stay here.  I was told to tighten my seat belt because it was about to get bike doesn't have a seat belt......I have only seen a glimpse.  This club is anything but shallow.  For that I am thankful.  Thank you Lord for Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club and the men that are in it.

If this is just the beginning....

Monday, July 11, 2016

Club Peaks & Valleys

From: Disciple Kickstand
Setman 43 Roughneck Crew

Read Ecclesiastes 4:8-10

Breaks my heart to see people losing sight of the mission.  I've noticed that when I hear or see individuals express disillusionment with the club and it's purpose, it's because that individual "can't see the forest for the tree in front of them".  The current problems or feelings about the club get in the way of seeing what God is actually doing on the whole thought the Black and Gray Nation, which is bigger than any one charter or clique of men.

Peaks and Valleys.  This is the natural rhythm of life, for individuals, for charters, for leaders.  The effectiveness of our ministry and tightness of brotherhood will ebb and flow.  Every charter, heck even national leadership, goes through these periods of peaks and valleys.

And during these rhythms I have seen men and women's perceptions of the club ebb and flow with it.  When everything is clicking and people are being reached, all is well with the brothers, times are good... the view of the club is sunshine and rainbows.  Then we hit a valley where struggle and attack, and difficulties lie... and then the club has lost its way, the brotherhood isn't right anymore, the leaders are false prophets, etc.

But we are not called to let our hearts and attitudes be tossed around like a small boat in the storm!  We are called to remain steadfast (1 Cor 15:58).  When ever Jesus was in a boat with the disciples and the waters were dangerous and frightening, he rebuked them for freaking out and not seeing the bigger picture. They were with the Messiah, no matter how bad or rocky things got in that boat his mission was going to be fulfilled at the cross, not cut short by capsize. We need that! We need to see that whatever storm were facing it is not big enough to derail the mission that God ordained. 

Get some perspective and fear not. While things might be rough in one local charter, things are thriving and on point in another.
The club is never just "on" or "off" in regards to its mission.  It's constantly growing and shrinking, thriving and struggling, under God's rebuke and blessing, all at the same time. The charter that's a desert today will be the shining example of growth and vibrancy tomorrow and potentially vice versa... but its all gradually moving forward and gaining ground as an entity.

It's a big concept to grasp, but people in the club need to be taught that.  I know personally for me, that concept pulled me through a desert time, and disillusionment with the purpose of DCMC.

How did I see past my own charter's valley enough to realise that the club was not only experiencing success as I was seeing the brotherhood around me crumble and the mission slip?

The answer is with deep ties to men in other charters both near and far.  Seeing and hearing the wonderful breakthroughs the organization was having in Newfoundland for example, showed me that the mission and heart of DCMC was not lost.  The club was as strong as ever and if we in my charter remained steadfast in our position, diligently walked through our valley, we would rise out of it... and we are.

I challenge you all, when times are good, to establish relationship with the men of the club from coast to coast. Prepare yourself and your charter for the inevitable valley by building the bonds of brotherhood abroad and not just in your charter now... and when your valley comes you will have those men to lend you that perspective, that snapshot of the club outside your circumstance and see that the mission and vision not only remain, but are actually as strong and effective as ever.

This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing. Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
Ecclesiastes 4:8-10 NLT

Disciple Kickstand
Setman 43 Roughneck Crew
Canada First Few

Friday, July 8, 2016

My Man's Joining Disciple , What Do I Do?

Ladies, the first thing you need to know is that this is a Christian organization, and God has ordained the family. We want you to be involved! We are proud to have a Epic Marriage Ministry, and a Fatherhood Ministry. So what are you, the new chick on the block, supposed to do, and not do? When are you welcome to attend with him? How can you get involved in this radical new direction in your mans life?

1. Support your man. During the process of joining Disciple, your man is going to put a lot of time in. He's going to have to go to club houses, make runs with other clubs, put time into phone calls and meetings with the guys in his charter, and other states. I can promise that the process of becoming a Disciple is going to make him a better husband and father, and a better man of God. But that process is going to take up your valuable time with him, and the time taken can strain your relationship. Without your support, he'll be torn between his process of becoming a better man of God, and time away from his family. Your support will mean all the world to him, your understanding when he has to be gone, your willingness to travel with him, and your prayer that the enemy not come against him and distract him during this time will be invaluable.

2. Come on baby. Your man should say this to you a lot. We want the women to be involved, we want you to come out on the ride, we want you to come out to the event, you might have skills, abilities, things to add, and we're looking for that! Your willingness to travel along with your man, cook meals for the brothers, give us a place to stay when we're in from out of town, those things are sowing into the ministry! Yes we do have private business meetings, only members are allowed in those meetings. But those are rare. Most of the time, we'd love to have you along. Even at these meetings you're welcome to organize a separate ladies time as well.

3. Be flexible. The men are big on having a start time and end time. But men are NOT big on plans and itineraries. Be ready for things to change up because the Bros decide all the sudden that they want to go do something else. Be ready to go to the hospital when an accident happens. Be ready for your man to disappear to go and get the broken down motorcycle. Be ready for unexpected things to happen. If your husband is a prospect, there might be duties and responsibilities where suddenly he disappears on you for a little while. Be ready to hang out with the other sisters and brothers while duty calls.

4. Give me space. On that note, there may be weekends where your husband is primarily working, rather than spending time with you. This is especially true on a national run. Your man might spend his whole entire weekend running from one place to the next, fetching things for the brothers, fueling up motorcycles, cleaning up messes, cooking food. Wherever you can help him out, please do! But expect that there will be times where he's more focused on his duties as a prospect than on his wife who's also along with him. During these times reach out to the other brothers and sisters and build relationships. Don't feel like a third wheel just because you don't know people yet.

5. Put yourself out there. During the process of becoming a Disciple your man is going to meet a lot of people. So put a big smile on your face, and get ready to meet a lot of people too. Disciples from your charter, Disciples from other charters, men from other clubs, even big scary biker dudes from 1% clubs. Make a point of meeting the other women who are around, shaking hands, smiling, exchanging numbers if you have a good conversation with a lady, become Facebook friends. This too is ministry. There are a lot of hurting women in the biker world, who have experienced terrible things and need the non-judgmental love of Jesus.

6. Join the 43 Sisterhood. We have a hidden space for the ladies to congregate online. Joining this page gives you access to hundreds of women who just like you have gone through the same process. They are available to pray with you, give advice, welcome you and encourage you! There may also be a Sisterhood page for your specific charter. Your man can help you get connected with The Sisterhood. This way you already built relationships with ladies across the country, and around the world. When you meet them face-to-face at a run you already feel like old friends! To help identify yourself, get a ladies support t-shirt and a round support patch for the front of your vest. You get major points when we see a new girl show up already repping the black and gray!

7. Fear not! There is nothing scary about DCMC. We do go in some scary sounding places, but the fact of the matter is we know when and where to take you, or not take you. Quite frankly you're generally safer at a motorcycle clubhouse than a mall nowadays. The bikers from other clubs are just as liable to protect you as I am. This is when wearing Disciple gear will help identify you as ALREADY TAKEN, and others will know to watch out for you. Nothing bad is gonna happen, we roll with Jesus, and He protects you!

8. Keep your mouth shut. Now comes time for the hard stuff. Gossip is bad. Don't do it. If you are hearing gossip, have a concern or need clarification, talk to your man, to God, or to the leadership admins on the sisterhood page. Discussing club business is bad Bad BAD for you, and the club. Disciple is a motorcycle club. You may see other clubs do or say inappropriate or illegal things. Silence is golden, if in doubt, check with your man. We welcome women along for the ride, to be part of what we do! But voting privileges only extend to male full patch members. This is a Brotherhood, your man may discuss things with you, and that's okay if he does. But you need to realize not to take those discussions outside of your home. You are not here to criticize how we do things verbally or on social media, tell us your view point about how things should be done, or stir up people against God's club. We have a God-ordained process built through experience and prayer. You may not understand everything that happens, but you can be certain that God is in control of this organization. If you have questions, you're free to ask your man, and if he has questions he's free to ask his leadership. But at the end of the day you may not understand everything that happens, or agree with it. Just know that it's necessary for the good of the organization, and is bringing men closer to God.

9. Discipline happens. We have rules and accountability. Your man may be disciplined, you might get shut down if you step out of line, you may see other men disciplined. You may not understand why someone got yelled at, prospected, or forced to do push-ups. And the fact is, I'm not going to tell you why I disciplined someone else, that's their story. And if they have a big mouth, they might spread their side of that all over, but it's only one side. Politely stop them and tell them you don't gossip, they need to take it to God. You may not agree with everything, let's face it, women do things differently than men. At the end of the day, talk it over with your man. There is a process for him to elevate a complaint all the way through his local, regional and national leadership, all the way to me in fact. But that's not your job.

10. Finally, just be here! Despite all the complications, know this,  WE WANT YOU HERE. Women are gifted at things men despise. Planning, itineraries, shopping, cooking, helping, sympathizing, hospitality, prayer warrior duty, and MANY MORE things. We need your help! Despite all the aggravation and complications you may experience in a big group of loud individuals, you make Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club better! Please be as involved as possible, as we work together to Disciple your man to be the best man of God he can be!

James Disciple Johnson
Natl President and Founder
Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's Not Man's, it's Gods

"It's the men's club!"

This statement originated from someone who's not even in the club, and it has begun making the rounds in the club. I disagree. I think it's terrible statement. This is God's Club. The reason we've had the success we've had, is that we toil diligently to not be the ones making the decisions, to not be running this club according to our own personal whim. We place things on the Altar and pray about them, we seek the will of God, because it's the only way to have success.

Unfortunately I've seen this statement used to somehow exclude women and families. Let me be clear, my wife rode right next to me to the events when we started this club, my six year old daughter put on 10k miles riding to events with me our first year. My wife and family have hung out in 1% clubhouses with me.

Yes, we only patch men with a three-piece patch, yes business meetings are closed to only the membership, no women don't get a vote. But beyond that women and children and the families are welcomed at everything we do. In fact they invariably make things better, with their attention to detail, desire to have itineraries, and their ability to plan and prepare. You know, all the things we hate to do anyway. They take the load off the men, and put in work. At appropriate times I've never had a problem taking my daughter into a club house, or my wife, they're probably safer there than at the mall. Some events are not appropriate so they don't get taken along, but thats rare.

I remember when women started getting widely involved, and it was wonderful. I think of the Saskatoon sisters who cook an amazing breakfast, and the best cinnamon rolls in the whole world. I think of our women ministering to one percenter women, praying with them, building friendships with them. I think of Reb's wife on the side of the road in Pennsylvania, an experienced emergency room nurse patching up my brother Drifter when he went down. I think of Big Beards wife next to her man, or about teasing Shank when she wouldn't let Squirrel put his 1952 Ironhead chopper in the living room, and the tears running down the face of Scooters wife when her pastor describes the difference in him because of Disciple. I've heard many tearful testimonies from the ladies about how the club saved their marriage, and those moments are what inspire me to fight on in ministry.

The ladies are welcome,the kids are welcome. The 43 Epic Marriage page is awesome. The 43 Fatherhood page is awesome. We call to and mentor men on these things because the family is ordained by God. And they should never be excluded from Disciple. Leaders need to identify when wives are welcome, when families are welcome and when they aren't, and communicate that in advance. Women need to know they are responsible to watch kids they bring, not their husbands or others.

We are learning to welcome and focus on The Sisterhood, to provide expectations and guidelines for the ladies. And that starts with you at home, making sure your wife knows we're not hiding anything from her. It starts with the leadership making sure that the bros know their wives are welcome at events. Its making sure that women know they can reach out to the women in the clubhouse and provide a safe relationship where those women can turn in their time of need.

Club business is Club business, and each brother is responsible to make sure his wife understands that she doesn't have a vote, that this is a Brotherhood. But it's not a men's club, it's God's Club, and God ordains the family. The best way to keep your wife happy is to involve her in what happens, shield her from the drama, keep her from entering into disputes about how the club is run. But make sure she knows she has a wonderful worldwide Sisterhood of women who she can turn to when she needs help, advice, or prayer.

I involve my wife and her wonderful God given intuition in every decision I make about Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club. She's always been there as a coach, she is a co-minister in what God has given us to accomplish. I can share with her because I know from experience that she doesn't get involved in drama, that she's not going to be out there running her mouth about club business. If you don't have that same confidence about your old lady, then you need to keep things away from her when it comes to how the brothers run the club.

Finally consider this. If a prospect has put in a year to get his full patch, it's changed his life and turned his world upside down. And did the same for his bride. And she's just as proud for him to get his full patches as you are,  probably. Which means she should have the opportunity to see him moved up. In general I see no reason for a ceremony where the women don't get to see their man earn something that is life-changing for both of them. You might want to prospect to be committed to the club, but he has a covenant commitment before God with his wife. And I guarantee he loves his children more than his brothers. Respect that, cuz it's the way it should be.

Welcome your woman to events, make sure that she knows that she's a priority in your life. Make sure that she doesn't resent the club because she's not allowed to be around the club. And make sure she knows this isn't man's club. It's a family thing. It's God's Club.

James Disciple Johnson
Natl President and Founder
Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club