by Michael Wilmot
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We have all been there. We have all sat in our pew or the retreat camp or the once a year rally events with the plethora of motivational speakers. For men the message is a familiar mantra to inspire or challenge men to action. It can be a deeply moving experience resulting in transformation of the mind and heart. But these events, as resonating as they are, can also leave a man asking “What do I do now? What’s next?” Too often that question goes unanswered, unresolved leaving a man waving a sword in an empty room.
I am in the ministry of men. Starting with myself, then to my son and then to others. I refuse to rally troops, pump them up with a ball busting message with no plan of action for what happens after. That is just a cruel way to further demonstrate a failing of the “church”, and yes that includes grass roots groups. The failing is an inability to offer a true adventure to men. If that is the best we can do as Men’s Ministry Leaders then you will have to count me out brothers. There is no limit of venues for men to learn scripture from a Bible Study class, small group or Sunday sermon. I don’t need just another one of those in my life and most men don’t either. That is not the adventure we are longing for. It is not the deep calling of our heart.
The vision of true Christianity is living a life 24/7 for Christ. Let’s call that vision the “Full Time Christian”. That is a lofty goal and it is worthy spending a lifetime on. But it is unrealistic to expect people to go from “unemployed” Christian to “full time” all at once. Let’s be honest and admit that we don’t k now many people like this, especially the man we see in our mirrors. We have to start smaller and get some “volunteers” who can progress to “part time” and then perhaps some will actually strive for the ultimate vision. Maybe that man will be you. Maybe it will be me.
One of the big fears men have is of being recognized as a Christian. We hide this part of us from people and the poser comes out in full armor. Why don’t men go knock door to door? Is the answer that someone might slam the door in their face and call them an asshole or a Bible Thumping Hypocrite? Why don’t men pray in restaurants or read their Bible in public? It is because people might laugh at them or stare daggers of reproach. That is the real danger; the fear of exposure.
What would it feel like to be in a body of Christian men who were comfortable in public acting like the man they claim to be? Men who had overcome the fear of having people scoff at them or giggle as they walked by their public display of faith could accomplish much. Maybe the mission for Men’s ministry is to help men rout the fear of just being present in public as a recognizable Christian man. This fear is a major stronghold for the enemy. Breaking it with a core fellowship of men could unleash a huge crusade of Christ.
What would it look like if at the local mall 100 men were quietly reading their Bibles in the food court?
What would it look like if on Saturday mornings 1,000 men were reading their Bibles on every city bus all over their community?
What would if look like if there was a commuter train car filled with men reading their Bibles and talking to each other about what they are reading? Picture men in groups of 2 or groups of 3 who always leave room for a stranger to sit and listen with them.
What would it look like if on every overpass for 100 miles were men holding a banner that just said “Real Men Love Jesus”?
What would be the result of 100 men going to 10 different Denny’s, each with $40 to pay for the meal of a stranger?
What would be the reaction to men spending some of their treasure on the pharmacy co-pay’s in the Walgreens around the community?
What if these were not onetime events. What if they happened monthly and then weekly and then daily? What If by starting small we could get other men in other churches from County to Township to join in. Maybe strong men of God would take on the leadership for each activity and organize things, growing into ever expanding existences of God in the public square.
Maybe all we have to do, as Men’s Ministry Leaders, is to get men to cast off their fear of having a stranger accuse them of being a Christian.
What if that is all it took to transform lives?
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Men need a vision for their lives, something that continually propels them forward in not only becoming more of the man God would have them be but also doing something to proclaim His kingdom. We need men with convictions and leadership. Men need to be challenged to take whatever they have, no matter how small, be it a hobby, talent, ability, or interest, and use it to invest in the lives of other men. I have a lot of articles pertaining to men that you may find helpful.