“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” ― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul.
Through my many years in my walk in faith I have either been a part of, helped lead, or have led Men’s Ministries at and in a variety of churches. Unfortunately not many hit the mark of what I believe and think is a “real men’s ministry”. Now those whom know me, or have, or do attend church with me, don’t get all offended. We already live in a way too easily offended society. Think about it honestly. What do men need these days? What are they truly looking for? What makes them come alive, builds them up, challenges them to be better men at work, in the home and in the community? Unfortunately men and fathers seem to be made out to be weak minded buffoons on most television shows. And many churches say, or told, that men are suppose to be “nice guys”. Maybe “seen, but not heard.” “Don’t be overly masculine, someone may label you as rebellious, defiant,” or a “wild card”.” Not sure if those that think that men are to be quiet, reserved, or the sub-servant “nice guy” read the same bible that I do. Men are to be raised to be leaders, defenders, protectors, providers, and the example of Christ in the home, as well as violent men of God whom are dangerous, but have it under voluntary control. There is a difference between being a “nice guy” and a man of character, integrity, and valor.
Churches have it wrong if their ideal of a real “Men’s Ministry” is to sit around every time they meet to sip coffee and read a few bible verses, without a take away or challenge, then call it a men’s gathering until next week, or worse, next month. Men need challenges, because without challenges there is no growth. Young men need to learn from wise strong men. All men need mentors whom have experience, and knowledge. Men come alive when they are put out of their comfort zone, when they achieve, and excel. Sitting around a fire, watching wood burn at every meeting, doesn’t do it either unless there are a bit of a nudge, or challenge, building into brotherly relationships to ask and answer tough questions in an effort to grow, while leveraging the Word of God as the compass.
In my life time, a few, very few churches, got it right, or at least somewhat right. Some that come to mind are those whom utilized outlines from authors and speakers like John Eldredge, Michael Thompson, and Simon Sinek.
Personally I am looking for a Men’s Ministry that does similar. That talks real talk, and walks that talk. Leaders that do not operate out of the fear of offending a person or two. (Trust me, Christ and all the Disciples offended many.) Those that challenge men to learn, apply, amplify, and exemplify G.R.I.T. with Grace. Whether it be a rugged Men’s Outdoor Group where we camp for days and nights in tents, Men’s Motorcycle Group where we take long rides, attend bike shows, bike nights, and camp near the side of roads, or Men’s Fitness and Sports Enthusiast Group where we push ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually, etc…
Men need to learn to be men from the bible, from the example of Christ, His Disciples, and other Men of God in the bible. And trust me, none of these men should be determined as weak, simple minded, or “Simps” …. Don’t believe me, truly read the bible, and about all the men in it, for yourself, and while you are at it, grab a copy of “Beautiful Outlaw”, “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge, and tHE Art of the Warrior” by Michael Thompson.
We need men whom love God, fear God; that have Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity. G.R.I.T.