204 – What Could 50,000 Pastors Do?
NOTE: Men, if you are not a pastor please read this anyway, then forward to your pastor and any others pastors you know. Thanks!
Thank you for your faithful work for Christ. I have a special affection for pastors. That’s because when I wrote The Man in the Mirror in 1989, nobody bought it! We had a warehouse full of unsold books. On a hopeful whim, the publisher offered pastors a free copy of the book. Seven thousand pastors took the offer, talked about it, and then the book took off.
That led me to take early retirement from business in 1991 to answer God’s call to start Man in the Mirror and finish seminary. Our vision is “for every church to disciple every man.” Our mission is “to help churches more effectively disciple men.” We’ve worked with tens of thousands of churches to impact over 10,000,000 men.
So, as you can see, I have good reasons to love pastors! If it wasn’t for pastors, I’d still be developing office buildings that, let’s face it, nobody really needs right now.
Today I want to discuss an urgent problem that is screaming for an immediate solution.
The “Men Problem”
The vast majority of men in America are in trouble. I would estimate that 90% of men today lead lukewarm, stagnant, often defeated lives–and they hate it. The collateral damage is staggering. This email from a friend about sums it up,
“My daughter stopped in on her daughter’s class today (my granddaughter). She saw the teacher sitting in silence with a stunned look on her face. The teacher explained that she asked the class to talk about what they wanted for Christmas.
“These eight-year-olds didn’t mention video games, dolls, toys, clothes, or a trip to Disney World. Instead, their answers went like this: “I hope my parents don’t get a divorce.” “I want my daddy to come back home.” “I want to see my mommy smile. Maybe if daddy came back she would smile again.” “I want our family back together again.” “I want my parents to stop yelling at each other.”
“No wonder this teacher was stunned and perplexed. These were eight year old children in Queens, New York. They didn’t want gifts for themselves. They wanted a family with a mommy and daddy that love each other.”
As surprised as that teacher was, I know this comes as no surprise to you. America faces a host of problems, but none is more pervasive than the well-documented “men problem.” It is one of the most talked about yet least acted upon problems of our time. You would think more would be happening by accident! There’s a lot of darkness surrounding this problem.
America desperately needs another “wholesale” spiritual revival and awakening–like the ones led by Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, or the Businessmen’s Revival triggered by Jeremiah Lanphier. Could that happen again? Obviously, only God can orchestrate an awakening. On the other hand, God rewards hard work and 2 Chronicles 7:14-style prayer. So what can we do?
“Give me Scotland or I die.” John Knox
There are about 500,000 pastors in America. Many of you have already made men’s discipleship a high priority. What if we could increase that number to 50,000 pastors? What if God touched 50,000 pastors with the passion to say, “LORD, give me my men or I die.” What might God do if just 10% of our pastors made men’s discipleship a high priority? Would a “tithe” of our pastors be enough? We believe 50,000 pastors would change the world.
In ten years, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I would have done more,” or, “If only I had tried a little harder.” I know you feel the same way. Do you know of any other professionals who have the potential to help men become godly men, husbands, and fathers? As far as I can tell, unless more pastors take up this cause–and soon–America will continue to see our moral and spiritual foundations crumble. We’ve talked about it long enough. The time for talking is over.
Here’s the vision…
First, we “tithe” the men of our nation to God. There are about 100,000,000 men in America. A tithe of our men would be 10,000,000 men. The goal is “10,000,000 men to lead powerful lives transformed by Christ by 2020.” LORD, give us back our men!
Second, we “tithe” our problems to God. If 10% of the men in America are transformed, wouldn’t we expect to see a corresponding change in culture? The goal between now and 2020 is to see a 10% reduction in divorces, unwed mothers, abortions, fatherless homes, high school dropouts, pornography use, sex sins, prison populations, domestic abuse, poverty, racism, and so on–a 10% reduction wherever the sting of the lack of the gospel is felt.
Third, we “tithe” 50,000 pastors to intentionally disciple “all” their men to be godly men, husbands, and fathers. Use the No Man Left Behind Model and The Journey to Biblical Manhood to disciple all your men over time, right where they are, in ways that connect to their values. Churches using No Man Left Behind experience 48% growth in the number of men attending and 84% growth in the number of men in discipleship in 2 ½ years on average. We will teach you how. Email me at email@example.com. Explain your situation and I’ll have someone contact you–no charge, no pressure.
When I was on the Board of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), I asked Bill Bright, “Why don’t we offer the Lay Institute for Evangelism anymore?” He said, “We don’t have a leader. Everything boils down to leadership.” Man in the Mirror is willing to provide organization and leadership to a pastor’s movement that reaches and disciples men, or we will support any other leaders God raises up.
Here are several steps you can take:
- Agree in prayer to “tithe” the men of America to God. Preach it.
- Agree in prayer to “tithe” our problems to God. Preach it.
- Ask God to raise up a “tithe” of 50,000 pastors unwilling to be satisfied with anything less than wholesale spiritual revival and awakening–starting with their men.
“If you do not long to see the conversion of your hearers. . .you are not likely to see much success. . . . But, let all who preach for Christ and men’s salvation be unsatisfied until they have the thing they preach for.”
Richard Baxter, 1656
- Take immediate steps to intentionally disciple “all” the men in your church. We can show you how.
- Win your elders and/or deacons to the cause of men’s discipleship.
- Go public with your commitment to disciple men as a high priority.
- Send me an email declaring your commitment to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll figure out how to start a registry.
- Include a “men’s track” at every pastor’s conference.
How Can We Serve You?
We will support you in any way we can. For example….
- Invite someone from our leadership team to come and speak to your pastor’s conference.
- Explore the “Get Trained” section of www.maninthemirror.org. We’ll show you the state-of-the-art concepts for men’s discipleship in the No Man Left Behind Model.
- Receive a COMPLIMENTARY copy of Pastoring Men while supplies last. Send your ground address to email@example.com. Put “Pastoring Men book” in the subject line.
- Man in the Mirror is hiring 330 full-time Area Directors to help churches more effectively disciple men–one for every 1,000 churches. Consider or refer a man to become an Area Director at www.areadirectors.org.
- Get your men into Man Alive small groups. Receive a COMPLIMENTARY review copy of Man Alive while supplies last. Send your ground address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Man Alive book” in the subject line. Read the first chapter and watch the 75-second video trailer of me driving my race car at www.ManAliveBook.com.
- Enroll your church in The Journey to Biblical Manhood, a flexible yet comprehensive process to disciple all your men over time. The Journey is launching this spring; to find out more information, email JBM@maninthemirror.org.
“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.” Daniel Burnham, on devising Chicago’s Plan, 1909.
We can do this. I do not think it’s histrionic or melodramatic to say that the future of our civilization is at stake–it’s already too late to say the future of “our way of life.” We cannot, we must not and, by God’s grace we will not fail. Let’s put Dr. Phil out of business!
© 2012. Man in the Mirror. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for non-commercial ministry purposes with proper attribution.