543 – Men’s Discipleship: My Story
NOTE: It just felt right to kick off the New Year with this excerpt from How God Makes Men that reminds us of the urgency of our mission to disciple men! The “men problem” has become a crisis that is virtually out of control. The collateral damage in families is staggering. Men under forty are especially vulnerable to an alien worldview that is gutting the institutions of marriage and family. Our government agencies, social sector organizations, and businesses are overstrained trying to cope with the downstream damage of an increasingly fatherless, angry, and dysfunctional generation.
There has to be a better way.
By all means, let’s continue helping single moms, pregnant teenagers, and fatherless boys. We need more of that, not less. But we’ll never solve these symptomatic problems without treating the underlying cause–that men don’t understand biblical manhood.
I am so grateful that when my wife and I first visited our church, several mature Christian men were on the lookout for younger guys like me. Knowing what needed to be done, they took me under their wings and began to disciple me into biblical manhood and, from the start, gave me the vision to disciple others. Hugh Lake preached the gospel simply. H. O. Giles and Bob Helmling modeled the gospel until I had to have it. God used Dan Stanley to bring me to conviction of sin. Jim Gillean invited us to be part of his small group, where my wife, Patsy, and I were equipped. I give glory to God for these men. And I trace it all back to my praying wife.
Jim in particular saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. What really got me was that he believed in me more than I believed in myself. He spoke words of encouragement that I’d never heard before. That unchained something inside me. He gave me a vision to become the man God created me to be. That released the power to become a man I didn’t even know was there. He started me down a path to become the man I wanted to be–a godly man, husband, father, and disciple maker.
God has given us a clear, simple prescription to bring men to maturity. It’s for mature men to take younger men under their wings and show them how to walk the Christian life. Men are His method. He equips us to reach other men, because it takes a man to teach a man how to be a man.
Here’s the good news. If we get men right, we will get marriages right. If we get marriages right, we will get families right. If we get families right, we will get the church right. And if we get the church right, God will change the world. In a very real sense, the cure for everything starts with men’s discipleship.