85 - The Battle for Men's Souls™
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Wednesday, December 10 2008 10:43|
The New Mission of Man in the Mirror
Every day at Man in the Mirror we are engaged with men who are in a battle for their souls-a battle many are increasingly aware of since 9-11-2001. They lost their souls by exchanging the truth of God for a lie. The lie comes in many forms but at its core is unbelief that says, "Jesus Christ alone is not enough to make you happy. You need something else."
Undoubtedly, you are also surrounded by these men. That's why we want to join with you in The Battle For Men's Souls™, a campaign to engage every man in America with a credible offer of Christ and the resources to grow. Someone has said, "I would rather fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed than succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail." The Battle for Men's Souls™ is just such a cause. Let's do together what we cannot do alone.
A woman came to work with us after college. She wanted to work in a ministry to men. Why? She said, "When I was nine my mother and father separated. Over the next several years I saw my father a few times. Then, when I was thirteen, they divorced. After that I never saw my father again." We are in a life and death battle for the souls of men….
There are 98,000,000 men in America 18 years of age and older.
Evangelism: Regrettably, 63 million men make no profession of Christ.
Discipleship: Amazingly, 90 million men are not involved in any kind of discipleship. Only 8 million men are involved in discipleship-only 1 out of every 12 men. Can you imagine fielding a football team on which only "one" man knows how to play the game?
Up to 70% of men seek out pornography. Adultery is out of control.
As many Christians will divorce as non-Christians (34%, Barna).
4 out of 5 students in evangelical churches will drop out of church by their senior year in high school (Howard Hendricks).
Men are addicted to everything from money to secret thought lives to the comfortable secluded environments they work so hard to create.
Most men will give the best years of their lives to ideas that never had any possibility of making them happy.
Most men have "success sickness"-the disease of always wanting more, and never being happy when they get it.
Most men only know enough about God to be disappointed in Him.
They are tired, restless, confused, lonely, and empty.
The family is disintegrating. We've become a nation of spiritual widows and practical orphans. Who will turn the hearts of fathers toward their children? Who will teach men to love and honor their wives? Who will awaken men to see that comfort is not abundance-that bigger barns are not what we need in times like these? Who will call men to a radical surrender to Christ?
I love the church, so it is sad to see that the church has not been able to muster the ongoing will or comprehensive strategy to disciple men. Discipling men is not a top priority in any denomination based upon their actual allocations of financial and intellectual resources.
Yet discipling men is our greatest strategic ministry opportunity. It is an under-managed area that can offer a greater return on labor and capital allocated to this priority.
Hugh O. MacClellan, one of America's leading Christian philanthropists, said recently, "The greatest need we have in America is to reach our men."
The church desperately needs what discipled men have to offer. Men who love and follow Jesus become leaders, don't divorce their wives, and don't neglect their children. They donate more money, volunteer for more service, make a bigger kingdom impact in the community, and they invite more visitors to the church. In short, reaching our men is a battle plan for success.
OUR NEW GOAL
We want to help build Christ's church. Someone has said, "The church has many critics, but no rivals." We have good reasons to believe there is at least one leader in each of America's 350,000 churches who is serious about the cause of reaching men.
Our new goal is over the next 5 years to equip 100,000 church leaders who are actively building a ministry to men. We believe this will reach 10,000,000 men in five years. With proper funding we have the organizational capacity to reach these goals. We presently have relationships with about 12,000 leaders.
History: 2 ½ years ago Man in the Mirror set a 5 year goal to reach 275,000 men and have an organization in place that could continue to reach 100,000 men per year. Then we developed the 1,000,000 Book Giveaway, which has solidified into a new distribution channel for Christian literature to men. As a result, over these last 2 ½ years we have touched 2,225,000 men, and estimate significant ministry to 400,000 of those men.
Why should we do this? Perhaps you can you identify with this pastor….
I'm pulled in way too many directions. My time is not my own. I have a steady flow of people from inside and outside my church who want me to adopt their idea or program. The thought of adding "one more thing" is overwhelming to me. I'm already going as fast as I can. My problem is not that I don't work hard, but that I'm working too hard on things that are not moving us forward. I have so many urgent things I need to do that I rarely have time to sit quietly and ponder the direction of our church. I confess that I have difficulty distinguishing opportunity from distraction. I am too busy with second things. I haven't been able to implement my vision for the church. If I could start over I would put men's ministry at the top of my priority list. I know this is the only long-term solution to the leadership deficit we have in our church, our families, and our community.
Jesus charged us to be the church militant, but too often we're asking the church staff to plan our next bake sale. The army of God is being led by the Pillsbury Doughboy. It's time to move from a peace-time agenda to a war-time agenda. Will we lose some friends? Maybe, but do we really need to keep people on board who say "Peace, peace" while every day we hear heartbreaking stories of new casualties in this battle for men's souls?
A FOUR POINT BATTLE PLAN
Identify: We want to know who you are and how we can help you. Are you a pastor or leader whose calling and passion is to build the kingdom? Are you a soul winner and a disciple maker? We want to partner with you to reach every man in America with a credible offer of Jesus Christ and the resources to grow-one man at a time. We invite you to join The Battle For Men's Souls. Go to www.maninthemirror.org/pastors/bfms.htm and learn more.
Minister "To": We want to be your friend. Leadership is lonely, but it doesn't have to be. Enlist and 3 or 4 times a month we will send you a Leader's Briefing filled with practical men's ministry ideas, success stories, tips, and personal encouragement. We pledge ourselves to be your trusted friend and ally in the long term cause of battling for men's souls.
Equip: We want to further equip you to evangelize and disciple men. We offer initial and ongoing training with proven, field-tested methods to evangelize and disciple your men. We will offer you message boards to get specific questions answered.
Minister "Through": We want to educate you about the resources you will need to win this war. We will help you find everything you need to create, capture, and sustain momentum among your men-from evangelistic tools to small groups curriculum resources to seminars. We are assembling the finest men's and leadership resources available in the world today for your one-stop shopping. We will be able to offer you the single best resources available on any and every related topic.
This is a war we can win. Let us not worry about losing those whose highest ambition is to live in a gated community while the rest of the nation is going to hell. Let us be like Churchill. Let us sound a clarion call to war. Let us sound a call to revolution. We're not recruiting men to join some boy's club. Let's raise an army. Let's march. Let's take back territory. Let's win the battle and plant the flag of Jesus Christ in men's souls.
Next month's A Look in the Mirror… Man in the Mirror's Theology and Philosophy of Ministry
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley helps men to think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped for a larger impact on the world.
©2000. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This may be reproduced with proper attribution for non-commercial purposes.