This past summer I was talking with one of my older friends from my hometown. In our conversation I discovered that she knew my 9th grade English teacher, Dan Johnson. My friend, Emadene, had taught school with Mr. Johnson’s wife and had nothing but good to say about the man. Likewise, when I think back to the year that I was in his class I have plenty of encouraging memories of my teacher. That year was truly an illustration of God moving in ways we don’t understand? Mr. Johnson was indeed a providential piece of the total equation for the man I am today.
I have probably been studying God’s design for manhood for well over 20 years now. The first real pick at the subject came during my college years when Todd Owen and I set upon the gospels to learn what we could from the man Jesus Christ. While Jesus is divine, God in the flesh, he was also perfect in his manhood. The text tells us that he got angry with the religious Pharisees, wept over the death of a friend, and got tired after a long day’s work. The author of Hebrews lets us into the secret that Jesus was tempted in every way possible to man yet was without sin. Jesus was fully man just as well fully divine. Therefore we can learn a thing or two about manhood from him.
In addition to attempting to follow Christ I’ve read a number of books over the years along with taking in various conferences and men’s ministry participation.
No, we’re not asking for a fight. However, we are asking what you’re passionate about. Football fans will know that “hit someone” is a common call when heading out onto the field and especially for the D-Line. “Hit someone” means that we’re going to make something happen. So; what are the God given passions deep down in your heart and what are you doing with them? Join us for our final show of the season this Sunday at 8p Central as we welcome business and ministry leader Steve Spicer to the show. Steve’s passion is first for Jesus and then for helping men realize and live out their God given passions. Steve is co-founder of a ministry called Marked Men For Christ which has built up well over 6000 men in 25 countries representing some 2000 churches since its inception in 2001
While we will be addressing manhood in our modern culture, the pursuit of passion will apply to ladies as well. So make plans now to stop in for the discussions tomorrow night at 8p Central. You can watch live here and send in questions via the blog or connect on my personal FB page or the SND Facebook page. You can also view and send in questions directly to the SND Google + Page. As always, questions and comments can be sent in early and we will definitely be offering free resources at the end of the show. In fact, Steve noted that he will offer a $50.00 savings on a MMFC weekend registration for viewers.
This Sunday is Father’s Day and for some people that means a powerful time of positive reflection. Dad was great. Others though approach Father’s day with a yawn at best. Either way I typically look at this confused occasion as an opportunity to teach about God’s design for fatherhood and the family. Dads are influential and important beyond measure. When I talk with solid leaders I like to ask them about their fathers and their relationship with them. If I’m studying the life of a great leader from the past or one presently alive that I just can’t get close to I still try to uncover something in connection to their fathers. Almost without exception, the great Kingdom leaders that I know had a good relationship with their dad and he was a tremendous part of their inner formation.
My story is not too shiny in this department. When people ask me about my father I sometimes jokingly reply, “Well, which one”? I suppose I could categorize my journey with dads this way.
What does maturity and manhood really look like? According to Skyler Wilder who writes for NBCOlympics.com; it looks like David Wise who tore up the half pipe free-style ski event for a gold medal this past Tuesday. In Wilder’s post David is shown to be a great young and mature man who is even thinking about possibly being a pastor some day. I was thrilled to see such credit given to a young man of God. The interesting thing about the post was the number of times Wilder referenced David’s maturity and actually called it an alternative lifestyle. While the immediate context probably is a contrast of David to the other “dudes” who rip up the slopes with more power than I could ever muster, it does raise a question of what manhood really looks like in America and the Post-Modern West. The sad reality is that a young man in his early 20s who is already married and a father with a life focus used to be called normal in western culture. Such is not always the case today. In fact, Kay Hymowitz ran a report in the WSJ a few years ago that simply posed the question; “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” In her article Hymowitz observes that the Western culture is undergoing a phenomina of drop out men of enormous proportions. The truth of the matter is that countless boys and young men in America are clueless as to what exactly it means to be a man. So many of them are lost with nowhere to go and little reason to get there. What does it really mean to be a man anymore?
Are there answers? Does God have anything to say on the issue? Does it even matter? To dive into those questions and more, be sure to join us tonight at 8p Central as we talk with Steve Spicer, co-founder of Marked Men for Christ, and our other guests about manhood and maturity. As always, if you are using Google + you can find the SND page and send in live questions during the show. We will also be checking for questions or comments left here or on our SND Facebook page.
See you soon.
News stories began to flow almost immediately about Russell Wilson after his team won the Super Bowl last night. Like many Christ followers I was impressed with his attitude and desire to give God the glory and believing in “the talent God gave him.” Russell was right on as even our breath is a gift from God. But another point that really struck my attention was what Wilson had to say about his father. He referenced his dad a couple of times and specifically noted how his father would purposefully look at challenging situations with the question of; “why not you?” When I heard that it all came together. That kind of fatherly encouragement is something that I’ve observed not only in the story of Wilson’s life, but in many other great leaders. They had dads who believed in them.
Confidence is a foundational building block in leadership development and one that is sorely needed in our day. The principle of speaking about a positive future in the life of a young person by a father or another male leader is of incalculable worth. You just can’t measure how important something like that is to a young boy or man. I know that many people in our day grew up without such a blessing and I can relate to that. But all of us can be encouraged to know that there is a “Father of the fatherless” and one who calls us out of fear and into courage. No matter what our background is, we can know God and know his encouragement in our lives and see a future greater than we’ve ever imagined before.
In addition, as leaders today we can look at those coming behind us and speak into their lives. What we saw passed down from father to son in Russell Wilson’s life is a rarity today. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In addition to my kids, I try to find opportunities to speak even small positive words to kids on my block and around me. Recently I told a neighborhood boy the account of King David and Goliath and then finished my story with; “You know . . . you could be a great king someday too.” Just one man or woman speaking a positive message of potential victory into the hearts of others is just what they need and it might even just be enough to change the world.
So, who are you encouraging today?