by Dale Reeves
If you’re a female reading this, would you do me a favor and make sure you get this in front of “your man”? . . . your dad, your husband, your boyfriend, your son. Pardon me while I speak to just the men this time around. I want to talk to men today about the topic of real manhood and real leadership.
Did you ever hear the phrase growing up, “Be a man!”?? I heard that a time or two when I was playing tackle football with my besties (hear me Mike Wood?), and I thought I had broken my neck or ankle or something. “Just walk it off, and you’ll be fine!” I heard. Young men hear phrases like these while growing up. Sometimes we are confused at what a real man looks like. We see all kinds of role models in front of us in the media—some good, and some not so good. Street gangs have certain rituals they must perform to “become a man.” Part of their initiation might include things like getting beaten up by the other gang members, getting a tattoo with gang symbols, or participating in “a mission”—stealing a car, engaging in a firefight with a rival gang, or even shooting or killing someone. If the gang member is a female, she might be raped by the other gang members as part of her “initiation.”
Many guys who are not part of gangs just do all kinds of crazy things to “prove their manhood.” Maybe you did a few crazy things yourself in the name of growing up.
I saw something take place after a football playoff game a week ago in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round of the American Football Conference. Following the 27-20 loss to Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium, second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence did something I think is pretty cool. He didn’t immediately leave the field and head to the locker room. Instead, he waited in the tunnel and exchanged hugs and handshakes with every Jacksonville teammate and coach who was coming off the field and heading to the locker room. This was not after a big win, but a loss that ended their season this year. But in my book, it was a big win!
Check out the video here:
That’s great leadership. Servant leadership. That’s the kind of leadership that God calls men to.
Called to Be Leaders
This past week we began our latest season of what we call “Man Church” at Christ’s Church with over 80 men present. It’s a gathering of men, young and old, who want to become better husbands, fathers, and influencers for Christ wherever God has put them. We eat together, laugh together, serve together, study together, pray together, and are better together. Our theme for this round of Man Church is “Buzzer Beaters.” We want to talk about how we can win the game God has laid out before us so that everyone else in our spheres of influence win as well. I asked a few of our men’s ministry leaders to talk about why we are so passionate about men’s ministry at Christ’s Church.
David Buckley, a former elder and our groups minister says this: “Men’s ministry has a special place in my life for many reasons. The overwhelming reason is because of the impact it has on families—mine included. Through the years, I know that I’ve become a better follower of Christ, a better husband, and a better father. The same has been true for every guy I’ve seen invest in sharpening themselves by doing life with other men. And it’s not just the guys’ view of this; I’ve heard testimonies from my wife and the wives of other men sharing how they’ve seen the positive impact in the life of their entire family. I believe our God smiles big time when men lean into following him and applying his Word to their daily lives.”
Gary Herbert has served as an elder at Christ’s Church for many years, and has led a men’s group for over eight years. He comments, “I personally witnessed and experienced change, and a closer walk with Christ, in my own life due to what I observed growing up. I was blessed to watch my father, an elder and church leader, as well as many other men, actively involved in men’s ministry in the church where I grew up. They were involved in men’s breakfasts, work days, sporting events, serving projects, sharing life and death together. I witnessed the bond of Christian brotherhood that I would think any man would desire to be a part of in this world.”
Gary continues, “God created men to be servant leaders among their families, church, and community that they belong to. Men need each other! We read in Proverbs 27:17, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend’ (NLT). Our men’s groups are driven by the awesome power of Christ and the opportunity that we get to freely worship him daily. I am often reminded that Satan is always on the prowl (see 1 Peter 5:8) and we must always have our guard up.
Gary’s men’s group meets every Saturday morning by the fireplace at Christ’s Church. He says, “We call our group MC (Man Church) Huddle. Per Vegas rules, what is said in the group stays in the group unless a man gives permission. I wish I had a quarter for every time a man shared how encouraging the group has been or how they look forward to it every weekend. One of our brothers has shared how his spiritual and physical life have drastically changed because of his involvement with our men’s group. He often says, ‘I just wish I would have found this group earlier!’”
David Buckley leads a men’s group that meets at Joseph’s Cup coffee shop every Saturday morning. David has been leading men’s groups for over eleven years because he has seen real life change as a result. He has heard many positive reports from real men and their wives. He shares, “One friend of mine started investing himself in our men’s group, and didn’t believe his marriage would make it—but now, seven years later, his marriage has never been stronger.”
I am excited about what God is doing in our men’s ministry at Christ’s Church as well as in some other local churches. If you are a man and you want to grow closer in your walk with Christ, and you want to be a better husband, father, and leader wherever God needs you, I want to throw out a “red flag” challenge. Join us for the next four sessions of our Man Church at Christ’s Church. We meet in the gym Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00 pm on February 7, 21, and March 7, 21, ending the season with our annual chili cookoff. We’ve also got dinner available every week at 5:30 pm. The topic for our next meeting is “Breaking the Zone.” We hope to see you there. You can let us know you’re coming here: Man Church sign-up form
And, if you want to step up and Be a Man and join a men’s huddle, email David here: email@example.com
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
—1 Corinthians 13:11, NIV