May 15, 2020
A Better Question
This is a question most often asked by men aspiring to summit the mountain of manhood. But it’s not the best question. If it was the best question it wouldn’t involve getting “better”. “Better” implies that a man is sick, broken or wounded, which may be the case for many. I prefer to ignore the obvious and focus on men becoming their best version in spite of their shortcomings. In fact, how to become your best version is the question our Men in the Arena team spent 50-weeks answering with our five-book Man Card Series: The Trailhead, Climb, Summit, Descent, and The Trail’s End.
A Better Definition
In 2007 I read Robert Lewis’, Raising a Modern Day Knight. On our interview Robert said, “Without a vision, men turn toxic!” He was the first man to impart that Christian vision of manhood to me: “Resisting passivity, accepting responsibility, leading courageously, and expecting a greater reward.” I was so impacted by it that I engraved his definition on knife blades and presented them to my sons. It was the catalyst though which we crafted our universal definition—the subject of the Man Card Series—Protecting integrity, fighting apathy, pursuing God passionately, leading courageously, and finishing strong.”
This was unpacked in great detail in my book, The Man Card: Five Characteristics Separating Men from Boys that has been rewritten as, Strong Men Dangerous Times: Five Essentials Every Man Must Possess to Change His World. I’m very proud of this work and believe it should be on the bookshelf of every man desiring to reach his full potential in Christ.
A Best Man
Needless to say, Robert Lewis is one of my unsung heroes, and I got to tell him so when he was a guest on The Men in the Arena Podcast. To interview a man who gifted me with his Men’s Ministry DNA was electrifying to say the least. Few have had a more significant impact on discipling men in the past forty years than he has.
As a pastor, speaker, and author, his passion for leading men to grow in biblical manhood led him to produce the Men’s Fraternity film series in 1995. This three-year men’s curriculum quickly spread into churches, businesses, colleges, and even correctional facilities across the United States, and later to over 20 countries. Today, Men’s Fraternity and it's follow up series, 33, have impacted millions of men worldwide.
Robert is also the founder of his newest venture, BetterMan. The BetterMan framework actively seeks to counter today’s dysfunctional masculinity by offering men the timeless, life-giving manhood found in the Bible. The BetterMan is an 11-week experience balancing truth and caring relationships.
A Big Miss
As a former mega church pastor, Robert carries a tremendous burden for pastors and has given his life to discipling men in their churches. He passionately believes our tag line, when a man gets it—everyone wins. But as Robert lamented, “Most pastors aren't secure in their own masculinity,” and when that happens, “men’s ministry is impoverished.”
When churches fail to follow the “start with men” biblical model of the Church they are off course. As he calls it, “The Big Miss is not getting behind the men’s ministry movement in the church as the pastor.”
If you are looking for an interactive curriculum for larger gatherings, then I recommend checking out his newest project, BetterMan.com. If you are a pastor who does not value a strategic ministry to men in your church, I beg you to do two things.
A Better Bible
First, read your Bible. Notice that virtually every time in the bible that God starts a great work, He begins with a man. Except for a few exceptions such as Esther, Deborah, etc., men are God’s starting place. Look up Peter’s sermon that launched the church in Acts 2:14-24.
Second, check your heart. Are you secure in your masculinity, or do strong men intimidate you? Would you rather work with, preach to, and target towards women and children? Do you agree with the New Testament model that when you win one man, you win his household (Acts 10:30-33, 16:32-34, 18:7-9)?
The answer to these questions will change your life and ministry. For more answers to your questions about ministry to men, look us up.