This morning was our first intentional mens gathering at Kineo that was directed towards creating an ongoing dialogue, encouragement, and training with men, so that the church can be a part of producing men that act like men, not just look like men. We need to intentional walk this out or else we will never get to the place where we are counter-culture within the church. It is time for a change… our wives deserve it; our children deserve it; women and children we don’t even know deserve it; our families deserve it; our girlfriends deserve it; non-believers deserve it! Pray for us as we ask the Lord do some big things in the lives of men in Phoenix over the next few years. Here’s the notes from today’s talk:
Our desire in holding these men’s breakfasts are to rally men behind God’s purpose and mission. Our churches today are dominated by women (the colors, the flowers, the bulletins, the bathrooms, the toilet paper has flowers in the men’s restrooms :-). This is not bad because we are chauvinistic, this is bad because God created men with specific roles that they are not using in the church.
I believe that a big reason why women dominate churches for the most part is because we are lacking men. We are lacking men who act like men. Men who love God, who respect women, who have a passion for the church, who are strong and compassionate, who protect, who lead, who nurture, who cultivate, etc…
For the most part, many men in our churches can fit into one of a few categories:
1) the man who was drug there by his wife or pressured to come by his kids;
2) the man who sits passively at church and doesn’t lead anyone, including his family other than driving them to and from church (this kind of man is praised in the church as a tender, loving and humble man);
3) the man who is an obnoxious loud mouth know it all who knows that church people are “too loving” to tell him to be quiet; and he needs to stop talking so people will actually want to come back;
4) the man who is a predator (this is the guy who is either outwardly a jerk or silently a creep), either way he doesn’t respect people’s boundaries.
So here’s the deal, I know none of you guys are any of these guys, but…. let’s supposed a couple of you could possibly fit into one of these categories in some way. Much of our problems as men is because we spend way too much time defending who we are and not repenting for who we are… but we do not repent because we think we’re alright.
If Paul wrote to the Romans 7:15, “I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do” then that means he had a good estimate of the kind of man he was… and so should we. What kind of man are you? Do you have an honest evaluation of the man that you are? This is why intimate community is so important. This is why we are starting these men’s gatherings. We need men who act like men!
In his final exhortation to the Corinthians, Paul says this to men. 1 Cor. 16:13-14: 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
Be watchful: “Be alert! Be vigilant!” The enemy is always at hand, and we are never safe from attack. Satan would certainly attack the church and try to hinder the men. Also, watch yourselves so that you do not fall away (Acts 20:28).
Stand firm: “Be consistent. Persevere. Grow up. Be stable.” Paul had already warned them that they were immature children who needed to grow up (1 Cor. 3:1). No wonder Paul added this phrase which is our staple passage for this ministry:
Act like men: In the Greek, this phrase is wrapped up in the word “andrísō”: Which refers to a man or husband behaving himself with the wisdom and courage of a man, as opposed to a baby or child. The reality is, there are a lot of boys in mens bodies. Most of us have never had a man to initiate us into manhood and be shown in a healthy and true way what it looks like to act like a man.
Love: “agápē”: This references God’s love, it is God’s willful direction toward man. It involves God doing what He knows is best for man and not necessarily what man desires. Having the best intentions for the object being loved, followed by proper actions.
Now let’s briefly look at some things men were created to act like, then we’ll close. Here 3 layers of identity that defines who a man is:
1) Man was created to cultivate: God created the man and placed him in the garden and told to him subdue the earth and cultivate the ground (create and cultivate… so that it continues to progress, i.e.: bodies, sports, cars, house, boats, yards, software, increase performance / wives, children, business, home, friends, family, church). If a man doesn’t love God then he cultivates the wrong things such as death and brokenness. When man sins, the ground is cursed as well. This is God’s grace. The land is not working with him, work is hard and he thinks “Why is it so hard and not cooperating with me?” God says, “It’s not working because you sinned. You stopped cooperating with me”, and now man gets a glimpse of why and how he is sinful and separated from God and thus, the gospel is beginning to be understood through work.
2) Man was created to fight: In the Genesis 3 account, the man was supposed to fight for his wife; and Adam didn’t. He allowed the devil to attack his wife and overcome her and him. We were created to fight for justice, the poor, the weak, women, family, truth, against the enemy for the greater good of others. They are called to champion a life of righteousness. The problem is, if a man doesn’t know how to fight, he begins to fight for the wrong things and he begins to kill and hurt innocent civilians, women, children, friends and parents. These men become very dangerous. They need to know what they are to fight for and who they are to fight with and against. Now we have the joy of seeing the gospel through the lens of Jesus, and how He fought for us.
3) Man was created to be a leader/teacher: Men are supposed to be wise teachers to shepherds of their family. Eve got deceived. Adam wasn’t a good teacher. He didn’t transfer the knowledge that God gave him. Men were created to be teachers with words or deeds. Whether good or bad, you are teachers. If boys don’t have good men/teachers to follow, then they find bad men/teachers to follow (drugs, sex, fights, video games, porn, etc.). Jesus was the ultimate teacher, who came and died for us, and left us His Living Word to teach us about His gospel and Himself.
What kind of man are you? My desire for us here in these gathering is to learn to Act Like Men! (ALM) Let’s pray.