Calling Men to a Big Enough Vision

Antarctic Explorer, Ernest Shackleton, posted this advertisement in 1913: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” More than five thousand men applied for twenty-six slots. Shakleton understood what motivates men!

Men want to invest their lives in a great cause. They are drawn to a mission that is worthy of their highest devotion-and draws from them the willingness to make whatever sacrifice is required, (witness the fine young men laying down their lives in Iraq.)

If the message our men hear from the church is that the essence of their calling as Christ-followers is to be nice guys-kind, avoiding porn, finding a wife, getting a job, coming to church-their commitment to Christ will be half-hearted at best. This is especially true of our young men.

We must constantly strive to help men see that there is no greater mission than to be a part of God’s grand redemption of the cosmos, fighting Satan and his minions, being the first-fruits of the new creation, putting the values of the kingdom on display in our own lives, and invading every square inch of planet earth with the gospel of the kingdom of Christ! That is why I want again to draw your attention to the book, Making Kingdom Disciples. Here are a few more excerpts:

“If we have a right concept of the kingdom of God, a biblical world-and-life-view will be the natural outcome. A.A Milne, famous for his Winnie the Pooh stories, wrote a novel entitled “Two People” which focuses on Mr. Pump. Mr Pump was a haberdasher and a very devoutly religious man. He was so religious in fact that he would not dare carry his religion into the marketplace because it was too sacred. To illustrate this, he had two hats, one for his marketplace role and another for his Sunday morning churchgoing role. Mr. Pump was right to see a distinction between the church and the marketplace, but he was wrong to create a sacred/secular division by suggesting that the two do not mix.

This story serves to help us understand that in this life we do have somewhat of a dual role. On the one hand it does appear that Christians wear two hats, but on the other hand, and more correctly, we wear only one hat. We are to be “in the world, but not of the world.” We are members of both God’s kingdom and his church. We may say that we wear two hats because there is a difference between the two; however, on the other hand we clearly wear only one hat because Christ is Lord over all.

There are many well-meaning churchgoers who think like Mr. Pump. They think they are to serve the Lord on Sunday, but one has to be a professional clergyman or staff member to serve the Lord during the week in some church-related ministry. Selling clothes, keeping house, and teaching school, are not religious or sacred activities, but secular occupations that have no religious connotation.

Understanding the all-inclusiveness of the kingdom will remind us that everything we do is a religious activity and is to be done to the glory of God.

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Article originally part of “Get in the Game”
a periodic email communication from CEP
March/April 2008 Vol. 4 No.2

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Rev. Gary Yagel began his ministry as a volunteer Young Life leader, served 4 years as a youth pastor and over 20 years as a church planter and senior pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America. He has led various men's discipleship ministries, including Top Gun, and spoken to numerous men's groups. He is a Field Network

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