A foundational principle in men’s ministry is recognizing that even though our men know Christ died for their sins, many, perhaps most, still feel too dirty and sinful to be loved by a holy God. No matter how good our programs are, how rich our Biblical insights may be, or how successful we are at helping men better connect, our men’s ministry will fall flat if our men’s guilt and failure make them doubt God’s love for them.
A lot of press has been given to a recent Pew Research study showing that 44% of American adults “have left the faith of their childhood.” But that’s not really the whole story. 16% out of that 44% simply left one Protestant denomination for another, meaning only 28% of adults have left the faith of their childhood. Add to that that some of those 28% left atheism or other religions for Christianity, and the picture looks even brighter. So perhaps the best way to say it is, “72% of all American adults have stayed in the faith they were brought up in, including those who changed denominations within the Protestant Church.” Now it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
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!
We are to seek first the kingdom of God, expanding the rule of Christ into every sphere of our lives, culture, and world. If men’s ministry is to be effective, we must challenge men with a vision big enough to resonate with their internal drive to accomplish a great mission. That vision is to live out the values of God’s kingdom-to make the invisible kingdom of God visible, everywhere we go, in every sphere of our lives, over every square inch of planet earth.
Is it possible that today’s church has developed a culture that drives men away by asking them to check their masculinity at the door? This is Murrow’s thesis and it is well worth thinking about.
Sometimes Christian men who are losing their battles with lust are looking for a quick and easy solution that will fit comfortably into their schedule. “Give me three steps for winning this battle for sexual purity and I will take them next Thursday afternoon at 3:00 and get this problem solved.” But instant solutions to spiritual problems simply don’t exist.