“Overcoming the Performance Orientation In Men”
Excerpts from No Man Left Behind (Chapter 4)
How are men successful in the world?
So, we take a man from this world’s system and plop him down in church. He wants to be a “successful Christian.” He looks around and decides he needs to dress a certain way, use certain phrases, attend church a certain number of times, give money, serve on committees, and join a men’s class. Often, we take a man from one performance-oriented culture (the world) and move him right into another one (the church).
In both of these scenarios a man is basically relying on his own strength to be his god. We end up with men who are focused on whether their external behavior matches some ideal, but who are disconnected from a heart of faith.
Men know how to play the game, and if you let them, they will follow your rules to perfection. The only problem is that in ten or twenty years, like Lou (who suddenly had an affair), they will realize that their hearts are dead.
We must get beyond a performance orientation. A man’s actions will eventually reflect what is happening in his heart. Just like you can’t treat cancer by putting a Band-Aid on a man’s skin, you can’t help a man become a disciple by fixing his behavior and ignore his heart. Christianity is not about behavior modification; it is about heart transformation.
We quickly figure out that we have to dress a certain way, have a certain job, make a certain amount of money, live in the right house, or have a good family. The focus is on external things that we can do or see.