This fall, I will begin to meet with a group of young married men. We will meet once a month, for several hours, over a meal. During this time, we will walk together in understanding and growing in leadership as men. It is without a doubt that the scriptures call all men to be leaders. Sorry fellas...none of you are exempt from this. As men, we are called to be leaders....
First, in our own lives. We are called to live Godly, grace-filled lives. It doesn't matter if you are married or single. Young or old. We are called to be men who pursue God passionately both in word and deed.
Second, in the lives of our families. God has given the husband certain leadership roles in the home and family, and we must take these duties seriously. Men, there is not a single other person on this earth responsible for the spiritual growth of your wife. It's not her daddy's job anymore, it's not your pastors job (although he can certainly help pastor you and her), it's YOUR job. The same can be said for your children. You are responsible to oversee and lead in seeing that your children grow, hearing and teaching the Gospel from you and praying that the Holy Spirit might move in their hearts. It's not the children's ministers job (although they may have some good tips, not the youth ministers job (the same), nor your pastors job. It is your primary responsibility.
Third, in the lives of those God has put around us in our community and work. Yes, men, you are missionaries in your neighborhood and work. Your home is not merely where you live to put a roof over your head. It is a community of people who need Jesus. Your work is not merely a place to earn money to buy food. It is a mission field, in which God has specifically called YOU to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I am calling this group "Man-Up Mornings", because by and large men are not stepping up and being the spiritual leaders that God has called them to be, both in the church and outside the church. There are many reasons for this. A lapse in discipleship in the past generation or two in the church at large may have contributed to where we are now. The Everybody Loves Raymond generation seems to expect little to nothing out of men, outside of watching football and retreating to their man caves. Our generation portrays men as ignorant, lazy and unsupportive in their families.
As followers of Christ, and as men, we should be ashamed. Men-we have got to Man-Up, take serious our role as men as we follow Christ, and intentionally develop ourselves into fully devoted Christ-followers. During our times together, we will point ourselves to some very important Biblical texts, showing us what a Godly man looks like. We will take time to discuss successes and failures (probably more of the latter, at least from me) in leading. We will also take a look at a book called "The Gospel At Work", and excellent read that will help us understand our calling to our secular jobs, and how it may be as important or more than a "pastors" calling. There will be reading and some assignments to complete between our sessions.
A word of warning-I am asking for commitment on this. This is not just a "Men's Bible Study" that you join, and flake out after one time because you got tickets to the football game. If you commit, the only excuse that will work is that you are in the hospital (and we may have our group in your hospital room if you are). Ok, i'm not that intense. But you get the idea. This group if for men who say 1) I am not where I want to be as a man who follows Christ and I need help (which I would say is most of us) and 2) I am ready to commit four mornings this fall to pursuing this with other men, together.
I have a handful of men who have already committed, and I only have a few spots left. Yes, that's right, I am only going to meet with a certain number of men. Why? Because my goal isn't to gather a multitude, but to pour into and grow together with a few, in the hopes that they will do the same.
So who is ready to Man-Up this fall?
Matthew is 34 years old and currently lives in St Louis, Missouri with his wife Leslie. He serves as the Associate Pastor at The Groves Church, in Webster Groves, Missouri.