Search this site:



     
 

For Men Only

Toward Godly manhood in a feminized world  
 
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. I Cor. 16:13 nas





For Such A Time as This

WORD xxxxxx PDF

 

I have participated in men’s meetings and retreats, and in relationships of various forms since the early 1970’s, including both personal mentoring and pastoral scenarios. As I have grown in my understanding of masculinity, and especially of Godly manhood, I have come to respect and cherish the unique vitality men can bring to their homes, churches, and nation. Such is especially needed in times of crisis. This, blended into observations about the world we live in today and influenced by a sense of things to come, leads me to the following conclusions.


I believe that:
A)   Difficult days lie ahead for Christians, and in a particular way for Americans because we are accustomed to the freedoms that our Biblically-based society and our Constitution have heretofore provided. We do not have a mindset that would equip us for hardship.
 
B)   We will either believe that, and begin to shape our life around it, or we'll go on "as in the days of Noah." Denying it will lead to our being further blinded to what is taking place.

C)   It is imperative that Christians form relationships that will help us remain faithful to God and to each other.

D)   God gave men the responsibility to provide, protect and lead, and we are responsible to take initiative to prepare for what lies ahead.

E)   The church's definition of spirituality is typically based on feminine responsiveness and expression. Men are judged as less “spiritual” than women when they respond in a masculine way. Our pews hold many good men who are made to feel inferior because they don’t fulfill the church’s misguided expectations. The fact is, these men are lions who will stand up in strength when their masculinity and their godly hearts are respected, affirmed and encouraged.

F)   It is imperative that men band together in a way that will equip and enable them to be strong in the days to come.

G) The time to begin is now.

 

Most of what follows represents actions that the church needs to (but is often unable to) take regardless of what lies ahead. When men band together as brothers it will bring desperately needed authenticity, strength and vitality to the church. One significant reason that the church is so anemic is that we have denied and diminished the God-given strengths of masculinity.

We need men's ministry at two primary levels, and here are two possible models.

 

"2-2" (two two) - From within or alongside the institutional church
A discipleship ministry calling men to understand and embrace their masculinity and Christian manhood in a feminized world and church. As long as our freedom allows, this could take place in many institutional churches.

Mandate -
Proverbs 2:2: turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding (NIV)

Purpose - Ephesians 4:12-
13: to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (NIV)

2-2 would be structured and somewhat top-down with active input from mature men who have a vision for developing other men. It would focus on spiritual growth including study from God's Word; imparting the wisdom of life; developing personal disciplines including a devotional life; character building; understanding masculinity and male sexuality; godly leadership in our homes; and more. There would be some special sessions for married men. 2-2 should meet at least twice monthly.

The effectiveness of 2-2 would be measured by its ability to prepare men for personal mentoring and/or for advancing into 2-22.


"2-22" (two twenty two) - From alongside the institutional church
For men who are postured to prepare for what lies ahead and to shape their lives around it. They are either men of maturity, or younger men who are ready for serious commitment, and in either case humble, courageous choices and actions would be required.

Mandate - Mark 2:22: And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.  (Jesus, NIV)

Purpose - John 17:21 - that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (Jesus, NIV)

A)  A relationship-based group of men who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. It would be formed by invitation and would transcend denominational distinctives and congregational identities.

B)   Men who recognize that world events are significant in light of the scriptures, and who are willing to step up to the plate in response.

C)  Men who determine to be prepared to act as men, to remain strong themselves, and to serve their families and others even if present freedoms are taken from them; if the visible institutional church as we know it is further incapacitated; and if they could pay a price for unswerving loyalty to their Lord Jesus Christ.

D)  2-22 men would more often be grassroots guys of ordinary means and station in life, than those of power in society. I Corinthians 1:26-31. It is the “tax collector” of Luke 18:9-14 who will see and hear the things of Luke 10:19-24 (v24) that many of the “important people” will miss. (This is first of all a matter of the heart, but the reality is that those of position and power in the world will need to more deliberately lay some things aside in order to see and walk in the riches of the Kingdom of God in the days to come. They will be severely tested and will need to choose between things of the world and things of God - - and the latter includes unswerving loyalty to fellow believers even at great expense to oneself.)  

E)  They would affirm and encourage the institutional Christian church, while maintaining a part of their life and identity from alongside.

F)  The highest qualifications would be dedication to becoming more like Jesus; the recognition that they need each other in order for that to happen; and the commitment to vulnerability and loyalty to each other.

G)  There would be no intent to become large, structured, or high profile. The typical group would be four to 12 men.

H)  Each man would be expected to pass on to others the things that God works in his heart through these relationships.

The Culture of 2-22
A)  Because participants are motivated, dedicated and focused men, and because they need to be prepared to function without formal structure, leadership would be more of a facilitating nature than a strong, top-down, leader-follower style.

B)  Much of the “life” of 2-22 would come from within the group as in Galatians 6:1-2, Colossians 3:16, I Thess. 5:11, Hebrews 3:12-14, 10:23-25, James 5:16, and with a variety of expression as in I Corinthians 12. All would both give and receive in relationship to the others.

C)  Men need trust relationships. We learn to trust (or not trust) by knowing. We learn to know, by being together. 2-22 men would prioritize their relationships and meetings, and participate as regularly as reasonably possible. As they learn to know and trust each other they would become vulnerable and open to each other.

D)  As long as conditions allow they would meet on a regular schedule at an announced place, and when necessary they would relate and communicate in a less obvious manner.

E)  They would be loyal to one another, refusing to betray confidences and standing with each other in difficult times even at cost to themselves.

F)  Their focus would be on knowing God through the study of His Word; on understanding humanity and masculinity; and on learning how to bring them together in a way which leads to their becoming more authentic disciples of Jesus.

G)  They would stay in tune with world events that relate to end times. They would invite God to instruct and correct them through those events but would refuse to be distracted or frightened by them.

H)  As appropriate, and as part of building trust relationships, they would have periodic gatherings which include their wives and families.

I) A measure of success for 2-22 would be its ability to move families into an unstructured, mutually supportive network of relationships that would enable them to stand strong and to be faithful to God and to each other in deeply troubled times.

2-22 and Politics
A)  By its nature 2-22 would be comprised mostly of those who are politically conservative, and concerned about the rapidly growing threats to our way of life. Politically, they see the deliberate activities of the Left to make us a socialist nation, and they understand the price that America will pay if we abandon Israel. Spiritually, they recognize that Islam has taken the world captive and is a threat to the Biblical and Christian foundations of our nation. Morally, they recognize that the feminist movement, and its offspring the “gay rights” movement, are holding the world hostage and are actively eroding the moral foundations of our nation.

B)   They recognize that the core issues in America are spiritual, not political. We have come to this place as a nation because the Church has not loved God in a way that we could continue to influence our nation and maintain His favor. The real battleground is in the spiritual realm. A contest between good and evil. Between truth and lies. Between God and Satan.

C)  They would pray for their nation and take appropriate steps to preserve and protect their freedoms. However, they believe that God is at work through events of our day and declare their first loyalty, highest priority, and primary sphere of action to be in serving Him and in making Him known to those close to them and to the ends of the earth.

D)   There will be an extremely delicate line to navigate in the conflagration that will follow the emerging conflict between conservative and liberal values and expectations in our increasingly entitlement-minded society. It will only be doable if nothing matters more than living for God and representing Him and the LIFE He offers to our broken world. 

E)  While they would hear God’s call to action through current national and international politics and events, 2-22 men would not be doomsday. There would certainly be a higher percentage of concealed-carry men among them than in the typical social group, but they would not trust in weapons or in gold. They would be about living for God and making Him known to others, as Jesus did, much more than about protecting their rights or even their own life. Their interests would be toward the Kingdom of God more than earthly, political, or economic agendas.

Foundational Thought
The following resources on John2031.com communicate the foundational thought upon which the rest of this page is built:

(1)XX Let the Men Be Men
(2)XXThree sections from the online book, "The Cosmic Battle and the American Christian"

  Part I, "The Battle of the Ages", go to pp 1-6XX
  Part II, “The American Christian Dilemma”, pp 7-12 x
  Part VII, "The Dividing Line", pp 43-50

(3)XX Some quiet words to my heart, "Nothing Else Matters"

12/2/10, Rev. 12/22/10, 3/2/11

 

This is #2 in the series "For Men Only" on www.john2031.com. © 2011 Ken Stoltzfus, P.O. Box 228, Kidron, OH 44636 USA. May be printed for personal use and may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes without further permission if proper acknowledgment is given.

 
Friends of John2031.com   © 2013 John 2031.com.
All rights reserved.