After ManSchool this morning, a brother shared his heart with me. We had discussed at the end of our session this notion of the vision for men’s ministry and this burden felt for the hearts of the men in our church. The discussion essentially centered on “blessed to be a blessing” – that we have been getting so much out of ManSchool and God is calling us out to reach other men and to step it UP.
I will have another post summarizing our session but one of our men said something to me that is worth unpacking a bit…
He has been struggling with an issue in his life and has taken good steps to get the problem behind him. But it has been a long slog to work out of the thick mud he finds himself in. To paraphrase, he said, “Richard I want you to know that I hear the call and want to engage but I feel shame over this situation and feel like it prevents me from stepping up…” He introduced this by mentioning something about being insignificant.
This is what must be unpacked – this feeling of insignificance and shame that prevents us from stepping into the role God has for us.
It is a lie. Straight from the gates of hell. The enemy…the foul one…strikes at us in our most weak and vulnerable spot. He holds our past mistakes against us. He convinces me that everyone in the room knows that in reality, I am just a hack, a fraud, a poser, a failure. He’s a liar. The father of all lies.
First, my friend he is significant. Very significant. Significant to me personally (he truly is) and to our group as a whole. He contributes. He’s wise and I admire his faith. I don’t care about his mistake – at all. Frankly, I could care less. I care about him. I see in him the potential. I see the great things God is doing and can do in him. There is no shame. Truth be told, if you guys knew all my dirty laundry… We all have that.
What we have to do as men is come alongside our brothers. We have to know them, know their heart, see them in action and build relationships with them. And so, when the liar shows up, we can speak truth into that immediately.
Men, God does not see your shame. He sees your restoration. God dreams great dreams for you. He has fearfully and wonderfully made you. He installed wonderful gifts, talents, traits and abilities in you and He made you unique from every other man on this earth. He wants you dependent – fully dependent – on Him. He does not want you leaning back on your past mistakes and, in effect, depending on them. Because that is what we do, we lean on those past mistakes as a crutch, an excuse to not engage. Do you remember Top Gun? Maverick lost Goose because he got in too close to a jet wash and made a mistake, a huge mistake. When the Soviets showed up coming after his wing man, he needed to engage to help him and he couldn’t. He backed off and disengaged. He went passive. Here is that word we all hate, he went limp.
That is exactly what Satan wants. He wants to hold my past mistakes against me. He wants to accuse me, mock me and shame me so I will disengage and just pull off into the weeds of obscurity. No! No! In sweet Jesus’ name, No!
It is time to engage. This my friends is the power of ManSchool, the power of community. All of us fighting for each other, seeing the vision for each others lives and calling each other UP to what God has in store for us.
If you’re missing ManSchool, you’re missing a blessing. I’m telling you, something great is happening here.