Be Strong! Do Not Be Afraid.

I recently read in Nehemiah when I was struck with a scripture I have read many times and have even written and spoken from this text in the past. But for some reason, I had forgotten until I recently read the text.

The text comes from Nehemiah 4:14, and it impacted me many years ago when I attended a men’s conference. It helped me understand my responsibility as a man of God and especially to my family.

Nehemiah 4:14 states,

“Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

Now Nehemiah was telling the people of Jerusalem and their descendants who were left behind after Israel had been invaded and many had been exiled to Babylon. The walls of the city had been burned and were lying in rubble.

Nehemiah had returned with the king’s approval to rebuild the city and especially the wall that surrounded the city. However, the leaders of the kingdoms in the area did not like this, and they threatened to attack the people of Jerusalem for undertaking this task.

It was then that Nehemiah stood and gave a message of encouragement to the people of Jerusalem, and this is when he made the statement to “not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

Men, we are still being attacked by the enemy of God from all directions. Watch the news. Read the newspapers and magazines. Listen to the talking heads on the TV, and you will hear men and women condemning the Word of God and threatening us to be quiet about our Lord and Savior.

They tell us if we want to believe what we believe to keep it to ourselves within our homes and in our churches but do not speak of it when we are in the public square at public meetings.

We are being told we cannot fly the Christian Flag on public property when any other flag for any other cause can be flown because it may offend someone—well, telling me that I cannot fly the Christian flag offends me. We are told we cannot pray on the 50-yard line after a football game because it might offend someone. Well, telling me that I cannot pray on the 50-yard line offends me. Some have been told they cannot read their Bible in public because it might offend someone. Well, it offends me that I cannot read the material I want to read, but you can.

Men, it is time for us to stand up and be counted. It is time for men everywhere who call themselves a child of God, a mighty man of God, and a warrior of God to no longer be afraid of those against God. Remember, our God is great and awesome.

Men, we are in the Battle for Men’s Souls. God has already won the war, but we are still fighting skirmishes until the Day of the Lord.

So put on the whole armor of God so you can stand firm. Be watchful. Act like men and Be strong.

Join me in the Battle for Men’s Souls and the challenge and adventure to disciple men.

  • Mike

Thank You, Mom!

Having completed my morning devotions as I sit here at my desk, I remember that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Though, no, I didn’t just remember, I began to think about my Mother. Though she crossed over into eternity in 1993, I cannot help but think of how she still impacts my life today.

My Dad died when I was 14 years old, and she had to become Mom and Dad in so many ways. Though she didn’t know how to be a dad, she didn’t know how to teach me to do the things that a Dad would teach his son; she did the best she could.

But I guess the biggest impact she made on my life was my faith. Though she never really spoke spiritually into my life in teaching me about the things of God. She always made sure that I attended church and had the opportunity to participate in the youth events and trips that would speak spiritually into my life. Because of this, I met Tim Sims, who introduced me to Jesus Christ, and through his ministry, I realized I needed Christ in my life. This would not have happened if not for my Mother’s diligence.

I can remember my Mother sitting in her chair every evening with her bible in her lap, reading with her Sunday School book and working through the lesson for the coming Sunday. She always had it handy next to her chair, sitting on a bookshelf.

I know that after Dad died, I gave her a hard time. I disappointed her many times with my attitude and refusal to obey her wishes. Fortunately, I know that she was praying for my siblings and me. Because I know that I could have gotten into so much trouble in my teenage years before I left the fold, so to speak. Though I tested the waters of rebellion, I never became one who participated in the drinking scene. Or one who did drugs. Or even smoked. In all accounts, I guess I was a good boy.

And it was all because of my Mother.

It has been 29 years since her passing, and she is still affecting my life. Memories of her and our relationship, though turbulent at times, help make me the man I am today. I, too, pointed my children to God. I, too, pray for my children every day and even now for my grandchildren. I, too, pray they will become the men and women of God that God has designed them to be. Thank you, Mom, for being that spiritual example.

Though she may not have spoken into my life spiritually – she still pointed me to God. And for that, Mom, thank you. If you were here today, I would give you a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I Love You!

Do Not Forfeit Father’s Day

Every year I remind church leaders not to forfeit Father’s Day. Because of this, I want to ask Men’s Ministry Leaders and Pastors this question, “What are you planning to do to target your men on Father’s Day?” I know not all men are Dads, but a good number are. And all of us have Dads.  

Father’s Day is a great day to reach out to all the men of the church and community. So, I have a statement for you – Do Not Forfeit Father’s Day! It is a great time to target men intentionally. They will be expecting something.

As a Men’s Ministry Leader, I believe this day is a great day to target our men, and we should take advantage of the day.  

To give you a little history about Father’s Day, it began when Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane, Washington, who were one of six children raised by a widower, had the idea of having a day to celebrate our Fathers while sitting in church on Mother’s Day. She went to local churches, the YMCA, and others to gather support for her idea. As a result, on June 19, 1910, Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day. Though Father’s Day has become a commercial entity in today’s culture, it does have its roots in the church.

We can bring the original idea of Father’s Day back into the church as we honor our Fathers, reaching out to the men of our church and community. But to do so, we need to start planning now.

When I was a Men’s Ministry Leader in a local church several years ago, we gave books to ALL the men who came on campus that day. It was a book for all men, not just for dads. We also invited the men to attend a six-week book study that would begin a couple of weeks after Father’s Day. We had over 30 men take advantage of that opportunity. As a result, we had several success stories from that book giveaway and study. 

One man took the book to work and met with some of his coworkers to work through the book. Great things came out of that experience. And, after finishing the book, the men wanted more.

This is just one activity you can do to reach your men through Father’s Day. But there are others, and here are some thoughts on some actions you can take. It is my hope this will whet your appetite for more. As you ponder on these, maybe you can visualize other activities your church can do.

  1. If the morning message is tailored for Father’s Day, be sure it targets ALL the men encouraging them to be the men God designed them to be. This is one most churches do. But be sure you talk to ALL the men and be careful of isolating a particular group. But to be honest, I would recommend not doing a message that calls out dads. However, there is nothing wrong with spending a few minutes communicating gratitude and thankfulness for dads being dads.
  2. Have a Father/Son/Daughter outing sometime during the weekend. Men whose children are grown or men who do not have children could adopt a fatherless child for this event. This way, you are inviting all men to participate. If you have a military contingent in your area. Think about the children whose dads are deployed during this time.
  3. Reach out to those men in your church and community in the military who are deployed. Find out from their families what they would like to have and see if you can make it happen.
  4. Give the men a book that will encourage the men and offer a class relating to the book.
  5. Arrange an outing to a sporting event all men can participate. Or maybe a sports watch night in the fellowship hall or someone’s house on a big screen TV.  

Here are some additional suggestions that may not be associated with Father’s Day weekend but can be done in conjunction with;

  • Reach out to Dads whose children are attending your local church’s VBS. Maybe provide a gift certificate to a local restaurant or sports event or Fair they can take their child to. Or maybe a father/child Hot Dog dinner.
  • If your church has a summer daycare ministry, think on the same lines for the men whose children are involved.
  • Think about the Dads whose children are involved in the youth ministry or other children’s ministry activities.

These are just a few of the ideas a church can do to reach out and target men. If we desire to reach our men, we have to be intentional in our efforts. Look around your church, and you may see many other opportunities to reach your men.

So, ‘What are you doing to intentionally target your men during Father’s Day weekend?’  Intentionality is one of the areas most Men’s Ministries lack in their quest to reach men for the kingdom of Christ. If you want to reach more men and get them involved, you must be intentional in your efforts. 

Just remember, on Father’s Day, don’t make it all about fathers but develop opportunities for ALL MEN!

To the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike

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