I just got back from a great men’s conference at a local church hosted by the author of Men in their own skin, Dudley Hall. He has some very good insights into men’s ministry in the church and a great message to all Christian men.
I would highly recommend picking up his book it should be well worth the read.
I have included my notes from the conference below for a little taste. Enjoy!
Northwood Church’s Men’s Conference 3/25-26/2001
Session 1 – “Men and Their Frustration”
Men leave the church because they don’t care for the structure. They are looking for a place that allows them to be masculine and spiritual at the same time
— Genesis 2:18-25—
= God gave Adam the assignment of naming the animals > you must be able to name what you deal with
= In order to able to name things, we must keep in relationship with God
= We become discontent in life because, we do not cultivate a risk relationship with God and we become board with the duties of life
= If we do not name our problems, we will mismanage our problems
=== WHAT IS THE ROOT OF MAN’S FRUSTRATION?===
> WE GREW UP WITH A POOR MODEL OF MANHOOD = absent or passive
– Forgive your father, he did what he could
>WE HOLD FALSE EXPECTATIONS = we are not expected to be men in church
>FEMININE INFLUENCE IN THE CHURCH = we have bought in to a guilt laced reaction to feminism
– The family and the church became feminine because the men were absent
– All our classes are taught by ladies and ministries are led by women (not the women’s fault)
— 1 Thessalonians 2:7-9> The nurturing side of ministry (feminine)
— 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12> The charging side of ministry (masculine)
>WE HOLD AN ORPHAN MINDSET= “thinking like an orphan” or living a life of guilt
– Not knowing what to do with our guilt and shame of sin
– We are called to subdue the Earth but we are too busy hiding from God because of our sin to take action
– We spend our lives trying to figure out what we need to do in order to get back into the presence of God
– We try to fix this mindset through shame preaching (what you need to do). But we will not stop hiding until we know it is safe, which is where the Gospel comes in.
> WE HAVE NOT EMBRACED THE GOSPEL= Not only dealing with eternal salvation but life now
– When we embrace the Gospel properly, we will live our lives in a different way
– God is not interested in yourself improvement but in your total transformation!
– Because the NT shows us an example of a hard life, we have reduced the message of God to a series of principles to live by or a series of prophecies to hope in
– When we reduce the Gospel to a series of steps, we no longer need Jesus.
=== WHAT IS THE HOPE FOR FREEDOM? ===
> Jesus on the Cross is our Hope
– there is no problem that you are dealing with that will not be cured by death
– Jesus died on the cross, so that you could die with Him and be made into a new creation — 2 Corinthians 5:17
– When Christ died on the cross, He provided a way for us to be adopted into the family of God — Romans 8:15-17
> Today God is calling the Men to Live Out Their Faith in a Masculine Way!
Session 2 – “Men and Their Destiny”
The good news of the Gospel is the only thing that will change your life
God gives us news that is so good, we must pause in disbelief and have faith in His promise – “don’t lie to me God”
There needs to be a destiny side to ministry = to be a called to action and take on the task
===WHAT DID GOD DESIGN YOU TO BE?===
> HE DESIGNED YOU TO ENJOY GOD
—John 15:11 “these things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
—John 16:23-24 “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly Truly I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and receive that your joy maybe full.”
—John 17:13 “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves”
> WE ARE DESTINED TO LIVE IN OUR TIME
– If we understand where we fall into God’s time and plan, our destiny becomes clear
– We are as important in the narrative of God as any of the past prophets or patriarchs but living in a different time
– Everyone wants to know “what is God’s will for my life?” > scratch that! Ask what is God’s will
> WE ARE DESTINED TO LIVE AS SONS OF GOD
(to repair the relationship that was lost)
– we all have a desire to get back to good
— THE 5 P’s OF SONSHIP —
1- conscious of the PRESENCE of the Father = everything changes when we feel that God is around
— we are not responsible for the people’s response but for what God has told you to say
— if you are not hearing the voice of the Father, you will seek affirmation in other ways
2- conscious PROVISION of the Father = everything changes when we realize that all we have comes from God
–it is our responsibility to trust God for provision and therefore live for God by faith
— Jesus never lacked provision from the Father, yet God always provided
3- conscious of the PROTECTION of the Father = we are motivated by fear
4- conscious of His PURPOSE = to be imitators of Christ
5- conscious of the PLEASURE of the Father = living a life pleasing to God
– if we are living with an orphan mentality we will always be driven as a servant but if we live with a sons mentality we will be guided as a family member
– 2 Ways to Rule in the Kingdom
— LOVE like the Father
–SERVE like a servant
– through admitting your need of the Father’s presence, God will bring your awareness of His presence
— being willing to name the issue brings trust to Gods provision to fix the problem
— You can’t do anything to see the presence of God, but God reveals His presence to you
> WE ARE DESTINED TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO THE FATHER
– “Follow Me” – Jesus
— We must know how to hear what He is saying and understand what He is doing
— Not speculation through the flesh or through man’s logic
— the person who is NOT open to God’s revelation will NOT receive revelation — Romans 1:18 (the problem is not that we don’t receive revelation from God but that we do not submit to revelation)
— to submit to God is to submit to the God of grace
—3 S’s GOD SPEAKS THROUGH—
–contemporary Christianity has transformed the Bible into a book of rules instead of a book exalting the Son
— without knowing scripture, we cannot know what God is saying!
— 20 min. On Sunday is not nearly enough! We must hear the word of God regularly
— you cannot make disciples without showing the how to interpret scripture!
— if we are to embrace what God has given us in the scriptures, we must view the Bible as what has been promised and will come thorough Christ
— to read God’s word in a way that you are expecting encountering Jesus on every page
— through reading the scripture, we can be led by the Spirit as He reveals things to us through scripture
— John 4:15-17 “if you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another helper, to be with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him for He dwells with you and will be with you.”
— I trust Him because I know that He sent the Spirit so that I may know Him more
— God uses others to unify the body and Confirm your calling that God is revealing to you
— it is vital to listen to the community of faith that is your family
— trust the counsel of those in relationship with God
— Consider the sources of your counsel
— don’t always go to the counsel that will tell you that you are right
Session 3 – “Men and Their Assignment”
John 17:1-10 = the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus
The way to discover your assignment is to embrace your purpose.
>YOUR PURPOSE IS TO GLORIFY GOD!
– Man was created to show God’s Glory
– however, because we are fallen, we cannot complete the task of glorifying God
– Jesus came to show us how this is done as the Son of God
– Jesus came to make it possible for us to Glorify God as sons of God and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven
– We must embrace this purpose for our lives. Everything else is minutiae
> YOUR PURPOSE IS TO LOOK AFTER THE PEOPLE GOD HAS ENTRUSTED TO YOU!
– Make His name known to them (show them God’s character)
– Who has God given to you to minister to? Identify the people God has entrusted to you
– if you are faithful to those, then God will expand your base of people
— To increase your influence, you must be faithful to what you have
– We will have to give an account to God for those you lead
– Not about what God is going to give you but what God has given you now
– All the people of your sphere require all the gifts you have > if you do not engage in the people, then your gifts will not be used
– learn to listen to those In your circle (pay attention)
> YOUR PURPOSE CAN BE FOUND IN THE THINGS THAT BUG YOU!
– God focuses you on the things that need to be fixed
– What bugs you? (bad theology in Christians, lack of fathers, no heart for evangelism in the church, lack of faith in the movement of God)
– We can complain but that doesn’t fix them
> YOUR PURPOSE CAN BE FOUND IN YOUR PASSIONS!
– Develop the things God has placed on your heart
> BE WHO YOU ARE!
Don’t change who you are to get something done. Focus on who God has made you to be and get done what God has placed for you to do.
> USE WHAT YOU HAVE!
Don’t wait for you to be better or have something you don’t to take action. Do what you can now! Don’t complain or be a victim!
> GET IN THE GAME!
No matter whom you are or what you have, figure out what you can do with it and get it moving!
– Sometimes your position depends on your abilities and sometimes your position depends on the ability of those around you.
– Where do you fit on the team to accomplish the goal? Position doesn’t matter, focus on the goal.
– Don’t wait for the engraved invitation to get moving.
>Base your actions not on your feelings, but on the word of God and His will.
(God leads in the wilderness in order to teach you to know who God is and know His word)
>Live ESCHATOLOGICALLY – in faith that you know later things will be better because through faith Christ has provided for you
>We must know the LOVE of Christ in order to share the LOVE of Christ
I am in no way affiliated with Dudley Hall but I enjoyed his message and therefore will endorse his book.