The Moves of Manhood

Resisting Lust, Serving as Leaders, Showing Love

Article by

Founder & Teacher,

A Twenty-Four Hour Ministry Retreat for Men
Bethlehem Baptist Church

This is a first. And it is long overdue. A time away with only men to talk about men’s issues. It has been a dream of the staff and deacons for several years. Now it is finally a reality. There is only room for about 150 men at the camp December 7 & 8. There are 600 men on our mailing list. So don’t put off registering. You can do it this Sunday outside the office.

We believe God is putting this retreat together because he wants to minister to us and make us better men. That does not mean:

Macho Mania: The Duke, Dirty Harry, Rambo.
The Great Pretender: Archie Bunker.
World Class Wimp: Dagwood Bumstead.
Gender Blender: Michael Jackson, Boy George

What then does it mean? That is what the retreat is all about. It’s not just for Dads. It’s not even just for married men. Manhood does not begin with marriage or fatherhood. It begins with conception in the womb and we make it or break it along the way. Our society scarcely has a clue, and there are broken men everywhere.

Kids are crying out for dads. Women ask where the good men are. Men ask, “What on earth am I supposed to be?”

None of us have all the answers. But we believe the Bible has the key ones. And together in the context of trust and openness and worship and prayer and relaxation we can learn from each other and take another step toward the maturity and wholeness that God is calling us to as men.

Let this letter from a high school senior signal the crisis:

Have you ever heard of a father who won’t talk to his daughter? My father doesn’t seem to know I’m alive. In my whole life he has never said he loves me or given me a goodnight kiss unless I asked him to.

I think the reason he ignores me is because I’m so boring. I look at my friends and think, “If I were funny like Jill or a superbrain like Sandy or even outrageous and punk like Tasha, he would put down his paper and be fascinated.”

I play the recorder, and for the past three years, I’ve been a soloist in the fall concert at school. Mom comes to the concerts, but Dad never does. This year, I’m a senior, so it’s his last chance. I’d give anything to look out into the audience and see him there. But who am I kidding? It will never happen.

I will not be given to this hopelessness. He will be there! In a thousand ways, the men of this church will be there in this coming decade. This is going to be a great time together. I am really looking forward to it.

On the way to manhood,

Pastor John