Summary: Calling men to holiness and engagement with our children
Reflections On Being a Christian Man
Men’s Breakfast, LHBC, June 3, 1995
I want to accomplish two things here this morning:
1. challenge you to pursue holiness
2. challenge you to invest your lives in the children of your church
I want to begin by sharing with you a tiny portion of my story.
I grew up not having a man around the house. My parents divorced when I was about 2; my mom packed up my older brother and I and away we went. So there were for me no male role models in my house. When Les asked me to speak at a men’s b-fast my first thought was "I don’t know anything about being a man!" "what do I have to say to a group of men?". But as I prayed about it, the Lord sort of told me that in fact, I do have something to say. I am a man, and I must have learned how to be one somewhere! So I started to reflect on my past, and wondering about where I learned how to be a man. I want to share a few of these things with you this morning.
Where I learned to be a man:
(gotta get out the man pack for this...)
The NUMBER ONE place where I learned how to be a man was my home church, that I grew up in: Bowness Baptist. I learned by watching - observing Godly men in my church. What’s in the pack...
• bottle cap - I don’t even remember any of their names, but my home church had a boy’s club. It was just a club led by men from my church. And I remember only impressions - a strong arm reaching around me and teaching me how to swing a hammer as we made a boot scraper out of old bottle caps; waking up on a camping trip sleeping on a bunk next to man who had picked me up off the floor and placed me next to him when I rolled out of the top bunk in the middle of the night; of men playing games and laughing with us. The impression that I remember most is that God was there - with those men and the children they led - and that He is caring, gentle, and interested in me.
• wire strippers: There was an electrician in our church, named Dan Clark. Our families were good friends for a while, so we used to spend a lot of time with them. I watched him be a father to his kids - I watched him take pride in them, help them, discipline them, and love them. He taught me about being a man just by being himself - and by allowing me to get close enough to watch and observe how to interact with others.
• seed: I had a couple of pastors who knew me: first George Nelner, and then later, Axel Shoeber. As I watched them I learned about being dedicated and obedient to God. I learned about service to Him through His church. I learned about integrity and holiness. I learned that being a man means helping people - putting their needs above my own. I learned to appreciate others by watching the way they related to people. They planted and nurtured a seed of Spirituality in me.
• this is a special gift: my first New Testament Bible, given to me by Ken Pike - a man who was my grade 5-6 teacher. Here’s the inscription. "" From him I learned sensitivity - compassion - that God is with us in the midst of our lives, in plenty and in want. I learned that men can have needs, and can share them with others.