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.
• soccer ball: My brother taught me about commitment. He never used to let me quit - he’d keep pushing me until I finished or accomplished what I was supposed to. He taught me about how to relate to the opposite sex - to respect them and treat them like queens. And he taught me about moral purity and integrity by being an example throughout his life.
• my drill - my first power tool - for some reason this reminds me of Dave Spate - our senior pastor (hence my boss). From him I have learned a ton about being a man --> he is the first man I’ve ever had significant contact with on an almost daily basis. I’ve learned from him consistency, how to handle adversity, how to encourage, how to better love my wife, and how to set Godly priorities. He’s taught me that it is OK for men to share emotion with each other. He is a true mentor, and a wonderful Godly, male, friend.