With each generation, we see a widening gap between men following Christ and men following culture. Here are three reasons why discipling men should be a priority for all guys who follow Christ.
1. Jesus told us to. Let’s not gloss over the importance of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20 and its implications for daily living. The Great Commission isn’t a cool speech or pep talk to use before your mission team leaves for a five-day trip. It’s the most powerful charge ever given to mankind. “How do you know that?” It’s the only one ever given by someone who had power over death. Someone with this much authority could have demanded that His followers do anything, and He chose as His final words to them instructions to model what He had been teaching/modeling for them.
Jesus charged His closest apprentices to disciple as they were going, baptizing and teaching everything that He had just poured into them.
This requires intentionality. Jesus deliberately chose these men for such a task. These “unschooled, ordinary men” would turn their world upside down with the life-changing message of Jesus. Personally, I’m grateful that these men were faithful to carry out the job Jesus told them to do, because here’s a sobering thought: What if they approached the Great Commission the way many Christians approach it today? What if they did church then the way many in our culture do church now? I have no doubt that we wouldn’t be here today. The number of unreached people groups would be astounding. Jesus simply said make disciples.
2. Jesus told us to. Seriously, do we really need another reason? In case you’re curious, keep going.
2.5 Leaders lead others. Men are ordained as leaders. Some may not think or feel that they are, but all people have influence with someone.
Men have been given a unique position of authority and influence which is to be used to further the Kingdom of God.
Timothy was charged by Paul to entrust what he had learned from Paul to some “reliable men” who would then entrust it to others. Paul also gives instructions for a Christian household in Ephesians 5:21-24. Paul goes on to explain the type of love the man is to have for his wife is a sacrificial love just like Christ had for the church. When men are discipled to be Biblical leaders at home, it doesn’t just affect that household. It can affect generations to come. Paul also explains to Timothy (1 Tim 2) that men are to be the primary teachers and leaders of the church. Perhaps the lack of male discipling has led to the current weakening condition of Southern Baptist churches in the United States. Within our own state, 73 percent of our churches are plateaued or declining. What if all pastors/ministers had been discipled by strong Christian male role models and were shown how to be a true Christ follower who could replicate themselves? This is in stark contrast to the example of the Pharisees. Jesus said to them that their converts became “twice the sons of hell” that they were because they were so blind and hypocritical (Matt. 23). Men need to be led so that they’ll rightly/biblically lead others.
3. The next generation needs it. David’s words in Psalm 71:15-18 should challenge us to share what we’ve learned about God, His deeds, teachings and character. It’s not just for us to hold onto but to share “His power to the next generation, His acts to all who are to come.” Can we talk about the millennials just for a moment here? Don’t worry. If you are one, I’m not about to bash you! Many Millennials are demonstrating some unique characteristics that the business world has already tapped into; we need to do the same. See what you think:
A. In a Gallup survey, they found that mentoring cultures in the workplace are deemed critical by Millennials. Of those millennials surveyed, 75 percent not only want mentors but deem it crucial to success.1
B. A study by Intelligence Group revealed 72 percent of Millennials would like to be their own boss, but if they must work for a boss, 79 percent would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor,2 which leads to more longevity with an organization.3
C. A 2016 article by Entrepreneur Magazine entitled “Why a Purpose-Driven Mission Is Key to Motivating Millennials” stated, “They don’t want to be managed. They want to be lead. They want to feel like they’re making a difference… ‘Help change the world’ should be your team’s motto because 84 percent of millennials say that making a difference is more important than professional recognition.”4
So, let’s get this straight: You have a generation which will become the majority of the workforce by 2020, who wants to be mentored, values community and wants to feel like that what they’re investing in is of a greater purpose.
Are you kidding me?! This generation is craving someone to show them the Way. This is a Kingdom opportunity!
We have a job before us. Disciple (verb), share the hope of Christ and walk with people into spiritual maturity. Future generations depend on it.
1. Kantor, Julie. (2015, Dec. 18). Want To Keep Your Millennials– Mentor Them. Retrieved www.huffingtonpost.com.
3. Zimmerman, Kaytie. (2016, July 18). Modern Mentoring Is The Key To Retaining Millennials. Retrieved www.forbes.com.
4. Raza, Ahmad. (2016, Dec 2016). Why A Purpose-Driven Mission Is Key To Motivating Millennials. Retrieved www.entrepreneur.com.