Reformation of Christian Manhood is Key to Healthy Churches
- Thursday, February 12, 2004
A reformation of Christian manhood is necessary for North America to experience true spiritual revival, Patrick Morley, chairman and CEO of Man in the Mirror ministries, told a gathering of mission education leaders from across the U.S. and Canada.
"Can you imagine any way of getting society right without getting the church right? Can you imagine any way of getting the church right without getting the family right? Can you imagine getting the family right without getting marriage right? Can marriages be right without men being right? It really is about the men," Morley said.
"Unless we address the issues of Christian manhood, the other systemic problems in the church will not go away."
Morley, who chairs the steering committee for the National Coalition of Men's Ministries, spoke during the North American Mission Board's annual State Mission Education Leadership Update, Jan. 29-30 in Orlando, Fla.
Morley's Man in the Mirror ministries focuses on serving pastors and church leaders who reach men. A former business executive, Morley founded his men's ministry in 1991 after writing a best-seller with the same name, "Man in the Mirror," which has more than 3.5 million copies in distribution.
Morley, who sold his commercial real estate business in 1991, currently is working with NAMB's mission education team to help produce a new men's ministry resource that will debut at the Southern Baptist Convention's June 15-16 annual meeting in Indianapolis.
"Jesus did not say, 'Go and make workers of all nations.' Of course, he said, 'Go and make disciples,'" Morley told the NAMB gathering. "You can't stop a disciple from wanting to serve the Lord. They can't wait to get to work."
The major spiritual hurdle with men, however, is that they don't have the abundance and power of God in their lives because they are not rooted in their relationships with Christ, Morley said, noting, "... they don't have enough Jesus for themselves, much less some left over to give to someone else." As a result, men in the average church in the United States are beginning to look too much like the average men in the world.
"What happens when a man's relationship with Jesus is not right?" asked Morley. "For every 10 men in U.S. churches, nine will have children leave the church, eight will not find their jobs satisfying, seven will look at pornography, six will pay only the monthly minimum balance on their credit cards, four will get divorced and all 10 will struggle to balance work and family. Only one of the 10 will have a biblical worldview," he said.
Morley recounted his life and the influence of his own father who left the church after burning out as a layman. He said he and his brothers paid a high price for that decision, including a brother who died of a drug overdose.
"How is it that a man could know what kind of ramifications a decision like that would bring? The church has the responsibility to communicate that to men. The church needs not only to help involve men to do the work of the Kingdom, but to help men become godly men, godly husbands, godly fathers.
"You have men in your churches today who are just like my dad was. They are wondering if it is worth the effort. God, in his grace, brought the Gospel to our family. God is a redeemer. He is not going to allow someone to get away from him because some human doesn't do their job. But we need a moral and spiritual reformation of our society and culture. We need a discipleship reformation of Christian manhood," Morley said.
The church's role is crucial in helping men disciple other men, Morley said. "A man can't worship a God he doesn't know. How can a man share his faith unless he understands the Gospel personally? How can a man know that his vocation is holy unless he's been taught?
"It's the same with loving one another and raising a godly family and serving in missions. I believe a disciple is someone who is called to walk with Jesus, equipped to live like Jesus and sent to work for Jesus. God is a sending God. How are men ever going to understand that unless we reach out to them and challenge them to follow?"
For more information about Man in the Mirror, visit www.maninthemirror.org. To learn more about NAMB mission education visit www.namb.net. Visit Baptist Press at www.bpnews.net
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