Author Kenny Luck: Helping Every Young Man to Be God's Man
- Thursday, June 16, 2005
The reality is that most kids, most young men, do not have that optimal father/son relationship. A rare fraction of one percent of young men have a dad who loves God, a dad who loves mom and spends time with his kids and is the spiritual leader of the family, and has modeled a relationship with God and passed that on successfully.
So what we're doing here, well, it's like you're calling out a barbarian. You're calling out a generation of people despite their losses. You're tapping into the pain issues that those losses in the home have created. The losses in a young man's life make him who he is. If he has a dysfunctional family or a fragmented or a disconnected family, he's probably on a desperate search for acceptance and a search for love. So what you have to do is meet that kid where he's at.
Laura: Do you find that at your different speaking engagements that young men respond to the way you communicate with them?
Kenny: Oh my goodness! They never thought someone could get into their dark spaces and walk out with them with their heads held high. Jesus said "hungry … feed" and "naked … clothe." When you go to talk with young men, you've got to get into their pain issues. When they see someone who's credible, walking into those spaces with them, and not embarrassing them, but challenging them with a desire to be more … they're like "Yeah! I want to be more." I'm just tapping those core desires that are in all men – to risk, to live life to the extreme to be on the good side and fight to really fly high.
I'm not THAT great of a communicator, but I do know how – because of my own life – I have fought every battle I talk about. You've got to know your audience. A lot of times, men's ministers – they have great content, but they haven't lived it out in community with other men. But I'm a men's pastor. I'm in there every week. I respond to every person who writes me an e-mail. I get in these dialogues with Christian college professors who are acting out and they don't know what to do; they're living a double life. And then down to the 15-year-old who says he hasn't masturbated in two weeks, and he's so happy.
Laura: What do you hope to see happen as a result of a book like this – that challenges young men to be God's men?
Kenny: I see a movement of millions of young men who courageously embrace their identity and the responsibilities, values and decisions that go with that identity. We'll change the world. Change the world. I hope to change male views of culture.
I hope to turn it on its head, because the Kingdom is missing a generation of men, of warriors, who are not in the great battle and George Barna empirically proved it in the church in his study (March 2000 – "Women Are the Backbone of the Christian Congregation in America") and so our marriages suffer, our families suffer, our cities suffer.
In particular, this is a huge issue for people of color. And they know it. It resonates in all cultures, but it resonates very deeply in the African American community. When you have three generations of men in urban centers in prison, you know that no one trained them to be men.
Laura: What would you say is the best way to go through the book and the accompanying workbook? Is it better do to this in a group setting or by yourself or does it really matter?
Kenny: It's ten times more impactful if you can do it in community. You can have great content, and you can even do it in community, but if you don't have accountability and encouragement then there's going to be less transformation. You have to have all three: content, community, accountability/encouragement.
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