Since Creation, man has sought solutions that only God can solve.
A couple weeks ago, I talked about how I kept asking, “Where are these guys?” and how God kept backing me up from where I was assuming they were. Well, eventually (after 20 years!) the Lord backed me up to the very beginning, to Genesis 1 and 2. You can’t back up any farther than that, right? What a reasonable and appropriate place to start!
God showed me that all the discipling of men I had learned to do up to that point was indeed good, right and needful. But the problem was like a doughnut — it had a big hole in the middle. Until one helps a Christian man fill in that hole, all the rest of what one does with him ends up as just “wish to and wanna be” for him.
Sure he wants to be a good father and good husband. Sure he wants to be a good witness in his work. Sure he wants to be engaged in the Great Commission. But until the hole in his doughnut is filled and settled, all of his good intentions are at the mercy of forces and influences he doesn’t understand or isn’t even aware of. And like a magnet placed near a compass, these forces can pull him off his desired spiritual path and put him in the ditch.
What is the hole in the doughnut? It’s understanding who God made him to be as a man. It’s understanding his original blueprint as a man and then who he is in Jesus Christ. It’s unpacking the baggage he is carrying from his past, and it’s discovering who God has uniquely made him to be as an individual man.
In short, the hole is his own manhood. And filling it means laying hold of his God-given, Christ-enabled, authentic manhood.
It’s common for us men in the Church to be challenged to be leaders in our homes, and we’re often called out to be better fathers, better husbands, better churchmen. But all of those flow out of our manhood. We may make improvements here and there in what we do, but we will never be the husbands, fathers, and leaders God intends us to be until we become the men He intends us to be.
I am convinced that the taproot of all authentic Godly leadership is authentic manhood. The reason we lack authentic leaders in America today is because we lack authentic men in America today.
(Some readers, conditioned by our godless culture, may think this last statement implies that women cannot be in positions of leadership and that I am chauvinistic or even misogynistic. I am neither. For now, let me say I have no doubt women can lead in a genuine Godly manner, but genuine Godly leadership will only flow out of a healthy, Godly view of authentic manhood and authentic womanhood.)
God created and established mankind in this order:
Man ➔ Woman ➔ Marriage ➔ Family ➔ His Church ➔ Society
Building a disciple means rebuilding (transforming) a man or woman “from the ground up,” starting from the beginning. To truly understand and live out God’s designs for marriage, family, church, and society, men and women must first understand and begin to live out God’s blueprint for them as men and women respectively. So any disciplemaking process must address the key issues of authentic manhood and womanhood. Generally speaking, the sooner the better – and ideally soon after covering the basic doctrines and disciplines of the faith.
How this overall order plays into disciplemaking will be covered on this blog later on, but you can dive into the whole subject now by signing up for (re)Think Disciplemaking.