Why We Need to Show Men Christ Instead of Fixing Their Behavior

by | Aug 23, 2019 | Man

Too often, we ask men to conform to our Christian men’s subculture as a show of spirituality. “Use these buzzwords.” “Pray with this posture.” When this happens, we often end up asking men to be religious at the expense of being spiritually transformed.

Or, we ask them to perform certain activities to show their commitment to God. “If you love God you will be in church on Wednesday night.” One man readily responds to calls for “performance” Christianity because that’s the nature of his relationship with his own dad. His dad has always made love conditional upon his son’s performance.

It’s ironic. The more we try to influence behavior, the less real, lasting change we see. Such an approach will simply burden men down and wear them out.

When men come to a prayer breakfast, conference, Bible study or church, they come because they have an unmet need—a void to be filled. They come looking for a piece of bread they can drag away that will nourish their souls. They come thirsty for living water (John 4:10, 7:38).

Rather than showing men a list of do’s and don’ts, we must show them Christ. Our job is not to fix their behavior. Our job is to make Christ ever more attractive so that He can do His life-transforming work in them. God’s grace changes men, not some effort on their part to be good enough.

When we help men connect with Jesus, He works the change in behavior from the inside out. He changes the desires of the man. We can only give a man a new rule book; Jesus will give him a new heart.

Men Who Need Christ

Nowhere is this external focus more damaging than with men who need Christ. A man who has built up regular participation in one of your more accessible activities—like basketball or the softball team—is easily pushed away by someone telling him he’s not behaving correctly.

It is sometimes difficult for leaders to understand how to apply a “sustain” step to men early in their spiritual journey. After all, you can’t really expect a man whose only experience with your church is participating in a sports outreach ministry to sign up for a 24-week small group.

Sustaining change in a man who is just becoming aware of his need for Christ is much more about keeping “captured ground” than leapfrogging him to daily devotions and an accountability group.

Sustaining momentum for men at this stage may take place with opportunities very similar to the capture step that got him involved in the first place. Remember, the key is relationships. Consider the softball team as an example:

One of your leaders, “Sam” has a neighbor named “Pete.” After trading several favors, loaning each other tools and watching a playoff game together, Sam mentions he is on the church softball team. When Pete expresses interest, Sam invites him.

The season goes great. Everyone has a lot of fun on the team. No one takes it too seriously, though they all enjoy winning. Pete gets to know a few guys on the team. At the end of the season, they have a barbecue to celebrate, and the pastor comes to thank the guys for playing and representing the church with good sportsmanship.

The “Create value” step was the invitation to join the softball team. The “Capture momentum” step was the barbecue at the end of the year. Now what?

First, has Pete really progressed in his spiritual journey? Certainly! For 10 weeks running, he has spent an evening with a group of mostly Christian guys. They say a quick prayer before and after the game. Pete has begun to see that these guys are “normal.” And there are some guys who have earned his respect.

Now you must find a way for Pete to maintain the relationships that he has begun to build. It may be another season of softball or a weekly businessmen’s luncheon that some of the guys go to. As these relationships begin to grow, Pete will have more opportunities to see Christ in these men’s lives.

Help Men Develop a Love for God’s Word

Disciples are “pupils.” They are students of Jesus. They are men who desire to become more like Christ. To become like Him, they must first know Him.

We can say with confidence that we have never known a man whose life has changed in any significant way apart from the regular study of God’s Word.

Some groups study Christian books (like those offered by Man in the Mirror, for which we are grateful), but book studies, fellowship groups and prayer partner groups are no substitute for bringing men into direct contact with the living Lord through His living Word.

All men are affected by God’s Word when they are exposed to it regularly. Have you noticed that when you are consistently in the Bible, you begin to understand it better? Your desire for the Scriptures grows the more you interact with them. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When a man is not in the Scriptures very often, his desire for them doesn’t have a chance to grow.

Sustain by Creating A Culture of Prayer

Bill, a man whose wife had just died of cancer, was talking with Stan, whose friend was sick with leukemia. Stan said, “He’s very sick. I guess the only thing we can do is pray.”

Bill looked into Stan’s face and said, “No, the thing we can do is pray.”

We can’t do anything without God’s blessing, but we can do all things when we tap into the purpose of His will. Prayer is God’s designated way to release His will in men’s lives. Prayer is the currency of our personal relationship with Jesus. It will do us no good to leave it on account. We must take some out and spend it on men’s souls. Prayer is the thing we can do.

Ensure that prayer is a part of everything you do for the men of your church. Train your leaders to integrate prayer into every activity. No man participating in an activity related to the church is going to be surprised by the inclusion of a prayer during the event.

Your leadership team ought also to be built on a foundation of prayer. But don’t merely ask God to become a part of what you want to do in your church and city. Instead, pray that you will become a part of what God is doing in your church and community.

For the original article, visit maninthemirror.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and keep you from walking in your purpose. He changes his accusations...

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing corruption, fighting for individual freedom and shining a light on truth. One...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed...
9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]