- Tue Mar 21, 2017
- 0 comments
In a study by Men’s Health it was revealed that the top two ways men stay connected with friends are texting (#1) and “get togethers” (#2). The reason we prefer these ways are twofold: texting fits the factual, short, bottom line style of communication we appreciate and “get togethers” feed our need for closer, interpersonal camaraderie and connection with each other. Whether it’s just the guys or the guys with the gals we usually huddle by gender and “dive deeper.” Guys usually assemble around wherever the meat is being grilled and sample it with a beverage in hand. At the same time, the girls keep it real in the kitchen while prepping for the meal and talk about, well, everything. That’s where the similarities end because guys do not talk about everything.
In fact, guys prefer to keep it on the surface when we get together. We stick to sports, work updates, kids sports, house projects, power tools, cars, working out, and our favorite recreational pursuit. So let’s get this straight: in the one setting with the most potential power in our lives to build strong friendships we, by habit or by choice, keep things on the surface? Exactly. Like a bunch of icebergs, we present the tips of our lives while the big stuff causing emotional heartburn, relational pain, or spiritual darkness (like our marriages, temptations, families, finances, and inner demons) stay buried, unprocessed, and unresolved. We leave with full stomachs and empty souls, more lonely than when we first arrived because no one knows what’s really going on in our lives. The irony is that most of us spin it at these gatherings and say when asked “It’s all good bro.”
Imagine waking up to a fresh cup of coffee, opening your daily news and the top headline alerts readers, “God Fears Your Faith is Going Stale.”
Not sure the networks would pick up that newswire. But God’s man should! I can envision the lead paragraph going something like:
DATELINE -- WORLD NEWS TODAY -- God, who calls himself “I Am,” announced today he fears Christian men are forgetting their first love, allowing their faith to grow stale which is creating major weaknesses in the front lines of the ongoing spiritual battle between good and evil. God warns men who follow Him to keep their faith fresh or they will fall victim to sin, self, and Satan.
I fear men often accept Jesus into their lives, get excited for a season, then check the box called “faith” and resort to showing up Sundays to sit in a pew. The excitement of forgiveness of sin, being loved by God, and the power of life transformation can grow stale unless you fan the flame of faith.
That’s what happened to Nineveh. It’s a sad story because within 100 years after turning to God, not one man followed God. It’s also a parable for us men. We can’t be like Nineveh. Don’t let your love for God grow stale. Keep it fresh. Here’s how:
- Tue Aug 6, 2013
- 2 comments
I am one of those people who “believes the best” about other people.
In my career as a junior guy working his way up and as a CEO I have met all sorts of leaders in the marketplace and, now, in the church world. I have noticed over the years that both leaders and managers in Christian settings (like churches or ministries) are engaged with much less cynicism by their junior people at the beginning of a relationship because there is this perception that a common set of spiritual rules are shared and believed. This makes employees in those settings feel more secure, more loyal, and more trusting of their leader, his promises, and the possibilities of moving personally forward and developing. “We” are in this great cause together and, after all, “Do to others what you would have them do to you” is in red letters, we work from the same playbook, and this is “God’s work” that we are advancing together. It’s all smiles, honeymoons, and hope. Woo-hoo!
Then it gets weird.
Over time (and it could take years) you begin to see and sense things. Your sniffer goes off and you catch strong whiffs of self-protection or micromanagement or both. Friendly demeanors turn into business-like interactions. Distance creeps in, meetings are missed or cancelled, and the next interactions that follow are directives being handed down. To motivate the team there has to be “spiritual reasons,” logic, and precedent as well. The Devil gets mentioned. Pressure comes into your team or organization to rally and perform for projects and agendas your “leader” will get credit for in the larger organization. Other talented leaders in the team stop leading and innovating and start administrating. The message both directly and indirectly is that we don’t need leaders or vision anymore, we need managers. The whole tone changes—professionally, emotionally, and relationally. Hallway conversations increase. People turn over. People leave. Disillusionment and doubt set into the team.