Saturday, July 21, 2012
New Book Challenges the Church to Empower Men
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CALIF. (ANS) -- Often seen as the 800 pound gorilla in the room, most pastors and church leaders have struggled to engage men with both the church’s local and global mission.
According to a news release, the Bible, Luck argues in the book, portrays a God who loves righteousness and justice. But how can the church deliver that justice if it is not effectively reaching, relating to and transforming cultural man? It can only help the victims, not deal with the source.
“Sleeping Giant” is a way to give men a “visible vision.” By using what the book refers to as the “spiritual pathway,” - Get In, Get Healthy, Get Strong, Get Going – churches receive the critical ingredients that create wide participation and transformation with men, moving them from “crowd to core.”
The news release points out that when men become stakeholders in the ongoing mission of the church, they discover significance previously found primarily in a secular environment. A church that empowers transformation of men helps itself by winning the hearts of its men toward the congregation’s larger needs, mission, and vision.
Specifically, the news release says Luck asserts that churches that build strong communities of men can help alleviate injustice.
“If the church really cares about women and children, it will invest in reaching men because men and broken male culture are at the root of all global injustices. Pain resonates deeply, and churches that become centers of masculine transformation will become immediately relevant to a watching world.”
Luck continues, “When a man’s character and conduct become healthy, it changes everything, particularly for the women and children in the ‘blast zone’ of his life.” This is profoundly simple, and heavily opposed by negative cultural and spiritual forces for obvious reasons. A weak vision for men in the church reflects a greater battle, with evil having the largest stake in failure or minimization of success. Men’s ministry in the church is not easy. It is plagued internally, simply because a great deal is at stake for the enemy.”
In this sense, the news release claims, “Sleeping Giant” is the first book of its kind to contextualize vibrant men’s ministry within the church’s role missionally in the world where, Luck asserts, “We are continuing to plant functional matriarchies.”
The news release says that the strategies discussed in the book have not only been proven effective at Saddleback Church where Luck and Crick are on staff. They have also been tested through Purpose Driven Network churches of all sizes across the nation.
“We were struggling to establish a dynamic men's ministry. That is no longer the case,” said Pastor Kevin Springer of Living Oaks Community Church, speaking in the news release.
Springer added, “Our church now has new men's small groups meeting weekly, with plans for expansion and leadership development in the future thanks to Kenny’s model ... It started a revolution that infected our men, their marriages, and our overall leadership.”
Brian Doyle, founder and president of Iron Sharpens Iron, said “Sleeping Giant” will fuel new dreams for your ministry. What would it look like if the men in and around your church began to operate fully under the lordship of Christ, become spiritual leaders in their homes, and then out of their homes, stand tall for Christ in the community and enthusiastically align the vision and mission for your church?”
“Sleeping Giant: No Movement of God without Men of God,” by Kenny Luck and Tom Crick, is published through B&H Publishing Group and LifeWay Christian Resources. The book and the DVD Leader Training Kit are in stores everywhere or available at http://LifeWay.com/KennyLuck.
Luck’s intro to “Sleeping Giant” may be seen at http://bcove.me/dj7bxjg5.
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This review is the personal view of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.