Encouraging Our Guys
About the Guest
Are you encouraging your husband to be all he can be for Christ? Dennis Rainey and Pastor Kenny Luck, the Founder and President of Every Man Ministries, reflect on a wife’s ability to motivate and encourage her husband, especially as it relates to a man’s involvement in ministry. When men get healthy, says Luck, the church gets healthy, and Christ’s kingdom is advanced.
Do you encourage your husband to excel for Christ?
Encouraging Our Guys
Bob: Have you heard women around you bashing their man? What do you do when that happens? Here’s advice from Kenny Luck.
Kenny: Those of you who have a good, strong, godly man instead of—as you’re at tennis, or the coffee shop, or connecting with the toddlers—jumping on the band wagon of man-bashing, as the failed brand, you can step in and say, “You know what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. My guy—he prays with my kids. He loves and cherishes me. He honors me.” You know what your friends will say? “You know, I have a sister. Does he have a brother?”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, January 8th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We’re going to talk today about men being men and about how women can help them be the men God wants them to be. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Tuesday edition. I’m thinking ahead. It’s about three weeks—three-and-a-half weeks—before the Super Bowl. You know, on Super Bowl Sunday, on the day of the game, you can pretty much count on the fact that most guys are going to want to kind of have that time blocked out and they’re going to want to watch the game. They are not going to be available to do a whole lot of “Honey, do” stuff around the house that afternoon; right?
Dennis: That’s correct. That’s correct.
Bob: So, I’m thinking of a wife who is planning for that weekend. She’s got the option of either her husband, on Saturday, doing all the projects around the house so that he can watch the game on Sunday; or she can send him to the Stepping Up® Super Saturday event, down at the church, that’s happening in their community. We’ve got hundreds of churches that are participating in this; but she’s not going to get any “Honey, do” lists done that day. What would your counsel to her be, Dennis?
Dennis: Give up the “Honey, do” list for a day.
Bob: How did I know that was what you would suggest?
Dennis: Give it up! I’m not trying to be a guy who is abdicating responsibility. I’m actually—I’m actually encouraging you, as a wife, to look beyond the “Honey, do” list and beyond to making an investment in your husband’s life—to encourage him, not discourage him— but encourage him to become the man God made him to be. If you send him down to the Stepping Up Super Saturday event—I can’t guarantee this because he’s got a choice—he’s got a real choice, and some guys don’t make it; but a lot will. I’d encourage you to send him down here and find out more information. They can go to FamilyLifeToday.com—
Bob: And by the way, as I said, there are hundreds of churches participating in the Super Saturday event; but there is still an opportunity for a guy to say, “Our church isn’t doing this, but I’d like for our church to do it.” You can still sign up.
Dennis: Exactly, Bob. Don’t wait for your pastor to sign your church up. Maybe, as a man, you grab the baton and take it to your pastor and say, “Let’s do this thing! Let’s make this happen in our community.”
I’m looking across the table, and there’s a guy asking for the microphone and the soapbox. Kenny Luck joins us. He’s the Men’s Pastor at Saddleback Church. He’s written a book called Sleeping Giant. He’s all over the issue of men stepping up. You believe women are important if men are going to step up; don’t you?
Kenny: Oh, my goodness, Dennis! When you guys were talking about—
Dennis: You were having a hard time being quiet.
Kenny: I was just saying—the hall pass—“Ladies, here’s the deal. When you do give permission for a desired activity—but more importantly, when you encourage your man to take ownership of his life—spiritually, relationally, maritally— in the context of other men, that’s when you get a solid result versus hinting, hoping, nagging. It’s just something where he feels that he needs to make that decision on his own—in consideration of you—but in the presence of other men, as an individual man. It’s that ownership-thing, where it is: ‘This is my decision, and I want to own it—apart from being in your presence—even though I love you—and apart from being connected to you as a husband and father, who has many shortcomings—I want to make this decision myself.’”
So, when you were talking about “Hey, let him go. Ladies, let him go! It will be so encouraging to him,” —that’s the first point.
Second point was, I think, when we talk about waking the sleeping giant—when we talk about getting guys in and healthy, and what that means for the women and children—not just in our country, but worldwide—I think that women are going to be the accelerator of that. My feedback—thousands of emails from men—tells me that, many times, when they make a strong step toward health and God—that is met with cynicism, skepticism, or just ambivalence—maybe because of the past—maybe because of failed promises—
Kenny: —in the past. I think, once men feel and hear from their bride—their sisters-in-Christ—encouragement—and also, women-to-women—where instead of—as you’re at tennis, or the coffee shop, or connecting with the toddlers— jumping on the band wagon of man-bashing, as the failed brand. Those of you who have a good, strong, godly man, you can step in and say, “You know what? I don’t what you’re talking about. My guy—he prays with my kids. He loves and cherishes me. He honors me.” You know what your friends will say? “Does he—I have a sister. Does he have a brother?” You know? That’s what women are looking for. So, ladies, I just want to encourage you to, as we talk about this movement of men—healthy men—we need your voice because when we talk about it—
Kenny: —it kind of falls flat.
Bob: You talk about the fact that the men’s culture in America is a broken culture. Do you think it’s always been that way? Do you think it’s true in other cultures? I’m just wondering—I mean we live in a broken world. So, at some level, everything is broken. But has there ever been a time when you’ve looked back and say, “They understood masculinity, back there, or over here, or—”? You know?
Kenny: I think it’s just more visible now. I think broken male culture is just more visible in this age of technology, and smart phones, and cause, and internet, and the tsunami of information that’s becoming available—portable and presentable to the world. For 20 centuries, men have had broken, male subculture to deal with power, and pressure, and responsibilities.
It’s gotten increasingly less hush, hush and more out-in-the-open, where it’s a news bite, almost on a daily-basis—some celebrity man, some athlete, some politician who has either cheated on his wife—I mean, in the past, you didn’t have that kind of visibility and awareness. It was more hidden. Now, it’s dark times for men because you don’t see an equal display of that on the female side—although, it’s there.
I was just reading an article by Richard Conniff, in the New York Times, talking about how men are the failed brand—that because of the tsunami of negative characterization in the media, in Hollywood, in commercials—what you have is men retreating from the caricature and withdrawing from responsibility. What’s interesting, though, on the female-side, is that, with the advent of, what I would call—female-independence, politically; female independence, financially; female independence, educationally; relationally, from men—with distancing of the need for a woman to depend on a man—they now have the power, and pressure, and responsibility that goes with that.
Kenny: And guess what? They are developing their own broken female-subculture as evidenced by Fifty Shades of Grey. They’re looking for diversions and relief from that pressure of assuming life, without partnership with a man.
Dennis: What I hear you saying, Kenny, is if there has ever been a time for the Christian community to step up and not bash men—not blame men, not shame men, not point their fingers at men and say, “Grow up! Become God’s man,” —it’s today. It’s time for the Christian community to pull out the Bible—and again, not thump men with it—but invite men to engage with God, with other men, and then, engage in a mission because man wasn’t made to just be in idle—just to be in neutral. He was meant to be headed toward a finish line. He was meant to conquer evil. That’s why God has put us here. We have an assignment that only we can fulfill that God is calling us to today. You believe, as I do, that men are really important in that assignment.
Kenny: You put it front and center. I think a resonator is when you solve an ongoing problem—when you have an ongoing problem that’s unresolved. When you resolve it— that is what we call a resonator. It’s a break-through. Books on purpose: for example, “Who am I? Where am I going?” —that’s a resonator. Every person asks that question.
The number two resonator in the world, at the moment, is pain and suffering. When you look at the dark backdrop of all that’s going on—particularly connected with men or connected to male character and conduct—whether it’s orphans, HIV, sex trafficking, fatherlessness, the demand—you see this darkness that you described, Dennis. But I remember when I bought Chrissy’s wedding ring. The jeweler put the diamond against the black velvet, and I could see every sparkle.
I feel like what we’re doing with Stepping Up and Sleeping Giant—and teaming up on this—is, I believe, that God’s men and men-at-large are going to be the dazzling diamonds against the black backdrop of some of these issues—and men and women uniting and rising, above gender wars and blaming, as the body. As Philippians 2 says, “If there is any encouragement or affection in Christ, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, united in spirit.” I think that’s what God’s Spirit is doing in this country among men and women—is He’s helping us to rise above and transcend what’s happening in culture, as the body, and encourage each other and unite.
Bob: Tell me what you’ve seen happen in a local church when men start to get healthy and get going—and it is taking root. You’ve seen churches where this is happening. What does that do to the church, as a whole?
Kenny: Well, I think of the local pastor, first of all—especially, most churches are under 300 people. I got a note just the other day from a local pastor. He has a congregation of 175 people. Nine men, because they had adopted the Sleeping Giant process and pathway, were baptized this last Sunday. It’s almost like he was crying through the email. Here he has help on the way. “The Calvary is coming!” He has a process to get them healthy. He has a strategy to move them into leadership. In most churches that are that small, the pastor needs men forming ranks around him, with his DNA—
Dennis: Yes, he does. Yes, he does.
Kenny: —and so, when they don’t have that, then, we end up hiring disciples versus making disciples and adding staff, which is, for many, prohibitive. So, when the local church—local churches that I see, early adopters to the Sleeping Giant model, the pastors are writing me and going, “I never knew this could be. I didn’t know that I could be the main beneficiary of a solid outreach to men, where we not only develop the man but we develop the leader;” and they form ranks around that—that senior pastor. That’s really where I feel there is going to be a large Kingdom advance of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, locally, worldwide.
Bob: I’m imagining the pastor who is thinking, “You know, I’d love to see guys energized and mobilized as long as they’re energized and mobilized for what I think they ought to be doing. I’m concerned they’re going to get energized and mobilized and go head in their own direction and have their own agenda. You know, what do I do then?”
Kenny: Well, that’s what I talk about in the book. I talk about rogue men’s ministries, where—if you don’t have a larger vision than just to meet an issue or a need in a man’s life, and if you don’t link the meeting of needs in the church with men to a larger vision of involvement, then, what happens is it becomes self-serving—
Kenny: —and we’re just sponsoring rooms, coffee, and donuts. They can go do that outside the church.
Kenny: But if there is a higher vision of, “Hey, you’re getting in, and you’re getting healthy; but guess what? That’s not the end.”
Dennis: “No, there’s a mission for you.”
Kenny: “We need you to get strong and get going. There’s a mission waiting for you, here, through this local body, underneath the authority and leadership of your pastor—that you need to support. We need you.”
Dennis: Okay, Kenny, there’s a guy listening to us right now—or maybe his wife is listening—
Dennis: —and she’s heard us kind of—[Pounding noise]—
Kenny: Pounding the table.
Dennis: —pounding the table about this.
Dennis: And they’ve heard us talk about Super Saturday, and they haven’t yet still done anything about it—to go to their church, to go to their pastor, and say, “Why don’t we do this for our men—not only in our church?”
I just got off the phone, just a few moments ago, with a church in Baton Rouge. What they are going to do is—not around Super Saturday, by the way—but at another event, what they are going to do—they are going to invite churches all over Baton Rouge to join together in a men’s event that will ultimately spawn movements of men in multiple churches in the community. They are not trying to brand it and make it just one church’s outreach to its people.
Speak to the person, though, who needs to grab the baton and get the ball rolling in their community.
Kenny: Boy, it’s never been easier to—and more quality, in terms of the product—to have a catalytic men’s event. If you have your guys that you regular play golf with— if you have guys that you connect with at work, if there’s a group of you that rides bikes—whatever your affinity connection is—it’s never been easier, guys, to go up to FamilyLife.com, get the Super Saturday kit, and just say, “Hey, I’m cooking steaks,”—appeal to the stomach—“I’m cooking steaks. I’ve got some filets,”—invest in the lives of your friends—“Hey, I’m cooking steaks. I’m doing this Super Saturday-thing for guys, and I want you to join us. I’m hosting.”
In fact, I would coach them to say, “I’m hosting it.” Don’t say, “I’m leading it.” It’s like you’re hosting a get-together; and that’s the power of just, “I’m just hosting. I’m going to serve some food. Come on over, and join me, and”—
Dennis: You don’t have to be seminary-trained.
Kenny: Not at all; not at all. You have to have a heart—this is host; right? You have to have a heart for people. You open your home. You serve food, and you turn on the TV.
Bob: It sounds like you have to have a grill, too; right?
Kenny: Yes, a grill doesn’t hurt.
Dennis: But you have to have a heart for men that you want to see something different occurring in men’s lives today. I mean, ultimately, I think, across the country—and Bob, at this point, is looking at me, and he’s going, “Oh, here he goes. I’ve heard this before;” but he knows that I feel strongly about this, Kenny.
I think there is a whole subculture of men—and for that matter, women—who are sick and tired of evil triumphing over our marriages, our families, our children, over our schools, over our—every segment of society—entertainment, education. You name it. And I’ve said this so many times before, but it is back to the quote, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do”—what?
Dennis: So, that’s exactly what good men do—nothing. So, we’ve given them something, here, to do. We want to give you something—a strategic way to push back against evil in your community and positively plant some seeds of good men, who are going to make a difference when they leave there.
Bob: And, then, what I hear you saying is, “Guys have got to have the long-game in view so you don’t just execute an event like Super Saturday.”—
Kenny: That’s right.
Bob: You’re looking at that as a catalytic point for something that is going to continue because, if you get guys fired up, you get them going, “Yes! Yes!”—
Kenny: That’s right.
Bob: —and then, there is nothing for them—that’s deflating. They’re just going to check out and say, “That doesn’t work;” aren’t they?
Kenny: That’s right. That’s, I think, what has been the learning, over the last 30 years in the men’s movement—is when you create energy and expression—and a Navy SEAL with a cause, but there’s nothing to go after—it’s very disillusioning. So, that’s why I love the partnership between FamilyLife and Sleeping Giant and Every Man Ministries, where we’re going to provide a continuous process to get back together, not just to meet, but to go through getting healthy, and getting strong, and getting going because what Dennis said is right—that’s what Marvel Comics® knows about every man—is that we do want to stick it to the bully, we do want to defend the weak and vulnerable, we do want to have special power. I think, between Super Saturday and what we’re offering together as ministries, this is going to be a powerful continuation because what we need is continuity and we need impact.
Dennis: I’ve shared this illustration before; but you know what? It’s in my family, and I’ve got the microphone, and it’s my radio show. [Laughter] So, you know what? I’m going to do it again.
But my son-in-law lives in a small town of about 35,000 people. He’s an OB doctor. You know, it would be very easy for him to be just an OB doctor and a daddy to five boys and a couple of foster care kids—which he and my daughter are doing right now. But you know what? He stepped up and said, “I want to be a part of some men that bring a men’s event to our community.” So, here’s a town of 35,000 people, maybe on a good day. They brought speakers in and put together their own program that was a heaven-class event. They had 500 men come to that event last summer.
It was all because he said, “You know what? I want to join with some other guys, and we want to make a difference.” You know what? He did. There are men listening to us, right now, who need to do the same thing; and there are some wives who are married to men. The wife needs to be very foxy, and smart, and know exactly what to say to her husband to get him to help champion this in your community.
Bob: Well, the cool thing is that for a guy to host a—you called it, a heaven-class event, like your son-in-law hosted—you don’t have to go to all the work that he went to because the Stepping Up Super Saturday event—that’s coming up on February 2nd, the day before the big game—is happening in communities, all across the country—hundreds of communities already signed up to host this one-day video event for men.
We’ve gone to all of the work of getting the experts put together—guys like Matt Chandler, and Robert Lewis, and Stu Weber, and Bill Bennett, and Mark Driscoll, and James MacDonald—guys who are going to call men to step up and to be the men that God has created us to be.
Super Saturday is a launch-event—a kick-off event—for guys that’s going to be hosted in communities, all across the country. You can go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click on the “STEPPING UP” link you find there to see where this event is being hosted in your community. There is still time for you to host one of these events. You can contact us, and get the event kit, and rally guys together, and all of you get together and go through this material on Saturday, February 2nd.
We call it a kick-off event because we’re hoping that out of this event there’ll be lots of guys who will continue to huddle up, once a week, and go through the ten-week series that we’ve put together—the Stepping Up video series. In fact, our team is so excited about this, they’ve taken both the event kit and the video series and put them together, at a reduced price, this week only, for those folks who want to go ahead and host the event but plan to do the video series as soon as the event is over. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click on the link for the Stepping Up Super Saturday event. You can get all the information about the event kit, the video series, and how you can host one of these events in your community. Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about our Stepping Up Super Saturday event.
While you are there, look for information about the book, Sleeping Giant, that Kenny Luck has written. It’s a call to wake up men in a local church and get them involved and activated. This book is really the front-part of a total strategy for a local church to be able to launch an effective men’s ministry. So, again, get more information when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com; and plan to join us on Saturday, February 2nd, for a Stepping Up event or plan to host one, yourself. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with us by phone. Our toll-free number is 1-800-FL-TODAY. That’s 1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800- “F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then, the word, “TODAY”.
Now, if you were listening to FamilyLife Today last week, you know we had Elyse Fitzpatrick joining us. We were talking about food, and diet, and God, and how all of that makes sense together. A lot of you contacted us to get a copy of Elyse’s book or to get the audio CDs of our conversation with her. Well, we wanted you to know that, this week, when you help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today with a donation, we’d love to send you, as our thank-you gift, the CDs of our conversation with Elyse Fitzpatrick on her book Love to Eat, Hate to Eat. Again, that’s our way of saying, “Thank you,” to you for your support of this ministry. We are listener-supported. Your donations, throughout the year 2013, will keep FamilyLife Today on this local station and on our network of stations, all across the country. So, we appreciate whatever you can do in support of this ministry. Again, we want to say, “Thank you,” this week, with the Love to Eat, Hate to Eat CD conversation with Elyse Fitzpatrick.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click on the button that says, “I CARE”, to make an online donation; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and make a donation over the phone. When you get in touch with us, let us know that you’d like a copy of the CD with Elyse Fitzpatrick. We’ll be happy to send it out to you. Again, we appreciate your support of the ministry of FamilyLife Today. We look forward to hearing from you.
We hope you can be back with us again tomorrow. We’re going to talk to Greg and Rhonda Gunn. Greg is in the Stepping Up video series. He’s going to be here tomorrow with his wife to talk about how, together, they established a vision—a family vision—that got everybody on the same page and everybody working in the same direction. We’ll talk about that tomorrow. Hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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