- by Pr. Dan Schiffbauer, MDiv, DMin
The Challenge of Relevance & Legacy / Accountability & Consistency
Last month we talked about the challenge men face in finding their true identity and how their true identity is found in God and in the Bible. In the coming months, we want to look at some other challenges that we as men face as we try to fulfill our true purpose in life and become all God wants us to be. This month we will look at the challenge of relevance and legacy and the challenge of accountability and consistency.
The Challenge of Relevance and Legacy
A challenge many men struggle with is relevance and establishing a lasting legacy with our lives. As we mentioned last month, men need to feel that their lives are relevant and that they will make a lasting impact on the world around them. From our childhood on, many of us dream of being a person of distinction in society and the world, whether in our occupation, athletics or sports, or in leadership and influence. We believe when we have something to say, people should listen to us. We feel that our opinions are a cut above the rest, and when we feel like no one hears us or values our thoughts or abilities, it is a huge blow to our egos.
Men's Ministries can help men realize that in Christ we are all winners and can help men explore and find their true potential in their relationships with other men and in the service of the Lord.
Unfortunately, many of us never achieve the relevance or reach the goals we feel we deserve. This can easily lead us to withdraw, sideline ourselves from society and become a mediocre non-achiever. So many men come to the end of their lives with regrets and broken dreams of what could have been as well as feelings of failure. Men's Ministries can help men realize that in Christ we are all winners and can help men explore and find their true potential in their relationships with other men and in the service of the Lord. Men's ministries can help men find ways to develop their leadership skills in the local church. It can provide opportunities for community service projects to help those who are in need and require a helping hand. It can show them how they can develop a positive self-image in Christ and encourage other men to find that positive self-image.
Men's ministries can help men discover their true role as provider, protector, and spiritual priest in the home, showing their families what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Men's ministry may also provide opportunities to mentor younger men and new believers. It may inspire them to reach out to others sharing the good news of salvation and the hope of Jesus' soon coming. We must plan our men's ministries activities in such a way that those who are involved recognize that through the Holy Spirit and the power of God, they can achieve great things for His kingdom. Our goal is that every man will one day hear Christ declare, "Well done good and faithful servant. You were faithful over few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord," Matthew 25:21 (NKJV). Then he will recognize that his life has been worthwhile, and he will have a legacy that will last for eternity.
The Challenge of Accountability and Consistency
Another challenge that many of us men struggle with is accountability and consistency in our lives. By nature, we tend to be independent. We often imagine ourselves having all the answers, having everything figured out, and we resist instruction and guidance in what we should do. We as men don't like to answer to anyone because we often feel that would be a sign of weakness. This is especially true in our marriages. It's easy for us to feel that a man that gives into his wife or listens to her advice is a pushover. Yet, we desperately need accountability. We need someone to check up on us, challenge our preconceived ideas, and make sure we are staying true to our convictions and our beliefs.
Knowing I have an appointment to answer to my brothers on a regular basis can keep me making foolish mistakes and make me think twice before making a wrong decision.
As men, we are often inconsistent in our beliefs and our behavior. We find it easy to rationalize what we do and make excuses when we compromise and give into sin. This is why men's small groups can be very effective. They provide a regular forum where we can check up on each other and make sure that we are seeing things clearly in our lives. They also help us realize that we all have many of the same battles and temptations. When we know that there are other brothers facing similar temptations and weaknesses, it can give us courage to open up and seek the prayers and support we need. Knowing I have an appointment to answer to my brothers on a regular basis can keep me making foolish mistakes and make me think twice before making a wrong decision. We need accountability partners. I need accountability in my life, you need accountability in your life. That's why the Bible says we should confess our sins one to another (James 5:16).
May God help us find that lasting legacy we crave and the accountability and consistency that will keep us unswervingly on that path that will lead us to our eternal home.