As a youth pastor, on of my great privileges is to play a mentoring role for several young men. I’ve been thinking about this lately since we have recently concluded a guy’s group at our church.
I remember hearing a Matt Chandler quote that has shaped the way that I think about mentoring:
“Our young guys need to know the Bible, but they also need to know how to cook a steak and tie a tie. This is a fatherless generation. Discipleship needs to mean more than studying a book. It should also mean opening our lives to the people we are leading.”
I feel like many groups like this that I have been involved with in the past have been more about avoiding certain behaviors (which is important) and less about cultivating a proactivity towards good. In other words, manhood seemed to be more about “not doing what’s wrong” rather than becoming someone better: a man of courage, character and integrity.
So we designed a group that included honest discussion, focused study, accountability, and prayer. But then we decided to add one more piece: things that men should know how to do.
So here are the skills that we taught our guys:
1. How to Tie a Tie
2. How to Chop Wood
3. How to Build a Fire
4. How to Hit a Golf Ball
5. How to Hit a Baseball
6. How to Run Football routes
7. How to do the Olympic lifts (I had to include this, ha ha)
8. How to Change a Tire
9. How to Jumpstart a Car (although some of the guys thought this meant, “how to hotwire a car” and were disappointed)
Recognizing that manhood is more about character than skill, we still wanted to communicate that we have been given strength for a reason, and manhood means the proper use of strength.
Men go wrong when they use their strength selfishly, abusively, or when they fail to use their strength through passivity.
Men do a lot of work training to be strong, but often have little discipline or direction in how to use it. So they spend it selfishly.
So for what it’s worth: here’s to the proper use of strength.
Question: Any other skills you would want added to the list?