Training Future Men

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?

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