Challenges to Overcome
All kinds of problems make this thing look impossible because guys face a number of issues. Here are five:
- Debt. Going to college costs more money than most people have. Guys have to borrow a lot. Their debt-loads leave them feeling irresponsible if they do anything other than get a job that pays well.
- Parents’ expectations. Parents want their sons to be “successful.” That equates to getting hired and getting a paycheck.
- Their own expectations. Guys internalize the expectations of others and feel like they need to follow a career track. They can daydream about adventures, but don’t see this as an investment in their future.
- Few models. Going out on an adventure and doing what Jesus did may seem interesting, but highly impractical. Nobody does this stuff anymore.
- No disciplers. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Because so few of us who follow Jesus have been discipled this way, we settle for conversation over action, coffee shops over journeys. Maybe we would try to do what Jesus did if we didn’t have a mortgage.
Solutions for Leaders
Start with yourself. If we aspire to disciple guys as Jesus discipled them, we have to begin with ourselves. We’ve got to break free of some of the shackles limiting us. I don’t know what that means for you. For me, that meant raising support and starting a ministry that gave me the flexibility to look for guys that are willing to do risky stuff.
Invest time. Next, we’ve got to be willing to actually invest time in them. Guys need to know they are a priority. They’ve got issues to work through. Most 20-something guys struggle with pornography and have stumbled sexually. They need help breaking free. They have father wounds that need to be addressed. It takes time.
Risk. The guys I’m going to invest in will get a chance to see what’s inside themselves. They will be thrown into challenging situations every day. Along the way, they’ll have dozens of adventures and go deep with God, giving Him the chance to prove Himself powerful in their lives.
Bonding. Guys hunger for community. The band of brothers idea resonates profoundly with us. We want to connect at a heart level with guys who are as committed as we are.
A final word about guys and faith: Sunday morning is not only the most segregated time of the week, it is also a highly feminized experience. We men were made for something more than what we get at a lot of churches. We want to know our Creator and join with Him in His plan to bring freedom to this dark world. We see Braveheart and wonder if that could be us in some way.
Jesus promised His disciples hardship, and they didn’t shrink from it. They resonated with the journey He called them to. We men are looking for the same kind of promise and challenge today.