The vast majority of men in America are in trouble. I would estimate that 90 percent of men today lead lukewarm, stagnant, often defeated lives—and they hate it. The collateral damage is staggering. This email from a friend about sums it up:
“My daughter stopped in on her daughter’s class today (my granddaughter). She saw the teacher sitting in silence with a stunned look on her face. The teacher explained that she asked the class to talk about what they wanted for Christmas.
“These 8-year-olds didn’t mention video games, dolls, toys, clothes or a trip to Disney World. Instead, their answers went like this: “I hope my parents don’t get a divorce.” “I want my daddy to come back home.” “I want to see my mommy smile. Maybe if daddy came back she would smile again.” “I want our family back together again.” “I want my parents to stop yelling at each other.”
“No wonder this teacher was stunned and perplexed. These were 8-year-old children in Queens, N.Y. They didn’t want gifts for themselves. They wanted a family with a mommy and daddy that love each other.”
As surprised as that teacher was, I know this comes as no surprise to you. America faces a host of problems, but none is more pervasive than the well-documented “men problem.” It is one of the most talked about, yet least acted upon problems of our time. You would think more would be happening by accident! There’s a lot of darkness surrounding this problem.
America desperately needs another “wholesale” spiritual revival and awakening—like the ones led by Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, or the Businessmen’s Revival triggered by Jeremiah Lanphier. Could that happen again? Obviously, only God can orchestrate an awakening. On the other hand, God rewards hard work and 2 Chronicles 7:14-style prayer. So what can we do?
A High Priority
There are about 500,000 pastors in America. Many of you have already made men’s discipleship a high priority. What if we could increase that number to 50,000 pastors? What if God touched 50,000 pastors with the passion to say, “Lord, give me my men or I die.” What might God do if just 10 percent of our pastors made men’s discipleship a high priority? Would a “tithe” of our pastors be enough? We believe 50,000 pastors would change the world.
In 10 years, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish I would have done more,” or, “If only I had tried a little harder.” I know you feel the same way. Do you know of any other professionals who have the potential to help men become godly men, husbands and fathers? As far as I can tell, unless more pastors take up this cause—and soon—America will continue to see our moral and spiritual foundations crumble. We’ve talked about it long enough. The time for talking is over.
Here’s the vision...
First, we “tithe” the men of our nation to God. There are about 100,000,000 men in America. A tithe of our men would be 10,000,000 men. The goal is 10,000,000 men to lead powerful lives transformed by Christ by 2020. Lord, give us back our men!
Second, we “tithe” our problems to God. If 10 percent of the men in America are transformed, wouldn’t we expect to see a corresponding change in culture? The goal between now and 2020 is to see a 10 percent reduction in divorces, unwed mothers, abortions, fatherless homes, high school dropouts, pornography use, sex sins, prison populations, domestic abuse, poverty, racism and so on—a 10 percent reduction wherever the sting of the lack of the gospel is felt.
When I was on the Board of Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), I asked Bill Bright, “Why don’t we offer the Lay Institute for Evangelism anymore?” He said, “We don’t have a leader. Everything boils down to leadership.” Man in the Mirror is willing to provide organization and leadership to a pastor’s movement that reaches and disciples men, or we will support any other leaders God raises up.
Here are several steps you can take:
- Agree in prayer to “tithe” the men of America to God. Preach it.
- Agree in prayer to “tithe” our problems to God. Preach it.
- Ask God to raise up a “tithe” of 50,000 pastors unwilling to be satisfied with anything less than wholesale spiritual revival and awakening—starting with their men.
“If you do not long to see the conversion of your hearers … you are not likely to see much success. … But, let all who preach for Christ and men’s salvation be unsatisfied until they have the thing they preach for.” (Richard Baxter, 1656)
- Take immediate steps to intentionally disciple “all” the men in your church. We can show you how.
- Win your elders and/or deacons to the cause of men’s discipleship.
- Go public with your commitment to disciple men as a high priority.
- Include a “men’s track” at every pastor’s conference.
We can do this. I do not think it’s histrionic or melodramatic to say that the future of our civilization is at stake—it’s already too late to say the future of “our way of life.” We cannot, we must not and—by God’s grace—we will not fail. Let’s put Dr. Phil out of business!
Pat Morley is the Founder and CEO of Man in the Mirror. After building one of Florida’s 100 largest privately held companies, in 1991, he founded Man in the Mirror, a non-profit organization to help men find meaning and purpose in life. Dr. Morley is the bestselling author of The Man in the Mirror, No Man Left Behind, Dad in the Mirror, and A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines.