‘There were two things that impressed me about CCB’. I was all ears. It sounded like I was going to enjoy this. And it came from someone whose opinion was worth hearing.
She’d arrived a few years back with her family. She was a non-Christian and so were they. And they stayed. And she got converted. I was genuinely intrigued by what she was going to say. Obviously I was hoping it would be something along the lines of, ‘your preaching’. In fact I’d have taken anything to do with me. I was going to be disappointed, however! ‘The first’, she said ‘was the music’. No surprises there, I thought. God has blessed us with a very able team of musicians who serve us wonderfully. But it wasn’t so much the quality of the music that she meant, it was the integrity. ‘The words were amazing and people sang them like they believed them’. She’s right. We do believe what we sing even when the tune is unfamiliar. But it was the second thing that really lifted my spirits. ‘The men’, she said. ‘They’re all very different but they’re all very impressive’. And she’s right. None of us is what we should be. We’re not perfect. But all of us are more than we would be were it not for God’s work in our hearts by His gospel. And as we chatted she explained it’s the same at another local evangelical church which she’s since attended.
Biblical manhood is very appealing. If any of us met Jesus in person we’d be hugely impressed. And he’s where we’re aiming. And he’s where the Spirit is taking us. It won’t surprise you to learn that I think that the maturity of the men in our church has a huge impact on the life of our church. We need godly men to lead us, care for us, protect us and support us. We need godly men as our small group leaders, as elders, as kids’ work leaders. Of course we need godly women. I’m not saying that we don’t. But they seem easier to come by! Helping guys to become godly feels a little bit like pushing a boulder up a hill. That’s how it’s felt in my own life. Perhaps that’s because our culture allows or even encourages us blokes to prolong our adolescence; the so-called phenomenon of the boys that can shave! We’re responsibility averse. I don’t think I really grew up until I had a child. That was one steep learning curve. Because even as a married man it’s possible to feel like a single bloke with a girlfriend you’re now allowed (and even encouraged) to sleep with. I’m not saying that was good. It wasn’t. It’s just what it was like for me. I needed discipling. I needed a mature man to mentor me. And we need that iron sharpening iron mature discipleship in spades. It’s why our men’s weekends away can be so formational.
You may never have thought that your mature godliness had evangelistic effects. But it does. It’s something that’s unusual. It needs an explanation because it’s uncommon in our culture at the moment. And so to all the Christian men I say get yourself another man who can help you grow in Christian maturity. And to the women, make sure your man gets himself a responsible role model.