“But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?”Romans 10:14-15
“How can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard …”?!? These are words that haunt me!
- For those that do not know my story, let me give you the bullet points:
- I grew up in church.
- While growing up in church, I dove head first into sexual perversion!
- Around the age of 17, I got my act together (mostly) and started truly living what I was learning, teaching, and preaching.
- I preached my first sermon at 13, started teaching Sunday School at 16, accepted my first paid ministry position at 22, and spent 15 years in traditional ministry.
- I know what it is like to be walking to the pulpit to preach begging God to forgive me for the perversion that I had given my mind and body to!
- I spent 15 years in ministry, much of it fulltime … I was pastoring a great church that loved me and my family and took care of us very, very well in every aspect.
- I know what it is like to leave a MASSIVE VOID!
For some reason, the church has left a massive void! I can say that … I was a perpetrator! I would duck the hard questions, avoid the difficult conversations, and keep everything G-rated … AND IT SUCKED! It sucked, because not only was I not being who I genuinely am, but I was not projecting who God genuinely is! Even though I had the perversion under control, I honestly felt more genuine as a 16-year-old pervert walking to he pulpit begging God to use me than I did as a 35-year-old Pastor that had it all together … But was following the politically-correct guidelines of a “conservative” church! (Disclaimer – If you are in a church that does not duck the tough conversations, consider yourself blessed and pray for the rest of the US!)
I believe that the young me needed the conversations that we are having within this ministry! I know that there is a generation of young men (and some not so young men) that need the conversations that are happening now! As men of God, as the Gibborim we have an obligation to fill the void that the church is leaving by not talking about the most detrimental topics in the life of men! The world will fill the void! I would much rather have a generation of men that have a Godly, Biblical view of these topics than to have their mind, and then their actions, filled with the world’s view!
That means that we have to have the hard conversations!
That means that we have to talk about the things that are taboo!
That means that we have to not duck the hard questions!
That means that we may have to get a little uncomfortable at times!
That means that we need to be willing to fight in the spiritual the same way that we claim to want to fight in the physical!
That means that we better get our acts together and do the hard things!!!
I am honored to be a Gibbor! I am honored to do the work to earn my seat! I am honored to be connected to a group of men that are willing to run into the darkness!
I remember reading a story once about a man that nearly lost his life as a part of a car accident. The odd thing was that he was not involved in the collision! He was one of the first on scene, and the scene was horrific. He sees a car on fire with a little girl trapped inside … Without a thought, he runs past the crowd of people to the engulfed car that could explode at any moment. He breaks the window, rips the door open, cuts the seatbelt off, and pulls the girl from the burning vehicle and saves her life. While his injuries were minor by comparison, he did suffer some significant burns. When asked by a family member what he was thinking, and why he would put himself at such risk, his answer was simple yet profound! “When the car is on fire, you just save the girl!”
One of my prayers for several years has been, “God, make me a man that runs INTO the fire!”
One of the fires that I know that I am called to run into is the tough conversations, the difficult questions, and the unapproachable topics … We are called to Fill the Void!
I am reminded of the Famous Teddy Roosevelt quote (that happens to be one of my favorite Gibborim shirts) … The Man in the Arena.
Captain of the Writing Team