group1920

Darren Edwards

What is the mystery to discipling men?

Darren Edwards, of Ignite Church, Lincoln, outlines some key elements.

Life on the forefront can be testing at the best of times. As blokes, we have a host of competing paradigms that we have to deal with. For example, how can you be a manly man when the world’s way of expressing ‘blokeyness’ is to trash talk women? But as a believer, we’re called to honour our wives!

I’m currently planting churches in Lincoln, and one of the biggest struggles that I’ve had to overcome is finding a way to disciple men. Today I’m sitting with a friend and disciple, Grant, who came to know Jesus just over a year ago, and we’re going to try to express what has worked in discipleship.

Grant heads up our men’s ministry at Ignite Church and as a new believer is fresh in his thinking about how men can connect in a new way, both to each other and to God.

One of the key essentials for man-to-man discipleship among new believers is this notion of being a man’s man. I remember getting an e-mail from a senior minister telling me that now that I’m a pastor I can’t carry on being a lad’s lad. The difference between being a man’s man and a lad’s lad is this notion of respect, or as Grant would put it, reverence.

The guys here like that I’m competitive, loud, strong and boisterous whilst remaining being above reproach. Being respectful of my wife and family earns big points among the men here, and calls them to live a bigger life for Jesus.

Another aspect of long-term discipleship is being able to handle failure or disappointment in a calm and understanding manner.

Being composed under stress shows the lads that a loud and angry voice isn’t a battle winner. Instead, a composed and devoted prayer life can work wonders. Sometimes the lads just need someone to tell them to breathe deeply before making any decisions. Other times they need a bit of ‘bromance’ with a back rub and cold drink.

We have a lot of conversations in the van, or as we’re walking somewhere. Grant remembers one time, sitting in the van outside his house when I offered guidance without being heavy-handed, prescriptive or judgmental. I guess I would say that I was leading him through an issue rather than managing him. As Jesus once told his lads, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

Finally, one of the key aspects to what we’re doing here is how we bring young lads into manhood.

At all of our men’s gatherings and events, I’ve been encouraging our blokes to bring their 15+ sons along. This way they get to see how men interact with one another. They see how we honour our wives, how we honour each other, and how we honour the Lord with our actions and words.

We recently attended the conference that Life Church in Bradford hosts for men. Grant came away from the weekend saying that he was blessed by seeing the way that my own son, Liam, interacted with the other men in our group and with God during our time away. His exact words were: “He might be one of the youth but this weekend he carried himself like one of the men!”

We need to start thinking about discipling our men before they hit the majority of the issues they are going to face in their walk.

 

Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share

 

 

 

Listen and subscribe to the MPOWER Podcast

SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify Podcasts

eMPOWERED

e:MPOWERED - Read the latest email

 

  Past Issues | Subscribe

 
In this post-lockdown time of re-gathering which part of the body are you and how connected will you be? Gordon Allan asks you to consider your intentions for church.
Liam Husband considers how the two disciples walking back to Emmaus might understand how bewildering the past year has been.
Men often believe they have to have all the answers and look weak if they ask for help says Alex Morgan.
God removed our stabilisers, and without our ‘stuff’ we have learned to focus on Jesus in lockdown
When it comes to honouring God, we need to be more like Joseph, writes MPower Director Mark Lyndon-Jones

  More Articles in our archives

 

Future Events

Friday 10 June 2022 – Saturday 11 June 2022
Save the dates for this MPower event in Malvern
Friday 11 November 2022 3:30pm – Saturday 12 November 2022 1:30pm
You’re invited and very welcome to a specific MPOWER gathering for Men to join together as a Band of Brothers after a very challenging season. As we “Re-Gather”, the Holy Spirit will be present to lead us through prophetic worship and teaching, testimonies, real fellowship with great facilities & abundant food at Elim International Centre set in the spectacular Malvern Hills. 

  More Events

Sign up to our email list to keep informed of news and updates about Elim.

 Keep Informed