Hitting The Target
A popular Peanuts™ cartoon depicts Charlie Brown practicing archery in his back yard. Target after target had been drawn on the wooden fence. Each one had a hole in the bull’s-eye where Charlie Brown had shot an arrow. Lucy stops by and wants Charlie Brown to demonstrate his skills. To her surprise, Charlie took the arrow, placed it on his bow and fired it into the fence, not anywhere near a target. He then proceeded to draw a target around the arrow. Lucy could not help but ask, “Charlie Brown, what are you doing?” Without any embarrassment he answered, “I’m making sure I never miss.”
Unfortunately that approach is often taken in ministry. Programs are launched, and if anything is accomplished we quickly claim to have reached the intended goal. Energy, time, and resources are wasted because we fail to aim at a specific target.
Determining the Target
What is the target of the Master’s Men? What are we trying to accomplish? Before answering those crucial questions, it is imperative to consider how we know what our target should be. How do we determine our target?
First, we must resist turning to the world to address the crucial issues concerning men. Society has a seriously flawed perception of manhood. Instead, the Word of God defines the target. The Bible explains how a man can be transformed into an individual that brings glory to God. The objectives of Master’s Men are firmly grounded in Scripture.
Defining the Target
As Master’s Men endeavors to help pastors and churches encourage their men to be all God wants for them, we want to help them become:
Men of Priority. A multitude of demands and pleasures compete for a man’s time. Men however, who bring glory to God understand their first priority is their relationship to Jesus Christ. In Matthew 22:35-38, Jesus shared insight into why this is true. “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
Quite frankly, I fear that many men in our churches are not enjoying and experiencing a priority relationship with Jesus. Master’s Men challenges and helps men develop an intimate walk with the Savior.
Men of Prayer. Men stand best when they stay on their knees. Master’s men equips men to become faithful men of prayer. James 5:16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” We teach men to use the powerful spiritual resource of prayer. The goal is to see men engaged in prayer on several levels: 1) praying personally; 2) praying with and for their families; 3) praying within a small circle of men committed to praying for one another; and 4) praying for their pastor, church staff, and church ministries. Not every man can preach a sermon, teach a class, or sing in the choir, but every man who knows Jesus can influence the world through prayer!
Men of Purpose. Master’s Men exists to accomplish the following five stated purposes.
- Fellowship. Men need the examples and encouragement other men can provide. One of the greatest benefits of a Master’s Men chapter are the relationships that develop because of a common commitment to Jesus Christ.
- Discipleship. Effective Master’s Men chapters facilitate the spiritual growth of men. Teaching of the Word of God will call men to intimacy with God, purity of life, leadership in the home, faithful worship, mentoring, commitment to the mission of the local church and denomination, prayer for their pastor(s), and a burden to share the gospel.
- Stewardship. Master’s Men teaches members to support the ministry of the local church and denomination. They learn that stewardship is not just the giving to the Lord’s work but giving their lives to advance His kingdom.
- Soul-Winning. Master’s Men seeks to mobilize men out of spiritual passivity to influence their families, communities, and workplaces with the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Edification. Master’s Men equips men to serve the Lord and their local church, developing them into spiritual leaders. As men grow and take responsibility in the church, the pastor is freed to focus on prayer and preaching. Vibrant men’s ministry recruits, trains, and deploys men into all the ministries of the church.
Men of Purity. The Christian is constantly pressured to conform to the world. Becoming and remaining a man of purity in our culture is not easy. Master’s Men continues to proclaim biblical truths that enable men to live pure lives.
Men of Passion. Men are often passionate about their favorite sports team, a hobby, even their work. Sadly, some men have little enthusiasm about being a husband or father. Satan delights in dividing husbands from their wives and fathers from their children. Master’s Men teaches men to be passionately committed to their families, fulfilling biblical responsibilities to his wife and his children. We encourage men to fulfill those obligations and help our churches strengthen their families.
It is sometimes tempting to take the Charlie Brown approach and shoot at the whole fence. But defining the target has advantages! It forces us to focus, and it pays off with more hits than misses.