Copyright © 2005, Steve Schlissel
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The MC3 Future Men's Club
by Matt Gonnella
"Are you a boy, or a man?" At times, this question
is used to toughen up the one of whom it is asked.
But obviously the answer is "boy", when we consider
our 2,3,4, and 5 year old sons, no? After all, to
ask them the question would be ridiculous; and in
the above context, harsh. However, while boys may be
boys, they will not be boys forever. Christian
fathers (men) must never forget that the training of
their sons (boys) will have direct results on what
kind of men these precious souls become.
Ms. Housten, did you say something?
"The children are our future." This quote is used in
many sentimental, mushy contexts. How does it apply
to the people of The Covenant? It is everything, and
applies in every way. God makes promises to the
children of believers (Acts 2:38-39), and they are
heirs of His Grace. (Rom 4:13-15) The Lord clearly
used parenting as an instrument of this Grace. The
covenant children are the future of the Covenant.
The covenant boys will soon, seemingly in a flash,
be covenant men. The inheritance is theirs by Grace.
How will they use it?
Boys learn to be men from men and women. They watch
their parents. They spend much more time with their
mother. By the power of the Holy Spirit, boys learn
to be like the Ultimate Man, Christ Jesus, by
learning from His Word, His people, and His example.
Being a "man" is all about being like the God-man,
in every way we can. It means dying to sin and
giving ourselves to others (Phi 2). It means
embracing our callings with godly ambition. Surely
there are many contributing factors that all combine
and aide in the process of faithful, God-fearing
boys becoming faithful, God-fearing men. And mom has
more to do with it on a daily basis than anyone
else. Mom, we love you.
Clubs are for click-ish people
Our club is not really a club at all. It is simply a
very not-so-often time we spend together as males.
We, the people of Messiah's Covenant Community
Church, love to celebrate true, godly, biblical
masculinity and femininity in many ways. We do this
in community, the way the blessed apostles taught
us. We love one another the way The Lord Jesus
taught us, and use our various gifts in the way he
commanded us. We gather together often and for many
reasons. So once in a while, the men of the church
(with the consent of their godly, patient,
better-halves) enjoy the blessing of an outing with
their sons. We do various activities to give the
boys time to "be boys" with the men. Activities on
the constant agenda include: hiking, fishing,
climbing, exploring, camping, boating, and hopefully
one day - hunting, shooting, archery, etc. Don't
forget more urban-friendly endeavors: watching and
playing baseball, football, soccer. etc. You get the
Boys and girls are exactly the same
Not that many of the above activities aren't
suitable for covenant girls and families and
churches. Many of them are. Many godly girls love to
hike and fish and stick living worms on hooks.
But... when boys get together, things happen.
Testosterone seems to spin out of control. We do
things that cause bruises and scrapes. We often can
be found attempting to lift or climb things,
requiring all of our strength. Upon observation, one
will see headlocks and half-nelsons. Sticks
magically become swords. All of the sudden, there
are princesses to save. Imaginary ones, mind you. We
celebrate this God-given behavior and with His Holy
help from on high, we seek to harness it, mold it,
and direct it so that the young ones learn to use
the way they are to the Glory of God Almighty.
Getting together with the boys and the men is one
small and very fun way to do that. It is good for
boys to be pulled out of the domestic context every
now and then, ever-so gradually, until that time
(which flies by!) when they will leave father and
mother. (Gen 2:24)
So get your fishing pole. tackle box, swiss army
knife or your football, cleats, and end
zone-markers: its time to for the future! If you
have ideas for ways that Brooklynite men and their
sons can have a blast and train their sons, feel
free to suggest away! We are not naturally inclined
toward the things of nature as are the godly
woodsmen of middle America. May God bless the
children of promise! May He bless our efforts to be
faithful to the vows we took when they became
Covenant Heirs! What a responsibility! What an
Awesome God who equips us for the task! Amen.
These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD
your God directed me to teach you to observe in the
land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2
so that you, your children and their children after
them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live
by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give
you, and so that you may enjoy long life.