Many church growth systems don’t include Jesus’ method—discipling men. In the busy life of pastoring, Paul has an encouraging word for pastoral health, and the fulfillment of your dreams.

Why are great men being canceled? We live in a world where the heroes and warriors are being removed ... masculinity diminished.

Every great culture is built on the character of its heroes and the courage of its warriors. And true of every great family - and every great church. A godless culture tries to diminish God and the presence of Godly men.

With all the chaos and clamor - here's the most damning issue of all - fatherlessness.

Most young men have never heard these words from their father, "I love you, and I am proud of you!"

God spoke words of identity and honor over His Son before Jesus embarked on his mission. Every son must hear a father's words of identity, blessing, love, and challenge as part of a rite of passage into manhood. Those words are necessary for the mission of manhood to be recovered.

For most men, we are identified by what we do with our hands…manager, fireman, sales executive, forklift driver, physical therapist, flooring installer, school principal, carpenter.

When meeting another man, we often ask first, “What do you do?” Then we slot that man. Our minds work better when he’s slotted. We have a point of reference.

But is what you do who you really are?

Culture defines a man by what he does with his hands. God defines a man by who he is in his heart.

In around 450 BC, Nehemiah learned that Jerusalem lay in ruins. He was just a slave, a “cupbearer” to King Artaxerxes, a bartender. Despair overwhelmed him. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat—so he started fasting. He started praying. That intimacy with God through prayer unclouded Nehemiah’s broken spirit in those solitary, desperate, hopeless hours.

He asked himself in despair and desperation, “Where are the men?” “Is there a path?” “Who do I know that could get this done?” “It’s impossible. How could I do anything?” “Could I do something?” “What would that look like?”

Nehemiah overcame that struggle and identity crisis. As a result, he led the successful efforts to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah’s struggle is a variation on one of the most critical questions we must ask ourselves as men: Is the level of life I am now living at the full capacity of my life?

Are we living at our maximum, or is there another level? Are we at full capacity, or is there more?

And as pastors, “Am I at full capacity? Is my church? Or is there more we have to offer?”

Most of us have something larger inside us—it’s just locked up. Nehemiah was a slave, but he was a slave who had a dream. And he committed to his dream.

We become the size of the dreams we are courageous enough to pursue. My father pastored as did I before leading the ministry to men that we are still embarked on today. From his experiences, he would say, “Give a pastor with a small dream a church of 1000 and it will shrink to the size of his dreams.” Why?

We shrink to the size fear allows us to become…which is always smaller than what God designed us to be.

The more you lean into God, the clearer your purpose becomes, the more positive your personal narrative, and the greater your potential for success.

This is what we teach men through Christian Men’s Network. We are a church-centric and pastor-led community of men who belong to thousands of local churches. We’re in brotherhood together. We have each others’ backs. We are ready to fight for pastors and the local church. We believe in God’s best for you and your church.

My prayer for you is that you’ll disciple the mighty men in your church, and that you’ll grow in God into the size of the dream He gave you.

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