February 17, 2023


God loves to take men whom the world might scorn and use them for His Kingdom work.

It was my turn to listen to stories for a change. Anyone who knows me knows that I talk a lot. I can’t help myself — when you are passionate about something you are going to talk.

Greg was guiding the conversation on the Zoom call, and my mind drifted to what I knew about his story. Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas, in August of 2017 as a tropical storm. It stalled over southeast Texas, dumping up to 52" of rain in some places. Greg’s home was one of many that flooded. For reasons only known to God, a group of church men came to his home to “muck it out.” After they finished, they invited Greg to come fellowship with them at the pastor’s home. When your house is without power and mostly unlivable, that probably sounded like a good idea. He went reluctantly. Church wasn’t his thing, which was okay because this wasn’t church. This was a group of godly men, iron sharpening iron, building strong bonds of fellowship, transparency, and accountability. Greg was intrigued, so he kept coming back. Today, I have the privilege of laboring beside him as our Missions Pastor, and I am astounded at the wisdom God has given him in such a short period of time.

Robby is a small business owner; for the most part it is just him and his pickup truck. He was a guy who loved the Lord and sought to raise his family, a wife and several boys from a previous marriage, in a godly way. Then his wife asked for a divorce, sending him into a season of depression and struggle. He sought godly counsel, he continued fellowship, and he committed to a restoration program to help strengthen his walk with King Jesus.

Rob is a convicted felon who didn’t graduate high school and who grew up tough on the streets — fighting, drugs, the whole bad-boy scene. He reached the place where he didn’t want to live any longer, and then God stepped in. By his own admission, this heavily tattooed, motorcycle-riding wild man had nothing going for him. BUT GOD! Those are some of my favorite words in the Bible. But with God, the things that are impossible with men are possible with God.

The Gospel of Mark tells the story of the rich young man who came to Jesus asking Him what he must do to be saved. After a brief conversation, he told the young man to give away his wealth and follow Him. He walked away dejected. “And they [the disciples] were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God’” (Mark 10:26-27, ESV).

Paul nailed it when he said this to the Corinthian believers: “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth” (1 Corinthians 1:26).

God loves to take men whom the world might scorn and use them for His Kingdom work.

There is a common thread in each of these three stories. These three men were surrounded by likeminded men. Men who realized their need for other men in their lives. Men who are sincere, accountable, and transparent with one other. Men who have “locked shields” with each other, who are committed to each other, and who are committed to King Jesus. These are God’s “mighty men” (I know they are really Men of Valor, but I’ll let it ride for now).

This last weekend 160 (mostly) men came to a men’s retreat. Some fathers brought their sons to show them what biblical masculinity looks like, and those young men were honored by all of us. I will say this straight up: If you want to impact God’s Kingdom, you need to find men with whom to lock shields. These three men I mentioned did exactly that, and their lives and families were impacted for eternity.

I will not tell you that you cannot accomplish anything alone, but linking shoulder to shoulder with mighty men is what we military people call a “force multiplier.” If the men in your church aren’t doing this together, then you either need to start something yourself or find a church where this is happening. You owe it to yourself, your family, and, most of all, King Jesus!

What say ye, Man of Valor?

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