Monday, April 4, 2011

You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears...

Looking at this wonderful painting by Rapheal of Paul addressing the crowds in Athens I can see the parallel between what Paul is facing with a mixed crowd of philosophers - and us today - as mentors in men's lives - it's also a mixed crowd.

Click the image [then return to this blog] and see how well Rapheal captured what Paul encountered. Notice the range of response to what he's saying. Even the men in the center of the image seemingly not interested, talking to themselves, have a deeply significant meaning in what Raphel is trying to stress about this account of Paul in the book of Acts 17:16-34 [please read the biblical account before continuing with this blog].

What Paul is addressing - a crowd of mixed beliefs - is not much different than what we encounter mentoring and discipling young men in new found fatherhood.

Here's the parallel:
  1. Paul comes to Athens a city chock full of idols and is majorly bothered.
  2. Rather than go on a witch hunt he takes time to build relationships with Jews, Greeks [who fear God] and anybody who'll talk to him for a couple of days [in other words, like Jesus amongst sinners and tax collectors, he gets to know people intimately].
  3. As a result some of the locals get wind of what's he is sharing and ask A) What is this new teaching? and B) You are bringing us new thoughts. What do they mean?
  4. Having gained their rapport Paul then shares with them the Gospel through the prism of their critical thinking process.
  5. At the conclusion of Paul's great presentation of Jesus Christ A) some guys blew him off B) Others wanted more C) Some went as far to follow Paul and then believe him and the Gospel of hope in Christ Jesus.
When it comes to a highly successful men's ministry reaching men in new-found fatherhood take a look:
  1. Many men come forward to serve faithfully after seeing a world in decay destroy the role of fatherhood.
  2. Letting go of their personal pride, they take time to learn, gut-check their motivations for serving God and spend a great deal of time building relationships with younger men [whom make huge mistakes] then in their and heart mind forgive them and love them trough their development process as Dad's.
  3. Many young men respond literally by saying, "I've never heard these type of thoughts you're bringing me, this is new. I'd like to learn more..."
  4. With an open door, after serving a man's literal needs, they deliver the hope that has personally rescued them - the hope of Jesus Christ.
  5. When they do, you know, some guys blow them off and leave. Yet some say they still want to learn more - but the best thing is - some guys make a real heart connection with their mentor, follow his leading and believe in Jesus Christ as their savior - turning their life around.
What a privilege it is to mimic Paul [1 Cor. 4:16] and actually see that what he preached about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is absolutely true.

I know it might be a strange idea coming to you ears [and eyes] but try it my friends. Imitate Paul who is following Jesus Christ and I promise you the same results.
  • Some will sneer and blow you off.
  • Some will want more.
  • Some will come to believe in Jesus and turn their life around.
What have you got to lose? A sixty-six percent closing ratio is more than good. Amen?

Till next time,

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