This last Friday and Saturday at Hannaford, we hosted the BattleZONE 2Day Men's Summit. Founded by Montana State University Football All-Star Michael Pouliot, BattleZone Ministries exists to coach every willing man to live victorious in Christ.
We formed a worship team for music. Michael and Dr. Dave Wardell (co-founder of Promise Keepers) were featured speakers, while athletes Jason Crebo (3-time All-American and Big Sky Conference Defensive MVP) and Byron Molyneaux both told how they came to trust Christ.
As we were meeting with Michael to go over last-minute details, he shared his vision for the conference. He said, "I don't do conferences. Conferences are a "flash in the pan." They last for a day or two, the guys go home, and there is no lasting effect." BattleZone is a tool to help men develop lasting discipleship and accountability networks.
I am convinced that BattleZone brings together the best elements of both Promise Keepers AND GodMen and allows men to bring a network of discipleship INTO the local church.
With all that said, I wanted to share a little of what I've taken away from the summit:
- I do believe that men are hurting, and a majority of men don't connect with church.
- Michael says that men (even Christian men) are not confronting their pain, but soothing it with repetitive sin (porn, alchohol, work, gambling, etc.). The reasons? Confusion over masculinity from a fuzzy and incorrect view of Jesus. From whom did you learn to be a man? What does it mean to be a man?
- Every man struggles with these Battle Zones (see the website). What we need to do is identify and address them head-on.
- Consequently, men are isolated. Isolation…leads to secrecy. Secrecy… leads to a sick character. Sick character…leads to sick conduct and SIN. Sick conduct and SIN…leads to broken relationships with God and people. (from Kenny Luck, Every Man’s Ministries)
- Most guys see Christianity as Wimpianity, Perfectianity, Borianity, or Crutchianity.
- Here's the truth about masculinity: Real men admit weakness (then do something about them). Being “macho” (pretending to be strong) has nothing to do with masculinity. Being macho is a symptom of being out of touch with our true self (feelings and motives), is one of our biggest weaknesses, and is a cover-up and denial of our insecurity. Genuine masculinity and true strength starts with being ruthlessly honest with our inner feelings and motives. One thing is certain, Jesus was always real. A true masculine is intimately on-line with God’s will. The key for the Masculinity of Jesus was His desire to endure the Cross in the place of each of us.