The plane was banking for the final approach into Tulsa International airport as I returned to my ancestral roots for a 24-hour consulting meeting. Tulsa has always been a special place for me because each of the five directional changes in my ministry over the last 25 years were born out of prayer times while I was visiting Tulsa. This trip would be no different.
I had just concluded 40 days of prayer and fasting before this trip and I sensed in my spirit that a directional change was coming to my ministry. Suddenly, when the tires hit the tarmac it was as if a download of information came rushing to me. Jolted, surprised and almost overwhelmed, I reached for anything I could find to write down the flood of thoughts flowing into my spirit.
The initial word spoken to my spirit was, “Build a movement to resurrect authentic manhood. Do so by speaking to the deep purposes that reside within man and he will cast off those things that restrain him.”
As I wrote, more and more clarity came to me. I asked, “What are the deep purposes of man?” I immediately remembered Proverbs 20:5, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”
Instantly, the foundational principles of Fivestarman flowed out of my spirit and I realized that man has five distinct purposes that reside deep within him:
- Man is an Adventurous Spirit;
- He is gifted with an Entrepreneurial Drive;
- He desires to be Gallant in Relationships;
- Man longs to be Faithful in Character;
- And he is driven to leave a legacy through Philanthropic Cause.
(Later study also revealed that the word for “man” in Proverbs 20:5 is not the common word “Adam” but “iysh.” Iysh means, masculine man, cultivator, virile, strong, manly-mind, gallant, priest, leader, and champion.)
Once the plane arrived at the gate, I had to switch my focus back to the consulting assignment for the next 24 hours. Amazingly, when I boarded the plane the next day the flow of inspiration immediately returned, giving me insight and strategy as to how Fivestarman was to develop.
When the plane landed in Houston, I stayed onboard while the flight attendants prepared to continue to our next destination in New Orleans. I was busy typing an outline for Fivestarman on my laptop when the flight attendants approached me. As they attempted to make small talk with me, I tried to keep my focus. Finally, I realized that I couldn’t shake them and gave them my full attention. One young lady said, “What are you working on?”
“I am writing an outline to a book.” I answered, hoping that would suffice.
“What is the book about?” she continued.
Realizing they were genuinely interested, I answered, “I am writing a book about a Fivestarman.” As I shared with them the five purposes of authentic manhood and finished by describing gallant relationships, I realized the young lady had drawn in a little too close to my comfort zone. As I leaned back away from her, I noticed tears dripping off her cheek. She desperately asked, “How do I find a man like that?”
It seemed as if she was speaking for young women everywhere, even for my own daughters. I suddenly felt the cry of our culture. A vulnerable culture, one that is missing the strength and protection that comes from authentic manhood.
“Stand at attention while I prepare you for your work…
You’re a one-man defense system against this culture.” Jeremiah 1:18-19
The echo of the original word that came to me was not to build a personal ministry but to build a movement. A movement is a series of organized activities working toward a stated goal. It requires much more activity than one person can achieve.
Over the next few weeks as I began to speak on the five passions of authentic manhood I noticed something very interesting in the posture of men. Initially, men were leaning back in their chairs with folded arms and half-sleepy eyes. As I began to share in-depth what makes a Fivestarman, they began to sit up straight. By the time I finished, those same men were leaning forward, hands on their knees, eyes focused, staring straight ahead, as if in a stance of readiness.
Solomon said, “The purposes of a man are drawn out.” I now recognize the progress of this drawing-out-process each time I speak on the five passions of authentic manhood and the process is simple:
Fivestarman is not about placing a shackle of guilt on a man, nor are we trying to make a man something that he is not, we are simply identifying who he already is and revealing it to him, giving him clear understanding to his God-given purposes.
And men are responding to this. Men can wrap their heads around this. Men want to know more. They want to be involved in this process.
This is a total change in the paradigm of communicating to men!
According to a recent study only 10 percent of churches have a viable, active and productive men’s ministry.
Most efforts toward men’s ministries are weak, anemic, and girly. We even see this with publishing companies who have all but given up trying to communicate to men. These companies excuse their failed efforts to the preposition that men do not read. I totally disagree! Men will read, but we do not read like women read. The problem is the publishing companies and most ministries have attempted to communicate to men’s feelings. That’s fine for women.
Women relate face-to-face sharing feelings.
But men relate shoulder-to-shoulder facing challenges.
Other efforts toward men’s ministry center around an angry anti-pornography strategy. This reactive strategy starts when a pastor or leader is forced to deal with some of their “good” guys facing the addictive powers of pornography. Pornography is a scourge on manhood, but it is actually a result—not the cause—of a fallen relationship with God.
We must dig deeper. We must draw from the original intent of manhood.
We don’t need another attempt at men’s ministry. We need a movement. A movement that is organic. A movement that raises the voice of authentic manhood. A movement that speaks to men who have been completely turned off by the terms “Bible Study” or “Men’s Breakfast.” We must become more strategic and communicate to the internal, God-deposit that lies within men, that spark of authentic purpose that the Spirit draws out (1 Corinthians 2:9).
We’re not going to win men by making them something that they’re not. We can’t communicate to men on the emotive level. We must communicate to men’s purposes. When a man focuses on his purposes he casts off those things that constrain him.
When you are in training physically, you change your habits, you get up earlier, work out harder and suppress or change your appetite. You know that some of your cravings are bad for you. The same goes for your spirit. When you focus on godly training, just like physical training, you will focus on growth and suppress those things that hinder your progress.
Rather than guilt men into the Church, rather than manipulate him by focusing on his wife and children, we must focus on the purposes of men, draw upon them, communicate to him in an authentic manner.
As Malachi warned in the last sentence of the Old Testament before the 400 years of silence:
“See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
We must have a prophetic voice speak to the heart of men. We must raise the voice of authentic manhood. Now is the time for Fivestarman!