The Capable Man: Session 10
Excursions: Men Relate on the Field of Contest
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Men relate on a field of contest. It may be a football field, soccer field, baseball field, or even a battle field, but the field is where we relate.
Women relate face-to-face sharing feelings; men relate shoulder-to-shoulder facing a challenge.
The relationship and conversation that men will have during excursions are different than any other environment.
The evidence of this principle is strongly supported by those who have faced the greatest challenge known to man—the field of battle. Soldiers who have faced an enemy together create an inseparable bond. The relationship creates an honorable bond, one that is almost unspeakable in mixed company (those who did not participate on the field of contest). In fact, there seems to be two conversations, those who were spectators of the games and those who were on the field.
To a lesser extent, we see this relational bond when teams win championships—from youths to professionals, the team bond is legendary.
As a pastor, I noticed the conversations with men visiting my office were just surface level, yet the dialogue I had with men while hunting, fishing, golfing, or riding Harleys was much deeper and meaningful. Men were much more willing to share their thoughts, motivations and even their emotions when I shared the field with them.
The same will be true with you while serving as a Capable Man. You will discover the field of contest is the best place to relate with men.
We want to encourage men daily by delivering to their tablet The Daily Champion. We also want to engage men weekly with biblical precepts and principles, discussing how these time-tested truths can become practical in their lives. All these are great and useful, but never forget, when men are on excursions they have the most meaningful conversations.
The Variety of Fields
Men relate on different fields. They have a variety of interests. Some men want to play a round of golf. Other men will hunt. While still others will want to fish. Some men may even jump out of a plane, but the key is that men get up off the couch and get back on the field of contest.
We have seen men that meet at Crossfit or at the gym to work out together. We’ve seen guys take adventures together in a number of ways, the key is that the relationships are organic, physical, fun, and yes, spiritual.
The spiritual happens best when it is natural to the conversation. The Holy Spirit will give you discernment when you are talking with a man. Remember, you’re a coach. You want to speak to a man’s purposes and draw upon his gifts. You want to speak words that encourage him and build him up.
Let me give a warning so that we’re clear. We don’t flatter a man. An old proverb says, “No friend is he who flatters.” We want to avoid empty praise and puff language.
To encourage means to strengthen, fortify, confirm, increase, harden, alert, draw courage, make bold, and solidify.
Solomon said, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but the kisses of an enemy are excessive.” (Proverbs 27:6)
Wounds could be understood as very blunt, bold, truthful, direct language that makes a man confront a weakness with courage and conviction. The goal is to draw out the best of a man, not to humble, dismiss, or demean him.
Paul gives a great example of this when addressing his protege, Timothy, when he says, “Stir up the gift of God, which is in you.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
The field of contest (i.e. excursions) gives men the perfect opportunity to sharpen one another.
The Proverb, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” is popular among men’s groups and programs, but few emphasize the reality that iron does not sharpen by a caress, but by the clash of competition.
When David withdrew into the stronghold of Adullam to escape the paranoia of King Saul, 400 outcasts of society—men who suffered injustice—gathered around him. David became their leader. Amazingly, among the 400 in-debt, distressed, and discontented men were warriors—great men—men who would accomplish great exploits and become legendary.
As a Capable Man, you have the opportunity to draw greatness out of men!
Men who have faced blunt blows from life—men who have suffered—yet, these men still have the potential of the Divine deposit within them.
Remember, the foundational precept of Proverbs 20:5 says that, “The purposes of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
Will you imagine with me what happens with a man gains the understanding of his purposes? The key that unlocks the potential of a man is understanding.
The five passions of authentic manhood serve as parameters for the purposes—adventurous spirit, entrepreneurial drive, gallant relationships, faithful character, and leaving a legacy through philanthropic cause.
When a man gains understanding of these purposes, his life becomes a passionate pursuit of authentic manhood.
That’s why an excursion is designed for men to relate shoulder-to-shoulder on the field of contest. You will help him draw upon those purposes and start living passionately purposed!
- Survey other Capable Men to learn what the men in your church enjoy.
- Make a list of excursion opportunities for the men.
- We will start the excursions in a few weeks, but let’s prepare by looking at the calendar. Excursions should be monthly.