Incomprehensible. That’s the best word to describe my response to the recent shooting in a Buffalo, New York supermarket. Reading the racist manifesto of the shooter leads me to another word—despicable. It’s hard for a person with so many non-white friends, employees, pastors, and fellow church members to understand—on any level—hatred directed toward African-Americans or other non-Anglos based on racial profiling. This kind of misplaced hatred is evil, now expressed in its rawest and most destructive form—the wanton killing of random people because they are perceived as a threat.

The rising anger among men, particularly young white men, is expressing itself in more and more alarming ways. The pseudo-intellectualism of white supremacy and the dysfunctional organizations this philosophy has spawned have become both facilitators of and harbors for this anger. When this vitriol is spewed on social media, it’s annoying. When it erupts in gunfire killing innocent victims, it’s horrific. As church leaders we have a responsibility to do more than speak out against these movements and their outcomes. We must reach more young men with the gospel and train them in healthy models of Christian manhood. To do so, we must embrace two key aspects of healthy ministry to men.

Men thrive when they have both responsibility and opportunity. Western culture is busy dismantling masculinity (and even the gender classification male), all in the name of rooting out toxic masculinity. While eliminating destructive behaviors (which have never been part of true Christian definitions of manhood), we seem to have thrown out the proverbial baby with the bath. We have jettisoned the importance of responsibility and opportunity as key aspects of healthy manhood (and ministry to men).

In answering a question in a conference, my wife once described a real man “as a person who takes responsibility for himself, his family, his church, and his community.” Taking responsibility may seem like a heavy burden, but it’s not. Men are like trucks; we handle better under a load. Effective men’s ministry is not primarily about helping men or doing things for men. It is about giving men real responsibility, teaching them how to fulfill it, and showing them healthy models for doing so.

In a similar vein, men need opportunity—to improve, to build, to make, or in short, to do. Effective men’s ministry presents opportunities for men to do something. When my sons were young men, the most effective ministries to them were actually not to them. They were opportunities given my sons to build something, lead something, or otherwise do something for others.

Churches must find ways to reach more men, particularly young men. This won’t be done with better music, slicker marketing, or flashier sermons. It will be done by church leaders who understand young men (and older men too) thrive on responsibility and opportunity. Men’s ministry built on those two pillars can push back the tide of aimlessness, frustration, and anger plaguing young men today. Let’s re-double our efforts to reach men by focusing on responsibility and opportunity as cornerstone of effective men’s ministry.


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Contentment

Dr. Iorg provides four ways you can start reinforcing contentment in your life.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

God’s Sovereignty in Esther

The implicit language of Esther maintains the mystery of God’s sovereignty—a topic human beings naturally are unable to comprehend.

Sang Boo
Pastor of Canvas Ministry, Good Community Church of Torrance
Pastor Sang joined Good Community Church in June 2014. He earned two degrees from Gateway Seminary: the MDiv in 2009 and the PhD in 2017.

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Lead On Podcast
November 27, 2022

The Difference between movements and Institutions

Dr. Iorg discusses how understanding the tension that exists between movements and instiutions can help leaders direct their ministry organization.
Study Isaiah
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King Cyrus: Servant of God – Isaiah 40-41

In this episode, Dr. Wegner introduces the next palistrophe: Isaiah 40-48. He loves palistrophes.

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Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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