Toxic Masculinity or Godly Manhood? How Men's Ministry Can Radically Transform Church

(Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash)

It seems as though men in America are being attacked like never before. Decades ago, it was still acceptable and encouraged for men to be the strong protectors who watched out for their families. But now, some people call that "toxic masculinity."

It may sound crazy to you and me, but it's happening in our culture—and the ideology is spreading. That's why I'm grateful for people like Pastor Jay Dennis, who are unafraid to train men to be real men.

I invited Dennis onto my podcast recently to discuss how men's ministry can transform our nation and our families. (Listen to our interviews here and here.) Through the ministry he co-founded, Wingman Nation, Dennis has helped many men become the leaders God created them to be—free from the bondage of sexual addiction, hidden sin and spiritual apathy.

In order to understand the secret to how Dennis equips these men, though, he says you need to understand what a wingman actually is.

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"A wingman in the Air Force refers to a pilot who flies off the right wing of and behind the lead pilot in order to protect him from enemy fire," Dennis says. "It's the idea of support, protection, awareness and attacking the enemy. Every Christian needs a wingman—someone who has his back, somebody he can call at 2 in the morning."

Dennis says many men in the body of Christ—especially leaders—walk an unnecessarily lonely road in the kingdom of God. But God created His people, including men, to need each other for support, accountability and encouragement.

"Why is it that so few churches even have a men's ministry?" Dennis says. "... Less than 10% of churches in America have any kind of men's ministry, and many who do have it don't have a vibrant men's ministry. Now, that's not true with women's ministry. You will have all kinds of offerings.

"Here's what I think happens. I think pastors get overwhelmed, and they have so many plates spinning that, how are they going to add one more thing if they do a men's ministry? So I want to say to pastors, 'Pastor, this should be one of your top priorities—reaching men.'"

Dennis says if pastors would get behind this idea, men's ministry would radically grow in success in our culture. After all, he says that when he and one of the men at his church, Randy Ferrara, started Wingman Nation 11 years ago, around 300 to 400 men would gather. The result was an atmosphere those men weren't getting anywhere else.

"It wasn't just a Bible study," Dennis says. "It was that, but it was also accountability. It was food. It was fun. It was laughing. It was fellowship. It was all those things that built an atmosphere that men were attracted to, things that men long for."

Be sure to listen to my full interviews with Dennis to learn more about how a vibrant men's ministry can radically transform the church in America—and even the entire culture. Click here to listen to Part 1 and click here for Part 2. And if you like what you hear, take a moment to leave "The Strang Report" a review on iTunes or GooglePlay!

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