the shape of leadership

Timeless Truths for Today’s Christian Man

Patrick Morley shines a biblical light on issues that concern men

Jimmy White on August 13, 2019

When it comes to reaching and discipling men, the U.S. church has work to do. Consider these figures compiled by the nondenominational Washington Area Coalition of Men’s Ministries:

  • The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church. More than 90 percent of men in the U.S. believe in God, and more than 80 percent identify as Christians. Yet only one-third attend church on any given Sunday.
  • Fewer than 10 percent of U.S. churches have established and maintained a vibrant men’s ministry, and fewer than 1 percent of churchgoing men participate in an ongoing men’s ministry group.

It is time to reverse these trends and give men the opportunity, resources and encouragement not only to follow Christ but to become missional disciples who live out godly principles in their homes, the church and the marketplace.

In The Christian Man, Patrick Morley offers a game plan for doing just that. He doesn’t point an accusing finger or toss out quick fixes. Instead, he addresses real-life issues using a non-threatening, Scripture-based approach.

Morley asked 24 men, “What are the issues and topics that would make you feel compelled to pick up and read a book for men?” From their responses, he identified 10 areas of concern:

Patrick Morley addresses real-life issues using a non-threatening, Scripture-based approach.
  1. Identity
  2. Life balance
  3. Growth
  4. Marriage
  5. Children
  6. Friendships
  7. Work
  8. Lust
  9. Culture
  10. Sharing faith

The Christian Man works through each of these issues using stories and thought-provoking dialogue before providing an application and a call to action that reinforce a biblical approach to manhood. Each chapter includes a checklist to help the reader evaluate his spiritual and relational health.

Morley does an outstanding job of providing practical suggestions readers can use immediately in their personal lives, as well as in their mentoring and discipleship of others. Reflection and study questions provide space to consider progress and areas needing improvement.

Spiritual growth is what men most need writes Morley. In his chapter on the topic, he defines a disciple as someone who is called to live in Christ; equipped to live like Christ; and sent to live for Christ. The rest of the chapter develops this definition into practical steps men can take toward growth. Morley uses a spiritual gifts assessment and open-ended subjective questions to help readers along.

The Christian Man provides godly wisdom and practical tools for all men, no matter where they find themselves on their faith journey. It could be a particularly valuable resource for those who disciple men, including men’s small group leaders.

Book Reviewed

Patrick Morley, The Christian Man: A Conversation About the 10 Issues Men Say Matter Most (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2019).

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