Men’s Ministry: Start Where You’re Standing

Men’s Ministry: Start Where You’re Standing

Men's Ministry and influence are forever tied together. The entire point of men's ministry is that you can influence men to move the Kingdom of God forward in the lives of men who are leading families toward Christ-like journeys that last through the struggle. I've seen a trend, however, in men's ministry when it comes to doing what I do within the hunting community. I notice a lot of men envy other ministries or ministry personalities. Envy can show up in subtle forms. Envy, like every other sin, is often a quiet start in a direction far away from God. My experience is that sin tends to start small, you tend not to notice it so much, because something as subtle as envy feels a long way from stealing or murder. You'd be stunned at how often I hear men talk about how they wish they could have a place in the world of men's ministry that has big impact. A foothold of sorts, where their lives make a difference. The truth is, they already have it, but they don’t see it. A man will often look at what he wishes he had, instead of looking at what he actually has in front of him. It’s the devil’s way of keeping a man on the bench while he entertains the thought of waiting to get into the game. “You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.”     - Jesus -  My grandfather fought in World War II. He said he’d been reassigned to a unit that, in his words, “had a...
What I Hate Most.

What I Hate Most.

This post is a sample of Jason Cruise's most known resource, a devotion called "The Man Minute" that comes out once a week on Mondays. The vast majority of the Man Minute devotions are distributed to men via email once a week. You can join the tribe by clicking here. He was having a hard time with his job. Life wasn’t really working well at the moment. Strangely, he began to ponder life from my perspective, saying, “I cannot imagine what it’s like, being in ministry. You must see a lot of stuff.” Then he said, “Of all the things you see, what bothers you the most? What gets to you the most?” My answer was immediate. I didn’t even have to think about it. He could tell from the conviction in my voice that I was certain about my answer as to what hurts my heart the most. I don’t think he was at all prepared for what I said. It caught him off guard. Just this week I spent some time hunting with a man who over the years has become a source of unmatched wisdom to me. Steve Chapman is a nationally known singer/songwriter, with equal acclaim as an author. Why he’s my friend I’ll never know. Maybe it’s that I can call in turkeys for him to shoot, and in payment, he provides soul maintenance for me as a father and husband. I am certain I’m getting the better end of that deal. Steve squeezed the trigger, and we watched yet another bird fall victim to his old Mossberg. 68 seconds later another tom entered...

Man Minute: Next Sunday

I’ll never forget the sight. It was awful. Like a bad dream that I couldn’t make stop, nor wake up from, except that it was real. I grew up in a small town. We had a railroad track that split the center of our village on Atlantic Street. You pretty much had to cross it no matter what, therefore having to wait on halted trains to change tracks was nothing new, except that something on this day seemed different. The line was longer. A few people were standing around. It was a Sunday. A blue sky, cloudless, beautiful Sunday in December. My mom was driving, and yet for some reason I got out of the car. I remember that I recognized one of my high school buddies standing at the tracks. As I walked toward the stopped train I saw a maroon colored, single cab truck lodged between the train and a large steel utility pole. In the truck was a young man whom I loved with all my heart. He was a senior and I was a sophomore. He was larger than life to me. I’m sure I was more like a kid brother to him, but to me, he was my best friend. And he was dead. The Sunday before my friend Jason went to Heaven, we were on a deer hunt. Because he was about to graduate in a few months, choosing a college was heavy on his mind. We were walking up a ruggedly steep hill on the way to some stands we’d hung high on a ridge. For some reason he stopped. You could...

The Man Minute: Life Beyond The Levee

I met Heath Whitmore on a duck hunt when we were filming segments for a waterfowl series I host with Sportsman Channel. I wasn’t anticipating anything special. We all meet people every single day of our lives, and, it was 4:15 am in the morning. At that time of day, I’m not expecting much of anything from anybody, myself included. I’ve noticed something about duck hunting. When the duck hunt slows down, the stories pick up. That’s one of my favorite ingredients of being in a duck hole: it seems you never leave the water without at least one good laugh and yet one more chapter added to your story. I was sitting beside Heath, between him and his dad, Kirk, a man whom I hold in as dear regard as I do his son. They are men of true grit, farmers scratching out a life together in the Arkansas delta. Sitting between the Whitmore boys, and along side Bebo, a retriever who is a workaholic, Heath began to tell me his story of redemption, and redemption stories never, ever get old. When you hear a man talk about where he used to be, and where he is now, it's a story for all hunters to hear. That was a year ago. I went back to Arkansas to launch yet another season of Blind Insights. This time, there was anticipation. Not so much of just the hunts that were to follow, but more so because I was going to get to see my brothers who carry the name Whitmore. The hunting was good. It is always good on the...

What Not To Do

Having spent over 20 years in ministry I've learned that when people's dreams are crushed, or when they've gone through heartbreak, the worst thing you can do is be a cavalier pied piper with an upbeat song. It's cold to sing songs to a troubled heart. Don't misunderstand, the Scriptures are not saying you must withhold songs of hope. People depend upon hope, for the absence of hope can cause someone to follow radically harmful paths. Be sure to offer hope, just be careful how you package it. When people are heartbroken the last thing they need is the guilt that comes from a person telling them "It's all good. Just praise The Lord anyway." Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, is he who sings songs to a troubled heart. - Proverbs 25:20 - What I've learned is that deep despair causes questions, and those questions, when pain is too fresh for praise, tend to drown out songs of joy. What I found that people remember most in times of heartache is that you were there. Your greatest way to help them is the glorious simplicity of your presence, reminding them that God hasn't left them stranded.Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker. He is the host of Spring Chronicles on Sportsman Channel. www.JasonCruise.com and @JasonLCruise on Twitter. Thousands of men nationwide are in the tribe. To join the brotherhood and receive the Man Minute weekly to your inbox click the icon below....
The Single Greatest Reason Men Experience Moral Failure

The Single Greatest Reason Men Experience Moral Failure

Men experience moral failure in mere seconds, but the act of failing takes a long, long time to achieve in my experience. Every time I sit across from a man whose world is imploding, it takes but a few moments of listening to his story until it becomes clear as to why he’s in such a state of shame. I’ve never met a man who experienced moral failure that was devoid of friends. We’ve all got friends. Friendship has forever been a shallow concept to me. Friends are everywhere. Friends are all around you. They “like” your Facebook page, they “retweet” posts on your Twitter feed. Friends play golf with you, grab lunch, or go on a weekend duck hunt. That’s what friends do. Friends are important. Friends will make life more fun for you. What friends will not do for you, however, is be there for you when life starts to get demanding. I mean, really, really demanding. Friendship has always been a shallow concept for me. What matters to me, what provides strength to my soul, is not friendship but brotherhood. Brothers run into the flaming mess of a man’s life while friends are running for the exit door to get out of the heat. So, what is the single greatest reason men experience moral failure? It’s not an addiction to porn. It’s not a lust for power within their company. It’s not a burning desire to embezzle funds so they can get rich. That may be where it ends, but that’s not where failure begins. Moral failure in the life of a man always starts with...