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First Thoughts

Grow Up, Men!

Men, there is a problem out in the world today. The world is confused on what it means to be a man. There is a lack of understanding of what a man is and what a man is to do. This confusion has brought about stunted growth in masculinity in general and a lack of male leadership specifically. This confusion has found its way into the church, and we need to face this problem head-on. In times of confusion and misunderstanding, followers of Christ must return to the Bible, for it alone provides clarity and direction.

One of the most common metaphors used to describe a follower of Christ in the New Testament is that of a soldier. Christians are described as “fellow soldiers” in Philippians and Philemon, and elsewhere, a faithful disciple is a “good soldier” who aims to please his commanding officer (2 Timothy 2:3-4). The most detailed explanation of a soldier is found in Ephesians 6. Here, Paul outlines the armor of God that a Christian needs to stand against the forces of evil and the schemes of the devil. And as men, this imagery resonates with us because a soldier is at the top of the list of what defines bravery and masculinity.

However, before Paul calls men to put on the armor of God in Ephesians 6, he calls men to grow up in Ephesians 4. Paul says that we are to “grow up in every way…into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). He says that our aim is “mature manhood,” literally to be a full-grown man, which he defines as “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). In other words, to be a man is to be like Christ, and it is our duty to pursue that goal, that we heed the call to grow up! And one of the best ways you can do this here at First Baptist is to join a Grow Group.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “What is a Grow Group?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Grow Groups are groups of 3-5 men that meet regularly over the course of a year for all of life discipleship and spiritual growth. It is a way for men to join together for mutual strengthening and encouragement as they gather to read the Bible, talk theology, and increase their devotion to Christ and to one another.

Three Reasons Why You Should Join a Grow Group

  1. You need other men, and other men need you.

Even though a soldier is a picture of courage, a lone soldier is vulnerable and ineffective. There is strength in numbers. This is true for physical combat, and it is also true for spiritual warfare. A Christian, by himself, is more susceptible to sin and will find it difficult to practice the commands of the Bible. Yet, in a Grow Group, Christian brothers can join forces and fight together against sin and temptation as they spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

  1. Biblically strong men make a strong church.

It is no exaggeration to say that a church rises and falls with the strength of its men. Church history is replete with countless examples of churches that either caved to liberalism or fizzled out of existence because its men failed to stand up for truth. In contrast, history also records how strong churches did mighty works for Christ because of the resolute conviction of its male leadership. Grow Groups are one of the main avenues for men to be strengthened in the faith so that First Baptist can be a strong church.

  1. The King of kings wants you to grow.

Jesus, before He ascended back to heaven, declared that He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). With this universal authority, He commands His followers to go make disciples, people who want to learn from and follow Christ as Lord and Savior. This means that at the foundation of Christianity is a desire to learn from and obey Jesus to become more like Him. The main reason to join a Grow Group is to grow in Christ. Christian men grow when they grow alongside one another, pointing one another to Jesus, studying the Bible together, and growing together as all of life disciples of Jesus Christ. That’s what Grow Groups are all about!

So what say you, soldier? Will you stand up and stand with other men? Will you join a Grow Group? Will you answer the call of our King to grow and be like Him? If the answer is yes, then simply follow the link below for more information on how you can sign up for a Grow Group. May God raise up an army of courageous men here at First Baptist!

Ryan Trzeciak (DMin, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves First Baptist Church as the Director of First Counseling.

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