Boys in our culture today are in trouble! I can provide you with statistics, but I think you can see it everywhere you turn. Steven and Amy King are the parents of three young boys and are doing what they can to influence their nearby culture for good:
As parents of young boys, we are struck by the story of David’s Mighty Men, warriors who were known for their fierce loyalty and bravery. How do we raise young men marked by such character for God?
To prayerfully tackle that question, one year ago we gathered a few boys ages 7 to 9 – our own band of small Mighty Men – at our home to train them to grow both in Scripture and spiritual disciplines as well as in their love of the Lord and each other. We began with a theme verse: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.
Each Monday, 10 boys are screaming through our yard engaging in a treehouse battle or (dangerously) swinging 5-wide in our hammock. Promptly at 6 p.m., they gather with a Godly warrior chant as we embark on an hour of Scripture memory, worship, sword drilling, games, a Bible lesson, and prayer time. It’s not what you’d call formal “class.” Worship time might include a group performance of Shai Linne’s “Gotta Know the Books” rap song to learn their books of the Bible. We might (we did) hand out safety glasses to smash cantaloupe heads to drive home the crucial role of the helmet of salvation.
We don’t want to suppress their God-given boy natures. We want to engage their bodies, (energetic) spirits, and minds for Jesus so that they are captivated at a young age and encouraged by a merry band of other Christ-following boys.
One boy is shy and when he was asked about something a bully was doing in his class, he said, “All I know is that is not something a Mighty Man of God would do.” Another had a friend (whose parents are unbelievers) in his car and he shared the Gospel when the friend found his Mighty Men journal. When the boys share testimonies like this with their Monday crew, those people and experiences become part of the closing prayer time.
Stories like these are the goal of Mighty Men: seeing young men commit their lives to Christ and to live boldly for him through the encouragement of Christian brothers. Through family support, the discipline of these sweet boys, and the work of the Holy Spirit, our prayer is that they grow in wisdom as fast as they grow in stature!
This is how God is working through the King family to influence those around them. I’d love for us to brain-storm together about how God can work through us in our neighborhoods, through us as a church community to reach the isolated, lost boys in our society today. A book to help us think broadly about this topic is co-authored by Dr. Warren Farrell, The Boy Crisis: “Why Our Boys are Struggling and What We can Do About It.”