What Are We Going to be Doing?

wordpress_mc_logoI teach a Sunday School class and I’m having the parents attend with their sons tomorrow morning. One of the moms asked me “What are we going to be doing?” Bottom line is I want to pitch a vision of what we want to teach, how we want to present it and what the ultimate goal is.

Here’s the opening statement…

In the early 1900′s, the percentage of boys aged 12-18 who chose to dismiss church as an unnecessary and irrelevant practice was 60-80 percent.1

In a 2013 article written by Steve McSwain entitled “Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore,” he cites some compelling stats that proclaim upwards of 80% of Americans are finding “more fulfilling things to do on the weekend” besides going to church.2

One of the reasons that Christianity is oftentimes glossed over by boys and men is because of the way that it’s often presented.

Consider this: If you had to create a billboard that promoted a relationship with Christ and you couldn’t mention anything about “Jesus helps you with your problems,” or “You get to go to Heaven when you die,” what would you say?

If Christ is something that is processed as nothing more than a funeral arrangement or a Divine Emergency Kit, then the same mindset that says “Big boys don’t cry” takes it a step further and declares that “Big boys don’t pray.”

And it makes sense.

Our storefront as believers is often defined in terms of conservative dress codes, private institutions and boycotts. Most people can’t tell you what they believe and why without sounding hesitant. The practical purpose, peace and power that a relationship with Christ brings to the table gets lost amidst the traditions and stereotypes that are not biblical as much as they are cultural. It’s more about being “nice” that it is in being influential. Being competitive, being noteworthy in the marketplace, being the sort of standout the secular community heralds as being worthy of applause – there is, in some instances, a subtle dismissal of those achievements as having no ministerial value due to their being outside of the parameters of the local church building.

That’s garbage.

We’re commanded to be salt and light (Matt 5:13-16). We establish a standard of excellence in everything that we do, we inevitably earn the right to be heard. Our witness is gauged more in terms of who we are than what we do, but it’s what we do and how we do it that captures the attention of the person on the outside looking in. That’s the “light” referred to in Matthew 5:16.

And the thing is, when we’re intentional about keeping our spiritual tires aligned and ensuring that our walk is being made manifest in the context of what’s practical and not just philosophical, we benefit.

Do the math: Self Control, Talent, Discipline, Team Player, Moral, Respectful – all of which are demonstrated regardless of who’s looking and empowered by the One Who gives us grace and strength to go the extra mile when the humanity within us becomes weary – those are the characteristics of a person you don’t just hire. Those are the qualities of the person you promote.

But it’s not the business card or the paycheck that defines us. Those goalposts never stop moving. Rather, it’s the Character of our King that flows through our veins that allows us the opportunity to truly live rather than merely exist. We’re not here to make an appearance, we’re here to make a difference. And in order to get to that place, we’ve got to be spiritually ripped.

What do you believe and why? How does that translate to an “edge?” Why would somebody want what you have? All things at all times, driven by a desire to make Christ look good…

We’ve got six Christmas holidays between now and the time these young men are leaving the house and assuming the responsibilities of an adult. They are perpetually poised on the threshold of great things, provided the top button of who they are is securely fastened in the context of a legitimate relationship with, and a commitment to, Jesus Christ.

I want you to hear what it is that we’re attempting to do in this class. We’re attempting to present Christ in a way that resonates with the way they are created. Authentic faith that is displayed in the context of character and actions that resonate as noteworthy…

Muscular Christianity – the relentless pursuit of excellence in order to better serve Christ and make Him known!


1. Clifford Putney, Muscular Christianity, First Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003), Kindle edition

2. “Huffington Post”, “Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore”, Steve McSwain, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-mcswain/why-nobody-wants-to-go-to_b_4086016.html, accessed November 7, 2015

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