Men’s Ministry Insights
This month our Menistry department had the opportunity to sit down for a question-and-answer session with Stephen Reed, ALJC Florida District Superintendent, and pastor of The Pentecostals of Lake Wells.
Q. How can men prioritize time with family and the church?
A. This is an excellent question! While it is true that God first made Adam, and then made Eve, the key phrase in Scripture is when God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). God knew what it was like to be alone, being the eternal existent One before a single creation was made. When God created Eve, a wife for Adam, God gave Adam what Adam was to God–a companion! With God’s thoughts in mind, there is no higher priority in a man’s life than companionship with his wife and family. One’s career, job, hobby, friend or even ministry should never be placed above those relationships!
Regarding the prioritization of church, we are taught in Hebrews 10:25 not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, so it should go without saying that we are not to miss a regularly scheduled service. Combined, we can see that the two greatest priorities in a man’s life are first his wife and family, and second, his church! Everything else must find its place in our lives as time permits. With this understanding we can now answer the question this way; church attendance is on a routine and predictable schedule. We already know when these services and personal ministry will occur on a weekly basis. We also know our places of employment will have a regular, or at least somewhat predictable, schedule. Outside a man’s responsibilities to church and work, he should be incorporating quality time with the ones God gave him–his wife and his family!
Outside of my scheduled commitments, I involve my wife and children in everything I do. Whether it is a planned vacation, or spur-of-the-moment-excursion, I always try to make sure my wife and children are happy, content, secure, loved and protected. I believe that’s God’s design.
Q. How can men better communicate with their wives and children?
A. Communication is the number one priority in a relationship! Many potential issues are avoided simply by communicating. Again we can see how God designed a relationship with His companion in the Garden of Eden, as the Bible states the voice of God came walking in the cool of the day. His desire was to communicate with His companion!
When man fell into sin, the very first thing affected was communication. Adam and Eve hid from the voice of God. Often times a wife can tell when there is a strain on the relationship, because the man begins to avoid conversation. Issues are much easier to overcome simply by spending time in conversation. We as men seem to be wired to “fix” things. If one’s wife comes to him with a problem, within the first few sentences he has determined what is wrong, and proceeds to instruct his wife in what she needs to do to correct the issue. This is not communication (and is a big mistake)!
A woman desires to know her husband is concerned and cares for her, and this is demonstrated by listening in a conversation. That means we as men must be disciplined not to try and fix things, but rather to hear a matter out. Then we can share our feelings and thoughts, as it relates specifically to the situation. This does not come natural to men, and gets worse over time. That said, a man can better communicate with his wife by removing all distractions that demand his attention, face her, and listen intently. Every moment spent communicating with one’s spouse brings an exponential reward in the relationship! Consider Pentecost, when man’s relationship was reconciled to God, and communication was restored!
Q. How can we diffuse anger in our lives?
This subject seems to be taboo among many Apostolic Christians. Some hold the belief that once we have been converted we should be able to manage our emotions, never getting angry again. Some would even propose that a person who becomes angry has lost his Christianity.
Paul himself brought attention to this subject when he questioned others about getting angry, and then asked them if they thought he “burned not” (2 Cor 11:29). I recently released a new book on Amazon. com entitled, “Frustrated? Then You Need Help.” This book deals with the very real concern of anger brought about by frustration. I have shared my own story, along with survival techniques for coping with day-to-day stress.
Anger brought about by frustration is an emotion that can be mastered by self-management and control. Even after having received the gift of the Holy Ghost, we need to understand what exactly anger brought about by frustration is, and learn some things to keep in mind when coping with that anger. Many men have suffered shipwreck thinking no one else has this emotion of anger they have, especially not in the ministry.
The reality is, the men most prone to anger are those in the ministry! Years of disappointment, brought about by a perceived lack of reaping from our sowing, can produce an immense amount of frustration and anger. Especially if a man begins to compare the results of his ministry against another. This should never be done, and is often a tool of the adversary designed to ensnare a well-intentioned man. Many successful men have wrestled with anger. At one point, Moses himself looked to heaven in a moment of frustration and asked God, “Have I conceived all this people? Have I begotten them…?” (Numbers 11:12) I have to laugh when I think of how similar many men are to this meek man! (Just because someone is meek doesn’t mean he doesn’t get angry.)
Without a doubt, the primary way to diffuse anger is through prayer, but the reality is that prayer alone does not always rid us of anger. Sometimes we have to learn how to rid ourselves of anger, and that is through self-management and control. These traits are learned, not given.
The above article, “Men’s Ministry Insights” was written by Author Unknown. The article was excerpted from Apostolic Witness magazine January 2014.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.