Well, it's over. The Awakening 2018 is gone … finito … put away … done … in the history books.
Or is it?
This past weekend, The Awakening 2018 made its presence known in middle Georgia and beyond! With eight dynamic men of God - Pastor Troy Wynn of Freedom church in Warner Robins, GA; former NFL fullback Jonathan Evans, chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys football team; former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp; former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran; minister and U. S. Senate candidate Bishop E. W. Jackson; minister, public speaker, and writer / producer of movies like Flywheel, Facing the Giants, War Room and others (and my personal favorite), Stephen Kendrick; legendry college football coaches Bobby and Tommy Bowden - combined with the music of This Hope, well … what more could you ask for? They were gathered together motivating an audience of hundreds, and well … let's just say that if you weren't in Perry, Georgia Friday night and Saturday, April 27th and 28th, 2018 then … shame on you!
Yes, that's right, the most spiritual event to hit middle Georgia in years (and not just because I was involved in it) lit a fire under men the of God who were fortunate enough to attend. I know, because I was there! It inspired men to return to their home churches, form up with other men and study the Word of God in Christian fellowship. They were learning how to support other men in a passionate, non-judgmental and loving way, and how to hold each other accountable for all the things that we struggle with in our daily lives.
Armed with a super-duper (when's the last time you heard that?) eight-week Bible study that was designed by men for men to help them ease their way into a fellowship study that will transcend the passage of time and provide the basis to form a more effective men's ministry. Together, and with those tools in hand, they'll be able to spread His message of love, humility and redemption throughout their communities back home. In other words, they'll be able to do what Jesus commanded us to do:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
Ok, so what does all that actually mean?
I'm so glad you asked!
What it literally means is that, for men to train themselves to become more effective Christian leaders in their communities, they need - I can't even believe that I'm gonna say this — they need help. Yeah, that's right, you were not born with a natural instinct to do the right thing. In fact, when you think about it, you were born pretty selfish, and it takes years of training to break us of that. And just when you think you're done learning what you need to learn to start your walk with Jesus, you realize that … wow … there were older men there all along that helped you prepare for it! How about that! You didn't do it on your own!
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
Who'd a thunk-it? You really aren't self-sufficient, in spite of what your daddy might have told ya.
So, what makes you think that there aren't men in your life, coming up behind you, who need some help too?
Do you see a pattern forming here?
Whether you're a son, or a brother, or a father, grandfather, uncle, best friend, friend … you get the picture … no matter who you are to the people around you, there are men in your life that you can help prepare for their Christian walk … even if you don't see any way on Earth that they'll ever grow up, calm down, get right, shape up, and simmer down. (You can go on and insert your favorite phrase here) Don't ever forget that you were young once and you probably did a lot of stuff that you aren't particularly proud of. Maybe even some things that no one knows about even to this day. Regardless of what you think, there are men …
maybe even some older ones …
“Do not rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers.” 1 Timothy 5:1 (NIV)
maybe even some women …
“older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” 1 Timothy 2 (NIV)
that you can, at the very least, provide a godly example for. You never know who's watching you now, or who God will put in your path tomorrow.
And if you're thinking that all this is what your pastor or pastors are supposed to do, that it's their job to do the mentoring because that's what your tithe is paying them to do … then double, no triple, no quadruple shame on you! Show me in God's Word where it says that! Our pastors are men just like us. They need our help too! Men, we are each the priests of our homes and our home is anywhere we hang our hat!
Here's the bottom line. You've been given a job to do. Are you doing it? Are you helping to raise the next generation of Christian leaders in your community? Because if you aren't, what good are you to Jesus? How are you honoring His sacrifice - His death on the cross— for your sins? Who will say, when you're gone, that you accomplished anything that really matters?
“If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed', but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:16-17 (NIV)
This might seem harsh, but if that's your attitude, then you might as well not even have bothered to become a Christian.
To answer the question that I asked at the beginning of this article - Or is it? Well, that's entirely up to you.
P.S. The Awakening 2020 … is coming!
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
G. J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and First Baptist Church, Centerville, GA. Look for his novels on Amazon on Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.GerardFortier.com