Editor’s Note:

The purpose of this series is to help singles think through how to be single in the church, those who are married but don’t have kids to continue to pursue each other and those who are married to excel at parenting by the grace of God.

*****************Romantic Couple at Sunset

Dave: Today, I have the honor of interviewing my friend, Greg Gibson, the lead editor of Manual, the men’s channel at the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Greg also serves as an elder and family ministries Pastor at Foothills Church in Maryville, Tennessee.

Dave, “What do you see as the biggest issues in contemporary approaches to men’s ministry?”

Greg: The biggest problem I see is the segregation of men and women in the first place.  Many churches have men’s ministries and women’s ministries that exist separately from one another, which fosters the husband and the wife learning in different contexts.  I think this is okay, to an extent.  However, I think the healthiest thing is to blow up contemporary men’s and women’s ministries all together and focus directly on biblical community, as we see it in Scripture (e.g., Acts 2:42-47).  Call them missional communities, small groups, Sunday school classes, or what-have-you, but I think when the local church goes away from the traditional model of segregating the genders and provides men and women, husbands and wives, twenty-somethings and fifty-somethings, all the opportunity to do life together, then we will see a more robust and flourishing manhood and womanhood.  In this model, Titus 2 discipleship happens naturally, younger men observe and learn how manhood is practiced by older men, and younger families can be mentored by older families. ”

What is more, most men’s ministries I’ve seen are just explanations for having social time with “the guys.”

Dave, “How should pastors and ministry leaders speak to these issues?”

Greg: First, I think multi-generational discipleship should be engrained in the DNA and mission statement of the church.  Therefore, when church members approach church leaders about starting these “segregated ministries,” then every new thing that begins can be filtered through the churches mission statement.

Second, I think lead pastors and those in preaching positions should constantly speak into manhood and womanhood issues from the pulpit.  As pastors preach through books in Scripture, there is ample opportunity to speak into and champion gospel-centered human flourishing.

Dave,What is biblical manhood?”

Greg: My working definition (which I write in my book, Reformational Manhood) is this:

A biblical man, marked with courage, is a leader, provider, and protector.  He pursues his family, serves his church, shares and defends truth, makes quick and good decisions for the benefit of others, and redeems his time.  And then teaches other men to do the same.

Dave, “How can pastors and ministry leaders provide a vision for biblical manhood in their local churches?”

Greg:

  1.  Model it.  Model it.  Model it.  As you model a different type of manhood, people notice.  Men notice.  Your family notices.  Your neighbors notice.  Your community notices.
  1.  Preach it from the pulpit.
  1.  Disciple men intentionally (like Jesus did) to then go and disciple others.  But this type of discipleship doesn’t have to be a programmed thing in your church.  Do it relationally, incarnationally, and as you do life together.

Dave: Thank you for your time today Greg.