How To Guide Younger Men
The culture may have changed, but the core issues facing men never change. The pain points today are the same as they were 10, 20, 100, and 1000 years ago. But there’s a breakdown in the transfer of accumulated wisdom of seasoned men to the next generations. How do we solve that problem?
In this lesson, Patrick Morley will show us what those pain points are, what younger men need from us, and Paul’s advice to Timothy about how to guide younger men.
Verses referenced in this lesson:
2 Timothy 2:14-19
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Paul and Timothy: Passing the Torch
How To Guide Younger Men
Good morning, men. All right. So we’re in the series, Paul and Timothy: Passing the Torch. Today, we’re going to discuss the topic, How to Guide Younger Men. Samuel Levenson said, “It’s easy to be wise. Just think of something stupid and then don’t say it.” That’s what I had on my mind a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to come and be at the closing session of a book study by five young men on this book, The Christian Man. They were doing this book, The Christian Man.
They were all roughly about 30 years of age, late 20s, maybe 30 years of age. Two of them were single. Two of them were engaged, and the leader, who had only been a believer for about five months, was the father of a brand-new several-months-old baby, so young men, young men. The most striking thing about the meeting, to me, was how they were grappling and struggling and searching to find things that, for me, seemed like second nature because I’m a seasoned guy. The experience and the wisdom that you have is what’s lacking in the lives of younger men.
PAIN POINTS FOR YOUNGER MEN
Younger men have strength and passion and, oftentimes, it needs to be coupled together with wisdom and experience in order to get the maximum benefit out of their lives. So the first thing I want us to talk about are pain points for younger men. We could say this, that men want to solve the problems they feel, not the problems that might be the actual deeper needs, but the felt needs. So I was talking with Jeremy Schurke, who runs Mirror Labs and will be speaking here soon. I think it’s next week.
He’s talking to younger guys. Of course, I am, too. We’re in agreement. The pain points for younger men, the felt needs, tend to be focused around career, marriage or singleness, and parenting. Those are where the deepest felt needs are. When I wrote this book, The Christian Man … By the way, that is across the spectrum of whether we’re talking about men who are out-and-out Christians or men who are all the way at the other end and very skeptical of Christian faith. These felt needs are the same across the spectrum of men.
I put together these 10 issues that men say matter most by getting 24 younger guys together, Christian guys. I wanted to write a book called The Christian Man, so I got Christian guys together, some of whom have been part of this Bible study and are right here. So the upshot is that career and/or work and family and parenting are high up there, and life balance. Life balance is right up at the top, balancing all of these things. These are the pain points.
It was so interesting. We’re talking about, for example, at this Bible study that I went to, this book study that I went to talking about marriage, so they were on the last week, which is Sharing Your Faith. That was one of the 10 issues that really were of interest and concern to younger guys who are Christians. But somehow, we ended up talking about marriage. Well, it seems like every time I get together with guys that are married or thinking about getting married, we end up talking about marriage.
I was just amazed at how confused these young guys were about many of the issues. So I told them, “Would you like to know the secret of a happy marriage?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell us what it is.” I said, “Well, go out to dinner twice a week, candlelight dinner, strolling minstrel, slow walk home. You go on Tuesday. She goes on Thursday.” And then I gave them the real advice. It’s so interesting though.
I said to them a little bit later in the conversation, I said, “Would you like another piece of advice?” They said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” I said, “Two tubes of toothpaste.” “Oh.” It was fascinating because the three guys who were either married or engaged and so forth talked about how they would be either meticulous and careful about how they did their toothpaste and their partner would be the kind that would just grab it anywhere, squeeze it, or the other way around. But no two guys talked about doing it the same way.
It’s fascinating how many issues or conversations or whatevers that saved me in my marriage, and it’s just a very simple idea. But it’s the kind of thing you don’t know that until you’ve had some time in the saddle. So men want to solve the problems they feel, and these are generally the problems. How has God provided For us to deal with this, for us to deal with this, for young guys to solve these problems that they feel?
The answer is the lessons you’ve learned are exactly the same lessons young men need. What they want is what they feel and the lessons that you have learned, that is exactly what they need to hear. The Big Idea today, I’m going to go ahead and give it to you now. And then we’ll get into the text. Give men what they need in the context of what they want. This is a core principle at Man in the Mirror. Give men what they need in the context of what they want. Jesus met a woman at the well. She wanted to talk about water, so He talked to her about the living water. He gave her what she needed in the context of what she wanted. That’s the idea.
GIVING YOUNGER MEN WHAT THEY NEED
So let’s go ahead and talk about giving younger men what they need. We have a text today. It’s 2 Timothy 2:14-19. I’m going to go ahead and start us out though. I’m going to edit Paul, how arrogant. Just think about this. I’m editing Paul. I’m going to begin with verse 15 instead of verse 14. And then I’m going to put 14 and 16 together in the next slide here.
But let’s start with this. “Do your best,” Paul says to Timothy, “to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” I want us to focus on this word, worker, for a minute. Think of Paul investing in Timothy, but also think of Timothy investing in other young men as well because that’s what Paul is telling him to do. “Do your best to be approved as a worker.”
Well, this Greek word here for worker is the same word for worker that’s used in Matthew 9:36 and 37 or 38 where Jesus looks on the crowds and He has compassion on them because He sees that they are harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. And then He turns to His disciples and He says, “There are lots of people to do the work, but there are not many people who are interested in the gospel.” There are lots of us who are willing to do this work, but there are just not that many people that are interested.
Well, that’s exactly the opposite of what He says. I mean you listen to some of the narratives that are out there. It’s like, “Nobody cares. Everybody is going this way and that way. Nobody’s interested in truth and the gospel and Jesus and meaning and purpose for their lives found in Jesus. It’s just nobody’s interested.” Well, Jesus said the exact opposite. He said, “The problem here is that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
So the problem, you see, is in this word, workers. Paul is equipping Timothy and he’s telling him to also do what? To recruit other men who will be faithful to also teach others. So this idea here is that what’s needed is someone to do the work. So when we’re talking about how to guide younger men, the first thing we need is we need somebody that’s willing to work. Do your best. Do your best to be that worker. And then don’t be ashamed, and correctly handle the word of truth.
So to not be ashamed, that’s the issue of integrity, that there would be a life without blemish, a life that is worthy of invitation. And then correctly handling the truth, that’s accuracy. So integrity and accuracy. When younger guys that we’re talking to in Mirror Labs talk about one of the impediments for them getting connected to an older guy, they say that they have a hard time finding men whose lives are worth imitating. Whoops. Whoops.
So integrity and accuracy, these are the some of the characteristics that are attractive to younger guys. You’ve probably heard me say this before at some point. No, you probably did hear me say it, but you probably don’t remember it because you didn’t even remember the subtitle to the Bible. I just repeated that a couple weeks ago. I bet you still don’t remember the subtitle to the Bible. That’s okay.
But here’s the definition for integrity. Integrity is a one-to-one correlation between my Bible, my beliefs, and my behavior. So if you’re looking at your behavior and there’s something that doesn’t have integrity in it, you can look back at what’s going on inside your heart, the core affections of your heart, your belief system, because there’s something in your belief system that is causing that behavior.
If you don’t like what you find in the belief system, then you can look back and see that there’s probably a correlation lacking somewhere with the Word of God, the word of truth. So integrity is a one-to-one correlation between my Bible, my belief, and my behavior. All right. We’ll continue on in the edited version of Paul. That’s so funny that anybody would think they could edit Paul. That’s crazy. Okay.
Verse 14. He says, “Keep reminding.” Now what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to give younger men what they need, right? What they want are the felt needs, but what they need. Okay. “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words or quibbling over words.” This is a good thing for us to remember, too. Quibbling over words, this could include politics. This could include cultural issues.
I have a friend who I wish I could say his name, but let’s just say he’s the most famous attorney in the world. I have a friend who has been part of this Bible study from time to time, and he happens to like steak. This very famous attorney, this most famous attorney in the world also likes steak. He ran into him one night at … Is it Del Frisco? I don’t know. I can’t say the name. It’s too expensive for me to go there, but Del Frisco’s.
Our friend here from the Bible study ran into this most famous attorney in the world and sort of accosted him, told him, “You really don’t need that steak. You really don’t need to win the next trial. What you really need is you really need Jesus in your life.” He told me that and I thought about it for a couple days, and I decided to send him a note. So I sent him a note.
I said, “We don’t need to tell men that they need to make a choice between a good steak, winning a trial, and Jesus. We don’t need to tell men that they need to make that choice. We just need to tell men about Jesus.” Jesus doesn’t need us to tell men what they need to change in their lives. He will do that. He will take care of that. So quarreling about words, no value, only ruins those who listen. “Avoid godless chatter because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.”
So just backing up a little bit, backing up a little bit, and keep reminding them of the Word of God. And then finally here, they’re teaching people who do these things will spread like gangrene. Does anybody know what gangrene actually is? I had to look it up. Yeah, yeah. It’s when blood stops flowing in flesh, and so the flesh rots. That’s what gangrene is, basically. Boy, we could have really fun with that, the blood of Christ and the … We’re not going to do that.
But anyway, it’s kind of interesting. “And then among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,” or you might call them Jaime and Phil, “who have departed from the truth. They say the resurrection has already taken place,” which we don’t know exactly what it means. But it could mean that they might have been teaching it’s taken place, so you really need to lead an aesthetic life. Or it could have meant that they felt the resurrection had already taken place, so you can do whatever you want. We don’t really know.
But they were teaching that the resurrection of the body had already taken place, and they destroyed the faith of some. So the idea is when we’re guiding younger men is to make sure we’re leading the life of a worker who’s clinging to both integrity and accuracy. Yeah. There is one more verse here. “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm sealed with this inscription, the Lord knows who are His.” The lesson we did, Can Your Loved One Lose Their Salvation, this is another proof text for that, right?
“The Lord knows those who are His and everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” We could go into this in greater detail, but that’s not really what we’re trying to do here this morning. The Big Idea is give men what they need, and that’s this truth. That’s this gospel that doesn’t quibble about words, this gospel that doesn’t quarrel over words. Give them what they need in the context of what they want.
So how does Christianity influence my marriage? How can Christianity help me be a better father? I was speaking one time. This was when I was a big deal business guy. I was talking to men about leading a surrendered life and humility and things like that. During the Q&A, it was to a bunch of younger guys, and I was at that time, let’s say 50, so a bunch of younger guys. There was a young guy over here with bright red hair.
He raised his hand. He said, “Well, that’s easy for you to say. You’ve already made your money.” I thought to myself, “Wow, what a powerful insight.” Because when you think about what young guys are interested in, they’re interested in figuring out career issues, how to do something where they can make some money. So if we want to guide younger men, let’s guide them in the areas where they want to be guided, not in the areas where we want to guide them, but where they feel like they need to be guided because they have real needs in that area as well. And then when you build the trust, of course, then you have the opportunity to guide them into other areas as well.
THE MINDSET OF A WORKER
And then finally is the mindset of a worker. I talked earlier about how Jesus says there are not enough of us who are willing to do the work. So I thought I would share with you something that this has been decades in the making. This is the first time I’m ever going to roll this out all in one place publicly, but you probably have heard bits and pieces of this if you’ve been around.
It’s the Three Mindsets Dashboard. Wow. We’ll fix the PowerPoint for the video. When I’m engaging with anything really, everything I do all day long every day, I have a … When I’m driving around in my everyday life, not in the car, figuratively, when I’m driving around in my everyday life, like in an automobile, I have a dashboard in front of me. I have three dials on my dashboard, and I’m constantly referring to these three dials all day long.
One is the mindset of a son. The second is the mindset of a steward, and the third is the mindset of a servant. So the mindset of a son, this is when we’re seeking to guide a younger man. The first thing to do in a practical way is to have the mindset of a son. 1 Corinthians 16:14, “Do everything in love.” That’s my New Life verse. John 13:34 and 35, “Jesus said a new command I give you. Perfect your theology. All men will know you are my disciples if you perfect your theology.”
It doesn’t have the ring of truth to those of you who know the scriptures, right? Now, should you try to perfect your theology? Absolutely. We just talked about integrity and accuracy. It’s incredibly important that you reflect your theology. But it’s interesting. Jesus says the first step is love. The first step is love. Jesus actually said, “All men will know you are my disciples if you love one another. A new command I give you, love one another.”
So that is the mindset of the son, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” So giving the son is an act of love. The mindset of the son, of the father is to ask the question, what would love do? Nobody could ever do this perfectly. Probably you could never do as well as I do it either, but that’s a different story. I don’t know where that snide stuff comes from.
On the first dial on the dashboard is this gauge, and there’s this question, what would love do? So to the best of my ability in every situation, I’m asking that question. All right. So a driver cuts me off. Okay, well, what would love do? Or my wife reminds me to do the chore I was in the process of starting to do for the 1000th time. So the question is, okay, well, what would love do? I mean I’ve done this 1000 times. This is the way I always get started. Why can’t she remember that? What would love do?
Well, this is the mindset of a son who is willing to make a sacrifice as Jesus did. And then the second gauge on my dashboard is the mindset of a steward. 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Now to whomever has been given a trust, they must be found faithful.” Trust is the word to manage something or to be a steward of something, but we’ve been given a trust. God has given you wisdom. He’s given you experience. We’re trying to figure out how to guide a younger man.
So if we’ve been given a trust and we must be found faithful, then the question on the gauge is, okay, well, in this situation, what would faithful look like? What would faithful look like? In building relationships, there’s a process of doing that. We don’t come into a new relationship with somebody and bowl them over with all of our knowledge and show them all the things they can do to fix their problems and tell them all the things we see that they need to work on. There’s a process of building trust.
So the question of being a steward of this wisdom and this experience is that we don’t come in and blow people away with it. We come in and to be faithful in that situation means that we don’t violate the process of relationships, and we don’t come on too strong. We come on slow. Some of you probably come on too strong. Anybody connect with that? All right. Well, that’s not being faithful to what you’ve been given to manage.
Now, some of you may lay back too much and may not lean in when you really have an opportunity of all this wisdom and all this experience that you have for a younger man who could use some guidance. So what would that be? Well, that would also be not faithful. You can be not faithful by not leaning in, and you can be not faithful by leaning in too much. How do you know how to lean in the right amount is through some emotional intelligence in how to use the process of relationships. Don’t violate the process of relationships.
And then the third gauge on my dashboard is the mindset of a servant. So we have the mindset of a son, what would love do? We have the mindset of a steward, what does faithful look like? And then we have the mindset of a servant based on Luke 17:10. Jesus is telling this little story about a landowner who comes in from the field and his servants come in. He doesn’t say to the servants, “Sit down and eat with me.” He says “No, go ahead. You fix my meal and then you can eat.”
And then Jesus says in Luke 17:10. He says, “And you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say we are unworthy servants. We’ve only done our duty.” Now, you can see a progression here, right? Being a son, that’s a fun thing to do. That’s a lovely thing. What would love do? That’s a wonderful thing. Now, steward, that’s a little bit more responsibility. What would faithful look like? But now we’re into the mindset of a servant, and this is someone who is denying himself and taking up his cross daily and following Jesus, who’s leading a fully surrendered life or seeking to lead a more fully surrendered life all the time.
So that’s the third gauge on my dashboard. See, what I have discovered about myself in the early days of my walk with God, I was still asking the question all the time, okay, well, what do I want? What do I want out of this relationship? What do I want out of this business deal? What do I want out of this ministry service that I’m doing? And then it occurred to me one day after reading Luke 17:16, which says again, “And you, when you’ve done everything you were told to do should say, we are unworthy servants. We’ve only done our duty.”
It occurred to me one day that the mindset of a servant is a servant is not asking, “What do I want?” A servant is asking a different question. A servant is asking, “What does the master need? What does the master need?” So when I’m engaging with any situation, but we’re talking about helping guide younger men today, these are the three gauges that I have, three mindsets that I have, the mindset of a son, the mindset of a steward, and the mindset of a servant. What would love do? What does faithful look like? What does the master need?
So to be an effective guide to younger men … Omar Bradley, who led the largest military force ever led during World War II and became the first chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, he said that, “Amateurs study strategy. Professionals study logistics.” So in this series, what we’re trying to do is to help you to figure out the supply chain, how to deliver munitions to the frontline. It’s one thing to have a great war strategy. It’s another thing to be able to get troop movements to the front line, to get munitions, to get food and supplies, and to rotate people, to handle the logistics of it.
These three gauges, I recommend them to you for your consideration, these three mindsets, because I believe that this is beyond strategy and tactics. We’re now getting into logistics, actual ways that you can deliver the guidance that younger men need. So whether it’s for you, the mindset of a son, a steward, and a servant, whether it’s these three questions, what would love do? What does faithful look like? What does the master need? Or whatever other questions, I encourage you to intentionally think about what are the gauges on your dashboard that are helping you as you guide younger men. Let’s pray.
Again, Lord, the Big Idea here is that we want to give men what they need in the context of what they want. I just pray that something here in this talk today would help to further connect the dots between how we can put together men who have strengthened passion but lack experience and wisdom, together with wisdom, men who have this wisdom and experience and want to share it and pass it along to create this intergenerational transfer of spiritual wealth. We ask this in your name, Jesus. Amen.