“The Man God Intended”
A Journey To Biblical Manhood
Why This Book?...Why Now?
NOTE: This TargetPoint outlines perhaps the most important project I have ever sought to deliver in over 40 years of ministry. Your thoughts and ideas would be so appreciated. -Vince
Over the past forty years I have had the privilege of knowing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and serving in a variety of business and ministry positions. I have witnessed life from a unique set of perspectives going from a wannabe mafia guy to a ministry leader. After leaving the business world as a Vice President for a Fortune 500 company I have spent the last 33 years in Christian ministry.
It all began with my appointment to Executive Vice President and CEO for Every Home For Christ, a literature distribution ministry with offices in over 150 countries. After five years serving in this position I felt led to start On Target Ministries. During all of this time I have experienced Christianity in North America from every imaginable perspective—I have spoken and conducted conferences in literally hundreds of churches representing just about every doctrine in Christian theology.
I have also served as an overseer, council and board member, and Executive Pastor for several mega-churches. In all of this, perhaps, I am most honored in having served alongside some of the most gifted leaders in ministry to men in America. Since the mid-nineties and continuing today, we have experienced the most intense efforts to reach and grow men in our history. For me, all of this experience and cumulative effort begs a BIG question…what has been the result?
It saddens me to say that with all of our efforts, men are in worse condition today than when our movement began. This is in no way a reflection upon the efforts of so many wonderful ministries so much as evidence of the power of our secular culture to steal men away faster than our ability to save them. What happened? What did we miss along the way? Dear ones, if we do not answer these questions and make the necessary course adjustments we are doomed. This is the most critical moment in the history of the church and ministry to men in America.
I am persuaded that the reason we find ourselves in such desperate times has to do with a disproportionate focus upon evangelism at the expense of discipleship. If you were to add up all of the people who raised their hands, stood or came forward to ask the Lord into their hearts from all of the ministries and churches throughout our nation over all of these years—they would probably number more than our population. These numbers look good for all of our marketing and fundraising but do not put forth an accurate picture.
We are good at evangelizing. We like formulas and programs—it is the way our western minds and subsequent methods flow. What we have missed is what Jesus made very clear—go and make disciples! The people we counted were “evented”. They came to our church service, weekend seminar or rally—but never went any further. It reminds me of a story I recently heard:
A mom puts her little boy to bed and tucks him in and then goes downstairs to read her book. While reading she hears a loud thud and her little boy crying. She runs upstairs to find her little guy lying on the floor. She asks, honey, are you ok? He says through tears, yes mommy I’m ok. She then asks what happened. The little boy says, I don’t know mommy, but I think I stayed to close to where I got in.
Why This Book?
A little over twenty years ago I was flying home from conducting one of my weekend events when I asked myself an important question—what did I just do? It haunted me as this whole idea of evangelism VS discipleship came into view. That experience was the beginning of our establishing the On Target Institute, a division of our ministry dedicated to process-driven strategies instead of events.
It occurred to me that one of the reasons we have not focused on discipleship is because it is not easy. I began to ask many pastors and leaders to define for me what a disciple is. That was truly eye-opening. I could not find a solid common theme that could lead to a strategy to produce disciples. After over twenty years of study, curriculum development, trial and error, I have come up with something that I believe will help every man grow into The Man God Intended…a disciple of Jesus.
In this book I will unpack the three characteristics of a disciple. First, they have an intimate relationship with God. I want to underscore that word intimate. Next, they have successfully answered the two most important questions in life, (1) Lord, howdid you make me uniquely? (2) Why am I here? And finally, they are living out the vision. They are doing what they were designed to do.
If we want to test these powerful ideas we need to look no further than Jesus Himself—He is the One we are to become like. Jesus embodied these ideas to the max. It is also important to understand their flow—they are in a necessary order that you cannot avoid. Jesus knew God intimately—everything starts with this idea and sadly this is where the church in our culture has failed. We are not helping men and leading them into an intimate relationship with God.
Just as it was so with Jesus it is so with us—you will never move on to understand how and why God made you until you have this intimacy. That is why Jesus had no problem knowing how His Father made Him, and why. He knew His purpose. As a result of all this He was able to live the vision out and fulfill the purposes of His Father.
The Man God Intended is divided into three sections, Ready, Aim and Fire. In the Ready section we will talk about the power of God to transform any life, discover how to offload the baggage from our past and how to develop an intimate relationship with our Lord. In the Aim section we will help men answer the two most important questions—how did God make them and why? We will also unpack the challenges we need to consider moving forward. Finally, in the Fire section we will explore how to approach our world with the love of Jesus and put in place the necessary steps to maintain our growth and accountability.
For those of you who love, follow and support our ministry I want to ask for your prayers for this project. I am believing God is going to use this resource to lead our readers into becoming The Man God Intended.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Phil 3:13-14