Thursday, September 15, 2011

Men of faith, it’s time to stand up and live with a purpose

I’ve been thinking about something this week, trying to figure out how to put to paper the thoughts in my head. I then read a blog from a fellow kidmin worker halfway across the country, pondering the same thing, and began to wonder if maybe there is a reason God is putting the same thing on the hearts of men around the country. The best way I can think of to summarize is this: men of faith, it’s time to stand up and live with a purpose.

Last night, as my local Awana club kicked off the new club year, I was struck anew with the awesome responsibility God has given me, and others in ministry. There were 42 children and 14 leaders looking to me for guidance and training. Including some regulars from last year that I expect to return, nearly 70 people are watching me every week, watching to see if I live what I say I believe, looking to see how a man of faith is support to live. More importantly, they are looking for a reason to live godly lives instead of following the crowd. That is a humbling, terrifying, and awesome realization, and it’s a task I will never fully live up to this side of Heaven.

This is a challenge to myself, and to every man involved in children’s ministries: We may be fathers, grandfathers, teachers, Sunday School leaders, Awana volunteers, youth pastors, or some role I have not thought of, but regardless we are role models. Children are watching us, emulating us, imitating us. What example are we setting? Let’s set an example worth imitating.

  • As an Awana Commander, am I setting an example of scripture memorization? This year I commit to completing an Awana handbook alongside my clubbers.
  • As a father, am I setting an example that my faith comes before sporting events? Or if I allow sports to take me away from church one Sunday, is with purpose? Do I actively use athletics as a means to take Christ into the world of someone that may not come into the church to meet Christ?
  • As a church member, am I modeling service? Is life all about me, or do children around me see an example of serving others?
  • Do my children see in me a man that prays? John Lawry of Petra once wrote of the power of a praying man. Do we demonstrate that power to our children? Or do we let them accept the secular world’s view that prayer is for the weak?

I wrote last Spring about my passion for children’s ministry, and for Awana in particular. Passion is a great motivator, but without purpose, it can’t accomplish much on its own. Passion that leads to action is powerful though.

A quick aside – I am writing specifically to men today. That is not to knock women serving God faithfully, in fact quite the opposite. I see many times women serving, while men either sit out, or are too “busy” to contribute to ministry. I see too many families where the man has willingly set aside the role of spiritual leader. I am specifically challenging men to step up and show our children, our wives, our churches, our co-workers, and our nation what God can do with a fully committed man of faith.

Do you have something to add? A question you'd like answered? Think I'm out of my mind? Join the conversation below, reach out by email at david (at) securityforrealpeople.com, or hit me up on Twitter at @dnlongen

Whois David?

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I have spent the better part of two decades in information technology and security, with roots in application developer support, system administration, and network security. My specialty is cyber threat intelligence - software vulnerabilities and patching, malware, social networking risks, etc. In particular, I strive to write about complex cyber topics in a way that can be understood by those outside the infosec industry.

Why do I do this? A common comment I get from friends and family is that complex security topics give them headaches. They want to know in simple terms how to stay safe in a connected world. Folks like me and my peers have chosen to make a profession out of hacking and defending. I've been doing this for the better part of two decades, and so have a high degree of knowledge in the field. Others have chosen different paths - paths where I would be lost. This is my effort to share my knowledge with those that are experts in something else.

When not in front of a digital screen, I spend my time raising five rambunctious teens and pre-teens - including two sets of twins. Our family enjoys archery, raising show and meat rabbits, and simply enjoying life in the Texas hill country.

For a decade I served as either Commander or a division leader for the Awana Club in Dripping Springs, Texas; while I have retired from that role I continue to have a passion for children's ministry. At the moment I teach 1st through 3rd grade Sunday School. Follow FBC Dripping Springs Kids to see what is going on in our children's ministries.