Above photo by Wayne Armstrong
January-February 2020 – Albert Einstein wrote, “The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
In today’s world, many would agree: Evil has certainly had its day. The world is tainted with suicide, crime, drug abuse, homelessness, abortion, human trafficking, and more. One wonders if any answer can be found.
In 1998, the Department of Justice published a report exploring possible ways crime in America can be diminished.
A portion of the report focuses on youth and adolescents, and seems to confirm Einstein’s assertion. This especially highlights the effect of fatherless homes.
The survey reports that 63% of youth suicides, 71% of high school drop-outs, and 75% of youth in substance abuse centers across the nation come from fatherless homes.
In these cases, it is especially hard for men to do good when men are not even present. “Without fathers as social and economic role models,” the report states, “many boys try to establish their manhood through sexually predatory behaviors, aggressiveness, and violence.”
“It is no secret. Society needs men to be present in the lives of youth and families. The current world is hurting from a lack of biblical masculinity and integrity, and that,” said Promise Keepers (PK) president Vance Day, “is why the movement is still needed.”
“It takes a man,” Day said in an interview on Trinity Broadcasting Network, “to help a younger man understand how they fit into society, how they lead, how they do marriage ... and that’s why [PK] is coming back.”
The need for biblical teaching and inspiration is something men in today’s society are desperate for. Day said response to the organization’s return is overwhelming.
“Men have been waiting,” Day told AFA Journal. “They’re thirsty. Society is telling men that they’re not really needed ... not needed as fathers. The bad acts of a few men have been translated into a sentence for all men.
“Culture is saying, ‘We don’t need you. You can check out.’ And when men feel disrespected like that, like we have no value, we do check out. We make football or basketball or whatever sport, an idol. And we pour our time and our energy into something that makes no consequential difference in God’s kingdom.”
The PK movement was started in 1990 by Bill McCartney, head coach of the University of Colorado Boulder football team. The movement impacted millions of men across the nation, and strove to help men lead with integrity and passion for Jesus. Over a million men gathered in the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to make a public stand for Jesus Christ on October 4, 1997. (See photo above.)
PK brought many men from a place of brokenness and confusion to finding fulfillment, peace, and purpose in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Faithful fathers challenged
“I saw what Promise Keepers was doing for other people’s lives,” said Glen Hanson, a participant in several of the ministry’s conferences. After attending a Promise Keepers event and listening to the men speak about godly leadership, Hanson said his eyes were opened.
“I want to be a godly father like that,” said Hanson. “I’m called to be a godly man. I’m called to be an example.”
“The time is incredibly urgent right now,” said Ken Harrison, CEO of PK, “for men to be called back to the basics of ‘What does it take to be a man?’ and ‘What does it take to be a man of God?’”
In the summer of 2020, PK will relaunch the big-event venue, inspiring men to take up godly leadership. Its massive Promise Keepers 2020 Conference will be staged in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, on July 31 and August 1. Men will be taught and inspired through teaching from the Word of God.
The conference aims to help men step beyond the passive and feminized model of manhood that culture pushes, and to embrace the call from God on their lives to be strong, Christian leaders who live their lives with integrity.
“It is part of our DNA to protect, provide, and produce,” said Day. “When men understand that, [it’s] central to their identity. Then they understand their purpose, and when you understand your purpose as a man, you end up charting a destiny.”
The PK movement will continue to urge men to form small groups in their local areas to disciple and strengthen each other even after the conferences are over.
Through both national conferences where many men come together to hear the Word of God, and small groups where community is formed, Day believes men in today’s world truly have what it takes to make a positive difference in this lost culture.
In addition to the 2020 summer conference, PK is developing an app that will be revealed this spring. Day said the app will contain content to help men in their walk with the Lord.
The app will also help men connect with one another, forming small groups and new communities of people who can meet with one another and provide encouragement, inspiration, and passion for pursuing the Lord.
The culture may look like a mountain men can’t climb. Day sees it differently.
“If we’re willing,” he said, “if we’re willing to step into the gap and draw the sword and be ready to stand strong for Him, He will move this mountain.”
Sacred Assembly of Men
AFA VP Durick Hayden attended PK’s 1997 event (pictured in the photo above) on the Washington, D.C., Mall. He remembers it well:
The entire experience on the Mall was palpable. Hearing the praise and worship from one million men with one heart and spirit was overwhelming. The whole place reverberated when the name of Jesus was evoked by the crowd. We met locals who shared how their lives had been impacted by the experience of just being in the presence of so many men who were on fire for Jesus.
It was one of the highlights of my 70 years on this earth.
Band of Brothers
One California group has been ministering to men in PK fashion for more than 10 years. Gus Bess leads a men’s small group called Band of Brothers under the umbrella of Overwhelmed by Grace (OBG), a ministry he founded in 2008 in Paso Robles.
OBG strives to help men through close-knit, intimate venues and meetings. Participants receive encouragement and teaching from pastors and leaders such as Bess, who has been reaching men for over 40 years with the message of grace.
“[God] comes to us to give us His grace in Christ,” said Bess in an interview on Christian Television Network.
At Band of Brothers, men can be part of a group that strengthens and encourages its members in their pursuit of Jesus Christ. The ministry stresses the unfailing and triumphant qualities of God’s grace, teaching its members Scripture such as Romans 5:17: “But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”
“He is not a religion,” said Bess. “He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.”
Learn more about Band of Brothers at overwhelmedbygrace.com. Also learn how you can participate in the 2020 Promise Keepers conference at promisekeepers.org.