Want to get started on your journey to become the man God intended you to be? Wondering if that’s even something that you are equipped for?
To get you started on a journey that you can initiate TODAY, I interviewed Ryan Hansen on the Becoming Men Podcast.
Ryan is the author of the book, End Average as well as the founder of the men’s ministry The League of Imperfect Gentlemen. He is a father of four children and has been married for over 13 years.
From our conversation, you’ll learn what it takes to become the man that ends being average so that you would live a fuller life with richer faith.
It Starts With You
Becoming the man God intended you to be will require much more than simple showing up to church every Sunday or attending a men’s group once a month. In fact, Ryan notes that many of today’s men’s ministries or discipleship programs are unexciting to the generation of millennials which have been recorded leaving the church faster than any other generation before it. Now more than ever it is important to develop communities of men that do more than meet for bacon and eggs one Saturday morning a month. Jesus himself modeled much more than this. True discipleship emphasizes what faith looks like daily; at home, at work, at the gym and behind the terrible driver on the interstate.
Yet, so many of us get hung up on the fact that our churches don’t have those programs or that we don’t have anyone in our lives to provide that sort of discipleship. Look, then maybe it is time for you to start one. Or maybe, like Ryan did, you can begin finding men who can mentor you and surrounding yourself with people who you want to be like. This is one of the easiest ways to get going on your journey and to begin a fruitful fellowship with other godly men. You don’t have to craft up some awkward speech or proposal to find a mentor. You’re after relationship here. You simply need to be humble enough to ask vulnerable questions and intentional enough to do it repeatedly. Ryan suggests finding guys who have victory in the areas where you want to grow and taking them out for a cup of coffee. Ultimately, it comes down to YOU taking action.
Take Action or End Average
No matter how you decide to live your life from here on out one thing is certain; you will either take action to end average or you will ignore taking action and end average. Did you catch that? Ryan explains that End Average is a verb inviting us to purposeful action intended to crush the idea of living an average life. He says this is the life of a man who is, as we put it now days, “a good dude,” but he lives his life just going through the motions. He may even go to church every Sunday but the rest of his life is spent sleep walking. He neither changes his life or the lives of those around him. Ryan goes on to explain that You are called to be a man on mission. If you aren’t being intentional about figuring out life and loving the people around you then you are missing the point of being on earth. Only history will tell whether you chose to end average or whether you simply ended average.
No Quick Win
One thing that I believe keeps our generation of men from growing to become the men that God intended us to be is our addiction to quick wins. Simply put, you will not grow as a man when you cannot push through hard things with perseverance and grit. There is not an instant win that will change everything in your life. Rather, as Ryan teaches in End Average, we can begin to be transformed into the men we want to be through habitually doing the things that will help us grow towards becoming those men. We must intentionally press into the small things that will deeply impact our faith in God, our most meaningful relationships with other, our emotional, mental and physical health as well as our financial goals. This form of habit-based growth is not about you taking any one action just one time. It’s about the many actions that you consistently and purposely execute over time.
Look, there will never be a 1-2-3 step process for you to become the man that God intended you to be because God is after you becoming someone and not just achieving something. The art of becoming will require you to embark on a journey that will look like no other and on which you will need to rely on God’s leading. This requires you to keep your eyes on God and to listen to where He is leading you.
If you feel like you could use help on your journey, Ryan and I suggest connecting with coaches who can empower and encourage you on your way. I can personally attest to how helpful this is for the young man who feels like he doesn’t know where to start or which way to go. My life was transformed by a life coach who helped me embark on an intentional of becoming. You can connect with our life coaches here.
Dealing with Roadblocks
When a man is on his journey to becoming the man God intended him to be there are some hinderances that will attempt to thwart his progress or distract his efforts. Ryan points to one of these hinderances and explains how young men are being distracted by a desire to be or act like someone else on social media. Maybe you can think of a time when you weren’t your true self on Instagram or Facebook because of the fear that you wouldn’t be accepted. Or, maybe you’ve seen someone else act in a way that you knew wasn’t congruent with their character. This is a killer to the masculine soul in the process of becoming. The imposter self will always look to please the world and blend in. It weakens our convictions for the sake of acceptance.
Ryan also explains how cultural norms can be roadblocks that disrupt our journeys. This is especially true for men! Almost every area of our lives is infected by cultural cues that make men feel like they are on the wrong path. They are false stories about you and how you should be living to be a real men.
· Real men drive trucks.
· You’re not a man unless you sleep with a lot of women.
· Men are not emotional and don’t talk about feelings.
· Men eat a lot of meat and drink a bunch of beer.
You get the point. Regardless of the distractions or roadblocks, the way around them remains the same: We have to keep our focus on the Word of God which serves as the beacon of truth. Don’t allow the world’s standard to become your measuring tool. Keep your eyes on the beacon and no other shimmering light will distract you.
On The Right Track
Your aim in getting on track to becoming the man god intended you to be should never be based on the idea that you have to be perfect. Bro, you will make mistakes. You will get messy. That is life. What will matter most is how you respond to your mistakes and how you clean up your messes. This journey requires intentionality and purposefulness. Without that you will default to apathy and remain stagnant. As Ryan describes how his life has changed since he began an intentional journey of becoming, he points to a sense of peace and joy that comes from being on the right track. He admits that he doesn’t have it all figured out but says that the path is good all the same. The journey, the process, the adventure that we embark on is lived in the day but measured in the decade.
If you want to get going on your journey TODAY you can start by reading Ryan’s book, End Average, and gather a few men around a firepit to talk about it.
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