"God, give us men"
I've found myself echoing this same prayer.
God give us men the time demands; Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, willing hands. Men whom the lust of office does not kill, Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy, Men who possess convictions and a will; Men who have honor; men who will not lie. Men who can stand before a demagogue, And condemn his treacherous flatteries without winking: Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog, In public duty and in private thinking. For while the rabble with their thumb-worn creeds, Their large profession and their little deeds, Mingle in selfish strife, Lo, freedom weeps, Wrong rules the land, and waiting justice sleeps. -Maltbie Davenport Babcock
Why? Why pray for men?
Pastor Darrin Patrick answers:
"...What I am simply doing is to highlight the reality of the "just as".
Just as the men go, so goes the family.
Just as the men go, so goes the society.
And, just as men go, so goes the church.
You don't have to have a PhD in Sociology to realize that our world is jacked up because men don't do what they should and do what they shouldn't. Men are the problem in our broken world. And, if you work hard and smart, men can be a big part of the answer for a church trying to reach a broken world."
You can read the rest of Patrick's address to church planters here.
"The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” - E. M. Bounds
Now, this doesn't get into the how of building men, but rather it starts with the plea to God - "God, give us men!" He will answer this prayer. He will require us to shift some things in order to go after men, build men, and send men. The Spirit has given us some amazing building of men principles in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, both good examples and bad examples.
Consider Moses' building of Joshua. Yet, consider also Joshua's intentional building of... no one. Consider the sad legacy after Joshua's death in Judges 2:10.
Consider Jesus, a ministry led by the Spirit, funded by rich women, and three years spent building men.
Consider Paul. Developing Timothy. Developing Titus. Walking with and ministering with Barnabas, Silas, and even John. Paul himself was affected by Spirit driven, godly men when Jesus saved him (Acts 9:10-19). A pastor friend and mentor of mine said that whenever he speaks into pastor's lives, he begins with one question about their church, "Where are your men?" He continues to explain, not where are the men's studies or the men's service opportunities, but where are the men that the pastor is intentionally pouring Himself into, training, stretching, and pushing.
"God, give us men" and then the prayer turns toward, "God, give us the grace to build, train, and send those men!"
"Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers." - Paul to fellow pastor Timothy, 1 Timothy 4:16