Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) was an amazing leader. He was not a perfect man, but he left a great legacy and will go down in history as the greatest civil rights leader of our nation. When it comes to leading, he led many to Christ. He also encouraged thousands to stand up for what is right. He didn’t just talk the talk but he walked the walk! He put himself in harm’s way to help. He is our violent country’s superhero when it comes to nonviolence. We need more of the “Martin Luther kind” these days.
I wish every church had a MLK award where men are honored for being “kinda like the King.” Not so much like MLK but men who are like Jesus. Make no mistake, MLK was a great man, but being a man, he shouldn’t be our model. Christ is the king we should emulate! We have a great many men (and women) and they need to be encouraged in their leadership efforts and on occasion, a light shone on their deeds to help leave a legacy in the church.
In society, men are portrayed negatively in film, TV and media in general. It is all part of the anti-Christian culture that continues to grow in our nation. Make no mistake, many men fall short, but more men step up to the plate and that should not go unnoticed. I cannot talk about other churches. I am very impressed by the men I have grown to know and love in my church. Many encouraged me before I was a believer, and helped with the milk as I was a baby Christian. I was once a loser, and now I am a leader. I don’t boast in myself, but in Christ alone.
When it comes to learning, the men in my church speak up and out. Most pastors are men, but I am not referring to them. My churchmen speak the truth, in and out of season, and their leadership leads others to the truth. I am writing this. Many years ago, I wrote a column, and a brother in Christ rebuked me and said, “Jim, that was lukewarm!” My writing was weak and he called me on it, and made me a better writer. “Iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) and I am glad for the ironmen that I am blessed to fellowship with and when needed, go to war.
Martin Luther King Jr. not only was outspoken, he was active. In our church the men are very involved with the youth, especially in the AWANA program. Teaching the word, organizing games and just spending quality time with many children, who have no Godly man in their life will have an impact that we will only know when we get to heaven. We also just had a recent gun ministry where many youth, male and female, were taken out to the country and taught about God, weapons, safety and the joy of shooting. I did not go along. I am a lousy shot and guns are not my spiritual gift.
It is great we have president’s days, and honor for a Christian leader like Martin Luther King. I encourage you to thank the men in your church for their service. They keep things safe. They speak up for what is right. They serve, not just on Sundays, but on missions trips and out in the community. And like our King, many are just kind!