Weekend Preview – How To Be A Responsible Man

One of the most disturbing aspects of our modern culture is our resigned expectation that a man, when given his choice, will be irresponsible.  That women are the “responsible ones” in life, at home, and even now at work… and FEW MEN actually rise to the occasion to take responsibility for their lives.

Is this just how television and movies portray men in general – or is this the true state of modern manhood?  I’m not sure.

I know that in the church, men continue to struggle to engage in worship, misunderstand the importance of closeness/intimacy in their relationship with Jesus as something feminine, and chose to be absent more than present at church functions. Church (Religion/Faith) is often viewed by men as something primarily for those who struggle with life or are weak (often meaning women and children). Small groups are of little interest for most men because it lacks the fundamental elements of what they consider a FUN gathering (beer, food, football/concert/activity). Serving opportunities provide some engagement but most fear it will put them in a situation of sharing their faith with someone (something they are not comfortable doing).

Does the lack of male engagement in the church reflect our culture’s view of men? What could responsibility look like in the modern man? 

RESPONSE ABILITY

Regardless of your view on these issues, we need to remember a fundamental truth: We are all ABLE to be responsible for our lives! No matter what comes our way in life, we ALL have the choice of how we will respond.  In the absence of responsibility, we resort to rules and regulation to try and control things that we were made to be responsible for.

We were created for responsibility.  If you read Genesis 1:27-28

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

That’s all we were given. Just a few simple statements about what we were responsible for. EVERYTHING! Hahaha…of course, some might say things were “easier” back then, but you try to FILL the EARTH and GOVERN over everything on it and you tell me if that’s a big responsibility or not.

We were given ONLY 1 RULE.

Genesis 2:17 “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

Isn’t this interesting?  That when God created MAN he gave him massive responsibility and ONLY 1 RULE.

RULES < RESPONSIBILITY

In the wake of irresponsibility, people resort to thinking more and more RULES are necessary to control people.  This is the position of our government. People cannot be responsible, therefore we must have even more rules to regulate behaviors and simulate responsibility.  HOWEVER, rules NEVER create responsibility – they are the breeding ground of loopholes, excuses, and blame.

Responsibility is GREATER than rules and regulation. You see this in your family and in your business.  The more responsible someone is, the less RULES you need in place to regulate behavior.  Responsibility will always deliver the best outcome because it’s what we were DESIGNED FOR.

Join us Sunday as we continue our series “How To Be A Man” discussing the need for men to own their responsibility rather than settle for the cultural acceptance of excuses and blame shifting. 

Great Sex

By Don Gentry


Warning this is a PG13/R blog. The rating depends on how comfortable you are talking about sex. Let me start by saying sex is an amazing gift from God. A few Sundays ago, Matt even alluded to sex being an expression of our worship. If you are married and have not had amazing sex, then let me strongly suggest that you have a problem with your greatest sex organ. Let me also suggest that while you can take this advice and apply it to any illicit sexual relationship, as defined by God, we should only be engaging in sexual relationships between husband and wife. Outside of a heterosexual marriage relationship, you are already living outside of God’s best ideal for humanity.

It is fascinating to me that every culture and every period in historical studies has had, or does have, a fascination with sex. There is a lot of information out there designed to help us find that erotic moment that we long for. Just read the magazine covers at the grocery store or listen to the radio. Let me strongly suggest that we are being fed horrible sexual advice.

Whether you are male or female, it is not a position or a partner problem that you are having. It is an organ problem. Men your greatest sex organ is not what you may be thinking. What we need to think about most in the realm of our sexual organs is our brain. Your brain is your largest sexual organ and the most neglected. Great sex is not defined by ecstasy or eroticism. It is defined by intimacy. Intimacy is only created between the ears not between the sheets.

So how do we address our minds as we look at creating intimacy? That is a great question. The only person that can address our minds, is the individual. If you are harboring bitterness, resentment, unmet expectations, insecurities, disgust, frustration, anxiety, disappointment, disillusionment, poor self-esteem, and I could literally list a hundred more “brain distractions,” then you will have intimacy issues. If you take any of these intimacy issues into the bedroom, then you are going to have sexual relationship issues. You don’t have a penile or vaginal issue. You have a brain and intimacy relational issue. I have never counseled a “sexual organ issue” in 25 years of ministry.

So how do we have great sex? Let me give you the number one rule for great sex. 1. What can I do to help fulfill my partner’s emotions outside of the bedroom? (I say “help” because you will never be all that your partner needs. You can only be a “help.”) If you wait until you get to the bedroom to experience mind blowing sex then you have watched too many movies, listened to too many secular songs, watched too much porn, or read too many romance novels. You might argue you have experienced true eroticism, but I will argue you have not experienced true intimacy. Having a strong, Godly, monogamous marriage combined with amazing sexual fulfillment is only achieved when we have put our spouse first.

Great sex is about me; incredible intimacy is about my partner!

If you are experiencing less than satisfactory sexual relationship with your spouse, then you need to start looking at what is going on between your ears. The most common enemies of intimacy are anger, bitterness, resentment, un-forgiveness, self-esteem issues, and selfishness. There are other issues, but almost every couple I have ever counseled that has said they need help sexually, really needed help in one or more of these areas.

Men if you want great sex, then I strongly encourage you to find some help dealing with intimacy issues. Women the same advice goes for you too. Sex is amazing, God made the sexual parts; they have the incredible abilities to reach heights of extreme ecstasy, but we often don’t communicate about the correct issues. Love you all and hope you all can experience what God really defined for the marriage bed!

Message Preview | How To Be A Man | Part 1

By Matt Dawson

If you do a quick search on Google, you’ll find about 100 different blogs, articles, and funny stories around the topic of “how to be a man” or “how to get your masculinity back” or even “why a real man can cry anytime he wants to.” However, outside of personal opinion pieces (blogs, magazine articles, studies) there really is not CONCRETE plan or resource that I could find on HOW to be a MAN!

I’ve been excited all year for this message series.  We’re intentionally kicking it off this Sunday (Father’s Day) because I believe that Scripture tells us a great deal on how to be a godly man and gives us great examples of flawed, broken, sinful men that were referred to as men who loved God.

The interesting thing about our modern-day searches for “how to be a man” looks at all the wrong things. What a man likes, what a man looks like, what a man enjoys, and what a man should know how to do.  I know some women that might disagree – but men are not so simple! We’ve been created in the image of God with complexity and care and every man is different.

However, even in our complex individuality – there are common principles and ideals that God gives men to “be” a man of God. Not a blueprint for the exterior of a man –  but challenges, questions, and priorities that will show up and direct the course of a man’s life in his priorities, responsibilities, and activities.

I hope you will be with us for EVERY WEEK of this series. It’s going to be fun, challenging, and I pray beneficial for every person at Journey. If you’re married to a man, dating a man, raising a man, raising girls that will one day marry a man, or you are in fact a man… THIS SERIES IS FOR YOU!

5 Guidelines to Be a Man

By Chris Denning


This Sunday is Father’s Day (heads up for all you late planners) and we’re also starting a new series called How to Be a Man. Fortunately for all of you reading, I’m quite literally the manliest man of all manhood than mans have ever manned up to man about . . .

Ok, that’s dumb. But part of what we’re trying to do with this series is help to dispel the myth that there is a one-size-fits-all picture for what a man should be. Instead, we’re going to talk about how God defines manhood and some principles that can help guide us to be more godly men.

With that in mind, we thought it might be interesting to start the conversation with some guidelines for being a man. And in this context, when I say man, I mean a godly man, or a man that is following God.

Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list or even a definitive list, just some guidelines that jumped to the front of my mind. Also, I’d love to hear YOUR THOUGHTS on guidelines to being a man in the comments for this post on Facebook.

Without further adieu, here’s 5 Guidelines to Be a Man:

1. Submit to God in ALL Things

This one seems like a no-brainer, but who knows now a days. To be a godly man, one must submit to God . . . in ALL things. It might be easy for you to submit to God when it comes to your spiritual life and maybe even on Sundays. But what about your money? Or in a situation where you can compromise your character?

As men, before we lead or take charge or do ANYTHING, we have to learn how to submit to God in all things. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did & continues to do, and he’s the son of God, so there’s that. Not only that, submission to God is the beginning of understanding and wisdom, so if we want to be wise, we need to start with submission.

2. Take Ownership in Your Circle

This next one is about learning how to take responsibility for yourself & those closest to you. More than that, it’s about taking ownership. Note that I didn’t say take control. Control & ownership are 2 different things. We can’t control everything, but you can take ownership of something without having complete control.

Taking ownership means that you’ve got a vested interest in the outcome or well-being. This might mean owning your wife’s needs during a crazy season, or owning a project at work, or maybe even owning those in need around you. Either way, seeing things through the eyes of an owner changes the way you interact with the world, and that’s what men of God do.

3. Express Strength Appropriately

Strength is a quality often associated with men. Don’t get me wrong, women are just as strong as men. All I’m saying is that strength is something that men need to understand and express appropriately. In the family unit, men are often a place where the family looks for stability and strength, much like the mother.

However, men (and women too) can misinterpret how to express strength. For instance, if you are too enthusiastic or oppressive with strength, it can be expressed as anger or machismo. Or maybe you undervalue the importance of expressing strength, and can be seen by your family as a passive or disinterested leader. Either way, men should understand how to express strength appropriately, that encourages and supports their family.

4. Express Humility & Gentleness Appropriately

Equally as important as strength, men need to understand how to express humility and gentleness, appropriately. This may seem off, but as a father of two young girls, I’m only just beginning to understand the importance of this.

I started to really understand the importance of humility as a husband. I married a strong woman who keep me honest, and I’m grateful that I have a partner who helps me to see how I need to pursue humility. Humility doesn’t just happen, you have to work at it, and I have to work at it all the time. But humility can save a marriage, if expressed appropriately.

Gentleness is also important for men to understand. It’s not about being that warrior 24/7, 100mph at all times. While that gear has it’s place and is important, try coming at your 2 yr old daughter with that kind of intensity when she is throwing her 400th tantrum of the day. Men should understand how to be gentle, in the right way, at the right time, with the appropriate people. Gentleness is one of the fruits of the spirit for a reason, because we need it.

5. Lead Your Family Well

Finally, men should understand how to lead their family well. This means knowing when to keep pushing for a goal. When to ease up and have fun. When to let your wife take the lead. How to motivate your family to meet a goal.

I think most importantly, a man needs to understand how to lead his family spiritually. Every family is different, so maybe you won’t be leading a nightly devotional before bed time. And that’s OK. You need to know YOUR family and ask the Holy Spirit to help you lead them well. Be proactive. Your kids WILL NOT disciple themselves. Lead your family well.

Message Preview | More Than Sunday | Part 2

By Matt Dawson

One of my all-time favorite quotes that FUELS my understanding of WORSHIP is from A.W. Tozer.

 “We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God” 

Do you know what it’s like to be preoccupied with something?  Everything around you is moving and you’re giving it your attention, but the entire time your attention is ALSO fixed on something else.  What a BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF WORSHIP!

This idea also goes perfectly with a verse from Psalm 16:8.

“I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

The Psalmist is speaking about this continual perspective that keeps GOD in our sights FIRST before anything else. An everlasting preoccupation with God.

I pulled a really old clip from a sermon where I used some examples of what this looks like in a life of worship.  If you’ve got 10 min – please watch it as we prepare to meet again on Sunday at Journey to continue the series “More Than Sunday.”

Worship is Always & Everything

By Matt Dawson

One of the many books that I don’t have time to write is called “Measuring the Mess.” It will be all about our worship and intimacy with Jesus that is eagerly waiting those who stop evaluating and measuring the mess in their lives with the end of goal of simply a less messy life.  Measuring our mess is NOT the path to deeper worship & intimacy… it’s just the path to try to have less of a mess.

Chris kicked off our new series “More Than Sunday” last weekend and shared this statement at the beginning.  Nobody Does Not Worship!  Whether we recognize it or not, whether it’s intentional or not, worship is ALWAYS happening and it’s in EVERYTHING we do. Chris did an excellent job describing how this plays out on Sunday mornings – but it’s SO MUCH MORE than just Sunday.

Here’s a small list ways we can all worship GOD, all the time!

Eating, Resting, Laughing, Singing, Praying, Crying, Serving, Leading, Helping, Playing, Working, Loving, Caring, Jumping, Smiling, Competing, Winning, Losing, and Chilling! (just a sample list)

Here’s a small list of ways we all worship OURSELVES, all the time!

Over Eating, Worrying, Working, Shouting, Fighting, Crying, Helping, Playing, Drinking, Loving, Hurting, Lying, Hating, Stressing, Arguing, Crying, Competing, Cheating, Winning, Losing, and Chilling. (just a sample list)

Worship is Always & Everything. The act of worshiping doesn’t change based on our activity…the OBJECT of worship changes. Some activity might even LOOK the same, but the object and the reason WHY is very different.

More to come this weekend…today I want to give you 3 examples of how we GET to worship God ALWAYS and in EVERYTHING.

Eating & Drinking
Believe it or not, there’s a LOT of FEASTS talked about in scripture.  Not only in the old testament with Kings and festivals, but even the PROMISE of a feast with Jesus when we see Him again in Heaven.  There was so much done around “the Table” that we cannot ignore the WORSHIP that is happening when we eat and drink.

Now, many of us don’t realize that we EAT and DRINK while worshiping OURSELVES.  This is why most of our eating and drinking is done in excess! Gluttony and Drunkenness are not simply SIN, but the results of having the WRONG object of worship! 

Just think about it.  God gave the average person around 10,000 taste buds.  Just so we could ENJOY the flavor of all God has blessed us with. I know it’s easy to “thanks Jesus for this food and the hands that have prepared it” for a moment before a meal, but to understand that our EATING AND DRINKING is just ONE of the ways we are always worshipping in everything!

When you eat more than you need – WHO are you worshipping?  When you NEED that “glass of wine that turns into 4 when you get home at night – WHO are you worshiping?

Working (Even at a Job We Hate.) 
Not everyone is as fortunate as me (having the best job, leading the best people, at the best church in all of LKN)! Many people actually HATE what they do for a living. Some don’t hate their jobs, but they certainly don’t LOVE what they do or who they work for.

You may not believe this – but OUR WORK IS WORSHIP!  It doesn’t matter WHAT WE DO, we are doing it in RESPONSE to something – that’s worship!

Maybe you work just to provide money to live the life you want to live. That’s fine… you’re worshipping YOU! Just recognize that.

When you understand that God is the provider of all things in your life…you’re free to work in response to HIM. To pray that God would empower your sales presentation…to ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment about a meeting with an employee…to find JOY in our work because we have a God who loves us!

If your workplace or the work you do in this season is less than desirable…let it be a megaphone for even more gratitude to God. God often uses “the rock and the hard place” to create even more dependence on Him as your Provider!

At work, you’re Always engaged in Worship.  It’s in Everything you do! The question is simply WHO is the OBJECT of YOUR WORSHIP at WORK. 

Resting
People really underestimate the value of resting.  And by people…I’m talking about ME!  I’m a bit of a DOER by nature. I’m married to a DOER that lives by the motto “if you’ve got time to lean…you’ve got time to clean.” We both have had season where we’ve struggled to see RESTING as a productive part of our lives. It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve been able to take “moments” of time during the week and understand the VALUE and WORSHIP that happens in moments of REST! Sure, we can REST because we’re worshiping ourselves and “need our beauty sleep” OR simply are overworking ourselves so hard that rest is forced upon us because the object of our work and rest is US.

However, resting is such a huge part of how God designed us to connect with Him. To find quiet moments, to carve our time to just “Be Still and Know that He is God!” Resting gives us an opportunity to thank God for all He’s done, is doing, and will do in our lives no matter the circumstances.

Is rest something that is seen as a GIFT FROM GOD or is it forced upon you as a result of not knowing when to slow down? Both are worship…WHO we are worshipping is what matters!

This weekend, we’re going to spend some time talking about the BIG IDEA that Worship is MORE THAN SUNDAY! I hope you’ll join us and start living in a way that because of God…Worship is ALWAYS and EVERYTHING

Message Preview | More Than Sunday Part 1

By Chris Denning


I’m gonna make this short & sweet because I’m writing this with a 1-week-old strapped to my chest #DadLife

This weekend, we’re starting a series called More Than Sunday, where we’re taking the time to better understand what worship is and how it fits into the life of a believer. Simply put, I believe that we don’t understand what worship means (truly), and our misunderstanding causes us to come to dumb conclusions.

For instance:

  • I don’t like to sing, therefore I don’t sing at church, because worship time just isn’t for me. WRONG.
  • I’m not talented in music, therefore I don’t like to go into service for the music, because I don’t enjoy it. FOOLISH.
  • Worship is just a time during a service, therefore I just need to fake it til I make it for 20 mins on a Sunday & I’m good. DUMB.

Worship is so much more that just something we do on Sundays. I know that some of you get that, but this weekend, we’re going to talk specifically about what worship is and how our time together on Sundays at Journey fits into that understanding.

If anything I’ve said has upset you so far, then you DEFINITELY need to come hang out this weekend. This isn’t going to be a rah-rah, bait & switch situation where I cheerlead you about how we need to sing more and then we do a few songs after the message to prove the point.

Nope. We’re going to take an honest look at what we believe about worship and how our time together on Sundays plays into it. Why? Because how we worship reveals what we think about God. Chew on that for a minute, cause we definitely will on Sunday.

Come and challenge yourself to open your mind about what you believe about worship, it’s going to be a great time together. Plus, I’ll probably show a baby pic or 2 because I can #CuteBabiesWin

Why 62.5% of Men Don’t Sing on Sunday

By Chris Denning


Yup, that’s right. 62.5%.

Ok. Maybe I made that up, but still, you get the point.

On the whole, a majority of guys don’t enjoy singing on Sunday. Trust me, I’d know, because I can see your faces each week from stage. #Busted

Now, if you don’t like to sing, don’t feel bad. I’m not into bashing people because they don’t like to sing at church. Mostly because I was one of you growing up. I didn’t start singing until later in high school and I used to think it was THE WORST.

The question still remains: Why? Why do a lot of guys not like to sing on Sundays? Here’s the Top 4 reasons guys don’t sing on Sundays:

1. They don’t like to sing . . . period.

Most men don’t really enjoy singing, especially in public. Maybe they enjoy singing the right song in the car by themselves, or maybe they can knock out a tune or two at karaoke, but singing around a bunch of other people isn’t the most relatable thing. This one makes sense to me, so one for the guys.

2. They don’t like to express themselves in that way.

Unless you’ve found yourself in a musical, most men don’t express themselves in song. Maybe Lin Manuel Miranda sings a song when he’s got something to say, but that’s definitely not what most guys do. Also, many of the songs we sing on Sunday express some pretty rich and deeply held beliefs, which can make one feel vulnerable when singing. That’s a good thing, but I can understand why some guys feel this way.

3. They don’t like the words.

This one is a song-by-song situation. There are some lines in songs that we sing that can make people uncomfortable with the intensity of emotion or faith that they convey. It could be that the line feels too flowery, or maybe that it expresses a belief/feeling that they don’t fully feel. I can respect this one, because I have felt a little phony before singing lines that I don’t fully believe in my heart. There’s something to be said about singing things in faith, but that’s for another post.

4. They don’t like the music.

Maybe they’re a country guy. Or a metal guy. Or an Eagles fan. Or . . . a million other things. I’ve been at concerts where the band isn’t quite my cup of tea, and even if they dropped into a cover of Purple Rain, I’m prob not gonna sing. (I mean, who am I kidding, OF COURSE I’m singing Purple Rain.) The music on Sunday might not be their favorite, which can lead to less singing.

These are all valid reasons but . . .

It doesn’t matter.

I really doesn’t. No matter their excuse for not singing, guys shouldn’t feel bad about not singing on Sunday. However, they SHOULD feel convicted about not engaging in worship.

Engaging doesn’t equal singing . . . necessarily. If singing isn’t your thing, guys, then pray the lyrics. Consider what the sentiment of the song is and try to meditate as the song plays. Find a way to engage your heart and mind with what is happening in the room.

You can be led in worship even if you don’t sing, but it’s up to you to allow yourself to be led. This weekend, I want to challenge you to take a step, however small that step is, to engage more in worship, in your own way. Consider what speaks most to you and make the choice to engage this Sunday.