The concept of manhood is something many of my colleagues are trying to set a course to understand. In a world where all things are equal, we long for a place where men can come together and learn from one another.
In a place long ago, a man's role in society was to produce and provide. His work dictated his identity. His family was at the center of his responsibilities. Today, we're watching a dramatic shift take place in the heart of American culture.
Men are walking through life wondering if they are fulfilling their purpose, and it's not really their fault. Being a man in today's world can sometimes be confusing. Are we supposed to be the star athletes of our community? Are we supposed to be the creators of art and music? Is it our place to lead? Or is it our place to follow?
Certainly, as I travel the country there are different regions that define manhood in different ways, and to a large extent I think it's good. Some places in America allow men to fulfill their gifts in a sphere of influence they were made to fulfill. But other places put a tremendous amount of pressure on a man to become something, a stereotype of sorts.
So we decided to take a chance and see what might happen if we began to mentor young men in a few key areas of development. Physically, we want men to experience an adventurous life we believe brings life. Spiritually, we want men to explore what it means to be a man in light of their relationship with God. Emotionally, we challenge men to express the pain, hurt, and suffering they feel in whatever capacity they feel. Relationally, we want men to have an outlet to connect with each other in the way guys connect.
We don't want to create an archaic way of caveman thinking, but we can't sit by idly and watch more and more men flounder to discover what their purpose in life may be until their mid 20's to 30's.
Personally I've been doing my own homework to figure out the proper mix of program and organic growth that may help boys grow into the men they were created to be. And in doing so, we launched an interesting week here at KIVU last summer. We call it MAN CAMP!
That's right. I know it's not original. It doesn't seem too creative. But it served a really interesting purpose. We invited a group of about 30 boys to come and be mentored by our World Class University Staff. They had a chance to share what it's like to be a man when it comes to relationships with women, what it means to take responsibilities for actions even when they're not fun, and they showed the guys in attendance how to be a man in today's world. We focused our efforts on principles found in scripture, coupled with the reality of living in a world where being a man is difficult.
I invite you to take a short look at the week. If you're not used to seeing men be men, the first minute and a half or so will probably shock you, but if you hang on, you're going to watch boys being mentored by men as they grow and become men themselves.
Check this out.
If you are interested in being a part of our MAN CAMP for 2014, don't hesitate. Spots are filling up for next summer already and the only way you can get in is to click on The KIVU Registration site, and secure your spot. Until the end of September we're offering a back to school special where you can get 10% off the normal price of tuition.
Come join the revolution at KIVU where we're trying to help solve a deep cultural problem of boys becoming men.