Hey there! My name is Ian Forest-Jones and I’m really glad to have you visit my site.
For quite a number of years now, I have come to believe the task and plight of men in contemporary society is how to become good at being a man. Secondarily, but most importantly, how then can those good at being men become good men.
I am also quite conscious of the fact there are competing opinions on what constitutes a “good man”.
According to Glenn Stanton, ” Manhood is not natural, but it is essential … manhood is in crisis today … Men are falling behind women in important measures of personal and social well-being”. He argues quite convincingly that boys are males by nature but only transition into manhood “with significant, intentional work by other men”. In other words, it takes a community of men to raise a man.
Unfortunately, community is also in crisis in contemporary societies. Healthy, functional, growing communities are hard to find because, while everyone agrees we need such, very few are willing to put in the effort to create and maintain such. One type of community still readily available through the Western world are local Christian churches. By accepting males as men —in other words, helping them to become good at being men— I am convinced local churches can earn the right to encourage and equip them to become good men.
To this end, as I pass from one decade of life into another (I turning 50 this year) and transition into a new phase of my career, I want to serve men and their families by creating safe spaces for men to talk through issues related to men and manhood, life and meaning; to encourage and equip men for a life of discipleship; and, to establish a Fresh Expression of Church with men and their families.
I know many will disagree, but I have come to recognise local churches favour women, which is evidence of the plight of men already noted —while this is a contentious issue, a compelling case can be made to support it. This issue is especially unfortunate since it can be shown that when local churches reach men, they serve women too and build families, leading to a better society.
I wonder then how can I, as an individual Christian and a church leader, encourage and equip those good at being men to become good men, when some are “nones” and some are “dones”? In other words, how can I encourage faith in Jesus among males without any prior spiritual or religious convictions, on the one hand, and equip those no longer connected and committed to a local church on the other? How can I partner with both types of men, partnering with them as intrapreneurs so as to impact their neighbourhoods positively?
Growing up, I was a none who became a Christian because God the Father gave me hope. Yet currently I am myself at risk for becoming a done because of my journey with the Church. Nevertheless, I have refined my calling and remain convinced of my faith in Jesus and my commitment to a Christian lifestyle because God is my Father; Jesus is my brother, who accepts me as a friend; and, the Holy Spirit is my mentor.
The following video will give you a good sense of how I came to have faith in Jesus, and committed to a Christian lifestyle, since I was not born nor raised in a Christian family:
As you can see, my upbringing was not something I would wish anyone to have to endure. Plus, I am not your typical Christian nor church leader. I do not spend my days in an ivory tower, which is surprising, I know, given I have been in ministry for 25+ years across 6 denominations. My faith is real and honest and I too struggle to live a Christian lifestyle in a world gone mad and churches that appear irrelevant.
So, have a wander around my posts and pages. Please leave a question or a comment below or contact me directly. You can also find me on the top social media channels too!
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