The power of a hug and an encouraging word from a man to a boy is like pouring molten steel into a form. It molds and creates the framework of a young man’s heart life. If not by the father, the one he longs to be loved and affirmed by, a male mentor will be that influencer. The power of a KOZ leader in the life of a boy is an amazing and commanding responsibility not to be taken lightly.
Sit quietly and think back, recall a memory of something a man said to you, taught you, trained you for as a young man. What were the times you sat in awe watching him craft something by hand? Maybe they entrusted you to your first turn of a wrench or gave you a saw or hammer for the first time. A time he moved your hands and helped you hold your baseball bat correctly. Maybe it was tying a knot or threading a worm on a hook. Give yourself the gift of a quiet moment to return to that place and how your heart felt. For me, the times in the mountains camping, watching the things built in the garage are sweet memories that bring a longing to my heart.
Yes, my mom was a part of my development but my dad, before alcohol took him out, inspired me deeply. The older I get the more I see it. The way a man molds a boy’s heart is like nothing else. There are no classes taught, books read, videos or sermons that can do what time with a truly engaged man can do to too craft the heart and life of a boy into manhood.
KOZ men, you need to understand your influence on the heart, life and soul of a boy today. The world is operated by the evil one and his minions. 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. So many of the traditionally male training grounds are being infiltrated by the world and the power of their influence on the true heart of a boy is being diluted. I don’t feel I risk much by saying they have been invaded and invalidated. Many do more to confuse and emasculate a boy now.
As far as these worldly organizations go, we don’t have a dog in that fight. You may have been a part of one or more of them and your hearts are wounded by the changes. Your feelings are real. What you learned there, experienced there was yours and for most of you it was good. Their decisions, although it may be confusing to us, are their decisions. KOZ does not negate the good they do now and have done in the past. They can and do good things.
Will there be a day we as KOZ men take a stand for something that affects us as a group fighting for the hearts of boys, the ability to hunt and fish, yes that may happen. But let me share a revelation with you brothers.
A KOZ leader is one of the most powerful men of influence on the planet. Why, because we share the true and unchanging Word of God with the boys. We are not held to a set of worldly rules and standards. You can openly give the boys the most impactful and life changing information they will ever hear, that a life lived with and for Jesus is everything. There are few times in your life, few places on the field of battle for the hearts of others you be given a commanding role like this. Unashamedly, unregretful, untethered and bold we train up the boys in our charge.
In a conversation I had recently I was taught that in Proverbs 22:6 it reads, Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. I learned that it says “old” – they told me that does not say “right now they will not”. It means the influence we have on them today may impact them years down the trail.
When my dad left us for his bottle of rum I was lost. What now. Along the way a few good men spoke into my life. One shared Jesus with me. As I got older those lessons, the moments of care and compassion, training and guidance began to take hold. They mean the world to me now, I was blessed by them. Just as the boys in your KOZ group are blessed by you today. You are one of the most powerful men in their world, know that. Share Jesus with the boys then go fishing, it’s what we do. Man is this a good gig or what?