It was the beginning and the end of our deer season. The last for 2020 and the first for 2021. I had promised a mixture of boys to come and hunt with me during the year and I just didn’t stop long enough to work out the details, until January 4, 2021. Almost the end of the season here in Texas. So, I text and called and emailed. All the boys replied and all of them wanted to go. Well, okay then.
For the last few months I have been trying my best to minimize my intake on all the Corona and political and social unrest. I know what happened and even fear some of what the future may hold. I have my opinions and thoughts; most I do not share publicly. I don’t need too; you can get that anywhere. But in prayer time over the last few months I heard God clearly say, “Keep going.” “Stay focused.” You have a mission and let me handle the other.
My mission as a believer, defined in the simplest terms, for me, is rescue the fatherless boys, empower the men of the church with a mission, provide the tools and encouragement they both need. That is a big calling. I think many of us could do ourselves a big favor by making the effort to refocus on Gods calling in our lives and away from the hours of emersion in current events. Everyone, everything wants a piece of us and satan is top of that list.
I have seen many a ministry or business chase the newest in-the-moment topic and dilute themselves into a non-effective copy of the common. Then gone. We must remain centered and committed to core mission. Yes, we use the new tools, new innovations but carefully. Back in the 1930s, Goldman Sachs recorded that Kellogg maintained its advertising through the Great Depression while Post did not — leading to Kellogg’s domination of the dry cereal market for the next half-century. So much for waiting “until things pick up again.” Stay the course.
Yes, I know what is going on in the world today. It effects the KOZ men and boys deeply. I know all families are affected. We have pivoted in some areas but not the core values and needs we offer our KOZ men, boys, and families. Meeting face to face, fresh air, time together where the men are eye to eye with the boys. Suicide is up, drinking and drug use, pornography, domestic violence, all up. Our boys are failing in school, struggling feeling they are not able to help their moms or families. These things eat them up inside.
This is our mission field, we must stay laser focused on it. I think all churches and ministries need to make sure core values and operations are in place, and operating. Churches know that 34% of their families have switched churches, 30+ percent are never coming back. What does that do to the church services, Sunday school, Wednesday night youth group? What are their options?
Many KOZ Leaders fought back early and strong. One or two boys turned to five then 10. Moms desperate for their boys to come out of the tail spin brought their boys, made it happen and the return on investment was incredible. Groups growing, new groups starting, hunting and camping outings and so much more. Prayers being answered.
If we don’t hug our KOZ boys, call and check on our KOZ leaders, thank the church and pastors for letting us have a KOZ group we could lose the one thing many of us know or knew we were called too. It doesn’t take much to remember the God moments in KOZ around a campfire or fishing hole or a prayer card on a Saturday. Jesus coming alive.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10: 24-25
We killed a bunch of deer last week. Laughed a lot. Talked into the night. You could see the changes in the boys as the days passed. We left tired but stronger. We put a bunch of deer meat in their freezers. It was good. Good for our souls. Maybe best of all, we will retell the hunting stories around campfires all year. How Jesus showed up at the Last First Hunt 2020/21. So good.
Founder, Kids Outdoor Zone (KOZ)