The Destruction of Masculinity

August 28, 2019By PK ManagerRise of the Servant Kings

I have found there are four stages in the decline of masculinity.

The first two:

1. Passivity.

This is where many Christian men are today. They are good people, but they abdicate their responsibilities and roles. They obey the “rules” as best they can: they go to church on most Sundays and go to a Bible study sometimes. Their lives are typified not by action but by reaction. They don’t work to improve the lives of those around them. A passive man doesn’t get involved.

2. Macho Man.

A macho man or a male chauvinist is someone who is insecure in his masculinity. He is constantly looking for ways to show or tell about his manliness. Of him the old cliche is true: “The older I get, the better I was.” He is a man of action but only action that comes from his pride. Say something offensive to the person next to him and he’ll laugh. Say it to him and he’ll punch you or insult you back. He is jealous for a name, but it isn’t God’s or even those in his family (unless his pride is at stake). He is jealous for his own name because he worships himself.

For further reading, check out Rise of the Servant Kings by Promise Keepers Chairman Ken Harrison. To download a free chapter, visit riseoftheservantkings.org. (All profits from sales of Rise of the Servant Kings are donated to support Promise Keepers.)

Waiting for God

August 27, 2019By PK ManagerRise of the Servant Kings

Paul was often perplexed (2 Corinthians 4:8). Abraham and Moses stumbled in impatience (Genesis 16:1-4; Numbers 20:7-12). We must learn to wait for and seek God in every moment.

Sometimes we cry out to God that we’ll do anything for Him, and He smiles and says, “Then just wait, son.” “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much” (Luke 16:10). We say, “God, use me to change the world!” But He knows we still have too much pride, too much confidence in self, too much love of this world, too much concern for what others think.

He says, “Do the little things that I place in front of you every day and learn to hear Me when I tell you to do them; them we’ll get to the bigger things.” We say, “Send me to Africa to feed the poor!” He says, “Why not start with the boy down the street who doesn’t have a father in the home? Obey Me in the little things and I’ll give you bigger things to do.” Sometimes our waiting for God isn’t waiting for Him at all. Instead, we are waiting for ourselves to gain the maturity that He needs us to have in order to bless us with what we ask.

Excerpted and paraphrased from Rise of the Servant Kings by Promise Keepers Chairman Ken Harrison. To download a free chapter, visit riseoftheservantkings.org. (All profits from sales of Rise of the Servant Kings are given to support Promise Keepers.)

Masculinity is in Crisis—But We Can Turn It Around

August 19, 2019By Ken HarrisonUncategorized

An Open Letter to Men from Ken Harrison, Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers.

Today the men of America are like a sleeping giant. And I believe God is waking us up.

God is bringing pressure on men like never before. Our culture is turning up its nose at our masculinity. We’re called “toxic.” If we’re honest with ourselves, we know we’ve often failed. We’ve failed because we haven’t heeded God’s Word.

Men, it’s time for us to turn things around.

We live in a nation where millions of babies conceived by men lose their lives to abortion each year. Where women march in the streets to protest the men who’ve preyed on them. And where the most vulnerable are trafficked as sex slaves by men and for men.

Men, we can change this! But first, we have to know what the Bible says about our purpose, our role, and our calling.

Sadly, many men in America have never been taught true masculinity. They fritter their lives away on sports, pornography, and video games. They’re workaholics, alcoholics, drug addicts, and pleasure addicts.

Not surprisingly, many of our brothers face isolation, loneliness, and depression.

There’s an epidemic of suicide among men aged 15-24 and among middle-aged men. Too many men are apathetic. Bored. Sick and tired of wasting their lives.

Men, this is not what God made us for.

Our Creator made us in His image. He gave us strength and drive. He filled us with passion and energy. He made us warriors. And He expects us to use these traits for His glory.

I believe every man of us is called to be a servant king. A leader. A man of destiny. So let’s help each other shake off our apathy. Let’s get radical about removing our secret sins. And let’s get real with God.

Men, it’s time for us to show the world what it really means to be a man of integrity.

It’s time to pour out our lives to bless our wives, our children, our churches, and our communities.

It’s time to bring revival to our nation. We — the men of America — can do this if we repent and turn to God.

Are you with me?

Why We All Need a Band of Brothers

August 17, 2019By Vance DayCulture, Uncategorized

As America commemorates the 75th anniversary of D-Day this year, Promise Keepers’ COO Vance Day tells about his personal connection to one of the “Band of Brothers” who stormed the beach in Normandy.

As the green light suddenly glowed, a young second lieutenant shuffled up to the door of the C-47 and leapt out into the darkness. Other troopers tumbled out behind him. Parachutes unfurled and clapped open.  

The young, green pilots flying the C-47s sped up and took evasive action to avoid the barrage of German flak and machine gun tracers filling the air. As a result, the U.S. paratroopers were jumping way too low and at too high a speed.  

The force of the propeller blast was so great that the chin strap on Lieutenant Buck Compton’s helmet snapped. The rope on his leg bag also broke, and he lost all his equipment. As he landed in a Normandy field in the early hours of the Allied invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944, Lt. Buck Compton had only a jump knife as a weapon and was miles from his assigned landing zone. 

By day’s end, Lt. Compton — one of 12 green American paratroopers — would help defeat an estimated 70 dug-in veteran German paratroopers. The team would also assist in destroying four 105 mm cannons at Brecourt Manor in Normandy, which were firing on the American infantry landing on Utah Beach. For his bravery and leadership under fire that day, Lt. Compton was awarded the Silver Star. 

I met Buck in 2000 as a result of producing a documentary on that battle. I interviewed Buck and found him as down to earth as any hero I had ever met. He became a personal friend. Eight years later, sitting at my kitchen counter, Buck came to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ and entered the last stage of his life a believer.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynn D. “Buck” Compton grew up playing sports and dreamed of being a major league baseball catcher. In 1939, he attended UCLA and earned a starting position on the varsity football squad and played in the 1943 Rose Bowl game. However, baseball was his first love. He played catcher for UCLA and assisted the team to several winning seasons. Of course, having Jackie Robinson as a teammate helped.

When World War II broke out, Buck was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment as assistant platoon leader in the 2nd Platoon, E Company. He was young, in an elite outfit, and was about to partake in the largest military invasion in modern history.

One of the men in Lt. Compton’s platoon was an Oregonian named Don Malarkey. “He is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known,” said Don Malarkey of Compton. Their friendship spanned years and provided great memories. Don was one of the 12 who attacked the German artillery at Brecourt Manor with Lt. Compton, winning the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Clusters.  

The two fought together in Holland until Buck took a German round in the buttocks. Don led the effort to drag Buck to the back of a tank and off the battlefield. Buck rejoined the Company just before the Battle of the Bulge, when Hitler made a last great attempt to forestall the Allied advance by launching a surprise attack through the Ardennes forest at a weak point in the American lines.

The Germans had to take Bastogne, a Belgian city that controlled the road network in and throughout the Ardennes region. On December 16, 1944, the German army rolled over the American frontline units causing horrific casualties. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had only two divisions in reserve that he could possibly throw into the fray in hopes of blunting the German advance long enough for other units to be moved to the battle from other sectors.  

The 101st Airborne Division was being rested and refitted in Mourmelon, France, after fighting a grueling 78 days in the muck and mud of Holland. Lt. Compton, Sgt. Malarkey, and the rest of E Company had turned in their equipment and ammunition and were waiting a total refitting of combat gear and winter clothing when the German divisions hit the American lines. Despite their depleted number and the lack of sufficient equipment and supplies, Eisenhower deployed the 101st to Bastogne and gave orders that the city had to be held at all costs.  

Buck Compton and Don Malarkey were trucked in an overnight express to Bastogne and dumped out west of the city in their summer issue clothing, with essentially no ammunition and in weather that would soon dip below zero. Malarkey recalls Buck asking, “Do you have any ammo for that carbine?” Don, like many of the other men in this unit, didn’t. Buck returned with a clip and handed it to Don, saying, “Here, this may come in handy.” Off they went to stop the Germans who outnumbered the 101st (15 to 1, by some estimates), outgunned the Americans, and were rolling toward them with tanks.

Lt. Compton did not recall the siege of Bastogne with any great fondness. “We were outnumbered, surrounded, and without proper equipment. We lost a lot of men — good men.” He and his platoon endured the rain of fire dropped on them during the nine days they were surrounded. He saw his men killed, and two of his closest friends each lost a leg. After the 101st was resupplied by air and the siege was broken, Buck got trench foot and was shipped to the rear. 

Author Stephen E. Ambrose recounts the remainder of E Company’s service in his book Band of Brothers, which was later made into an epic miniseries released in 2001 by HBO. The miniseries features both Buck Compton (Neal McDonough) and Don Malarkey (Scott Grimes) as central figures in E Company. 

After his recovery, Lt. Compton was put in charge of all Army athletic events in the European Theater. His service days ended with an office in Paris before being discharged stateside as a First Lieutenant.

Buck did not consider himself a war hero when he returned home. “I did my duty and came home — that was it.” After the war, Buck finished his degree at UCLA, worked as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, and then passed the California Bar Exam. Eventually Buck became a prosecutor for Los Angeles County. One of his last convictions was that of Sirhan Sirhan for the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy.

In 1970, Governor Ronald Reagan appointed Buck to the California Court of Appeals for the Second Judicial District. Judge Compton served on the bench until his retirement in 1990. He moved to Mt. Vernon, Washington, to be near his two daughters and their families and provided weekly policy and political commentary on local radio. “I’ve lived a full life and have no regrets. I’m just glad to be around,” he often said.

Personally, I owe Buck a great deal. He was a mentor, a friend, and a colleague. It was Buck who encouraged me to place my name into consideration for appointment as a Circuit Court judge. He believed in me and supported me; we traveled together for 10 years all through North America and Europe, even lecturing on leadership and history at the White House and before members of Congress. 

Buck was thrilled when the Governor appointed me to the bench. He traveled to Oregon and spoke at my investiture (the public robing ceremony) as a judge. I didn’t know what Buck would say about me, but I was floored when he told the audience that he wanted to be like me. I was flabbergasted. Here was my hero, saying he wanted to be like me?

As I’ve pondered that moment, I’ve come to realize that all of us need brothers who will come alongside us and encourage us, strengthen us, and hold us accountable. I thought I was the main one who benefited from my relationship with Buck, but apparently there were traits in me that helped him be a better man as well.

That’s a big part of what Promise Keepers is all about. Through our upcoming stadium event July 31–August 1, 2020, we want you to see there’s an army of guys like you who want to be the men God intends them to be. But we also want to help you connect locally to a small band of brothers who make you stronger in ways you may have never considered — like Buck did for me.

Four months after speaking at my investiture, Buck passed away. He was 91. I still miss him greatly. We all owe a great debt to Buck and to each of those who have served our country. Many never came back. Please take time to remember those who have served — in whatever conflict — during this 75th-Anniversary season of D-Day. If you’re able, reach out and say thank you. Without brave soldiers who step up to defend the republic, we would not have the legacy we possess to pass on to the next generation.

This story originally appeared in the Promise Keepers newsletter. For more content like this, sign up here for the Promise Keepers newsletter.

The 2020 PK Conference: A Rally Cry for Men to Transform Our Nation

August 17, 2019By Ken HarrisonUncategorized

God designed men to lead our families. To cherish our wives. To be true brothers to other men. To protect the defenseless. To guard our communities and nation from harm.

But somehow, our God-given role has been forgotten. It’s been lost in a murky sea of gender fluidity, changing values, and distractions such as pornography, video games, and binge TV.

Promise Keepers is here to take it back. We’re here to rally our brothers as servant kings, leaders who will take a stand as men and change our nation for Christ.

That’s why we’re calling men to come together July 31 – August 1, 2020, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.

We’re trusting God for 80,000+ men to fill the stadium. We will also simulcast the event to a projected 5 million men, spreading the impact far across the nation and the world.

Speakers will preach the Word of God with power. We’ll worship together as brothers and shake the stadium’s foundations. We’ll fall on our faces in repentance. And we’ll return home changed men.

But the impact won’t stop with the event. We’re asking men to join small, local teams for accountability and changemaking in their communities. We’ll stay connected and focused through a Promise Keepers app. Together we’re building a movement, not an events ministry.

You need to be part of this! Talk to your pastor. Get a group of guys together. Mark your calendar for July 31–August 1, 2020. Plan to come to Dallas-Ft. Worth or host a simulcast in your community.

The men of America have been asleep. It’s time for us to wake up. Our families, our churches, our communities, and our nation need us. Don’t miss this.

Get tickets now and join us for Promise Keepers 2020.

Q & A with Ken Harrison

August 17, 2019By PK ManagerRise of the Servant Kings, Values

Ken is the Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers. These questions are adapted from Ken’s recent appearance on New Life Live, a nationally syndicated Christian counseling call-in program hosted by Steve Arterburn.

Question: My wife and I have been married 32 years but separated for four years. She said she’s not happy and checked out of the marriage. I found out she was having affairs. She doesn’t want to be divorced because I take care of everything, and she likes that. What do I do?

Answer: I’m deeply saddened your wife has chosen to violate your marriage with the sin of adultery. Yet it’s also clear your wife has reached a point she doesn’t respect you. You need to re-establish her respect for you. Go to her and ask her, “What kind of man do you want me to be?” Then see if you can be that man. You will also need to draw boundaries about the kind of behavior you are willing to tolerate from her. In order for you to have a real marriage, she will need to give up her sin. Finally, don’t forget the power of prayer. If we humble ourselves and hit our knees, it’s amazing what God can do to affect other people’s hearts.

Question: When a marriage fails, is it always the man’s fault? My wife is moving out and we’re headed for divorce. I feel like I’ve done everything I can. How is it my fault?

Answer: You, as the husband, are accountable for what goes on in your home, but not everything is your fault. You are the leader and must lay down your life to try to address whatever challenges arise in your home, even if you did not cause them. However, you cannot control other people. If your wife chooses to leave, she is ultimately responsible for her own actions. Jesus, the Love of our souls, still has people reject Him. If you’re struggling under false guilt, let it go. But do continue to pray for your wife and hope for reconciliation.

Listen to the full interview.

Men, We Need to Have Courage

August 17, 2019By Ken HarrisonRise of the Servant Kings

The Bible is filled with stories of immense bravery: Moses leading millions of people into the desert with no water or food; David fighting Goliath; Gideon; Jeremiah; Esther; Abraham. The apostle Paul’s life is one long saga of bravery and suffering. 

And at the core of courage is humility. Humility was the mark of each of these heroes’ lives. There were some falters, especially with Abraham, but courage marked by humility was the overarching quality that each possessed.

Courage isn’t something conjured up at the moment that it is needed. It is the expression of your character at a moment of testing. Courage is the sum of all your virtues expressed at a single moment in time. 

Courage Reflects Who You Really Are 

The person you have been, your secret thoughts, the skeletons in your closet, and a lifetime of training suddenly spill out. Would you run into a burning building to save a child with a crowd watching? What if no one is looking? What if you are rescuing an old man instead of a child? What if it is your enemy?

Near one of San Diego’s best surfing spots, Solana Beach, a sixty-six-year-old man was training for a triathlon. He was just off Fletcher Cove and in a line with several swimmers when he exploded from the water, both legs in the mouth of a twelve-to-seventeen-foot great white shark. The man emerged long enough to scream that he was being attacked before being dragged under again. 

Despite the obvious danger, two swimmers in front of the man turned and swam back to him, into the growing cloud of blood where a monstrous shark lurked, and pulled the man through the surf 150 yards to shore. Sadly, he died a few minutes later.

Courage is the expression of someone who sees something more valuable than herself.

Courage defends a victim by standing up to the bully, even though he’s bigger.

Courage says grace aloud in a restaurant.

Courage witnesses to a stranger. A lack of humility says, “I don’t want to ask that woman if she knows Jesus. I might look stupid.” This is an attitude that values self more than another person’s soul.

“Hang on. That’s not fair! I don’t really know how to share my faith,” you might object. Then care enough to learn. Put down your pride and pick up a book by Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share. He’ll teach you how.

Countless times I have seen my wife walk up to a stranger, say something brief and watched while the woman crumbles in tears. Elliette prays beside her for a long while, and then the woman hugs her tightly. I used to ask Elliette, “What was that all about?” “God just told me to go ask that woman if I could pray with her,” she’d answer. “I hate it when He does that. I’m always terrified that I’ll look stupid.” Yet she obeys and lives are changed.

Courage isn’t a lack of fear. It’s being terrified and obeying anyway. Here we see why humility is the foundation of courage. True courage flows out of concern for others without regard to the risk to oneself.

Judging Courage

“The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone” (1 Corinthians 2:15, HCSB). Many Bible translations use the word judge where the word evaluate is used in this scripture. The English language has two meanings for the word judge: one is “evaluate”; the other is “condemn.” People who don’t follow Christ love to quote Jesus saying that we are not to judge (Matthew 7:1, HCSB). Jesus means not to condemn. He isn’t telling a godly person not to evaluate or discern.

How do we evaluate or judge true courage? Courage is an outward expression, but its true motivation is inward, and we can’t observe that. As an example, let’s take two platoon commanders in the same battle. 

Both charge a machine-gun nest, brave the bullets, and save their men. Each gets a medal for his actions.

The first man saw that the guns would soon mow down his men. He was drafted into the war; he didn’t volunteer. He comes from a broken home with no father to teach him honor in battle. Terrified and without thinking, he charges to save the lives of his men. He captures the guns, and his men live.

The second man is also terrified. He comes from a decorated military family. He joined the military because that’s what all the men in his family do. He looks around for escape and sees none. He doesn’t care about his men, but is terrified to be branded as a coward. He’d never be able to look the members of his family in the eye again. Seeing no way out of his predicament, he charges and his men are saved.

Are these men the same? We don’t see their hearts; we see their actions. They each earned the military reward that is given by mere men, but God knows who they are on the inside, why they did what they did. “I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10, HCSB).

One man says grace in a restaurant with meekness and humility out of pure gratitude to God, who gave him the meal. Another says grace to impress the people around him with how religious he is. He smacks of religious pride. Both have completed the same action, but one said grace in humility and the other in pride.

So how do we properly judge courage? We judge it only in ourselves. We can judge — evaluate — others only by their actions, because we can’t truly know their motivations. And this is where the man of God must dwell — at a point of constant self-examination:

Why did I say that? Why did I react that way?

Guard your heart and your integrity. Courage, or lack of it, is a window that reveals your level of humility, which makes it a primary signpost on your walk with Christ . . . and on your journey to becoming one of God’s servant kings.

Excerpted from Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man by Ken Harrison, Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers. To download a free chapter, go to RiseoftheServantKings.com. Ken is donating all the profits from the book sales to Promise Keepers.

Promise Keepers Announces New President

August 16, 2019By PK ManagerBoard, News

Judge Vance Day will serve as president alongside Ken Harrison, the Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers.

Our Lord is calling men across the nation, indeed the world, to be Servant Kings. Each generation has a calling upon it to stand tall for what God is doing here on the earth.

In the 1990s, we sensed God moving and accepted His challenge to step up and call men to action. Praise God, we saw Promise Keepers become the largest movement of men in the history of the church, with millions of men repenting of their sins and dedicating their lives to Christ. Now, we sense God’s calling upon Promise Keepers once again. We all know that our nation urgently needs a revival of godly men living out true masculinity.

Last month we laid hands upon Judge Vance Day and affirmed his calling to be President of Promise Keepers. He is a man of great integrity and steadfast resilience. He has been tested in the crucible of intense fire and shown his mettle to be that of the Lord.  He is a faithful husband, father, brother, and friend. Judge Day is a man who mirrors the admonition of 1 Timothy 3: 1-7. He is a man of the Word and possesses a joy which only comes out of severe testing. We trust him. 

Ken Harrison, who will continue as Chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers, and Vance Day have stepped into a rich heritage of leaders who have accepted the challenge to call men together for restoration and revival – not only in this nation, but across the world. 

Today, men of God have a choice to make. Are they committed to reading the word of God daily? Are they determined to embrace brothers who are racially different? Are they loyal to their local pastor and church? Are they protecting their wives and children? We are convinced the answers are “yes” from Ken and Vance to each of these questions! Accordingly, we challenge men of God to join Ken and Vance as warriors determined to ignite revival in America in this hour!

We congratulate Vance as he accepts this great responsibility and calling. We will be praying for him. We ask that you do so as well.

How Can We Increase Our Faith?

August 14, 2019By PK ManagerRise of the Servant Kings

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

“Which one of you having a slave tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘ Come at once and sit down and eat’? Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? Does he thank that slave because he did what was commanded? In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.'”

What is our Lord’s answer to how we can increase our faith? It is to work hard, not expecting a reward. Those who work diligently will increase their faith, allowing them to do more and more, to hear His voice, and to have a vibrant prayer life. This in turn allows them to obey as second nature. Then God can use them for great things.

Excerpted from Rise of the Servant Kings by Promise Keepers Chairman Ken Harrison. To download a free chapter, visit riseoftheservantkings.org. (All profits from sales of Rise of the Servant Kings are donated in support of Promise Keepers.)

Does My Work Matter?

August 9, 2019By Vance DayCulture, PK Men's Study Bible

Many of us spend quiet lives in a cubicle or in front of a machine where no one notices our work unless we mess up. If we don’t show up for work, someone else takes the pile off our desk or bench and life goes on. So how significant is what I do with those 40-plus hours of my week?

Psalm 90 was written by Moses during Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness. It is a plea for God to give meaning to otherwise meaningless lives. Think through the structure of this poem, and its impact hits like a sledge hammer. God is eternal; man is temporary. Apart from God, humans have no hope of significance. So Moses prayed for wisdom and for God’s compassion on man’s condition. The request of Moses’ prayer was that God would let man understand God’s workings, and then incorporate human work into the grand, eternal plan.

Moses recognized that God’s involvement in a man’s life is his only hope of real significance. Meditate on verses 1-11 and then carefully read verses 12-17 as your own prayer. As you go to work, offer up your activity to God as part of his eternal work through you.

Scripture Reference: Psalms 90:1-17

Promise #1 HONOR
A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Excerpted from the Promise Keeper’s Men’s Study Bible.