Promise 2: Real Men Weep

February 28, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 2: Brotherhood

A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.

“Jesus wept.” – John 11:35

“Jesus wept.” Those two words comprise the shortest verse in the Bible. Yet, they say volumes about real manhood, don’t they? They tell us that real men love deeply (see 11:5 and 36), real men cry when they’re in pain, and real men allow others to see their pain (see v. 38). Most men find it difficult to openly share their pain. After all, if they should cry, others might think they’re weak or inadequate. For most men in our society, crying as Jesus did leaves a sense of being uncomfortably vulnerable. Yet Jesus, during this time of intense emotion, wept. His display was such that others who saw him weeping could openly see the love he had for Lazarus and his two sisters.

Crying can bring healing and much-needed emotional release. In a sense, it cleanses the soul. It also places us in a position where others can express their love to us. They can comfort us during our times of deep pain, and in so doing reinforce the emotional connections that are imperative to strengthening the bond of friendship.

Since our founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has challenged men to keep seven promises. Learn more.

Promise 2: Greatness Comes By Serving

February 22, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 2: Brotherhood

A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. ‘What is it you want?’ he asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’

You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’

‘We can,’ they answered.

Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.’

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'”

– Matthew 20:20-28

Men often find it hard to get close to other men. Why? One reason is because men tend to view each other as competitors, as rivals. Most men think that opening up to other men will put them at a disadvantage and give the others some kind of an edge. That’s probably why the disciples were ‘indignant’ when they heard about the request of James and John’s mother. If this woman succeeded in her behind-the-scenes lobbying, the rest of them would be on the bottom of the ladder looking up at their rivals.

But Jesus turned their thinking upside down. He told them that the key to true greatness isn’t in climbing over others, but in helping them up and serving them. From Jesus’ perspective, men aren’t rivals who need to compete; they’re allies who need to help each other along on the journey of life.

Since our founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has challenged men to keep seven promises. Learn more.

PK 2020: Earlybird Pricing Ends Friday

February 19, 2020By PK ManagerMy PK Story

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

More than ever, America needs a revival of godly men. Our nation faces problems that can only be overcome when men of integrity — promisekeeping men — fulfill their destinies as godly husbands, fathers, and leaders. That’s why we’re calling on men everywhere — all of us — to boldly rise up and STAND STRONG as the men God intended us to be.

Join us July 31-August 1, 2020, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in the heart of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Just like the iconic Promise Keepers conferences of previous years, we’re going to shake the foundations as we worship together. We’re going to drink deeply from the Word of God. And we’re going to return home as changed men. Through Fire Teams — small groups of men in each church linked by a smartphone app — we’re going to stay connected like never before. Together we will bless our families, strengthen our churches, and transform our communities. We won’t rest until we’ve brought radical revival to this country. And we need you to join us.

Register for the PK 2020 Conference – and invite others to join you. We are honoring the Early Bird Discount through this Friday, February 21, 2020.

As always, we have low rates for all military and first responders. We also have reduced rates for families and groups. Hotel discounts are available through our website. 

Why I’m Going to PK2020

“Attended my first PK Conference in Denton, TX summer 1993! Over the years I’ve been to over 25 PK conferences. PK offered me answers for my life as a Man, Father, Husband, Worker, Volunteer that I could not easily access in the local church.” – M.L.

“I went with my dad when I was 14. It was the best weekend I ever had with my father. And I can’t wait to repeat that with my son.” – S.S.

Black Church Worship: A historical and theological interpretation of a people who were pressed, perplexed, and persecuted

February 18, 2020By PK ManagerCulture

I am often asked by white congregants if the church is moving toward unity and oneness in Christ Jesus, and if [my denomination’s] convention (SBTC) has moved positively toward the “Look Like Heaven” emphasis. What is the reason for the emphasis on the black church and black worship in the month of February?

First, black worship is connected with black life and it is characterized by a religious sense inseparable from the suffering that determined it. When black people gather together for worship and praise to God, it is not because they have made a decision about the theological merits of Luther’s 95 Theses or of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion.

Second, black worship has been wrought out of the experience of slavery, lynching, ghettos and police brutality. As my deceased father would preach speaking in terms of our pain, “… we have been ‘buked and scorned” and “talked about–sho’s you borned.” In worship, we try to say something about ourselves other than what has been said about us in society. Through sermons, prayers and songs,  we have transcended societal humiliation and degradation to explore heavenly mysteries about starry crowns, long white robes and gospel shoes on golden streets.

For us, the church has been the citadel of hope–a sanctuary of peace. Whereas the church has been the only place where we could go with tears in our eyes without anyone asking, “What are you crying about?” We preach, shout and sing the songs of Zion according to the rhythm of the pain and the joy of life WITHOUT being subjected to the dehumanizing observations of intellectuals such as sociologists, psychologists and theologians.

In worship we can be who we are as defined by our struggle rather than be defined by modern society. Furthermore, our gathering for worship has been dictated by a historical and theological necessity that is related to the dialectic of oppression, and our attempt to liberate ourselves from it—for which we would have no reason to sing, “How I go over, my soul looks back and wonders how I got over …”

Third, black worship was born in slavery on slave ships and nurtured in the cotton fields of Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and Mississippi. It was birthed out of the struggle of black slaves seeking to define their humanity according to their anticipated freedom, and not according to slavery. For slaves, there was present the divine dower of “D Lawd,” who was greater than the white structures that enslaved them. When black slaves were tempted to give up in despair, this power (D Lawd) gave them hope that slavery would soon come to an end.

The source which black people used for explaining this power was the Holy Scripture as interpreted by our African heritage and our desire for freedom. Black worship is biblical! One of the most amazing facts of history is that many black slaves could not read, but their hermeneutics was not derived from an intellectual encounter with the text, but from a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Because slaves were able to make a radical epistemological distinction between the gospel of Jesus and the religion of the whites, the slaves came to a different theological conclusion about God. When African slaves heard of the Old Testament story of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt, they identified themselves with the Hebrews and their white slaves masters as the Egyptians—and for them no  exegesis could change that. It is this theological certainty that enabled them to sing, “… Oh Mary, don’t you weep, oh Martha don’t you moan, Pharaoh’s army got drownded in the Red Sea; Oh Mary, don’t you weep, oh Martha don’t you moan.”

Therefore, the theme of God as the liberator is found throughout the history of black religion. The theological conviction that the God of the Bible is the liberator of the poor and the downtrodden was and is the mindset of black people even today. For us as black people, God is a mighty God, our heartfixer, our mind regulator. In our worship he is known by the presence of his divine Spirit with us, giving us not only a vision that society must be transformed, but also giving us the power and courage to participate in that transformation.

Finally, black worship is a series of recitals of what God has done to bring his people out of hurt, harm and danger. In black worship, God is that divine miracle who enables his people to survive amid wretched conditions. In black worship, God is holy, personal and all-powerful. Our understanding of that fact is what drives us to sing, shout and preach, “He walks with me and talks with me and tells me that I am his own.” In black worship, God is everything we need in order to triumph over terrible circumstances.

But wait! You cannot leave out Jesus of black worship! In the black church, Jesus is known for his identification with the poor—and there is NO distinction in essence between God and Jesus. Jesus is our constant companion, the one who walks with his people. He is the oppressed one who experiences the brokenness of humanity.

Now that you have a better insight and meaning of the black church worship experience, my dear beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I invite you for one Sunday in the month of February to go worship with your local SBTC black church and experience our unique heritage of praising our Lord!

This article first appeared in the Southern Baptist Texan. The author, Pastor Donald G. Burgs, Jr., is the president of the SBTC African-American Fellowship and serves as senior pastor of Alief and Tabernacle Baptist Churches.

My PK Story

February 13, 2020By PK ManagerMy PK Story

I am so excited about the TX event coming up. I have so longed to see, feel and be a part of the God-centered worship that we experienced in the PK events of the 90’s and early 2000’s.

I felt led to attend PK in 1995 and there found a deeper relationship with my God than I had ever known. I cried, I was broken and I saw the depth of my sin and selfishness. I recommitted my life to the Lord, my wife and my family.

On the brink of divorce, God reconciled my marriage. I came home, washed my wife’s feet and committed to being a servant leader in our home. I decided to live a life of Christian integrity so my children had a father they could look up to. As my children have grown, married and started their own families, I am proud to say that they and their families have a relationship with Jesus that is more than mere words and actions. They too have become servants.

One [Promise Keepers] event in particular stands out in my mind, when my son went forward during lunch as they talked… They asked the kids what they wanted to say about their dads. I could see my son on the jumbotron twice and he was excitedly raising his hand but was never called on. He came back toward his seat, fell into my arms and was crying. When I asked him what was wrong he said that he wanted everyone to know what a godly father he had. Then my tears came. I knew that I had to lead my family in God’s paths of righteousness so as not to make my son a liar. It has been a real struggle at times.

I still listen to the older PK music because it was true worship. Over the years God moved me from leading a men’s ministry, to my wife and I leading a couples ministry, to me going to school to become a Christian counselor and then into the pastorate. For the past 19 years I have been a pastor of a small, rural church. The flock is not large but we serve a large God and even the small flocks need leadership. God has done great things in and through my life. My wife and I just celebrated 43 years of marriage. My kids have been on mission trips around the world. God is good.

I know my walk with the Lord was nurtured and grew because of a PK event on a cold October night in Memphis, TN. Thank you PK for coming back to the roots where we started. Let’s reach this next generation of men for God so that they, too, can know the peace that comes from a right relationship with Him, with family and with friends. The ills that our country faces—anger, violence, hatred—can all be overcome by the grace of God. We must not only teach it, we must live it.

God bless you all.

This testimonial was sent to Promise Keepers by a man whose life was transformed. If you have a PK story you’d like to share, we would love to hear. Send us your PK story today.

Promise 2: Faithful Friends

February 1, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Promise 2: Brotherhood

A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.

When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”

– Job 2:11-13

Faithful Friends

Job’s cultivation of friendships like these is a mark of his greatness. Note how these men responded to news of Job’s suffering. When they heard of his trouble, they traveled from their homes to be with him. They wept and mourned with him, and for seven days they just sat on the ground suffering in silence with their friend. These men spoke volumes to Job’s heart without saying a word. Think about what it takes to develop friends who will do that. Think about what it would mean for you to suffer like that with one of your friends. The investment of quality time in a few other men can pay off for all of you in the tough times.

Since our founding in 1990, Promise Keepers has challenged men to keep seven promises. Learn more.