“‘I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.’ And he worshiped the LORD there.” – 1 Samuel 1:27-28
Hannah knew her son was a gift from God, and she could give him back to God. Hannah couldn’t guarantee how Samuel would turn out. But Hannah trusted God with her son’s life, saying, ‘For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’
If you have a child, think of what it would mean to give that child to God and to see yourself as a teacher and shaper of a human soul who belongs to God. When you talk to him, when you reach out to correct some behavior, when you decide to take him to church, when he asks you a question, you are responding to God’s property.
The thousands upon thousands of decisions you make in regard to your child through his or her lifetime shape a living soul whom God has entrusted to your care. You may not have given your child back to God like Hannah did in these verses, but that doesn’t change the fact that he or she is God’s gift to you. Why not stop right now and pray verse 28, inserting your child’s name in the first sentence: “So now I give_____ to the Lord. For his or her whole life he or she will be given over to the Lord.”
If you have no children, think of the young people and others whom you come into contact with. All people, no matter what their age, have been created in God’s image and deserve the dignity of that position. Keep in mind that when you respond to another person, you’re responding to God’s child.
Thousands More Participate Daily as Word Spreads and Men Watch the Event on Social Media, Partner Sites, and the Newly Launched Promise Keepers App.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Promise Keepers, the men’s ministry founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney and known for their massive stadium events, brought the power of that stadium experience to homes, churches, universities, military installations, Salvation Army locations, and prisons across the country and around the world through its first-ever online Global Digital Experience July 31 and Aug. 1, 2020. At that event, Promise Keepers not only announced their 2021 national event, they also announced a new nationwide imitative for October and debuted a wealth of resources for men.
The Global Digital Experience reached men in 85 countries (including Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Fiji, India, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Ireland, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Uganda, U.K., and Zambia — to name a few) and all 50 states. The worldwide reach of the event was accomplished through livestreaming, hundreds of simulcast locations, and partner organizations that simulcast the event through their own social media platforms.
The Global Digital Experience is available on-demand, and thousands of men are watching the sessions daily. So far, the Global Digital Experience has reached 1 million men — including over 750,000 who participated on both days. We also have the potential to reach millions more through our influential partner network.
Vance Day, president of Promise Keepers, said:
“When we announced the Global Digital Experience six weeks ago, we had a strong sense that God was calling us to more — to reach more men with more ministry in more places. As Paul says in Ephesians 3:20, ‘by his mighty power at work within us [He] is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.’ And this is precisely what God has done — taking an event designed for 80,000 in one place and transforming it into a planetwide event that would reach millions — including nations where Christians are actively persecuted like China, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia. And this is just the beginning. To God be all the glory.”
The Global Digital Experience convened some of the world’s most powerful communicators and worship leaders, but with a difference.
As Ken Harrison, CEO of Promise Keepers, said at the beginning of the event as he invited the men to “buckle your chinstraps:”
“We’re going to take on issues in a real way the way real men do. This is not going to be churchy. We’re not trying to make you more moral. We’re not trying to make you more religious. We want to tell you that we found grace and joy through our Lord Jesus Christ; that the way to be a better man is to be a better disciple of Jesus. And when you become a better disciple of Jesus, then you become the man you’ve always wanted to be.”
“You won’t become the man you want to be through self-effort, through self-help, through a strong will, or by trying to obey some rules somebody somewhere told you that you need to do. The way you become the man you want to be is by knowing Jesus Christ, the grace and joy He has.”
“I know some of you out there feel like you’re not good enough for Jesus. I’m telling you that you are. You’re going to hear some authentic stories from men who have failed, but who have been brought up by the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s going to be amazing what He can do in your life.”
Other notable announcements at the Global Digital Experience include:
Post Event Follow-up: Men are already digging into the post-event follow up resources to connect them in community and with tools to help them in all areas of life. The New Believers Guide is reaching hundreds of men through an email sign up on our homepage and within the app.
Our Bible Study is a free resource for churches and individuals and available as a PDF download and as an interactive feature in the Promise Keepers’ APP with the ability for men to engage in discussion questions and provides suggested action steps. It has been requested over 2,500 times and will be released shortly.
The app and along with the private Promise Keepers’ Facebook Group are both growing in numbers of registered users and men engaging in the content and the community.
Global Digital Experience ENCORE Showing Friday, Sept. 11, 2020: This program distills the best of the two-day event into five power-packed hours. Promise Keepers is also adding translation into 20 languages for the Encore Presentation.
Promise Six Unity Sunday Oct. 25, 2020: Promise Keepers takes its name from the seven key promises of a godly man. Promise Six states: “A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.” Because of this, Promise Keepers is mobilizing to energize men across the country to reach out in their communities to tear down the walls of racism, division, ignorance, and prejudice and be at the forefront of meaningful dialogue and meaningful change.
Promise Keepers App Launched for iOS and Android: The app is a “digital brotherhood” that will connect men across geographic, generational, and denominational lines so men can connect and grow and do life with each other. The app provides an ignition point for relationship and discipleship while providing real-time help for issues that men face.
Nicole Stark, Director of Marketing and Operations at Promise Keepers, said:
“The new era of Promise Keepers we began last year combines the best of classic Promise Keepers with the possibilities afforded by the latest technology. Think about it as the difference between analog and digital. Today, digital integration not only allows us to do stadium events, but it also allows us to provide the full spectrum of men’s ministry: a catalytic event that sparks fellowship, discipleship and change-making teams of men in communities everywhere, working together to impact the core of our culture — and we will continue to do ministry 365 days a year even after the event ends. We are meeting men where they are — in church, at a friend’s watch party, on social media or through an app.”
For more information about the resources, the app, or to register for the encore event, visit PromiseKeepersEvent.com.
ABOUT PROMISE KEEPERS Founded in 1990 by Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is one of the most significant movements of God in the history of the church. In 1997 alone, Promise Keepers packed 22 NFL stadiums and gathered 1 million men for Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly of Men at the National Mall in the District of Columbia.
On July 16-17, 2021, 80,000 men are expected to gather from across America and around the world at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, for its annual stadium event.
The organization’s mission is to empower men to live out their God-given identity and purpose today and destiny tomorrow by serving their homes, workplaces and communities with integrity and influence.
Thirty years ago, a Christian men’s movement began as a meeting of dozens of men with a prominent former football coach. Its biggest moment was a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people on the Mall in 1997. Now, Promise Keepers is attempting to make a comeback, but not in the way it had planned.
On Friday, the evangelical organization began its free, two-day event online, bringing together men from more than 65 countries to hear from former sports figures, Christian musicians and famous pastors and authors. Organizers originally hoped to draw 80,000 men to a stadium outside Dallas for their first major arena-based event in close to a decade.
“We’re showing this to a huge conglomeration of churches in India — it’s going to be translated into Hindi — and all over South America, translated into Spanish, and it’s also being translated into Polish,” said Ken Harrison, the organization’s unpaid chief executive since early 2018. “What seemed like a huge disappointment ended up being a huge blessing.”
He said about 500 churches in the United States are planning to host public simulcasts of the virtual event, with others choosing to keep their plans private in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event — prerecorded mostly in Nashville — was to feature messages from Dallas megachurch pastor Tony Evans and Indiana-based Christian counselor Steve Arterburn and the music of contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith and American Idol finalist Danny Gokey.
Harrison said he expects some women who are “curious” will watch and be able to see for themselves what Promise Keepers is about. But the official response to registrants — estimated at more than 1 million — discourages men from watching with the women in their lives, at least at first.
“We encourage men to participate in the event in a mens-only setting initially,” it said, citing the merits of women-centered events. “There is a different dynamic when men hear these messages together versus in a setting with women/wives/daughters/friends. We encourage men to invite their wives and other ladies to watch in a second session after the men have been able to watch together.”
Pastor Tony Evans has warned that “far too many men” in today’s culture are “domesticated or neutered” as Satan continues to undermine the biblical definition of manhood.
In a message titled “Created to be Crowned as a Kingdom Husband and Father” delivered at the two-day virtual Promise Keepers 2020 Men’s Conference, Evans, founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, urged Christian men to take ownership of their God-given roles in a culture rapidly descending into “chaos.”
“We have far too many men who have been domesticated or neutered,” Evans said. “What God is calling you for is to stand up and take ownership. We have a generation of children who do not have leadership … [we have a] generation of young people whose consciences haven’t been fed … and so their conscience doesn’t go off. As a result, they come up with their own conclusion of life and meaning and dignity and sexuality.”
According to Evans, who’s also the founder and president of The Urban Alternative, men have largely “abdicated their role of being Kingdom men and become cultural men, even cultural Christians.”
“And as a result, we are descending into chaos,” he stressed.
The author of Kingdom Man and No More Excuses defined a “Kingdom man” as a “male who has learned to progressively live all of his life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, where the King up there rules his life down here.”
“Unfortunately, today we have a generation of young … males who have not learned what it is to live all of life under God’s rule,” he lamented.
The pastor explained that God created Adam before Eve “because Adam was to lay the foundation for everything else that was supposed to be built in the culture.”
“God never says that the world has fallen apart because of Eve,” he said, citing 1 Corinthians 15:22, which says in part, “in Adam all die.”
“Man was going to be held responsible for family, church, and culture,” he said. “God says, ‘I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ He never says, ‘I am the God of Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel,’ not because those ladies weren’t critical, but because men were ultimately responsible.”
“Our nation is falling apart, our families are falling apart, our churches have become weak,” Evans continued. “Why? Because men have become missing in action. They’ve come to the soft definition of Christianity … rather than this radical commitment to Jesus Christ and their Christian faith. And as a result, we’re not having the influence and the impact.”
Satan is determined to “come after” men because “he knows if he can remove the man from his [role,] then everything else that’s banking on him is going to become destabilized and shaky too,” the pastor warned.
For men who have “messed up,” Evans offered a word of encouragement: “God can take your leftover life, He can take your failures and mistakes, mix it together and put a little cream of Holy Ghost over it, and He can still serve you up a life worth living. Not only give you a better future but give you some of the years that the locusts have taken away.”
“God created you to be crowned,” the pastor emphasized. “He created you to be His representative in history to be crowned as a Kingdom man. But Satan is out there trying to jump you and take you off the board. But if you submit to the rule of God, [you’ll] know how … to jump over the evil one so that when you get to the other side, you can be crowned as His Kingdom’s representative to a culture that is desperately in need.”
“I challenge you to not be satisfied to be a male,” he concluded. “It’s time for us to become Kingdom men rising.”
Evans frequently speaks on the state of manhood and examines what God requires of men.
He previously told The Christian Post that the secular world is confused about the true definition of manhood. Popular terms like “toxic masculinity,” he said, is society’s attempt to understand and define the present, poor state of manhood.
“There are two sides to this,” he said. “One is people feeling that men have been oppressive to women, and to some degree, that’s true. It’s women wanting to break free from the toxic effect of that negative pressure.”
“But then on the other side is men having been given the wrong information about manhood from the television, from the media, from music, so that they’re doing the best that they know how to do,” he said. “So we’ve got to give them new knowledge and new definitions. We’re going to have to ask the opposite sex to encourage that right definition rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”
The Promise Keepers free, two-day virtual event was prerecorded mostly in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to Evans, the event featured messages from Indiana-based Christian counselor Steve Arterburn, Christian author Bob Goff, Pastor Miles McPherson, and the music of contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith and “American Idol” finalist Danny Gokey.
“Our nation is falling apart, our families are falling apart, our churches have become weak,” Pastor Tony Evans said. “Why? Because men have become missing in action. They’ve come to the soft definition of Christianity…rather than this radical commitment to Jesus Christ and their Christian faith.
From July 31 to August 1st, Promise Keepers 2020 Virtual Event launched via livestream. Churches participated across the world, streaming PK 2020 to socially-distanced gatherings of men.
Over 750,000 men have watched the livestream so far—but the event isn’t over yet.
Men who viewed the livestream are stepping out and taking action. Rebroadcasts of the Promise Keepers 2020 Virtual Event are being scheduled at churches across the country as more spread the word. Men are also now signing up for the Promise Keepers app, which a connection hub to Bible study resources, sermons, and connection with other PK men.
“I challenge you to not be satisfied to be a male,” Dr. Evans said in his keynote session. “It’s time for us to become Kingdom men rising.”
If your church is interested in signing up to stream a PK 2020 Encore Event, apply here.
Download the Promise Keepers app to connect with others. (Download iOS here; Android is available here.)