Who Hates You, and Why?

May 13, 2019By Ken HarrisonRise of the Servant Kings, Values

We are in a fight. If you don’t feel like you’re in a fight, then you aren’t paying attention. There are misery and need all around us, and God has called us — as men who have received His gift of grace — to fight for His suffering people, and fearlessly share the Gospel. 

A continuing theme in Paul’s writings is that we are soldiers in God’s army. But soldiers fighting what? Paul wrote, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand” (Ephesians 6:12–13).

So we see that the deceivers and the deceived are really just tools of Satan and must be rescued from him. Most refuse to be rescued. Some just can’t see the truth. Some love their sin and don’t want to repent. Some just really love evil. If you stand firmly, gently, and humbly for Christ, people will have one of two responses: “To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life” (2 Corinthians 2:16).

A man of God in today’s society will have enemies because he is standing for the truth. If you don’t have people who dislike you because of your commitment to following God’s Word, then you’re probably not even in the fight.

My wife, Elliette, got a call not long ago from someone claiming to be with the IRS, stating that they were sending the police to arrest her and she needed to give them all her information to save herself. I’ve gotten that call; you may have gotten it too. When I got it, I just hung up. Not Elliette. “How could you do this?” she asked the caller. “Don’t you know that these kinds of calls only deceive the elderly and the uneducated? How could you steal from such people?” The caller hung up.

Unfortunately for them, they hadn’t called me; they’d called her and she’s a fighter! She prayed against them and the damage they were doing to people, and then she felt a strong push to call them back. And she kept calling them. Each time, as soon as she explained why she was calling and began her lecture, the person on the other end hung up. Finally a supervisor answered the phone and yelled at her for interfering with their business. She cussed at Elliette and hung up. Elliette kept calling.

On the thirteenth call, a young man answered. This time, when she asked how he could do such a thing, he answered her, “Because I’m a wicked man.”

“Why would you choose to be a wicked man?” she asked.

“I don’t mean to be,” he said, “but where I’m from there are no jobs. This is the only way I can make money.”

“Do you know Jesus?” she asked.

“Yes, but He won’t listen to me. I’m a wicked man.”

“Jesus died for wicked people. He died for you,” she told him. “He will listen to you if you repent of your sins and give your life to Him.” Elliette walked him through the gospel and they prayed together. Elliette, like a marine in World War II, took the rock in front of her, and a young man on the other side of the world is on his way to heaven. Twelve other people rejected her or cussed at her, but she found the one whose heart God had been working on, and now he’s saved.

In our fight, we mustn’t concentrate on those who reject the truth; we must just keep pushing forward for those who will respond. We are commanded to love our enemies (Luke 6:27). And we see from examples in the Bible that the more closely we follow Jesus, the more intensely the wicked will hate us. There was only one perfect man who ever lived, and they nailed Him to a cross. After that, they hunted down His apostles and murdered many of them too. It’s worth pausing and asking yourself a very serious question: Who hates you and why?

Excerpted from RISE OF THE SERVANT KINGS: WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT BEING A MAN. Copyright © 2019 by Ken Harrison. Published by Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man is available through AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianbookPowell’sBAM!Hudson BooksellersIndieBoundWalmart, and Mardel and wherever books are sold.


Ken Harrison is the president and chairman of Promise Keepers. Ken’s mission is to provide executive leadership and strategic direction to the ministry while inspiring men to be bold, humble and ambitious about their faith.

The Gift Your Wife Really Wants on Mother’s Day

May 11, 2019By Ken HarrisonRise of the Servant Kings, Values, Women 1 Comment
This article appeared in The Christian Post.

Men, what your wife wants from you this Mother’s Day is to be cherished. Far more than an expensive gift or a thoughtful card, she wants you to lead her family with her best interests in mind. She doesn’t want a man who is silent and soft, a man who is passive and withdrawn, or a man who is paralyzed by regret over past mistakes. Your wife wants you to be a man of God  a “Servant King.”

She wants you to be a King — proactive, courageous, generous and humble. A man who embraces his identity as leader with authority and conviction. 

She also wants you to be a Servant — a man who puts his wife and children ahead of himself, who nurtures them and makes sure everything he does is in their best interest, and who is ready to lay down his life for them if necessary.

God did not create man to be sufficient in himself. The ultimate intimate relationship a man can have on this earth is with his wife, whom God calls his helper. We see that they are to be “one,” a picture of how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. That is, they are to be in such complete unity that they are of one purpose and one spirit.

God gave man the role of leader of his family, but what does that look like? The world often tells us that leadership and authority are the same thing, but this is not so. Authority is that influence that the law gives to a police officer or a military commander. Authority says, “Sir, please exit the vehicle,” or “Grab your backpack and sit down.” Authority offers no reward for obedience, only punishment for disobedience.

We are not called to be in authority over our wives; rather, we are called to lead them. Leadership creates the space for a person to choose whether or not to follow. Notice that a woman is commanded to submit to her husband, not to obey him. I obey the commands of a police officer out of fear of punishment, but I don’t submit to him. This is because submission involves equality and choice. Obedience involves a hierarchy and offers no choice. A slave obeys his master, and a child obeys his parents. But an equal chooses to submit or not, based on the value in the relationship.

Jesus always offers us a choice when it comes to submitting our lives to Him. Submitting to the perfect Leader maximizes our fellowship with Him and gives us ultimate joy as a result. In the same way, a wife chooses to submit to her husband or not. 

As husbands, it is not for us to judge her willingness to submit. It is for us to be the kind of leader to whom she can gladly submit.

Therefore, it is incumbent on a husband to be as much like Him as we can be so that her choice is an easy one.

Give Your Wife the Gift of Leadership

“I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3). We seek to lead our families as Christ leads the church. How does He do this? He “gave Himself for her to make her holy . . . to present [her] to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25–27). Someday Jesus will present all His children to the Father, having given everything, including His life by being tortured to death, for the purpose of presenting them without blemish. Whether they will be presented as such will be dependent on the level of their willing submission to Him. Similarly, we will be judged on how we present our wives to the Father. Did we give our lives for them, as Jesus did for the church?

Does your wife see in you the heart for her that Jesus has for His church? None of us will completely measure up, but the closer we get to this standard, the more oneness we’ll have with our wives.

Going further, there are three overarching qualities that I’ve observed in great leaders:

1. Vision—All great leaders know and communicate who they are and where they are going, whether in an organization or elsewhere. Your wife must know that your relationship exists to glorify God. Leaders always keep themselves accountable to their people and remain open to constructive criticism. Does your wife feel the freedom to express her opinion in a safe and loving relationship? Leaders are not defensive and they do not argue. Are your words leading to life and unity or to division and distress in your marriage?

2. Ambition—Great leaders focus on the health and growth of their organization (or family). From the moment they rise until they close their eyes at night, they relentlessly pursue the implementation of their vision. Does your wife see that you are seeking to present her to Christ “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless”?

3. Empathy—Empathy is the ability to see things from the other person’s perspective. There is no more important place for this than in our relationship with our wives.

This Mother’s Day be the Servant King your wife is longing for, the Servant King your God has called you to, and that you were made for.

After seeing the destruction that such teaching wreaked on society, the world now teaches a new message about men. It is convoluted and vague. It flees from machismo toward an equally dangerous lie; it teaches men to be effeminate.

Let’s tear down the lie of society, which has come from the enemy of our souls, and look at what God says about masculinity. First, we must destroy the foundational lie upon which every other lie about society over the past several generations has been built: the lie of modern superiority. 

We tend to read Scripture through a lens of modern arrogance, interpreting it using our “superior” intellect. We act as if the God who wrote the Bible and created the world and the very minds with which we reason needs our help in updating His dated ideas. We have become easily deceived by each new idea that comes along, and that tendency is pulling us from a foundation of biblical truth to devastating effect.

Satan has been around since before the human race, so he is playing the long game. His lies build on his lies until even people who love Jesus have assumptions they believe to be true that are not. We seek passionately to avoid becoming pawns in his wicked game; therefore, we must understand his plans so that we can fight and defeat them.

Satan has been attacking gender, gender roles, and especially masculinity with a vengeance over the last few years, and even Christians have been deceived. Let’s take a scalpel to the things that some of us may accept as truth that are not truth at all; rather, they are cancers that our enemy sowed in our minds when we weren’t even aware.

Satan’s scheme, now and forever, is to disrupt the two most foundational building blocks of society:

1. Our relationship with God
2. Our relationship with one another

First, there is something not right in us, and to make things right, we must throw ourselves on the grace of the Creator. A philosophical change has spread across the world to convince people that there isn’t actually anything wrong with them and, if there is, it isn’t their fault. We are seeing Romans 1 play out before us now—not only are sin and perversity abounding, but people publicly commend those who live this way.

Second, there is nothing more foundational to who we are and how we relate to one another than the fact that God created us male and female. Humanity was created as two types—both are equally loved in God’s eyes and both will have equal status in Heaven. However, their relation to one another on earth is defined through distinctive roles determined by God at the foundation of creation.

The two genders, male and female, are together the earthly representation of who God is. Neither, on its own, is a full representation. This is one reason marriage between a man and a woman is so important and meaningful. The truest representation of God’s nature is a healthy marriage between a fully masculine man and a fully feminine woman, each acting in submission to Christ and in submission to each other.

“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). Every man is to be a leader. This is why being proactive is the foundation of being a man. When something needs to be done, a man seeks to do it.

When we understand that a man is called to lead, we see that a hallmark of being a man is accountability. This is difficult for many men to accept, but you must recognize that you and only you are accountable for your walk with Christ, for your marriage, for the state of your children, for providing for your family, and for protecting your family and anyone else who may need it. 

Your family—and your God—are counting on you to act like a man.

Adapted from Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man. Copyright © 2019 by Ken Harrison. Published by Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Promise Keepers Launches New Era of Men’s Ministry

May 8, 2019By Ken HarrisonNews 1 Comment

Promise Keepers, the Christian men’s ministry which filled stadiums across America and convened over a million men to the Mall in the District of Columbia in the 1990s, announced Tuesday the launch of a new era, and a new national event at AT&T Stadium in Dallas July 31 and August 1, 2020. The event is projected to draw 80,000 men from across the country and around the world, with another projected 5 million participating via simulcast.

Ken Harrison, CEO and chairman of Promise Keepers, revealed what was new and different about the new era of Promise Keepers:

“It’s the difference between analog and digital. Today, our goal is to get men digitally integrated—something that simply wasn’t possible before. Assembling men in the 1990s by the tens and hundreds of thousands had never been done before—but what about after? What about when men leave the stadium and go home? Many things were tried, but it just wasn’t possible to effectively network, encourage and strengthen men at home.”

“Today, we can not only do stadium events, digital integration allows us to provide the full spectrum of men’s ministry: a catalytic event that sparks fellowship, discipleship and the formation and nurturing of change making teams of men in communities everywhere, working together to impact the core of our culture.”

Ken Harrison went on to discuss the critical need for clarity about what it means to be a good man in a culture increasingly toxic to masculinity:

Psychologists claim masculinity is toxic. Governments and public schools mandate and proselytize that everyone must select our own gender identity, which can correlate with assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. That there are no right answers when it comes to being a man or a woman. Pop culture icons are lionized for their decision to raise their children gender neutral so they can decide what gender they want to be. And of course, there’s the infamous Gillette commercial, which hit bottom and kept digging. The result: Men are fearful, passive and distracted, focusing on sports, Fortnite and porn instead of rising up and leading their families. In this swirling time of confusion, Promise Keepers is raising high the standard of biblical masculinity without apology and rallying men everywhere to join them.

One of the most timely aspects of the new era of Promise Keepers is the prospect of drawing multiple generations to the AT&T Stadium event. Judge Vance Day, COO and general counsel of Promise Keepers said:

One of the most powerful benefits of Promise Keepers is the ability for sons, fathers, and grandfathers to experience the event together. While Baby Boomers remember this with fondness, today’s Millennials, who are coming into their own as husbands, fathers and in their careers, long to have the same experience with their own fathers. That’s why tickets for the AT&T Stadium event will reflect a significant discount for intergenerational groups.

Day revealed that Promise Keepers is also introducing a new format:

Instead of having multiple regional events, the new era of Promise Keepers will feature one massive event for the entire country each year that will be simulcast to locations around the world. And because men will be drawn from the entire country, the event will now consist of a session Friday night and Saturday, a concert Saturday night, and an optional day of service Sunday.

Preregistration for the AT&T Stadium event begins June 1, 2019. Speakers and musicians will be announced in fall 2019. You can learn more about the event and sign up for email updates on our home page or on social media at Facebook.com/PromiseKeepers.

Nearly 8000 Boy Scout Troop Leaders Allegedly Abused 12,000 Victims

April 27, 2019By Ken HarrisonNews, Values
This article appeared in Charisma News.

Nearly 8,000 alleged pedophiles abused a reported 12,000 victims within the Boy Scouts of America, attorney Jeff Anderson said this week.

“That is a number not known before today or ever revealed by the Boy Scouts of America,” said Anderson, who represents former scouts.

The numbers come from the “perversion files,” which The New York Times reports began after World War I and continued through 2016. The files named 7,819 “perpetrators” and 12,254 victims.

Though the “perversion files” were unsealed in 2012, an expert recently reviewed the files and shared her findings in a testimony earlier this year.

Janet Warren, a professor at the University of Virginia, said during her testimony that she had been hired by the Boy Scouts and spent five years reviewing data in these files that contained information on volunteers whose involvement in the group had been ended “because of reasonable allegations of child sexual abuse.”

“The alarming thing about this is not just the number but the fact is that the Boy Scouts of America has never actually released these names in any form that can be known to the public,” says Anderson.

He continued: “The disclosure made by Dr. Janet Warren really sounded the alarm to us.”

According to ABC:

The existence of the abuse database is not new but the scope of the abuse is. In 2012, more than 14,000 pages of documents relating to abuse by 1,247 scout leaders was released in connection to a case in Oregon. That same year, The Los Angeles Times createda database detailing about 5,000 men and a small number of women tied to the Boy Scouts who were expelled in connection to sexual abuse.

Warren’s number shows a significant jump in that number, and Anderson is calling for the Boy Scouts of America to make the list public.

“This is information that the Boy Scouts has and has had for several years … [and is still] keeping secret today,” Anderson said.

The Boy Scouts said “every instance of suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement.”

“Additionally, all of the names on the ‘Anderson List’ are publicly available; all of these individuals were removed from Scouting and reported to law enforcement,” the Boy Scouts said in a statement.

The Boy Scouts could be hit with more sexual abuse allegations, though, as states expand their statute of limitations laws.

According to theAssociated Press:

States have been moving in recent months to adjust their statute of limitations laws so that victims of long-ago sexual abuse can sue for damages. New York state has passed a law that will allow such lawsuits starting in August. A similar bill in New Jersey has reached the governor’s desk. Bills also are pending in Pennsylvania and California.

In New York and elsewhere, lawyers are hard at work recruiting clients to sue the Boy Scouts, alleging they were molested as youths by scoutmasters or other volunteers.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers “recognize that this is a very unique and lucrative opportunity,” said attorney Karen Bitar, who formerly handled sex-crime cases as a prosecutor in Brooklyn before going into private practice.

Attorney Tim Kosnoff, a veteran of major sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church, said Tuesday that he and his team have signed up 186 clients from dozens of states in just the past few weeks who want to be part of litigation against the Boy Scouts. Kosnoff said 166 of them identified alleged abusers who have not been named in any of the Boy Scout files made public in past years.

Boy Scouts spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said the organization continues to evaluate its financial situation, and she defended its current abuse-prevention policies. The organization serves more than 2.2 million youths.

Many Christian families have backed away from Boy Scouts in recent years as the organization shifted to accommodate the changing cultural climate. Other scouting organizations with biblical values emerged, including Trail Life USA.

“Our culture is rife with confusing messages about human sexuality that are contrary to what we know the Bible says,” says Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life. “Although in a fallen world it’s impossible to guarantee the safety of our children, Trail Life USA is doing what it can to make clear statements on purity, sin, and gender roles, as well as provide regular criminal background checks and child safety and youth protection training to all of our adult members. Our 1-2-3 Child Protection Policy means no one-on-one contact between an adult and child, 2-deep adult leadership in every setting, and buddy systems of 3 or more boys. We also require any incidents be immediately reported to authorities and manage none of those in-house.

“Christian families need to take care to place their children only in programs that are clear in their stand on biblical sexual purity and gender roles, vigilant in their efforts to keep kids safe, and rigorous in the management of any actual or suspected violations,” Hancock says.

In 2017, when the Boy Scouts announced girls who identified as boys would be allowed in, Christian organizations like Trail Life USA doubled down on their biblical values.

“It’s the beginning of the end of what the Boy Scouts used to mean,” John Stemberger, chairman of the board for Trail Life USAsaid at the time. “It’s really a sad move.”

Other Christian leaders have tracked the Boy Scouts with heartache at the organization’s downfall.

“As we’ve all watched the caving and compromise within this wonderful organization, many of us warned of what would happen as well as withdrew our sons and grandsons from involvement,” says cultural commentator Larry Tomczak. 

“We recall the over 100-year oath boys took and worked with dads and leaders to uphold, especially to remain morally clean: ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.’

“Disregarding God’s design for marriage and sexuality has brought tragic consequences. Thank God responsible men founded Trail Life USA, the Christian Boy Scout alternative that I encourage all to support now more than ever,” Tomczak says.

Ken Harrison, CEO and chairman of the board of Promise Keepers, said: “Men are commanded by God to nourish and cherish their wives and children, to lay down their lives for them, to love them even as Christ loved the church. Instead, these scout leaders did just the opposite–using children for their own sexual gratification. But it’s not just for the Scouts to dramatically increase its vigilance, we need Christian men everywhere to commit themselves to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.”

There’s a surprising connection between humility and courage

April 5, 2019By Ken HarrisonRise of the Servant Kings, Values
This article appeared on Fox News.

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. 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 and 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 his men’s lives. 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 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. Copyright © 2019 by Ken Harrison. Published by Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man is available now on pre-order through AmazonBarnes & NobleChristianbookPowell’sBAM!Hudson BooksellersIndieBoundWalmart, and Mardel. The book launches May 7th and will be available everywhere books are sold.

Ken Harrison is the president and chairman of Promise Keepers. Ken’s mission is to provide executive leadership and strategic direction to the ministry while inspiring men to be bold, humble and ambitious about their faith.

This article appeared in the April Issue of Solutions Magazine and in Fox News.

http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/april-2019/

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/harrison-humility-courage.

Pastor Todd Wagner Is Joining Promise Keepers Board of Directors

April 2, 2019By Ken HarrisonBoard

“The Scriptures exhort us to ‘act like men’ (1 Cor 16:13) … That’s why Promise Keepers is so needed today: calling men to God’s standard, convening them in mass gatherings, and commissioning them to be changemakers in their families, communities and local churches. That is why I’m so glad to stand with them.” — Todd Wagner

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Ken Harrison, CEO and chairman of Promise Keepers, announced Monday that Todd Wagner, founding pastor of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, is joining the board of directors. Promise Keepers, founded in 1990 by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, was one of the largest Christ-centered movements ever. Today, Promise Keepers is calling men back to courageous and bold servant-leadership by sparking a movement that will mobilize millions of men to follow Christ into today’s broken world as changemakers for their families, churches and communities.

Todd Wagner and a small group of friends established Watermark Community Church in Dallas in November 1999. Watermark was born out of a desire to connect people with the richness, adventure, and fullness of life that comes through Christ alone and to reach the unchurched, de-churched, dead-churched and unmoved. Todd serves as senior pastor and elder at Watermark, which has become one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the United States. Watermark is also home to the Church Leaders Conference, which exists to encourage and challenge other leaders and faith communities with God’s vision for His Church.

He has been a keynote speaker at national and international leadership conferences, a guest contributor to The Dallas Morning News and other national media outlets, and is the author of Come and See: Everything You Ever Wanted in the One Place You Would Never Look. His weekly video podcast, “Real Truth Real Quick” reaches tens of thousands of people each month. 

Ken Harrison, CEO and chairman of the board of Promise Keepers, said, 

“Todd Wagner is an inspirational leader and a man’s man, marked by an unswerving commitment to studying, living and proclaiming the Word of God. As Todd has written, the Bible is ‘Tried. Tested. Trustworthy. Proven. Truth I have experienced and Truth I am experiencing.’ Todd is a consummate family man, active and present in the lives of his six children, coaching their games and taking them to school. In this day of confusion about what it means to be a real man, and overwhelm as the busyness of our schedules and the demands of our lives leaves us strangers to our wives and children, Todd reminds us the Scriptures point us to a different, higher, life-giving standard.”

Todd Wagner said, 

“Men today need to step up, speak out, stand strong, stay humble and serve King Jesus. As a father to three girls and three boys, I have been given the great privilege of helping my children sail toward the right harbor of Christlikeness and the responsibility of helping them know the right winds that will take them there. The Scriptures exhort us to ‘act like men’ (1 Cor. 16:13), yet when you ask many men today what it is to be a godly man, they cannot give you a biblically based answer (much less model a biblically informed life). That’s why Promise Keepers is so strategic today: calling men to God’s standard, convening them in mass gatherings, and commissioning them to be changemakers in their families, communities and local churches. That is why I’m so glad to stand with them.”

Promise Keepers Board Member: Alveda King

March 13, 2019By Ken HarrisonBoard, News

Ken Harrison, chairman and president of Promise Keepers, announced the appointment of Alveda King, niece of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, to the Promise Keepers board of directors. Promise Keepers, founded in 1990 by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, is a Christ-centered organization calling men to courageous and bold servant-leadership by sparking a movement that will mobilize millions of men to follow Christ into today’s broken world as change makers for their families, churches and communities.

King grew up in the civil rights movement. Her family home in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Kentucky. She was jailed during the open housing movement. She sees the pro-life movement as a continuation of the civil rights struggle.

Currently, King is a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, serving as executive director of civil rights for the unborn for Gospel of Life, headed up by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. She is also part of the teaching and music ministry as well as former executive director of African Humanitarian Christian Fellowship, founded by her mentor, the late Pastor Allen McNair, founder of Believers’ Bible Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

King is a former college professor, holding a Master of Arts degree in business management, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Saint Anselm College. She also served in the Georgia State House of Representatives, is a presidential appointee and also an accomplished author, actress and songwriter.

Alveda lives in Atlanta and is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com “Insiders” section as well as a Fox News contributor. She is the grateful mother of six and a blessed grandmother.

Ken Harrison said,

It’s time for men to start acting like men. Calling men to be men isn’t chauvinistic or somehow against women—although it is countercultural and controversial. But it is a fact that when men check out of their families, women suffer the most, as do their children—whether born or unborn. Our goal is to start a global movement of healthy masculinity sourced in absolute surrender to God that will empower and encourage men to be better fathers, husbands, friends and men.

Few people understand social movements like Dr. Alveda King. Few have sacrificed for change like Dr. Alveda King. But all-too-many women —including Dr. Alveda King—understand what happens to women and children when men fail to act like godly men. That’s why I wanted Alveda to join the board of Promise Keepers—to remind us of the stakes at risk in our mission, the urgency of the need, and to provide the wisdom to help us chart a way forward.

Alveda King said:

A pressing civil rights issue of our day is the plight of the unborn, murdered by the millions, defenseless, voiceless and “choiceless.” We are praying that men will rise up as husbands and fathers, leading to genuine life, liberty and happiness in Christ for all; born and unborn.

As my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The Promise Keepers message and movement is needed now more than ever, and I’m glad to serve by sharing insight, energy and prayerful support to the Promise Keepers board.

This article appeared in Charisma News and Christian Black News.

The Oscars & The Attack on Masculinity

March 12, 2019By Ken HarrisonCulture

Sunday, February 24, was the Oscars, full of drama about who would win, who shouldwin, what the winners would say, and of course, what they were wearing on the red carpet. This year, as Rachel Syme noted in The New YorkerBilly Porter, one of the stars of the FX series, “Pose,”

“… managed to outdo himself yet again. He wore a ‘tuxedo gown’ … The top half of the outfit fit like a traditional men’s tuxedo, in plush black velvet, with oversized satin lapels; the bottom half, also an inky river of velvet, flared out into a massive bell skirt. His torso looked like it was smoking a cigar with a brandy, while his skirt looked like it was ready for a gothic Victorian-era coronation.”

When asked why he wore the gown, Porter said, “My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean?”

Porter isn’t the only one looking to buy a vowel. The American Psychological Association has decreed that “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful.” The forces of political correctness are seeking to throw out the idea of assigned sex at birth in favor of a spectrum of gender from which we can choose. And then there is Gillette’s Super Bowl ad, “We Believe: The Best Man Can Be,” which famously hit bottom and kept digging with 1.4 million dislikes to 775 thousand likes by both depicting a false image of masculinity and offering a flawed alternative for their false image.

And what do all of these trends have in common? They reject biblical wisdom and replace it with a vision of masculinity which is soft, silent, and impotent at the exact moment when the world needs men who are servant kings — men who are proactive, courageous and humble, men who take decisive action to serve their neighbors, families, churches, and communities, men who step out in bold obedience and trust in God’s Word.

The Bible is clear: “God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female” (Genesis 1:27).

Satan has been around since before the human race, so he is playing the long game. Separating God’s beloved children from Him is a marathon for Satan, not a sprint. His lies build on his lies until even people who love Jesus have assumptions they believe to be true that are not. His schemes last far longer than our short lifetimes. We seek passionately to avoid becoming pawns in his wicked game; therefore, we must understand his plans so that we can fight and defeat them.

Satan has been attacking gender, gender roles, and especially masculinity with a vengeance over the last few years, and even Christians have been deceived.

Satan’s scheme, now and forever, is to disrupt the two most foundational building blocks of society:

  1. Our relationship with God
  2. Our relationship with one another

First, there is something not right in us, and to make things right, we must throw ourselves on the grace of the Creator. A philosophical change that started centuries ago has spread across the world to convince people that there isn’t actually anything wrong with them and, if there is, it isn’t their fault. We are seeing Romans 1 play out before us now — not only are sin and perversity abounding, but people publicly commend those who live this way.

Second, there is nothing more foundational to who we are and how we relate to one another than the fact that God created us male and female. Humanity was created as two types — both are equally loved in God’s eyes and both will have equal status in heaven. However, their relation to one another on earth is defined through distinctive roles determined by God at the foundation of creation.

The two genders, male and female, are together the earthly representation of who God is. Neither, on its own, is a full representation. This is one reason marriage between a man and a woman is so important and meaningful. The truest representation of God’s nature is a healthy marriage between a fully masculine man and a fully feminine woman, each acting in submission to Christ and in submission to each other.

What is masculinity? The life of Jesus embodied true masculinity. It’s being a servant king. If you’re not serving others like Jesus, you’re not fully walking in biblical manhood.

***Adapted from Ken Harrison’s forthcoming book, Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man.

This article also appeared in CBN News.

Promise Keepers Board: Chad Hennings

February 28, 2019By Ken HarrisonBoard, News

No one has the resumè that Chad Hennings has. 

He’s a simple Iowa farm kid who had the opportunity to attend the U.S. Airforce Academy, fly 45 combat missions over Iraq, won three Super Bowl rings as a defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, founded and leads Wingmen Ministries, and, most importantly, prioritizes being a husband and father. 

And, now, Chad Hennings is joining the Board of Directors of Promise Keepers. 

No one is more thrilled to have Hennings’ leadership on the board than Ken Harrison, Chairman of Promise Keepers. 

“Chad Hennings isn’t just a football legend,” Harrison acknowledged. He’s a true American hero who set aside personal gain and delayed his NFL career to fight for his country as an A-10 pilot. Chad selflessly serves his family, his church, and his community. His heart for men — and the impact men have on their families — compelled him to start Wingmen Ministries. Chad’s experience in creating ‘cultures of excellence’ is just what we need, and his insight into the power of commitment — keeping promises — is exactly who we aspire to be as Promise Keepers,” Harrison insisted. 

“In order to attain excellence one must first live a lifestyle of excellence,” Hennings said with conviction. “Excellence isn’t a destination; it’s an identity.” 

Hennings has lived this message for most of his life and has taken this message across the world at the invitation of some of the most distinguished executive audiences ranging from American Airlines to Bank of America, General Motors to Citigroup, and a host of U.S. Governmental agencies. 

Hennings has also been a philanthropic leader in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a member of the Board of Directors of Christian Community Action, an organization that provides assistance to at-risk families. 

He challenges audiences to dare to be excellent and inspires businesses to create cultures of excellence. “People and organizations don’t do great things to become great; great people and organizations do great things,” Hennings asserted. He credits his post-NFL career success to concepts he espouses on striving to live a lifestyle of excellence. 

As founder of Wingmen Ministries, Hennings equips men to be better husbands, better fathers, and more Christ-like examples. Hennings affirms,

“As the men of a church go, so goes the church. And as the church goes, so goes the nation.When a child receives Christ, there is a 3.5 percent chance the rest of the family will follow.
When a mother receives Christ, there is a 17 percent chance the rest of the family will follow.
When a father receives Christ, there is a 90 percent chance the rest of the family will follow.

Now more than ever, men need to know what godly masculinity is, commit to it, model it in their sphere of influence, and band together with like-minded men for support and sharpening. Promise Keepers is all about these things, and I’m honored to join them.” 

These days Hennings also serves as COO/Partner at Rubicon Representation, a Texas-based commercial real estate services firm. He also juggles speaking engagements and corporate advisory roles. “One of the things I’ve always been intrigued by has been business, so I’ve kind of been a serial entrepreneur,” Hennings said. 

Notably, Hennings has written three books, the latest of which was released in 2015. “Forces of Character” compiles a series of conversations about reaching potential, being a positive influence, and making a difference for others. The book features a diverse group of subjects, ranging from sports figures Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Jason Garrett, and Gregg Popovich to a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, a Space Shuttle commander, and a homelessness expert. Hennings previously authored “It Takes Commitment” and “Rules of Engagement,” which were released in 1996 and 2010, respectively. 

Chad and his wife, Tammy, have a son, Chase, and a daughter, Brenna. They currently reside in Flower Mound, Texas.

Men, listen up!

February 14, 2019By Ken HarrisonUncategorized

I just got done giving a presentation to a large audience when the usual line of people formed to ask questions or give their input to the talk. Then I noticed the desperate face of a desperate man. “I need to talk to you,” he said. I shook more hands and answered more questions and then as the crowd died down, he and I were able to move to a private corner to grab a few minutes uninterrupted. “My wife doesn’t respect me!” he said. “My kids don’t listen to me!” His face was shrouded in anger, the kind of anger that comes from pain. We settled down for a long conversation.

He was a retired Marine, and he looked like one. He was lean and muscular and stared through me as we talked. We went through the usual symptoms of the problem until we got to the root. He just didn’t listen to his family. “Man,” I told him, “if there’s one thing you can offer your wife and kids, it’s to listen. You can’t imagine how important it is to them that you just hear them out. Don’t have a solution to the problem, don’t offer to help, just listen and try to empathize.”

“I try!” he said, “but it’s all just so boring. My daughter goes on and on about who’s dating who. She talks about all her stupid friends. It drives me crazy. I just don’t care. I sit at the dinner table and wait for it all just to be over so I can turn on the TV and unwind.”

“You know,” I said to him, “when I was a newlywed, my wife was traumatized because her jewelry store had been burglarized. She went on and on about it. In those days I was a cop in a brutal area of Los Angeles. I averaged over one gun arrest and two felony arrests every day. I had to buy six watches in one year because they kept getting shattered while fighting with some bad guy in a gutter or tackling some gangster in a parking lot. A jewelry store getting burglarized was nothing in my world.”

“But as I watched her face while she told her story, I realized that she felt violated by the fact that some bad person had broken into her store and taken some of her inventory. I listened intently to her because it was important to her. I don’t know why I had the wisdom to do that, but God gave it to me.”

“Who’s dating who may not matter to you, but it matters a lot to your daughter, and for that reason, you should give her your full attention. She’s developing her expectations of the man she’ll marry based on how her dad treats her — you. Are you teaching her that she’s important and deservesto be listened to? If you’re bored by what matters to her, she’s picking up on it—and she’ll carry that with her for the rest of her life.” “You need to teach her that what is important to her is important to you—simply because it’s important to her.”Everything I just said to you ain’t bad marriage advice either,” I said. “You’re a Marine. I doubt that your wife doesn’t respect you — but I’m betting she doesn’t feel cherished by you. She doesn’t feel cherished because you don’t listen to her.”

I spoke again in that city about six months later, and that same Marine came up to me afterward, he had the same desperate look in his eyes. “How’s it going with your family?” I asked him.

“Well you know,” he said, “I tried to take your advice, but it just doesn’t work. I try to listen but my mind just drifts away.” He settled in for another long conversation where I’d give him advice that he’d ignore. Instead, I stood up and clapped him on the shoulder. “If you want to take up my time again, make sure you know the names of your daughter’s friends next time and her boyfriend if she has one. Tell me all about them.”

I spoke again in that city again about a year later. He wasn’t there. We men understand that our responsibilities are to protect and provide for our families. Often, the most important thing we can provide is to make them feel loved. All too often, men listen for an assignment: we listen for something to do or for a problem to solve. Sometimes, just listening and caring is all they really need. To be a true disciple of Jesus, a person must die to themselves. Part of dying to self is taking a genuine interest in the cares of others. Things that wouldn’t normally interest us become interesting — simply because they matter to someone we love. As you examine your life in Christ, don’t look at the outside — whether you’re following some set of rules. Look on the inside. Do you take a genuine interest in what’s important to others? Do you pray daily for them? Do you authentically wish the best for them? If not, take a deep look into your heart and ask God to help you to see others through the eyes with which He sees them. He will answer that prayer, and the world will begin to look vastly different and more interesting.


This article also appeared in the Christian Post.