Our Goals for Men’s Discipleship
We have two goals for the discipleship of men at Southshore: (1) Train men to be leaders in their home; and (2) Equip men teachers and writers to use their gifts in the church.
1. Train Men to be Leaders in Their Home
The Bible is clear that men are to exercise headship in their marriage and in their home. Though a full biblical theology is required in order to be exhaustive, Paul establishes clear principles in 1 Corinthians 11:3:
"3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God."
God and Christ are equal in every way. Along with the Holy Spirit, each Person shares in the fullness of divinity. Thus, to say that God is the head of Christ does nothing to diminish the glory of Christ as the Lord of all. However, there is an economical distinction made between Father and Son. The Father is the head of Christ. Thus, in all things, Christ submits to the Father and in all things the Father exalts Christ. Likewise, a man and his wife are equal in every way. However, just as in our Triune God, an economical distinction is made between husband and wife. The husband is the head, under Christ, of his wife. Thus, in all things, a wife is to submit to her husband in all things and in all things her husband is to exalt his wife.
Male Headship in the Home (1 Corinthians 11:3)
Practically speaking, then, a husband is called to lead his wife, even as he is being led by Christ, who is, Himself, in full submission to God the Father. In this way, a wife is to her husband as Christ is to the Father and a husband is to his wife as the Father is to Christ. We want to disciple men so that they are able to carry this heavy burden.
There is another prism through which we are called to view the headship of men in the home. We find it in Ephesians 5:22–33.
"22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."
The mystery revealed here is that marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church.
Male Headship in the Home (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Practically speaking, then, a husband is to lead his wife just as Christ leads the church. Thus, just as Christ sacrificed Himself for the Church, so men are to sacrifice themselves for their wife. In this paradigm, men reflect Jesus and women reflect the Church. We want to disciple men so that they know how to work for the sanctification of their wife.
2. Equip Men Teachers and Writers to Use Their Gifts in the Church
Male headship in the home is not an exhaustive discipleship plan. In addition to a man’s responsibility in the home, we recognize that God has gifted married and single men of all ages to teach and to write
In Ephesians 4:11–16, the Bible instructs male shepherds and teachers to appropriately equip the saints to do the work of the ministry:
"And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. . ."
Notice the emphasis given to doctrine in this passage. Undergirding all other facets of discipleship is a firm grip on sound doctrine. This mandate is not exclusive to men in the church. Therefore, it is essential that we also employ gifted women to help us to build up the body of Christ. In keeping with Scripture (e.g. 1 Timothy 2:12), however, we do not permit women to teach men in an official teaching ministry.
Doctrinal Discipleship (Ephesians 4)
Our desire, then, is to equip gifted men teachers and writers to disciple men, women, youth, and children in our church.
Our Structure for Men’s Discipleship
To accomplish our two goals, we have established an intentional disciple-making structure. In this structure, the elders will oversee both the training and practice of men’s discipleship.
Our Steward for Men's Discipleship is Pastor Jody Cross