So you may have seen recently a news item about a man called Kurt Hahn. Hahn was reported to have been pivotal in the education of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. In addition to this Hahn has also been indicated as an instrumental influence in the formation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
So what you might be saying, well Hahn in this news item I was reading was suggesting that as boys transition to be men, starting around age 13, certain virtues and aspects of healthy curiosity and adventure can be lost.
I thought that was interesting, and Hahn went on to explore 6 conditions in society that he challenged to help boys overcome in their journey to manhood.
• Lack of physical fitness
• Decline of initiative and enterprise
• Decline of imagination
• Decline of craftsmanship
• Decline of self-discipline
• Decline of compassion
A lot has been written about Hahn but one contribution noted that Hahn’s ideas had managed to fuse a few things together. First the aspects of physical challenge, courage and perseverance combined with compassion, self sacrifice, love and tolerance….that got me thinking about this series.
What I have found time and time again is if you encounter a Christian man who has served in the military in some form they speak of these two aspects and thrive on them. Challenge, risk, danger, courage and honour combined with self-sacrifice, brotherhood and a deep commitment to a band of brothers.
In our church settings, it is easy for us to know and nurture the ‘pastor’ in men and enable those characteristics or attributes. But something gets suppressed, where is the warrior and his virtues?
Can Christian men be the shepherd warrior? A man who thrives on risk, challenge, adventure and courage whilst showing great compassion, love, and self-sacrifice? Can these men impact the next generation of young men waiting in the wings to step forward?
That’s what I want, I don’t know about you but if you feel like there is a sleeping lion in you that has hibernated on a diet of safe conversations, low expectancy and playing it safe as a Christian then lets awaken it, prod it and see what happens! You never know, blokes might get saved!