According to the Promise Keepers' ministry website, the increasing rates of fatherlessness, abuse, absenteeism from church, and overall male passivism in spiritual things prompted the organization to call men together to worship Jesus Christ and to learn what a godly man is and how he thinks, lives, and relates to his Lord and others.
"Through these intervening years the impact has been immense. Now, sixteen years later, this question can be asked more fervently through the lens of the Seven Promises: Where are the men?"
Promise 1: Where are the men ... who are unashamed of their love and personal faith in Jesus Christ, who know His voice, and who are learning to live in the world but not be of the world?
Promise 2: Where are the men ... who are no longer isolated but who are living life deeply and authentically connected with a few other brothers in Christ, knowing they need each other to remain faithful to God and those they love?
Promise 3: Where are the men ... who are honest about their own battles and temptations and sincere in their pursuit of ethical, sexual, moral and spiritual integrity?
Promise 4: Where are the men ... who champion their family, helping it thrive through the biblical values of love, respect, honor, patience, sacrifice, and service?
Promise 5: Where are the men ... who love the body of Christ and who willingly offer their God-given talents and gifts to serve others and advance the mission of their church?
Promise 6: Where are the men ... who champion the unity of God's family and who are more passionate about God's Kingdom than about their denomination or ethnicity?
Promise 7: Where are the men ... who make it their sole aim in life to expand Christ's Kingdom by demonstrating and sharing the love of God with other people in regularly and practically in daily life?
The website states that: "Promise Keepers clearly recognizes that men and the times in which we live have dramatically changed since 1991; however, the desire and need for men to discover their identity in Jesus Christ, to clarify their life purpose, and to make a significant difference in the lives of others is greater than ever."
It continues: "The wave of large stadium events inspired and ignited men to come together, to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, and to pursue lives of integrity and purity. Though Promise Keepers encouraged men to ongoing action based on their commitments at these events, the organization was not then structured and postured to effectively serve, equip, and encourage a man in the transformative process from making his promises to keeping his promises.
"Consequently," the organization says, "we have now refocused our message from merely calling men to a life of integrity to now actively calling, encouraging, and equipping men to act on their integrity. We are restructuring our organization to help men not only make the right promises, but to keep them by actively applying biblical principles to their lives and by serving those around them."
Therefore, according to its ministry website, in 2007 Promise Keepers will:
Conduct National Conferences. These Friday night/Saturday morning events, will be brimming with the same masculine spirit and energy, and have been streamlined into events packed with inspiration, encouragement, and practical tools men can use immediately when they return home.
Plan Promise Keeper Selects. Beginning in 2008, PK will offer one-day events focused on a single theme important to men today. PK Selects will feature such topics as finances, single parenting, rearing sons and daughters, preparation for marriage, and business ethics. Because of the focus on a single topic, we will be able to offer in-depth teaching, utilizing experts in the field to provide the tools men need to make a difference in their lives, their families, and their communities.
Launch a new interactive, Online Resource Center on Father's Day '07 which will become a hub for communication, resources, Bible studies, and a host of offerings designed to equip men, men's small groups, men's ministry leaders, and Pastors.
Empower the network of Promise Keepers Ambassadors and Monthly Partners to coach, resource, and encourage men's small groups in local churches, businesses, schools and other community settings. The goal? To help each man put his faith and promises into action by engaging and serving others in his sphere of influence."
"As we embark on this next chapter of ministry to men, the following core assumptions will guide Promise Keepers' decision-making:
Strategically: "We recognize that we have served as a catalyst for men in large events, and we will continue to do so. We also recognize that we have inspired over 80 different organizations addressing men's issues. We will use our large event influence to gather men and to appropriately cross-pollinate with other men's ministries. Further, we will use the best of today's technology to extend the reach of our message and resources to encourage and equip men's ministries and men's small group to actively live out their faith."
Operationally: "We will structure ourselves for healthy-paced growth, making the most of the talent of our staff to encourage and equip men to act on their promises through high-impact events, technology and our Ambassador network."
Financially: "We will only produce events that pay for themselves, to ensure the financial health and future of the ministry."
"Where are the men?" the site asks.
"We pray that in the future the answer to this question will be: in authentic relationships, 'doing life together' within their spheres of influence to significantly impact the Kingdom!"
For more information, log-on to www.promisekeepers.org/home.
© 2007 ASSIST News Service, used with permission