In my own personal life, this has been a week of reviewing “run of the mill” men who have had a high and holy impact for the Lord in my life. I am preparing to go to the funeral of one this next week that influenced many teenagers like me in the state of Ohio. The other on my mind is the retiring associate pastor of my home church for which I just finished a tribute video clip. Like my dear father and grandfather, these men have never been ultra-flashy but refuse to be unfaithful. I am not saying it is wrong to have a broad, well-rounded sphere of influence in our lives, but we unfortunately are out of balance in my humble opinion. If we are not careful, we tend to be begrudgingly grateful for this everyday kind of influence but not perceptive or imitating of their simple but high-impact genius.
What makes up a “low-tech, high-impact” kind man?
- He and his wife are best friends.
- He knows how to stay and thrive in one place for the long haul.
- His children and grandchildren respect him yet love to be around him.
- He exhibits an unquestioned loyalty, involvement, and faithfulness to his local church.
- His job/career is more of a means than an end.
- He usually has a few “claims to fame” that he is extremely reticent to share.
- He views no task as “beneath” his position or experience.
- He always listens to and demonstrates deference to those older than him.
- He demonstrates sincere interest and interaction with young people-including their technology and dreams.
- He tends to abhor offices and longs for manual and if possible outdoor activity.
- He knows how to shoulder up to and recruit others in hard work.
- He rarely spends money on his own clothes, hobbies, or individual pursuits.
- He freely admits his weaknesses and refuses to talk about those of others.
- He rarely reads…blogs. 🙂 (I had to throw in that self-incriminating one.)
- He has a well-worn, marked-up, tear-stained Bible…or twenty.
- He always gives His wife the better car.
- He is usually the last one to speak when advice is being swapped around a dinner table.
- He quietly donates his time on multiple fronts in the family, community, and church.
- He is usually the last one to abandon the support of a given leader, no matter how immature or flawed they may be.
- He pays cash..for almost everything.
- He typically is a student of history with lots of old movies, books, and magazines to review.
- He has a tempered curiosity to continue to learn and explore.
- He is a man of simple, high-quality prayer.
- He knows how to appreciate the routine as well as mix it up when needed.
- He is a man of his word and seems to instill that same quality in those with whom he does business.
- He knows how to handle his past and is well-stocked for the future.
- He possesses an inner strength that offers Christ-honoring hope, peace, and security to all that know him.
- He ultimately retires and dies, but the ripples of his life never retire or die off; they live on in the lives of those privileged enough to share this planet with him.
Technology and public relations can never make the man. As one author put it, “One of the dangers in our day of social media is the devotion to pastors and teachers we know only from a distance, whether on TV or the internet. Are we able from 1,000 miles away to inspect their fruit adequately?” Too often we are following leaders at a distance instead of carefully observing those closest to us that God has providentially and intimately put in our lives.
We can live without the high-tech, but we cannot without the high-impact men. I don’t know who your male heroes are, but can I ask you to look past a few of the flashy ones and hone in on some of the more average ones who live down the street or fill the church pew in front of you. When all the frills are stripped away, these men stand head and shoulders above many of the most publicized and venerated of our day. I want to be like Mr. Reinhardt, Pastor Humble, Dad, Grandpa Snode, and the often overlooked and yet high-impact man in your life. Don’t you?
I Co. 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.