Let’s Get Emotional: Moving from Immaturity to Maturity

Kenny Luck from Every Man Ministries joins The Redeemed to discuss how one moves from emotional immaturity to maturity.

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About The Podcast

The Redeemed Man podcast is joined by Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries, a church-to-church men’s ministry that provides tools and resources for men to achieve “spiritual maturity."  The key to finding it, he says, is to stop letting one’s purpose be determined by other people or the surrounding culture, and to focus less on the question of “Am I influential in the world?” and more on “What kind of influence am I having?” And by looking deeper, honestly assessing our emotions, and turning to God for direction, we can unlock the mystery of who we are and what we were put on earth to do.

Show Notes

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Welcome and Introduction

Good evening. I’m Paul Amos, founder of The Redeemed. The Redeemed is an organization that's building a community of men all around. We're here to celebrate men's triumphs over their difficulties in life. Today, we're here with a very special guest author and renowned leader, Kenny Luck. Kenny, welcome to the show.

Kenny: Great to be with you, Paul. And with your listeners. 

What does redemption mean to you?  

Timestamp: 00:25

Paul: Thank you so much. I know everyone's been excited about you coming on and, I'm so excited to be here with you. We'd love to start today the way we start with all of our guests and ask you, what does redemption mean to you? 

Kenny: Well, of course I have to start with, with the Lord and with God. Just the action of saving me from sin and myself. But you know, it's more than that. If there's an ongoing redemption, that's happening in my life where God has just gained or regained possession of the things in my life, my story, to use, for his purposes.  

I just, when I think about redemption, I think, man, God can use any circumstance, God can use anyone, God can use anything for his glory and His purpose. Especially the things that we feel could never be used. You know, that's, that's especially true in my own life.  

You know, I struggled with sexual integrity and had two brothers who committed suicide. One was a pedophile. I'm the last of seven kids raised in an alcoholic, chaotic, isolating home, largely fatherless. My dad was a ghost and that's just the tip of the iceberg in my life. And God has redeemed, God has used all of those chapters in my life for good and to impact others in a way that I never dreamed. So when I think of redemption, I think of salvation, but I also think of how God has used everything in my life, when I trust him and when I talk about it. 

Kenny Luck’s Faith Journey 

Timestamp: 2:09

Paul: Well, you touched on some obviously deeply personal and big topics in your life there, and thank you for that. Could you for a moment, talk to us a little bit about your faith journey? Yeah, I'm, I'm a Navy brat. 

Kenny: Yeah, I'm a Navy brat. I'm the last of seven kids. I was raised in church, but really, couldn't wait to leave church every time I was in church because it was boring. You know? I would move to the left, move to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight. Communion would be served and I'd go watch or play football.  

I think a lot of guys can, can resonate with that. But when you kind of combine my family journey with my faith journey, I really wanted a relationship with God. I just didn't have anybody telling me how that could happen on a personal level.  

In my life when sharing some of the things that I did just before where in my family, I was very isolated, not a lot of people paying attention to me. I was the last kid. I remember in a counseling session, one time sharing with the therapist, the dominant word that describes my childhood was ignored. And when you're ignored, when there's not a lot of time, talk and touch in a child's life, it creates what I would call a worth deficit, which I worked out in my adolescent and teen years, the way you might expect someone who's questioning whether they're worth people's time or attention, you go get attention, you go figure out how to be accepted. You do unhealthy things to get that acceptance.  

And in my journey, I hit the cul-de-sac at about 18 years of age. I was more making more money than my dad. I was socially connected. I was a three sport varsity athlete. I was headed to UCLA, but I was the most empty person, I think on my high school campus.  I came home from a party one night. And I remember saying the Lord's prayer most every night when I would come home, just by routine and habit. But this time I started the Lord's prayer, I said, ‘Our Father who art in heaven...’ And I remember stopping myself pausing. And then I said, Jesus, if you're real, I want to see you.  

It was a very bold and brave moment in my life. I just was done with religion and I really wanted to know if God was real. And so I remember saying that five, six, seven times, Jesus, if you're real, I need to see you, I want to see you. And I remember about the fifth or sixth time I said it, just the presence of God came into my back room at 6788 Hanover Drive in West San Jose, California. And I was engulfed in love, engulfed with God's presence, engulfed with purpose, forgiveness.  

It was almost like God simultaneously and concurrently was saying, okay, I'm here. It's Jesus. I see you, I hear your prayer. I'm here. I love you. I have a plan for your life. All in just one amazing burning bush moment. But it came out of a place of desperation, and it came out of a place of surrender.  

That was 38 years ago. And since that moment, my life has been forever transformed. And it's just been a daily journey of understanding that moment, what it means, what it means to love God and to walk daily with Jesus in a living, active, growing relationship.  

How to Hear The Voice of God

Timestamp: 5:56

Paul: That's an amazing story. And what a powerful moment to have a burning bush moment, as you said. What do you tell people that they seek that, but don't find? They're still seeking God, but they ultimately don't have the ability to hear him with that type of presence at this time? 

Kenny: Yeah. you know, sometimes, you know, it's always a risk when I share my testimony because not everybody has had that kind of powerful encounter with God's Spirit. But it is available. And God knew that's what I needed at that moment. And God knows us. God knows us better than we know ourselves. And so He knows what we need.  

He just says, if you seek me, you'll find me when you search for me with all your heart. And for me, it came like a liquid nitrogen explosion. Right. And for others, it's much more subtle because he knows them. He knows what they need at the moment that they need it.  

So the key is not the level of experience, although we all need an experience and an encounter with the Holy Spirit to validate our faith, I believe. But God will bring and reveal himself in different ways. For some people, it's nature. For some people, it's through the preaching of the gospel. For some people, it's just a revelation about themselves or a truth. But we have to seek it. We have to ask for it, just as God's word says. And God's promise to us is that if you seek him, you will find him. 

And so the journey is in the seeking. It's not the experience. And God promises that you will find Him. And He keeps his promises. 

One Activating Moment and a Yes to God

Timestamp: 7:48

Paul: Wow. Well, how do we get from there to Every Man Ministries and what are you doing there to help others today? 

Kenny: Well, when I graduated from college, I was a missionary for a short period of time before getting into the healthcare industry. And then for the next decade of my life, I just kind of worked my way up from an assistant to the VP of marketing to the CEO of a pretty substantial behavioral health company.  

As a kind of a young professional, I was attending church. And when I got married and I started having some kids and realized that, boy, my character, my insides, it needs the capacity to meet the demands of my realities. Of being a husband, of being a dad, of being a leader. And I wasn't getting it on my own. So I started connecting with a small group of guys. These were the husbands of the wives in our little community group at our church. And we started having coffee on Saturdays.  

Pretty soon I realized that I wasn't alone, that there were similar problems, similar struggles. In most dimensions of life these guys were challenged. But they had each other and they had God. And I began to change just by being in that environment where on a consistent basis, there was a group of dudes. We weren't talking about sports and politics for an hour before we got to the good stuff. We came ready to just look at God's word, talk honestly, process it and ask for prayer in areas of our deepest needs.  

And man, that whole environment, I started getting solutions. I started getting help. I started seeing I wasn't alone. I started getting pointed to God's word where guys had been through stuff and some real accountability with teeth, knowing that I would see them every week and they would ask me, hey, how's that going? 

And I thought to myself, man, if this is so beneficial for me, and it seems to be really benefiting them relationally in their marriages, their kids, their families, their coworkers, I wonder if we could create an organization that could create similar spaces, activate men in a similar way, equip them with some resources and deploy them into their families and communities and workplaces, just like this is working for me. And so I just said, hey, guys, I got this wild idea of starting an organization that's going to help churches build communities of men. And I'm not sure what all that means, but I wrote a business plan. I said, ask me about it in about six months.  

And about six months later, I was sitting in church and my pastor was teaching and this is what he said. I remember the exact words. I don't remember anything about the message, but I remember these words. And he says, you know what you need to do, but you just got to get off your blessed assurance and do it. And that was like the trumpet sound. I'm like, okay, Lord. And that was Sunday. On Monday, I walked into the chairman of our company's office and said, I'm firing myself and I want to start an organization that helps build communities of men in the local church. 

And my chairman looked across at me like kind of cross-eyed, like you want to do what? And I told him again and he goes, well, you've been here 10 years. Why don't you just office the new organization out of our building? And that's how Every Man Ministries was started. And I've never looked back millions and millions of men later, lots of resources, digital platform, all that stuff. But it boils down to one activating moment and a yes to God. 

Getting Vulnerable   

Timestamp: 11:47

Paul: That's amazing. We here at The Redeemed are following a very similar path, although behind you in terms of timing, we have launched our first in-person as well as our first online small groups this fall and are continuing to do that, doubling up on those going into the spring. We, like you feel like men in community and men in sharing is such a critical part of the journey that Christ has for us. 

He challenges us to tell other people our story. He challenges us to share our story. Tell other people our story. He challenges us to be in community and the body of Christ. And so thank you for sharing that for our audience. This was not a preplugged situation. Kenny and I are sharing here. And so thank you, Kenny, for your honest and openness about the importance of groups.  

As a part of a group, we all encourage people to share about their emotions. And I know that you've been somebody who has really encouraged men to get honest and real about their emotions and talking about those. Tell us a little bit about what you do to get men to that vulnerable state and helping them express who they are. 

Kenny: In my experience, and I've launched hundreds of thousands of men's groups, men in my experience need to see it modeled. I've sat at many a table and watched new guys come in and they just wonder. They wonder, okay, I'm here. Maybe the pain of their circumstances has exceeded their fear of connecting in a men's group. But they're there for one reason or another. And they're wondering if this is the real thing. And they're quiet maybe the first couple of weeks. But then they  hear men and they see men modeling transparency about what's going on.  

And then they're watching to see what happens. They're watching to see, wow, what happens to that guy when he gets real? Wow. He isn't judged. Wow. He actually gets help. Wow. He hears from other guys who have the same issue. Wow. He gets to hear from a guy who's on the backside of having walked through that same issue. And he's come out the other side, having defeated the thing that used to defeat him. And so men need to see it modeled.  

Once secrets cease to be the controlling factor in a man's life, because we always tell men, you know, whatever you can't talk about controls you. And once they see that it's an environment where it's safe to do that, the results are phenomenal. Spiritual power invades that man's life because once he has the courage and faith and humility to confess his reality, God's power invades that.  

It reminds me of the scripture when Paul says, I would much rather boast about my weaknesses if the power of Christ might rest on me. You know, Satan's invested in the secret and the secrets gain a foothold and a control. But once a man sees in the body of Christ and in a group with other men that, you know, all these guys are imperfect and none of them are acting like it and they all have problems. And their problems are the same as mine. And he ventures into that territory in faith and humility. That's when God's power and presence shows up. And, you know, once you're liberated from the secret, now people can help you. Now God can get to work. Now it's in the light and you don't have to be duplicitous. You're not living a double life anymore. The results are numerous and powerful when a man discovers that confession is not for cowards and confession results in massive transformation. 

Emotional Immaturity  

Timestamp: 15:44

Paul: I love the phrase ‘Secrets make you sick.’ To exactly what you're talking about there. And the reality is they do. I certainly in my own journey have struggled with the duplicitous life and have come free from that and feel like a different human being as a result of it. The amount of time, effort, and energy you spend trying to manage both an inner life and an outer life can be depleting as well as a total entree into the enemy.  

You know, a lot of it centers around emotional maturity and the ability to be emotionally mature, which being emotionally immature can open the door to addiction. And I'd love for you to just talk for a moment about addiction and a little bit about how emotional immaturity plays into that. 

Kenny: Well, when you, when you talk about emotional immaturity, I think it's good for the listeners just to kind of get a picture of that. You know, you expect a toddler not to do the toddler flop anymore, right? When they don't get their way, right? You know, and they hit the ground, start flapping. Here's the problem. They're emotionally immature.  

You expect with time that we grow up. Not just physically, but that we grow up inwardly and emotionally. And when there's a gap between your physical or professional maturity and development and your emotional maturity, meaning you have the body and responsibilities of a 25 year old, but you act like a 12 year old or a 35 year old acts like a 13 year old. That makes a man sad. It's deflating not to have the emotional capacity to be mature. And I always equate emotional immaturity with emotional insecurity. They're the same thing. Love in some way has not defeated fear in a man's life. And so when you have that dynamic going and decisions are being made out of pride and fear that creates negative consequences in a man's life.  

Negative consequences don't feel good. They feel bad. And when you feel bad, guess what? You want to feel better. And so, you know, and so our immaturity creates negative emotions on the inside and in our self perception, shame, guilt, self loathing, those all feel bad.  

It is human nature that when you feel bad about yourself, you want to feel better. And so you will seek out ways to feel better. Pornography, alcohol, workaholism, whatever the drug is that temporarily makes you feel better about yourself, but never is the solution. You'll take it because for the moment, you don't have to feel bad about who you are and how life's not working out. And so this is why, you know, the gospel, the love of God, which provides that forgiveness, provides that relief from shame, provides a path out, provides full acceptance and full definition for a man in terms of his identity that he can live out of and breathe out of. And it gives him the capacity to change. That's what we need.  

That's why we both point people to having an identity in Christ and in God and letting the love of God fully define who they are. Because when you know who you are in God and defined by his love, you'll know what to do and you'll start making new decisions.  

Jesus’ Emotional Perspective 

Timestamp: 19:48

Paul: You talk about emotional immaturity and then the other phrase I've heard is emotional congruence when you talk about Christ. And so flipping the table a little bit to the positive and as you just talked about here, moving toward the positive. How do you think about the example that Jesus has set from an emotional perspective? 

Kenny: Yeah, it's good to talk about Jesus because Jesus is the model man. That's the purpose. If you're a follower of Christ and you're listening to Paul and I talk right now, God's number one vision for you is for you to be like him.  

Well, what was he like emotionally? Paul mentioned that description. Jesus was emotionally congruent. But what does that mean? It means that when Lazarus died, Jesus wept. It means when Jesus saw people harassed and isolated and helpless, he felt compassion deep in his gut. It meant that his head and his eyes, what came through the eye gate and went into his brain, took the elevator down and it connected with his heart. Jesus's head heart elevator was working, right? He didn't need to protect himself from what he saw. He wasn't afraid of getting involved. He wasn't afraid of engaging what the moment called for emotionally.  

Fear is synonymous with self and self absorption. And when you're self absorbed, you're in your own head. And guess what? When you're self absorbed, the elevator doesn't go down to the heart. There's actually a psychological, physical disorder called alexithymia. Alexithymia is when you separate the heart from the head. You don't feel, you have a problem feeling.  

I had a problem feeling. I grew up in a very chaotic home. I had to be a survivor. I couldn't let myself feel. Feelings weren't allowed. You couldn't be sad. Everything was going to be okay. You couldn't be mad or you get a whooping. You couldn't be a number of things. And so you learn through fear of consequence how not to feel.

Well, then those boys and girls who grow up in environments grow up and they operate out of fear. Fear is synonymous with self, self absorption, self protection. And when you're self protecting and self absorbed, you're not feeling what's going on around you. You're detached. You're suffering a form of this condition called alexithymia. And that's why it's a diagnostic category.  

This is really sad, but people who hurt other people usually are alexithymic. They have the capacity to separate what they know in their mind and what their behavior is from this. And that's where evil comes from. To do evil to another person, you have to detach yourself from feeling the harm that you're doing to that other person. 

But where does that come from? Well, it comes from, our family formation and it comes from a learned fear response, hurt, trauma, loss. And that's where only unconditional love and acceptance and the internalization of that can liberate you from fear, which creates that emotional incongruence and brings you to emotional congruence. 

How to Find True Identity

Timestamp: 23:39 

Paul: Thank you for that. That is a powerful way of looking at that and thinking about fear, as you said, leading to self. The next step I can imagine, or at least a step down the road is getting to true identity. And so I'd love for you to talk about how you help men get to true identity. 

Kenny: Fear is the currency that we're talking about. It makes us competitive, self-protective, self-absorbed. And when that's the case, we have to be introduced and it creates consequences in all dimensions of our life, which don't feel good. And then we get into a cycle of medicating what doesn't feel good. And so the only liberating thing that can set a person free from fear is love. That's what the Bible says, that perfect love casts out fear. 

How do we get from a place of fear to a place of unconditional love and acceptance and accountability that liberates us from this cycle? That comes with just helping men find their true identity.  

And I think the game changing internalization is this, Paul, and for all of our listeners, that we're created by God. We're created for God. We're loved by God. And one day we'll go back to God. 

And the purpose of life is working that out. I just articulated the greatest existential question that every human being wants answered, which is, who am I? Why am I here? Where am I headed? And if you don't have the right answer to that fundamental question, the basis for life, you'll head off in a trajectory based on how you answer that question.  

So that is either in alignment with what's true or not in alignment with what's true. And what you and I are saying to everyone listening is that they're created by God. They're created for God. They're loved by God. And that's the game changer.  

We answer the question, why did God make me? Well, he made me with intention. He made me for a purpose. He actually loves me. That's my truest identity. Now I have to live out that truest identity. That's reality.  

We can listen to other voices that tell us that that's not. We can listen to the world, which tells us, no, your identity isn't in God. It's in what you have. It's in where you go on vacation. It's in the car you drive. It's in how many fun things that you're allowed to do. It's in how many fun things that you're allowed to do. It's in your next sensation. We can listen to those voices, but those are lies. 

The truth is that we're created by God, for God, and we're loved by God. Now, if you use that as a basis for your identity, living out of that truest identity, that's going to give you the meaning of life, your greatest integrity, your greatest energy, your greatest freedom. 

How to Deal With Shame

Timestamp: 26:50

Paul: I totally can see that. I don't know how it is for you, but when I think about men actually getting to their place of their true identity and their purpose, one of the things that holds them back from progress at times is shame and fear.  

How do you deal with shame in men? With all the men's groups that you started and all the things that you've done to help men? How do you help them overcome such a powerful epidemic among men today? 

Kenny: It's our standard of forgiveness versus God's standard of forgiveness. You know, we have a limit. We have limits. God's unlimited. And, you know, that can be a real obstacle for people. Like they're so used to shame that they abandon God's standard, create a standard of their own, and then they start living out of their own standard, not God's standard of forgiveness.  

Now, forgiveness and the kindness of God, the power in that is that in a healthy understanding of it, it leads to repentance, right? It's your kindness that leads us to repentance. It's sort of like, wow, God, you washed away my guilt and shame. And I, that's amazing. I can't even wrap my head around that. But you know what I can do? I can say thanks by how I live.  

I can say thanks by, you know, when someone does really something really cool for you, you want to do something for them, right? And especially when they give it just out of the kindness of their heart, you're just like, oh, no way. How can I repay you? How can I thank you? You know, and when you reframe what God has done for you, that you can't earn it out. You can't give God something back that's better. But you know what you can say? You can say thank you with your life.  

You can respond to kindness with a thank you. And that's how I live my life. It's called a grace response. Yeah, I didn't deserve it. I, you know, Jesus did that totally voluntarily. God's forgiveness has washed me. It has cleansed me. And I'm not going to abuse that act of kindness. I'm just going to say thank you.  

Paul: That's beautiful. I love the grace response. That is just such a simple yet poignant thing that motivates us all to act differently than the way we would act in our own fear and our own shame.  
 
Kenny: Yeah, I'm so grateful to God. He took my shame. He took it away. And, you know, when I grab shame back and I want to beat myself up and God says, no, I've dealt with that. No, you haven't. I really need it. No, you haven't. I really need to do that. I'm creating a standard that's higher than God's. What are we going to do? Re-crucify Christ? Again, no, no, he did it once for all the righteous for the unrighteous so that we could be delivered into this relationship with God. It's just it's just having a relational response. 

We do it on a human level. Someone does really something nice for us and overwhelming. And we just go, man, wow, what can I do for you? Well, you can just say thank you. That's how I frame my life because it gets us out of performance.  

Shame has a lot to do with performance and not meeting your own standard, having a higher standard than God's. To move from performance into the permanence of God's love. When you know, you can't lose it. It creates a different response.   

Overflow: Setting the Holy Spirit Loose in the World You Live In  

Timestamp: 31:21

Paul: Absolutely. Well, Kenny, if we could, let's pivot a little bit here. You are an accomplished author and I know that you've got a great new book, Overflow, coming out in March, focused on the Holy Spirit. Can you tell us a little bit about what motivated you to write this book and a little bit about what's going on in your writing? 

Kenny: Yeah. Overflow, the subtitle is Setting the Holy Spirit Loose In Your World. And that's intentional subtitle because you have a context, right? You are the man or a woman. You are in a relational context. You're located on planet earth where you are right now. You're connected to the people you are right now by God's intention and for His purpose.  

There's an overarching tale that the creator of the universe has in making you alive now, putting you where you are right now, in the context where you live right now, where you work, where you live, where you pray, where you play. There is a supernatural super story, an overarching tale that's intended only for you to work out.  

And the theme of Overflow is that God is at work in our context that He has placed us in. He is at work in us and He wants to work through us to change the world around us. I don't need to get on a plane or get on a boat, travel to a foreign country to work out God's super story that He has arranged for me to live out. It's right there where I live, where I work, where I pray, where I play, the things that I'm doing, the people I'm connected with. 

Overflow is about being salt and being light and being a fragrance of Christ in the spaces and places where you naturally are, where you physically are, and where you passionately are. And we do that through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. 

Timestamp: 33:32
Paul: How can we as individuals join the Holy Spirit in the process of transformation? 
 
Kenny: Well, you have to understand at a fundamental level that God, just like Jesus said, has chosen and appointed you to go bear fruit. So, you know, I'm supposed to be a fruit bearer. I'm supposed to reflect God in the spaces and places that I'm in. So you have to understand that fundamentally.  

You have to understand your identity, that you're light, that you're salt, that you're intended to be a fragrance because whatever commands your identity, your self perception commands your energy. That's why Jesus spoke in parabolic language about who we are. You are the light of the world. Right? You are the salt of the earth. You know, the Bible says that you're a fragrance spreading the aroma of Christ. 

So do we see ourselves like that or not? Because if that is our identity, then that identity is going to command our thinking and where we put our energy. And it's going to lead to some expressions. You know, so that's fundamental. That's step one. That's how we work with the Holy Spirit is seeing ourselves the way God sees us. And the truest thing about us is what God says is true. 

But then understanding that there's a commission to work with God.  Jesus said, you're chosen, you're appointed to go bear fruit. God says that you're his workmanship created in Christ to do the works that he's prepared in advance for only you to do. Whoa. Okay. Now that kind of informs my daily.  

Okay. God's in me. God's working through me. And then there's the practical, demystified, simple partnership with the Holy Spirit. And it's this. That when we have a thought that says, you know what? You should do that thing that shows love for God, or you should do that thing that shows love for people. Do that. And that's the unmistakable voice of the Holy Spirit.  

The Holy Spirit is clothed in those thoughts and those impulses and those leadings and those promptings that help you do that thing in your context that will show love for God and love for others. And that's the simplest way I can describe it. That's why the Bible says, if we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. It's a picture of two people partnering and walking. Have you ever walked alongside somebody and then did a little skip hop to get in line with their steps? So you guys are stepping in, you're in step.  

Well, keeping in step with the Holy Spirit is easy. It's not hard that when you have that leading, that prompting to do that thing in your context, your relationships, your workplace, your world that will show love for God and people. Do that, and you are partnering with the Holy Spirit. 

Timestamp: 36:32
Paul: Well, it sounds like Overflow is going to be a powerful opportunity for people to learn and a great resource. Can you tell us a little bit about when and where people can pick up a copy if they are interested? 

Kenny: Yeah, it comes out in the spring of 2023 and you can pick it up on all your major book outlets, Amazon, you know, wherever you order books, it'll be there. And you can go to everymanministries.com as well, and you can pick it up there. 

One Movement: The Local Church  

Timestamp: 36:58 

Paul: Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Well, one of the things that we'd really love to talk about and discuss is the fact that you have grounded your ministry inside of the church. We've had different people come on the show here and talk about some do it independent of the church, some grounded inside of the church, and maybe you could talk about your philosophy and why you believe it's so critical that your ministry and your teachings are within the church.  

Kenny: It's just rooted in Jesus and His words. There's one men's movement, you know, people who start men's organizations, all of a sudden say, we're going to start a movement, you know, it's like, okay, well, there's one men's movement. It's called the local church.  

It started with 12 guys who Jesus spent three years with, and that movement's been going on for 20 centuries. Three years, 12 guys, 20 centuries of movement, and he's still doing it. He's still reaching, relating, and recruiting men. And when Jesus starts the church, he looks at those 12 guys and he says, on this rock, I'm going to build my church. And the rock that Jesus is referring to, it's not an individual. When you build a rock to build a house on, in Jesus's time, it was a collection of hewn stones that were formed fit together to form a foundation. So he's looking at these 12 guys, he's going, and on this rock, I'm going to build my church. It's a collection of hewn stones and that form a foundation. So he's looking at the 12, he's going, okay, when did that start? In Acts 2:14, Peter stands with the 11, the Bible says, and a church is born. 

And it's a pretty cool concept that when Jesus says, on this rock, I'm going to build my church, and then in Acts 2:14 it says, and Peter stood with the 11. Peter was the mouthpiece, but the 11 was the team and the foundation for the church. And so God's agency on earth is the local church. So we can start things that don't involve the local church. We can do organizations, form nonprofits, but I think that's one of the lessons of some of the more accelerating men's movements that we've seen in the past, is they all boomerang around and need men in the church. 

Well, that's where the men's movement is. It's in the local church. And the local church is the hope of the world. But the hope of the church, I believe in this hour, is the power and potential of its men. Paul, we have 700 million men on planet earth who affiliate or name the name of Jesus. And most of those guys go to the local church. And here's the problem with starting men's movements outside of the one men's movement, which is the local church, is that then the local church suffers. 

Money is divested, spiritual gifts are divested, the vision and mission in the community is divested into other places and other things. It doesn't mean that we can't get involved with The Redeemed Man podcast or Every Man Ministry, but our responsibility biblically is to support men connecting to the body of Christ in the local church and supporting their pastor's mission and vision. And that's God's agency. And I believe that's biblical and unequivocal.  

Encouraging Engagement After a Pandemic 

Timestamp: 40:33

Paul: One of the biggest challenges, I believe it's come upon the church and come upon men relating in the church in the last several years has been the pandemic. And I'm curious as the leader of Crossline Church, the pastor there, how have you all dealt with the pandemic? And what are you doing to help overcome getting people back engaged in the church the way they were before the pandemic occurred? 

Kenny: Yeah, I think actually, well, the pandemic just to start off with, there's the God and the government argument. And then there's the leading of scripture that says, we're supposed to obey our governing authorities, but then we're supposed to assemble in community. We're supposed to assemble in community. And so there's always that tension there. And the pendulum can go real crazy in both directions. And I think everybody saw and really felt that and it was, you had to navigate it with discernment and as a shepherd do it. So I know that even in our church, we obeyed the government initially, we followed the lockdowns, but as the situation moved forward a little bit and as things opened up, we started to open up our campus and we started to create venues outside and again, really trying to follow the guidelines. Some would say we moved a little too fast. Others would say we were doing a cowboy approach, managing community. But one thing I really learned during that time was, is that isolation kills, but connection conquers. And so we tried to do even what we're doing now, connecting with people over digital platforms, allowing connection to happen online, doing groups online, communication digitally, whatever we could do. 

At Everyman, I remember doing a series called the Corona Chronicles. And our online community grew from a couple thousand guys to over 13,000 guys during the pandemic live weekly because they were isolated and they wanted to connect in community. So isolation is not God's plan.  

It's not good for me to be alone and it's never good. But we have to always manage it. And so coming out of the pandemic, there's a lot of energy centered around and people are really willing to be known and to get back involved. And we're fools if we don't take advantage of that. I was in Trader Joe's talking to someone and I just said, man, it's good to see your face. This person talked to me so energetically that it was like, wow, there was a underneath that tip of their presentation was this person who really wanted to talk.  

So people right now, post pandemic are really eager for connection. They're eager to talk. They're eager to connect. They're eager to, and I'll tell you, we have a limited window to really just enter that as believers and just go, hey, how's it going post pandemic. And they want to talk about it. You're reconnecting, you're getting back to church. And we have to invite them into community. They're hungry for community and connection.

Getting to Know Kenny Luck

Timestamp: 44:56

Paul: That's wonderful. All right. If it's okay with you, we'd love to do some rapid fire questions so our audience can get to know you. 

  • Q: what's the last book you read?
    • A: The Biography of Winston Churchill by Andrew Crawford.  
  • Q: Favorite band or singer?
    • A: Phil Collins. 
  • Q: If you were going on a date night, where are you going?
    • A: I'm going to Bourbon Steakhouse. 
  • Q: What is your favorite activity or a recreational thing hobby wise?
    • A: Hiking and road biking.
  • Q: If you could give one piece of advice to the men on this show that says, this is the heart of what you believe, what would it be?
    • A: To do your relationships right. Your relationships with God and your relationships with people. Smart men discipline themselves toward relationships with God and people.  

Paul: Kenny, thank you so much for your time today. What a blessing you've been to our audience. We appreciate you coming on, talking about a variety of topics, including your new book. And we're just so excited about hearing your message to our audience. I want to thank you for spending time with us this evening. Thank you so much for your dedication to listening to the redeemed man podcast. Continue to follow us online, sign up for the website and newsletter, as well as follow us on social media. We thank you all have a wonderful night. Good luck and God bless.

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