Toxic Masculinity: Redefining Manhood

Tierce Green, Director of Authentic Manhood joins The Redeemed Man Podcast.

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About The Podcast

This month’s speaker is Tierce Green, director of the Authentic Manhood Initiative and Good Feed Media. A longtime pastor, speaker, and writer, Tierce is one of the producers of “33 The Series,” which uses experiences and teachings from the brief but prolific life of Jesus to help men form fellowship and face challenges in all areas of life by reclaiming their God-given purpose. “Throughout ’33,’ we talk about the definition of manhood, and we get it by comparing contrasting Adam in the garden of Eden with the second Adam—Jesus,” he explains. “There are four things: reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously, and invest eternally. If you look at Adam, you see he failed miserably in all four areas, but you look at Jesus and you see how He modeled real manhood for us. That’s the goal, whatever season of life you’re in.”

Show Notes

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Welcome and Guest Introduction

Paul: Good evening, I'm Paul Amos, founder of The Redeemed. The Redeemed is an organization of men and a community built together so that we can discuss both life's difficulties as well as the triumphs over those difficulties. Today, we're very honored to have Tierce Green come on as a guest on our show. Thank you Tierce for joining us.

Tierce: My pleasure. Good to be with you guys.

What does redemption mean to you?

Paul: Well, I'm going to start out asking you the same question I ask all of our guests being The Redeemed ourselves. What does redemption mean to you?

Tierce: Man, it means that what was broken is now fixed.  The mess that I made, I could not repair, but God loved me in spite of my brokenness and my sin, and He paid the price that I couldn't pay, and by the sacrifice of His son, Jesus, I've been redeemed. He calls me His child, not because I've earned it or deserved it, but because He redeemed it.

Paul: It's so funny when I first started this ministry, one of the things that came to me and the name of The Redeemed came through Isaiah and the realization that God paved this path for us before we even asked for it. To know that we are redeemed ahead of our own leaning toward God is truly an amazing thing. Especially when you consider, just like you said, I've done my fair share of screwing up in this life, and I'm trying my best to make the second half unlike the first half.

Tierce: That's right. That's my goal too, and we're still work in progress, right?

Authentic Manhood

Paul: Very much so, very much so. Well, if you wouldn't mind, I'd love to ask our guests to just tell a little bit of their story, and maybe you can tell us a little bit about how you've come to this place and what it means to you to be now the leader of Authentic Manhood.

Tierce:  Yeah, so let me go back to my whole experience growing up. I grew up in church and it was just a church experience. I went through the religious motions of getting baptized because it was the thing to do, but it wasn't until I was a young man, I was 19, I finished a freshman year of college, and it was a pretty dark time in my life. But in a summer job in Nashville, Tennessee, God crossed my path with some true believers. They weren't perfect because none of us are, but I saw in them the real Jesus. And it was compelling. It was irresistible. And so I put my faith in Jesus that summer.  

God put me on a new pathway. And so I knew that there was a lot of work that needed to be done in my life. I knew I was saved by His grace. I just began to cooperate and say, God what next? Through my college years, I had a lot of opportunities to speak on weekends for churches and different events, and God began to expand that through college.

I spent a short time as a student pastor in Greenville, South Carolina, but then in 1980, I moved out here to Texas. At the time, and the Dallas Fort Worth area, and I moved there because the DFW airport could get me anywhere in the world, typically direct and I just kind of waited for the phone to ring.  

In those early days, I'm an old rock and roller, and I was writing a lot of worship songs, and I would lead a lot of worship and speak a little bit. But as time went on, it began to be more speaking and less worship leading.

Now, my guitar kind of hangs on the wall, I use it for friends and family, but I began to write some content and it began to be primarily focused on men because I mean, I was still processing my manhood. I was impacted by something that Robert Lewis created in Little Rock, Arkansas called Men's Fraternity. That was the name of a gathering, they were doing a weekly gathering.

They were having a 1000 men show up at 6:15 in the morning going through this thing called The Quest for Authentic Manhood. So I began to listen to that and be impacted by that. I began to lead guys through that.  Then through one of my speaking events, I was down here in South Texas, where I live now in the Woodlands, Texas, and they asked me to join their staff. And that surprised me, I wasn't looking for a job change, and they said, we need you for this role, but we could really use some help with the men.  

So I said, Well, tell me what y'all are doing, and they had a Bible study with about 100 guys, and 100 guys is great. But this was a church that had 10,000+ people attending on the weekend, so 100 guys was a drop in the bucket.

I said, Well, what can I do? They said, you can do anything you want to, if it works. I said, well, I've been impacted by this thing called Men's Fraternity. Could I teach that? And they said, Sure, go ahead, here are the keys!

We promoted that we were going to do this thing called The Quest, that was the name for our gathering, and we were going to study biblical principles of manhood. And not only we're going to study them, we're going to show you how to apply them today in this century, in South Texas. 750 guys showed up!

And then the next season, a thousand men came.  So it was just blowing me away about, how many men we're just hungry to know what does God have to say about being the man we were designed to be. But not just filling their heads with it, but connecting the dots between the principals on the page to their life as husband, father, sons, and brothers. And so that impacted me personally as we got into that teaching Robert’s materials. Then I just began to write some stuff for our guys that other people are using around the world now.

How has Men's Fraternity evolved into the Authentic Manhood?

Time Stamp: 9:11

Paul: Well, that's fascinating. Thanks, in the beginning of that, talking about going through a dark time, because for so many of the people that are listening to The Redeemed Man podcast and listening to this, they didn't necessarily start out at 19 years old going down the right path. But knowing that even someone like you who's been as successful as you've been and done the great things that you've done, went through a difficult time, I think speaks to the heart of some of the people who are listening in on the show. It speaks to my heart, and I'm very thankful for you talking through that. It sounds like a fascinating opportunity to move to The Woodlands and to open up and really have the opportunity to teach Men's Fraternity.  

Tierce: Yeah, so there were men all around the world using Robert's original content. He created it for his men and Little Rock Arkansas, and he's a great teacher, and he would teach for 50 minutes. There was a time when guys would sit, and they would really be drawn to that, but culture shifts real quickly.  So it's hard to get even a church guy to want to come and sit for a 50-minute talk and to do it 24 weeks in a row!

Time is such a premium and so myself and a bunch of other guys around the country and now the parts of the world huddled up in Little Rock. Kind of a think tank, and we said, you know, these principles that Robert created are awesome. How can we repackage them? How can we reformat them and even add some new content from me today?

And so from that meeting, we thought let’s do instead to these long series and long sessions, let's break it into six volumes.  Then each volume is going to have just six sessions, and each session is only going to be no more than 30 minutes.  And rather than having one guy teach it, lets have three guys from different seasons of life.

So I became one of those three guys. John Bryson was a guy who at the time was in his 40s, I think, and he was a pastor, an urban church in Memphis. Brian Carter at the time was in his 30s, he's passive church in Dallas, and I was in my 50s. I played the role of the seasoned white guy.

And so it was a collaborative effort. We're helping create the content. A lot of guys behind the scenes are creating it, and so we produced this series, six volumes, six sessions each, each session only about 30 minutes and their videos, and we say, Man, here's the tools.  

And it's gone around the world we've reached... Man, I was corrected, I thought it was a million men, but I am terrible with numbers.  My friend who works in the main offices said, no its actually a three million men that have been impacted by this content.

Now, Paul, that's amazing, and I love that, and we can say that's hugely successful, but I realized in America alone, they're over 100 million men, so we're not even scratching the surface.  We’ve got a long way to go.

Biblical Manhood: What’s the target of manhood?

 

Time Stamp: 12:27

Paul: I admire the fact that you have both gotten to three million people and also have the where with all to say that you want to get to 100 million men. Tell us a little bit about the principles at the core of what you're teaching.

Tierce: Yeah, so we realized one of the things that all men need to know is ‘what's the target?’. What's a clear, compelling vision of manhood?  What does God have in mind when he says, Be men?

A lot of guys are aiming at the wrong target, and they might get to the end of their life and had a very successful career, but they realized they were shooting in the wrong target. Some guys have no target. They're just kind of drifting, and you know, as I know, if you aim at nothing, you're going to hit it every time.  So that's the experience in a lot of guys.

So one of the primary things we attempt to do in the 33 Series, especially Volume 1, A Man and His Design.  The centerpiece of this, and really the thread that runs through each volume is the definition of Biblical manhood. And so we take Jesus, and we take Adam, the first man, Adam in the garden, in scriptures, and he's called the First Adam, and the Apostle Paul has Jesus the second Adam.  It talks about how the first Adam was merely human, he was just flesh, but the second Adam was a life giving spirit.

We take these two Adams and we press them together and out falls this beautiful, clear definition of Biblical manhood.  
We see that there are four parts:

  • Reject passivity
  • Accept responsibility
  • Lead courageously
  • Invest eternally

As you look at the life of Jesus, you can see all four of these things. As you look at the life of Adam, you see how he miserably failed, and each one of these things. He was totally passive, he's given this woman to love and lead. When the devil is tempting her, he's not off hunting and gathering or fish, he's standing right there with her, scripture says, and just watching this whole thing go down. He's just standing there, totally passive.

When they sin and they're feeling guilty, they're trying to hide from God, and God calls him out, he says, Adam, did you eat of the fruit I told you not to? Instead of accepting responsibility, you know what he does? He blames Eve. He's not rejecting passivity, he's not accept any responsibility, he's not leading courageously, and he's really just living from the moment. You know the fruit God told him not to of. He thought it looked good for food, and God’s holding out on us.

But when you look at Jesus, you see that He, rather than staying up in the comfort of heaven, He rejected passivity, He initiated, He engaged, He put on skin became a man, He accepted responsibility, and He led courageously. His whole mission was about building the kingdom of God.

That definition of manhood is the center piece. If you look at it, you can apply it to everything we do as men. As businessman as husbands as fathers. Through every season of life

Living By the Principals of Biblical Manhood

Time Stamp: 15:44

Paul: That's fascinating. What great principles! I assume that through your teaching, you're able to get in from the place of brokenness into a place of wholeness that allows you to really live by those four principles.

Tierce: Yep, that's the deal. One of the challenges that we see is, as guys were kind of action figures. One of the mistakes we can make is to take these things and so, Okay, I'm going to do these four things, and that's noble. And there's nothing wrong with that. There's a lot that we teach in 33 The Series that you can learn from, you can apply in your life will be better. But one of the big things we say is this is not about behavior modification.

If we could fix our own life by modifying our own behavior, Jesus never would have had to die. So this isn't about behavior modification, it's about transformation, it's an inside job.  Only because God has initiated and redeemed us and he's working to change us from the inside out, do we even have a chance of doing any of these four things.  But we look at that as like, Okay, this is the model, this is our goal, and God, we by the power of your Holy Spirit, you make this true of me.

Paul: That's powerful, and I appreciate you sharing what the 33 is trying to accomplish. How long does the 33 Series take? Is that the 36 weeks and the 36 lessons?

Tierce: Yeah, one of the things I learned in teaching all those men that were gathering is too often, we kind of undermine our goal and we keep men busy. Filling their head with knowledge, but we don't create space for them to process it and put it into practice. And so rather than powering through 36 sessions of 33, and by the way, some guy a one, 33, why don't you can call it that...

Well, 33 The Series is a journey to Authentic Manhood as modeled by Jesus in His 33 years in Earth.  That’s why we call it 33.  But the goal is not to power through all six volumes of 33. That's content overload. So what we try to do is say, Hey look, in America, especially, pick the sweet spot and you schedule in the fall that's typically six weeks sometimes before Thanksgiving hits, and start it and finish it before the holidays start.  Then take some time off and encourage guys to keep meeting with their training guide. There are places in the training guide to write strategic moods. In the back of the training guides there is a place to synthesize your action plan. And then we say, Okay, so you take what you just learn and have coffee or breakfast or barbecue with some men and process your action plan.

So I just learned to principal, we call a huddle up and run to play.  So let's huddle up for six weeks, give me six and then unless we're on the play takes some time off to run and then much huddle up again for another six.

Ideally, if you can do six volumes of 33 in three years, that would be one volume in the fall, one volume in the spring with space around it to process and run the play, to me, that's the best application of this tool.

Authentic Manhood: It’s a Journey, Not a Quick Fix

Paul: I love that phrase of huddling up and then running the play. I think that this is a very simple analogy, is a former football player, I guess, and a lover of college football and pro football, I guess I'm in love with something like that.  I think that's a very beautiful analogy, and it really does make sense. Three years is a long time. And so it's a long journey for people to go on, but I think if you really think about the commitment to being an authentic man, it takes a journey, it is not a simple and quick fix.

Tierce: You know, one of the things we challenge guys to do is what we teach them how to run the play, and one of the best things they can do, not only to invest eternally in the lives of other men, but to really go deeper in their own experience and lead courageously. One of the best things they can do is to take some training guides, get the videos, and lead some of their buddies through it on their patio or in the boardroom, or their coffee shop or cigar shop or wherever, because you know, as I know whenever I accept responsibility and step into a leadership role, Man, it helps me! Because I study harder, I pray harder. I dig in deeper because I'm responsible for these men, and so one of the disconnects is guys who sit in a room fill in blanks in the training guide and never step up and apply it.

So we try to say, Hey, during the brain, why don't you take four or five of your friends or what you just went through and the six lessons. And you be the designated driver. You be in the driver's seat and you help them walk through these lessons.

Paul: So you're paying it forward in many ways.

Tierce: Absolutely, that's always a goal. Whether it's 33 The Series or you name it, man, just the Bible itself, you're always thinking, How can I use this, not just for personal edification, but how can I use this to really help others.

Kingdom Impact

Paul: Speaking of others, tell me a little bit about the impact you see on families, children, wives, and I know that through some new content that you're putting out there, which I'd love for you to get into at some point, that you're speaking not only to men, but now starting to speak to women as well.

Tierce: Yeah, so back when we first started teaching Biblical Manhood at this is huge church, I had a great leadership team. And so we came up with our strategy, I said, Okay guys, how we're going to measure success. And these were some really high energy guys and they had goals and they started listing the number of men they wanted to see.  And I said, Well, I'd like to see a bunch of guys do this too, but it's got to be bigger than how many butts are in the seats? And they say, What are you looking for? And I said, Well, after we've done this for a while, after it's kind of gotten into our culture, I want to hear from the women, I want to hear from the wives, and I want to see men stepping up and filling roles in our church that need a male influence. So I want to see more men taking their entrepreneurial skills and stepping in the ministries that are churches too, because we're really big on local and global missions.

As time went on and Paul, I couldn't walk across the atrium on any given Sunday without some woman flag and me down. And she'd always give a disclaimer, she'd say, Hey, Pastor Tierce, now, I'm not saying that my husband was a bad man before you all started to doing this, but since you all have been doing this, its like I got a brand new husband.

They start telling me how he's leading his family and not just working hard to put a roof over their head, but leading them spiritually. And then I remember one year, our children's pastor ran up to me and said, Look at this list of volunteers for this year, look at all the men on it. And I began to go down the list, and then I saw that guy was with us in Quest.

And then for our local and our global missions, you could see names of men who had been with us in the room studying biblical man, who are now stepping up and using the skills and resources God had given them to impact others. So, the metrics were there. I could give you a measurable difference of how it's impacting families in our church, and in our community.

The thing I'd always hear from women was, Man, have you got anything I like that for us?  And I said, Well, I'm sorry, I'm a men’s guide, I don't really know how to write for women, and then I thought, Oh, you know what, that's not true. I do... because these are Biblical principles, they're not just for one gender is for all of us. And so I started just kind of expanding it, and so just this year, I thought, Well, let's write something that not only men can use, but the church as a whole can use and so the first series, I've got a list of about 10 new series, and I'm writing... The first one is called Essentials for Life.

And one of the things we discovered through 33 is we have a lot of guys who would come and they were new to following Jesus, or they were new to the call of being a disciple.  And so essential for life really gives you the skills of how to grow in your faith, how to pray, how to build God's word into your life. The benefits of community and developing a life of generosity, how to influence others and share your faith and being a living sacrifice.

And the cool thing is, man, it's totally free and it's on this app, and it's called Good Feed Media right there. I don't know if you can see this, Good Feed Media, and you download that on any of the app stores. There's the media series, and then there is essential right there, and then they're the eight sessions. And then you click on that, and then there's a video that's free, and then just say you've got a digital outline for you and you can access to access this and share the people around the world, and no obligation to pay anything, it's an opportunity to pay it forward, but no obligation.

Paul: Well, that's wonderful, it's nothing like having it right in the palm of your hand and the ability to do it on the go.  Ever since COVID, we've really seen that the way we consume media has transformed. It seems like you all are trying moving ahead in providing a digital format in a way that people can consume media so that they're growing spiritually, but doing it in the way that fits with the modern man.

Tierce: Absolutely, those are the tools that we have available to us to get the Gospel around the world. The way I write and the way I speak it is easy to connect with. There are some women that are actually using essentials in their workplace and their associates through essentials, and then there's a prison team that's taking it into one of our prisons here in Texas, and so we just started with it, I'm excited about that. And then all the new ones that were going to be releasing.

Practical Wisdom

Paul: Well, Tierce before we call it a close, I'd like to ask if there's any practical wisdom and you'd love to give to our listeners, it's kind of any key takeaways that really for you stand for and that you want to give to our people.

Tierce: Yeah, a couple of things, and the first one really emerged from one of the sessions that we did when we were creating 33:

- If you really understand God's grace, that there's no sin too big for God to forgive.  

The Bible calls it super abundant grace.  Where sin increased. Scripture says, grace increased all the more. And so God's grace is shock-proof.  Our sin may shock our friends and family, but it doesn't shock God.  His grace, He's got enough grace to cover it. And if we really understand grace, when we sin, we don't do what Adam did and try to run and hide and cover ourselves. If we understand grace, when we sin, man, we run to God, and because that's the only way we can get clean. And it really mean it amps up our worship. Because we fully understand what it means to be redeemed. It was all God's grace.

So that's the first thing, to understand God's grace, so when you mess up, you don't have to hide until you clean up for God to like you again. You run to God. Then when you really understand that, I promise you're going to begin to sin less, because you understand how serious sin is and what God had to do to forgive us, of our sins. You'll see a measurable difference.

The second thing is this. So I'm in the winter season of my life, and I’m still learning what it means to be a man. So just remember, as long as you have breath in your body, school is still in session. We are always, always learning and growing. Even the Apostle Paul, he's like one of the giants in spiritual leadership, but all that he learned, all that he experienced towards the end of his life in ministry, rather than saying, You know guys, I think I got this thing figured out. He said, I'm the chief of sinners. And so the longer we follow Jesus and the closer we get to God, we realize, Man, school is still in session and it humbles us and we're actually more teachable. Stay teachable state stay in school.

Paul: Well, Tierce, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here with us on the show. Our audience would love to thank Tierce and let us know that we have a Third Thursday of every month, we launch a podcast, and this is an opportunity for you to hear from some of the great speakers around the country. We thank you so much for your time this evening. We thank you for following us on social media as well as on our website. Please go there for additional information.  God bless and God speed.

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