Soldiers for Christ
The ancient Jewish people - God's chosen people - had been awaiting the Messiah for generations. They believed that when the Messiah came, He would be a mighty warrior King and would reclaim the Promised Land by military force and sustain a strong political presence. Instead, Jesus Christ the King came to rule with peace and mercy. "Blessed are the merciful, for mercy shall be theirs." (Mt 5:7)
While Christ the King preached mercy, the reality remains....battles still rage. The battles for truth, for our Church, and for love call men to action; because of this call, TKM exists.
Under Christ the King's universal call to serve, we, as men, pledge to unite and build up men in the mold of leader, protector, and provider through education, formation, action and healing.
As you just read in the mission statement, we pledge to unite and build up men in the mold of leader, protector, and provider. What does that mean?
Each man is called to lead, protect and provide. This is a call directly from Christ. As Jesus instructed His disciples, he was constantly teaching them to be like Him. At TKM, we know that Jesus is the model of perfection and, as men, we should be striving to emulate Him in all we do.
Jesus said, "I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (Jn 13:15)
The King's Men constantly preach to men that their natural call is to "Lead, protect and provide" for women, children and the common good. Educating men on these fundamental roles has been a staple element of our masculinity programming from the start of our ministry.
In each of our formation and accountability groups, men are encouraged and implored to discuss the subjects of leading, protecting and providing regularly! "Leader, Protector, Provider" should be discussed at virtually every meeting.
Ultimately, the "Leader, Protector, Provider" model is about helping men become holy by fulfilling the roles that God has given them.
If men are truly going to become the leaders they are created to be, then they must assume their role as a servant to others. How can we practically do this today? Start by serving those who are placed in your care: your wife and children, your mother and father. Seek to understand their needs and do your best to put forward servant leadership in those relationships. Christ said, "If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet...Amen, Amen I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it." (Jn 13:14, 16-17)
St. Paul wrote continually on a topic that all men should know well. He said, over and over in his writings, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." This is where we must ask ourselves, "Am I worthy of imitation?" If you are not imitating Christ, you are not worthy of imitation. Whether it be for your wife, your children, your siblings, your co-workers, a stranger or a friend, you must be worthy of imitation before you can properly lead. This is why we call men to lead because it is essential!
Christ's example which we imitate was one of incredible love, service, and sacrifice. He was a man devoted to prayer and worship. He was a hard worker. He was confident. He was humble. He was, ultimately, virtuous. We must strive to lead like Christ led.
Characteristics of a Leader: sacrifice, service, humility, meekness, gentleness of spirit.
Next, men are called to be protectors. To be a protector means that a man is protecting the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of those under his care.
A man must protect those under his care in the home, in the school, and in public. The protection may come in the form of an outright attack, or it may be disguised and subtle. On a practical level, in our culture today, women and children are daily victimized by the multi-billion dollar abortion and pornography industries - the foundation of the culture of death. We must engage the enemy on the front lines by courageously standing up for life and the dignity of the human person. Men should call on their collective strengths and talents to fight evil at the domestic, local and national levels.
As we strive to be better protectors, let us call on St. Joseph, the protector of the Holy Family, to intercede on our behalf. We pray that we may be granted the necessary fortitude to fulfill our duties as protectors of women and children.
Characteristics of the protector: physically, spiritually, emotionally covers those under his care, strength, confidence, wisdom, defender.
It has been said, "Years from now, people will remember you by what they see in your kids." Being a good provider means so much more than being able to bring a paycheck home. Being a provider means that you are giving to those under you care all that they might need, whether it be a physical need, and emotional need or a spiritual need.
Biblically speaking, a provider is summed up best in Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" Follow the will of God in all that you do and God will grant you the necessary provisions. St. Augustine explained it this way: "Work as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on God." Better still, Christ says, "seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all those things will be given you besides." (Mt 6:33)
Characteristics of the provider: concerned about the future; mentoring and initiating sons; building up women, hard worker, giving, sacrificial.
As you can see, being a good Leader, Protector and Provider is a big deal!
The purpose of a TKM Formation Group is to help men grow in holiness and virtue, to sharpen one another (Prv 27:17) and to build up the whole man for the greater glory of God.
The purpose of a TKM Formation Group is also to enable a man to obtain or enhance the necessary formation and accountability he seeks in his walk as a Catholic Christian. This is done primarily through prayer, scriptural and spiritual reading and discussion with an emphasis on masculine spirituality and accountability utilizing The Four C's (Commit, Confess, Challenge and Confirm).
These meetings are designed for men of all ages (18 years and up) and stages in life. Every man has something to offer and is a valuable member to his group. The young men learn from the older men and the older men learn from the younger.
TKM Formation and Accountability meetings focus on all virtues and aspects related to a man's journey.
What a TKM Formation Group Looks Like
Each TKM Formation Group should operate and look the same, following the meeting format and procedure set out in the manual. There will be, however, the obvious differences during spiritual reading and discussion, differences in personalities of the men involved and differences in the discussion and content of The Four C's. One of the best features of the TKM process is the flexibility afforded to each group. We do not have a set curriculum, but instead, allow each group to decide what resource they want to use. We do not have a yearly schedule, giving individual groups the flexibility to proceed at their own pace. Each group facilitator should guide their meeting in the manner appropriate for the men who are in attendance.
Who Comes to a TKM Formation Group
TKM has seen men involved as young as 18 years old and men as old as 83, and everywhere in between. The men are single, married, divorced and even widowers. Some are fathers and some are not. Some are grandfathers. Some are rich and some are poor. Some come in with a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord and some do not. Most are Catholic, but TKM has welcomed Protestant men, Jewish men, and atheist men. Regardless of where a man is in his masculine journey towards holiness, BI TKM intends to build and unite men into the mold of leader, protector, and provider -- something all men should be working on no matter their status in life.
Each group has a uniqueness to it. The uniqueness of each group is based on the facilitators, the men involved, the existing relationships between the men (if any), the level of the men's knowledge and involvement in their Catholic faith, the level of commitment from the men involved and a number of other factors.
TKM Meeting Format
The format of a TKM Formation Group is as follows:
I. Rosary (~20 minutes)
II. Spiritual Reading & Discussion of a Masculine Spirituality Resource (~30-50 minutes)
III. Accountability using The Four C's model (~30 minutes)
Close each meeting with a brief prayer.
Meetings are each Monday evening at 7:30 P.M. in the Sacred Heart Chapel, 6430 Token Forest Drive, Manassas, VA 20112
For more information on TKM go to www.thekingsmen.org