". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Stand Courageous Men’s Conference Highlights Need for Biblical Leadership in Society

March 26, 2024

At a Stand Courageous Men’s Conference over the weekend, a retired Army general recalled one of his most devastating memories from the field of battle.

Fifteen of his soldiers, either dead or wounded, lay in the back of a five-ton truck in Mogadishu, Somalia. Standing in front of the bodies, the general pleaded, “God, where were You?” As blood poured from the truck like water, he lamented again, “God, where were You?”

That night, the man sat in his bunk as his anger for God festered. He cried once more, “God, where were You?” And as he recalled praying over his soldiers, that God would keep them safe, he aired his complaints up above, “Didn’t You hear my prayers?” In frustration, this general felt the answer to his pain was that there was no God, that there couldn’t be a God. Not after what happened.

“But the moment I said there’s no God,” he recalled, “I heard the audible voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He said, ‘If there’s no God, there’s no hope.’” The general began to weep.

This was not the only traumatizing experience Family Research Council’s retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin had. He had many before that dreadful day in Mogadishu, and many after. There came a point when he told the Lord, “No more. I can’t take anymore.” And yet, the testimony he shared at the 2024 FRC Stand Courageous Men’s Conference is that after each emotional, physical, and spiritual struggle , he went to God in prayer. Sometimes in anger, other times in desperation.

But Boykin remembered the night he prayed, “Father, in Jesus’s name, I just really need to hear from You.” And the message the Lord gave him was Isaiah 40:31 written on a facsimile he received, which states, “But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” It was a humble reminder for him all those years ago that men often have a hard time waiting on the Lord when life is strenuous. Even still, this struggle persists.

These days, masculinity is attacked from all angles. Men are told masculinity is toxic. Increasingly, boys are growing up in fatherless homes or homes that lack a father worthy of emulating. And with this crisis of manhood has also come a rise of crime, rebellion, and animosity within our culture. Clearly, society is hurting because true manhood is not thriving.

Society needs genuine, God-fearing men to lead following the biblical mandate for masculinity. Without these men, culture will continue to deteriorate. That’s why FRC hosted the men’s conference this month, so that those who want to heed the call of biblical leadership could gather and be encouraged. 

What does it take to be the man the world needs, the kind of man God designed all men to be? The speakers at the New Jersey event went above and beyond in tackling these questions. But the most important lesson in how to be an effective leader is spending time in the presence of God and knowing His voice.

Art Reyes, senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Downey, said the biblical man is “not simply providing for the basic needs of [his] home … wife, or … kids. [He’s] providing leadership,” and “it takes a man who is submitted to God, who is being led by God, to lead … [and] provide for his family.”

The need to wait on the Lord is what Boykin learned, which also draws attention to the need to seek the Lord in a time of waiting. It’s in seeking God that His presence, voice, and instruction becomes clearer. Reyes emphasized, “God will speak to the man who remains in the presence of God. That makes you usable.”

Tim Throckmorton, national director of Community Impact Teams for FRC, emphasized, “It’s very important that we, as men of God, are students of the Word of God, so we can lead in a godly way.” Because what men of God do, he stated, is look behind them at the families and communities they love, and “the world that God’s entrusted to [their] leadership,” and they fight. As Boykin argued, men were meant to be warriors. And Senior Fellow and Vice President of Alliance Defending Freedom Kelvin Cochran added that men were meant to be mighty. But “what does mighty look like for a man of God?” he asked.

Cochran explained, “Mighty is evidence that the promises of God are true. Mighty is fulfilling the purpose of God in family relationships. Mighty is fulfilling our calling in the vocation that God has given you. Mighty is having all things that pertain to life and godliness, and mighty is being thoroughly equipped for every good work. Mighty is abiding with God, nurturing our purpose, serving in our calling, walking in the manhood mandate, and producing fruit in every domain of biblical manhood.”

But if “we don’t alter our ways according to the standards of God,” Cochran contended, “God cannot order our steps.” For Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Ultimately, as FRC President Tony Perkins simply stated, “Following God is the work of real men.” He continued, “Biblical masculinity calls men and prepares men to be the provider, the defender, the mentor, and the instructor. But the foundational role of the biblical man is to be the chaplain, the spiritual leader of the home, who educates and encourages and provides an earnest example of how to stand courageously for the Lord.”

The speakers at this event poured encouragement into the men that attended, and it doesn’t have to end there. The words spoken in relation to being a biblical man are timeless, for the biblical man will now and forever be a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

Jody Hice, senior vice president at FRC, didn’t speak at Stand Courageous. But he was there and shared with The Washington Stand, “The biggest takeaway … was first and foremost a call to godliness — a call which happens only as you’re pursuing the Lord and seeking him. And out of that relationship grows healthy relationships with your spouses, your children, your work environment, [or] wherever God places you. It all flows out of that relationship with Christ.”

He explained that, right now, “everything is being attacked.” Among that list are our borders, military readiness, our global security, local communities, the economy, and more. And on top of all this are attacks on manhood, womanhood, parental rights, religious liberties, and gender identity. “All these things,” he added, “are just different layers … of people who are feeling confused and attacked and feeling as though our whole world is upside down right now.”

And so, Hice concluded, “to gather a group of men in a place and say, ‘Here is an anchor. These truths don’t change. These truths are permanent. They are eternal. They are transformational. They will hold you up in the midst of an upside-down world.’ That kind of reality … was very much needed.”

In comments to TWS, General Boykin shared one final thought about the conference and the way forward.

“Close to 1,000 men gathered in Parsippany, N.J. on Saturday to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful day as the Holy Spirit ministered to the men in different ways meeting their needs. Conferences such as these are where men are encouraged to be the men that God designed them to be need to spread across the nation as our society continues to tell our men that they are no different from women. Stand Courageous went a long way in reminding the men in the audience of their role as a man in the family, church, community, and the nation.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.