Roger Marsh: Have you ever wondered what a godly mentor looks like? Well, one prominent example that we can find in scripture is the apostle Paul's relationship with Timothy. Paul intentionally befriended Timothy and continuously encouraged him in his faith. Now, despite his demanding missionary journeys, Paul always remained committed to speaking truth to this young man. Unfortunately, many Christian men today use distance or lack of time as an excuse from finding someone to mentor. However, as our guests pointed out on yesterday's edition of Family Talk, God supports us when we commit to this calling.
Jon Gibson: If God puts a passion in your heart, he'll give you the time that you need, and it doesn't take that tremendous abundance of time. Even three hours a week with that kid can make the difference in his life. Take him fishing. Take him to work with you. It takes a man who will have the passion to say, "I will make a commitment, so that I won't be one more person who breaks a promise and walks away."
Roger Marsh: Today we are concluding Dr. James Dobson's discussion with two strong mentors and leaders here on Family Talk, Jon Gibson and Joe White. Joe White is the founder of Kanakuk Kamps and Men at the Cross. He's a passionate speaker and bestselling author with over 20 books to his credit. Joe also performs a dramatic stage presentation of what Jesus endured carrying a burdensome cross. Jon Gibson is a former Air Force pilot and current president of a real estate development enterprise. He's also the board chairman for the Christian Association of Youth Mentors and Firm Foundations Romania.
Now, as we begin today's program, Joe White and Jon Gibson will identify the numerous kids who are desperate for good role models. They'll also share firsthand accounts of how rapidly mentorship can spread the gospel. With that, let's rejoin our host, Dr. James Dobson now, on this edition of Family Talk.
Dr. Dobson: Gentlemen, I want to dive right in to where we were last time. We talked about the desperate need for mentors in a culture where there's so many divorces and so many fatherless kids. There are boys and men who hunger for someone to help guide them in life and to be a role model for them, and as a place to begin today, I want to go to 2 Timothy 2:1-2, which is really kind of the foundation passage for Joe White. And Joe, I'm going to ask you to tell us how this fits into what you're trying to do. And let me read it. "You, then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and the things that you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." Now, that's formal language, which is how Paul wrote and spoke. But how did this influence you, and how does it explain what you're trying to do?
Joe White: Of all the letters that have ever been written. I don't know that there's a letter that's been more loved by men and women around the world for 2000 years than Paul's last letter to Timothy, his true child in the faith. And if you could allow me just to frame this incredible passion that Jon and I, and of course you and Jon have for the Timothys in this nation, the men and the boys who never had a Paul in their life, let me take you back to that little Roman humble cell, that jail where Paul is about to face his final breath. And like all of us, before we face our final breaths, his heart turns to his Timothy, his son in the faith. Just go back with me in reverence, and Paul is shackled to the Praetorian guard, and dear Luke is probably there by his side with a stylus and parchment.
And I'll just hit the peaks, but he goes, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved son. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ, our Lord. I give thanks to God whom I serve with a clear conscience, the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers both night and day, longing to see you, Timothy, even as I remember your tears, so that I may be filled with joy for I am mindful of the sincere faith that is in you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I'm sure that is within you as well. For this reason, I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."
And then Jim, I'll skip to the second chapter and just kind of run through it for a second here in my mind, but that's where he says, "you therefore my son. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things that you've heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust of faithful men who will be able to teach others also. And then I'll skip down through the chapter and, he's — "be diligent Timothy, to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. And flee youthful lust, Timothy, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who name the name of the Lord from a pure heart. And realize this Timothy, in the last days, difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable malicious gossips."
Sounds like America today. "Without self-control, brutal haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. You, however, remember the things you've learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you've learned them, in that from childhood Timothy, you've known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. Timothy, all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness that the man of God would be adequate, equipped for every good work."
And here's where Paul passes the baton. Jim, that baton of faith, he said, "I'm already being poured out as a drink offering. And the time of my departure has come. I've fought a good fight. I've finished the race. I've kept the faith." And Jon, that every man one day would be able to say that after he's passed the baton to his Timothy, when we face our last breath that we would be able to say, in the future, there's laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award me on that day. Every man needs a Timothy.
Dr. Dobson: Oh Joe, that is powerful and Jon tie these scriptures back to our topic of mentoring children now. Something that you've devoted a lot of time and effort to. What Joe just quoted is the essence of mentoring, isn't it?
Jon Gibson: It is indeed. It is indeed. As you know, Jim, I love to fly. And in some ways, it's like an aircraft. When we view an airplane from the sky, we watch it take off. It's a totally different situation than when you climb in the cockpit. But these kids have never been able to be in the cockpit. They've never been able to see what a good role model is like. They haven't been able to see what it's like for a father and a mother to respond to each other properly. And so what we're doing is we're asking in society for these kids to climb in the cockpit and fly the airplane, but they've had no training. And what we're talking about is for godly men and women to come alongside them, to give them the training so that when it comes their time to hook up with a spiritual partner for life, it will be for life.
And that's what happens with these kids. And it's all about doing exactly what Jesus Christ did with his disciples and what He's commanded each of us to do. And that is to pour out our lives, like a drink offering, to these kids to stand in the gap for them because there's nobody else that will do it. We've tried in this nation to pour up money to the government to do it, but government can't do it because government is not in relationship. But we within the church have the ability to be within relationship with these kids and put our arm around them and tell them that God loves them because nobody else is going to do it. And these kids, in so many cases, are in such horrific situations that the only way they can survive is if in fact they can get acquainted with their creator, Jesus Christ, who can lead them out of that pit.
Dr. Dobson: Jon, we've been talking today to men whose hearts have been quickened by what they've heard. There's a tug there and maybe there's a little voice inside that says, "This is what I want of you." Make your best case to them. They don't have time for this. Nobody has any time anymore. And then to go try to get acquainted with some kid who's been abused or one that is maybe having behavioral problems, who knows what you're going to deal with. Explain why, if it were me, I ought to think in these terms.
Jon Gibson: Can I do that by sharing a letter from a single parent.
Dr. Dobson: Please do.
Jon Gibson: This is a letter written to the head of a very large church. And she leads out in this way. She says, "You may not know me nor my sons, but you knew their father, Mike. He was a landscape superintendent at the church before his death, almost four years ago. Since that time, both of my sons have been matched with mentors through the church mentoring ministry. I want to tell you what important influences those men have been in the lives of my boys."
And she tells several stories and I'll just share one. "Larry does those guy things with Jimmy that I would never do. Things like sporting events, playing catch and cruising the aisles of home Depot. I'm not really sure what they talk about when they're together and that's as it should be, but I know that when Jimmy has questions about his life as an adolescent boy, he has a safe person to talk to them with." And she ends her letter with this. "No one will ever be able to replace Mike in the lives of my boys. But I know that the time and love that these men give my boys is something Mike would be very grateful for, for it was Mike's dream that his sons should grow up to be strong men in Christ. And I feel sure that with the help of their mentors, Mike's dream one day be a reality."
That doesn't just go for widows who've lost their husband to death. It goes to the widows who've lost their husbands because they walked out on them and those precious kids that deserve better.
Dr. Dobson: Joe I remember writing, Bringing Up Boys and talking about the fact that mothers are not equipped to teach a boy how to be a man. I hope that doesn't insult anybody. They can do what they can and many of them do a fantastic job, but it takes a man to teach a boy how to be a man, because you have to experience it in order to pass it on. Joe, I'm really interested in what you're doing with Men at the Cross. Where'd that idea come from? How did you get started?
Joe White: Well, ironically enough, I did 85 promise keepers events over the years and fell in love with America's men, hugged thousands of men at the foot of that cross over the years. But Men at the Cross began in a prison. One of our events was at Marion prison, at a high security prison in Ohio, a prison that historically had been very difficult. Most men locked away for decades. But we did an event there and I thought I was there to bless the men, little did I know I would go into a prison that had been transformed by seven, as we say, ordinary guys, just like a couple of guys sitting at these microphones, who had gone into that prison and each man, had intentionally loved one man to Jesus until that inmate was ready to love another man to Jesus. And then with the warden's blessing, they would change cells. And those 14 would love 14 men to Jesus over a period of weeks and months until those 14 were ready to love another man to Jesus.
28, 56 I can't go any further, Dr. Dobson, but the power of multiplication took over. In seven years, the prison had been transformed and guys, I'm not exaggerating, the guards and prisoners walked as one. There were no racial barriers, there were no socioeconomic barriers, there were no denominational issues. Everybody in that prison had become a family in Christ through just one on one, simple, loving a man to Jesus. Till that man is ready to love another man to Jesus. And that's our vision for the United States of America and the world.
Dr. Dobson: Is that still possible today?
Joe White: Yes, yes. And that is what we're seeing as this movement is progressing around the country Jim. The guys are getting it. In this particular case, yes. And I don't know how many prisons are doing that, but in this case, yes.
Dr. Dobson: You got to explain Men at the Cross because this is the day that I decided to put this program together. You were describing that to me and you really got a hold of me. Explain what it is that you're trying to do.
Joe White: Well, Jim, I've got USA today here that says almost all denominations are losing ground in America. I've got Newsweek here, "The Decline and Fall of Christian America." I've got Barna in front of me, the latest Barna survey that says only one half of 1% of the 18 to 23 year olds in America have a biblical worldview. That's one in 200. I mean we are in a spiritual valley in this country like we've never been before. But as you and I know from planting trees and forming through the years in valleys, the greatest trees grow. Christianity always has flourished in difficulty and stress and warfare. So out of this Valley, God, and it's sure not the team in me who's doing anything, but God is raising up this movement called Men at the Cross.
But these men are serious about coming in, bringing the church, bringing the pastors with the church, and equipping the church to be the discipleship place in the town. And we have hundreds, literally, Jim, of churches that come together in these movements of men at the cross when we come to a city. And we ask all the coaches in the town to bring a fatherless boy, we ask all the youth directors in town to bring a fatherless boy. We ask all the men in the town to bring their teenage sons. And if they don't have a teenage son, we ask them to bring a fatherless boy. And so, with Michael W. Smith and with Tony Evans and with Rick Rigsby and with Miles McPherson and these great communicators, Gary Rosberg, Gary Smalley, we take these men for seven hours and we equip the men to be a lifetime disciple maker. And so they go back to the church with their pastors and with their Barnabas's, the encouragers in the church, and they continue the training in the church.
We give the pastors and the Barnabas's follow-up training for 24 weeks. And you know what Jim, you've seen the numbers and Jon, this is why you and I are so motivated for discipleship. I've got a chart here that says, if just two men, will disciple two men every six months, just two men on two men every six months or two men on two fatherless boys every six months, and equip those men or boys to go out and pass the baton to another Timothy, in 16 years, those two men can reach 8,589,000,000 people. This is my hope for the United States of America, Jim, that we would be a discipled nation, that someday America's pastime, as good as baseball is, it wouldn't be baseball. Our pastime would be discipleship. That's our dream.
Dr. Dobson: Now what we've got here and the reason that I wanted you gentlemen to be here together is that you're working with the men to motivate them. And Jon, you are the recipient of that commitment.
Jon Gibson: Absolutely. That's why I'm so grateful for this connection.
Dr. Dobson: So, you working with children, you working with men, together, it makes a powerful movement.
Jon Gibson: It makes a powerful movement. And I want to second what Joe said in a different way. This nation has shown time and time again that when the chips are down, when things are tough, that men of God will stand up. It happened in world war II. It happened in 9/11, and I believe now that our economic times are really, really tough, that people will stand up and say, what's wrong and what can we do? And I believe in your audience, Jim, that's why I'm thrilled to be here, that they will stand up and pick up that baton that Joe's talking about and they'll pass it on. My business, I've been building buildings, but those buildings are rotting and they're falling down. But what we can share into the lives of these kids, that's fraternity, that's forever. And it just is, it's a humbling experience to be here and talk about this. And it's a reminder to us that we all as men need to be on our faces before God to be the pure men that we can be, so that we can then in turn share with these kids.
Dr. Dobson: Well, we gave this information last time. Let's do it again because there'll be a lot of people listening to us who didn't hear that first broadcast, describe CAYM for us.
Jon Gibson: CAYM is Christian Association of Youth Mentors. Your friend and mine, Stu Epperson has joined forces with us to help me.
Dr. Dobson: He was here to talk about this same subject.
Jon Gibson: Yes, we've joined forces together with a number of other men across the country and it's basically an association of the members rather than for the members. As Joe talked about earlier, it's a bunch of volunteers who work together. They share anything they have with each other. All you have to do is contact that organization by going to caym.org. You'll in turn be contacted by phone, by one of our associates all over this nation who will introduce you to how you can get started. We have training classes that can train folks because it may seem like an overwhelming obstacle to get through, but it's not. And it's easy, you just have to get everything set up with a small group and they can do it to teach you how to train the people, how to do the screening you need, to make sure that we're hooking these kids up with committed people who are the right people and give you the tools you need.
I want to partner with Joe for some of his tools so that we can lead these kids out of this valley that they're in and to a valley where they can survive.
Dr. Dobson: Let's suppose there's a dad out there who is going to go to an NBA game, a playoff game we'll say, and he's got two tickets, one for himself and his son, but he's got a third ticket. He could easily bring another kid along with him.
Jon Gibson: He can put his arm around that kid and bring him and the rewards are phenomenal. Can I share with you a story?
Dr. Dobson: Sure.
Jon Gibson: This comes from an 80 year old man who contacted his mentor coordinator and said, "Could I get together?" It was urgent. He wanted to get together for lunch. And the mentor coordinator said, "Sure." And they sat down for lunch, had some small talk and then Bob abruptly pulled out a birthday card and he started to read it and he only got through dear Bob, and he broke out into tears. And he pushed the card over to the mentor coordinator and asked him to read it.
And the card read. "Dear Bob, you're always complimenting me on my good values and the decisions I make. I want you to know that all this good you keep talking about, I learned from you. Happy 80th birthday. You are really an awesome friend, Jim."
Now this card, we need to talk about it. Through his tears, he said that the amazing thing was that showing consistent love to this kid starting out at nine years of age for 13 years has been one of the simplest things possible and he said, "As I look back at my life, outside of my marriage and my own kids, it's the most significant thing I've ever done." Jim sent this card from college, and it was Bob who planted the idea of college. It was Bob who signed Jim up for the SATs. It was Bob who took him to look at the colleges, and who led him through the application process. And it was Bob who was the one who early sat in the stands at the Peewee football games. And as we talked about earlier, all children need somebody to sit in the stands and cheer for them.
Dr. Dobson: And those kids will be in heaven because of the effort of those mentors.
Jon Gibson: Because of that.
Dr. Dobson: Joe, last thing you want to say to us?
Joe White: My heart's breaking and my heart is just, exploding because I do believe this is the way that we can turn this nation's heart back to Christ. Men can do it, men, it's written on our hearts. The great commission is written on our hearts. We all have it inside of us, to love our wives as Christ loved the church and really to mentor her in a humble serving way. For sure to mentor the boys and the girls who call us daddy.
To tuck them in bed at night and take time to pray, and to memorize a little Bible verse with them. At breakfast, just to hit a little taste of Proverbs before they go roaring out of the door to school. And then outside of our homes, finding these fatherless men in our communities, or fatherless boys in our communities and giving them the incredible grace that we've been given by God. There's not a man in a church, in the country, who isn't called to do it, and there's not a man who can't do it.
Dr. Dobson: Give us the location, how people can reach you, and tell us where Men at the Cross can be heard or participated in.
Joe White: Menatthecross.org, get on the website. It tells the event locations and the time for the events as they come up.
Dr. Dobson: I love you both.
Jon Gibson: You too.
Joe White: We love you too Jim, it's always great to be with.
Dr. Dobson: Joe White and John Gibson, two great friends who are now friends to one another. Thanks for being with us.
Roger Marsh: Well, that is a powerful challenge to end this edition of Family Talk. Christian men particularly must take this call to mentorship seriously. Our young boys are being lured away by this disastrous and deceiving culture. And our prayer is that every man and woman listening will make time for mentoring a young person. Young people are desperately searching for an encourager and a supporter in their lives and we hope that you will fill that need for them. You can learn more about the ministries of Joe White and Jon Gibson by visiting our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. Once you're there, you'll also find the link for Dr. Dobson's popular book, Bringing Up Boys. This incredible work is full of insights for dads in raising their sons and also men who are mentoring fatherless boys. Again, you'll find all that information and more on today's broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. And be sure to let us know what you thought about these past couple of programs by connecting with us on Facebook.
You can find our profile by going to facebook.com or loading the Facebook app and then searching for Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. Once you're there, you'll find either of the broadcast posts that we have posted for the past couple of days, and you find those posts, like them, leave your comment, and then share them of course with your friends on social media. We greatly appreciate hearing from you and learning how our broadcasts are helping you and your family. So again, you'll want to go to facebook.com/DrJamesDobsonsFamilyTalk. We look forward to hearing from you.
Roger Marsh: Well, that's all the time we have for today. Be sure to join us again tomorrow and you'll hear Dr. Tim Clinton's most recent interview with clinical psychologist, Dr. Sharon May. They'll look at the critical issue of breaking the argument cycle in a marriage. Be sure to listen in for that important conversation. Coming up on the next edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks for listening.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson family Institute.
Roger Marsh: Hi, this is Roger Marsh for the James Dobson family Institute. Want to quickly tell you about a new initiative we've created here for the year 2020. One of our core values from the inception of this ministry has been the undeniable worth of life at every stage. So as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we encourage you to become a JDFI life ambassador. Our goal with this effort is to equip thousands of men and women to stand with us for the cause of life. As a life ambassador, you will receive monthly emails to prepare you to be a voice in your community. You'll hear from pro-life leaders and experts in the fields of medicine and public policy who're making a difference in this battle. For more information, or to partner with us in this vital effort, go to drjamesdobson.org/life. That's drjamesdobson.org/life. Stand for righteousness and become a JDFI life ambassador today.