Becoming Initiated

16 Aug


When did you become a man?

If you’re someone like me, who tends to ask really tough, hard questions, eventually, you’re going to come to a place where you realize some questions don’t have answers; at least easy cut and dry answers. But those are the best kinds, I think. They are the ones that provoke the best conversations, invite the best relationships, and tell the best stories.

I want to be known as a man who asks those kinds of questions.

Allow me to ask you one of those.

When did you become a man?

(Send me an email with your answer. I promise I’ll respond.)

Lots of people talk about being a man as it relates to sexuality and gender, but no one seems to be discussing the moment when you actually become a man. And although sexuality and gender are hot button topics in our culture, they have nothing to do what with what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about being able to pinpoint a single moment, when you knew and could say I am a man now.

When did you stop being a boy and enter the realm of being a man?

Was there a particular moment when you were initiated into the fraternity of manhood?

Do you even have an answer?

Chances are probably not. Most of us don’t.

A couple months ago, I had the honor and privilege of participating in a very intentional night of initiation. Along with a dozen or so other men, we created a sacred space for one man’s 18 yr. old boy to become a man.

I’m not talking about the silly prank based hazing that takes place on most college campuses during rush week.

What I’m talking about, are present, intentional, wise men, circling around and speaking life, truth, and love into a now young man. I’m talking about a picture of what it must have been like for Moses to climb that mountain, and come down, changed, radiant, and forever different. So different in fact that people couldn’t even look at him!

The words that were spoken that night weren’t magical in and of themselves, they were just the ones that in the deepest, darkest places of your heart, you long to hear from a father.

The men that made the commitment to be there that night, created an awesome experience for this man and his son – an experience that they will never forget and that the son, will draw upon for the rest of his life.

It was a beautiful and mystical picture of how The Father loves us, and how He is constantly initiating us into that love. Romans 5:6 (NLT) describes this perfectly.

“While we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”

But the story of God initiating us into His presence, into His love doesn’t stop there.

We also see in Philippians 1:6 (MSG) that:

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

What I love so much about the beauty of these two passages and the story that was created that night, is the reminder that as men, we are called to be initiators. We have been uniquely created in the image our Creator.

And if you learn anything from the narrative of scripture, it’s that The Father, in whose image you’ve been created, has initiated everything for you.

With a lot of voices and personalities that speak into what it means to be a man, let me just ask you a question.

How did your father teach you about being a man?

How do you teach your son(s) what it means to be a man?

-Josh Collins

Simply put, Josh Collins is a Communicator. He is a Speaker, Writer and Experience Architect who lives in Franklin, Tn. His passion is to create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences and help you do the same. He can be found at You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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