"Humble self knowledge is a surer way to God than a search after deep learning. "
Thomas a’ Kempis, “The Imitation of Christ”
In 2005, we began to imagine a discipleship experience for men that would address these and other challenges to following Christ, while gaining an understanding and commitment to living a life of kingdom purpose. We imagined an experience grounded in the reality of the gospel, informed by understanding our own life story through the lens of faith, and experienced in a community of grace and acceptance. We came to the conclusion early on that many men in the church have a working knowledge of God to one degree or another, but they have a very poor knowledge of self, especially one that is based in reality. And how better to know yourself then through a guided retelling of your own story in the company of a small group of other men that have chosen to take the same journey with you? This, we decided, is what we need to learn how to do in order to help other men do the same.
In 2006, 8 of our men experienced the first For King and Kingdom retreat. Since then, over 400 men have participated in this intense discipleship experience. God is using For King and Kingdom to deepen our life with Him and each other, and to free men to live into their destiny
in the kingdom of God through their leadership in the church, their family, and their
I had decided to allow no room in the universe for something which shamed and
frightened me. I succeeded very well … by not looking at the universe, by not looking at myself … by remaining, in effect, in constant motion.
It is rare that a man will take 4 days out of his full and busy life to pause for a little while to
take a serious and critical look at his own life and story. It is through a proper understanding
of the story we each have lived that leads to a humble and honest understanding of who we
are, and quite frankly, a better grasp of who God is.
We spend a significant amount of time during our 4 days together:
- Learning and preparing to tell our stories through the same four critical moves that God tells us His story.
- Experiencing a number of tools designed to help us achieve a “humble self-knowledge”.
- Helping other men do the same.
- Learning how to apply our new understanding to our life in a way that impacts our personal growth and those in our realms of influence.