What is Man’s Ultimate Challenge?By Pete Lackey
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“Pete has resurrected a simple truth, “You can’t become a Godly man without becoming a man of virtue.” I have worked with young men for the last forty-five years. During that time I prayed for a book that would help define what it means to be a man of virtue. This book goes a long way toward filling that void. Every chapter will cause a thinking man to stop and ask himself, “Is this true of me?” Every man seeking to live a Godly life needs to give it a careful read.”
– Timothy C. Tatum, EdD, Chaplain (Colonel), US Army Retired
“In a world of truncated news stories and sound bite management, Pete Lackey delivers a powerful and convicting story line of unchanging principles that endure every level of scrutiny. His book interviews the soul and either unsettles our conclusions or affirms lifestyle decisions. Pete strikes the tenuous balance between teaching and living to present a profoundly practical worldview about God, Satan, and mankind. He is bold enough to insist there is such a thing as absolute truth and wise enough to demonstrate that biblical freedom requires personal decision absent of the need to force others to comply. There is a difference between “catching a worldview” and claiming our own fundamental heart orientation. “We have the ability to discover [absolute] truth and draw conclusions.” This book speaks to us like an interactive GPS coaching us to that destination with our true self–our soul–and equips us to answer the question: Are we connected or disconnected with God? The journey is narrated with the literary voice of Proverbs-the original sound bites of life- and holds the course perfectly. It is a personal joy to be associated with such a fine work and I encourage anyone to read and discover the difference between “ordinary” and “informed choices.”
– Mike Hoyt, Chaplain (Colonel), US Army Retired
“This is not a book for wimps or “cuddly” Christians. If you want a book that is safe, this is not a book recommended for you. If, however, you hunger for a deeper, more fulfilling Christian life, filled with purpose and character, I couldn’t recommend this book more heartily. You will be cut to the core, and vulnerabilities you never thought you had will be painfully exposed.
Lastly, this book is a perfect resource for men’s accountability or discipleship groups, as well as a mentoring source for fathers with teenage sons or young adult male children.”
– Nathan Sommers (AKA Chick-Fil-A Soldier)
“The book was outstanding. Some of the chapters were so deeply unpacked that I know I have to go back and read them again since I know I missed things. The chapter on Virtue and the circles of friends was incredibly insightful. The tendency to assume the negative had me questioning if that section was written just for me. One simple drawing with comments was the fence of freedom, which captured exactly the dichotomy I was trying to explain to myself. Finally, the very brief section on sex and alcohol was profound. Finally, I like how the author talked at a easy level without insinuating I was stupid. He explained things in words and often had a picture of diagram that also explained. I bought the book to learn, so I appreciate the author making sure things are explained different ways.” – Paul
“Application is the reason to read a book like this. It took me many readings to digest the information. I think this helped me take the information, let me pray through it, and apply the knowledge. Lackey challenges you to work on hard issues in your life.” – Christopher T. Hill
“I love this book… the author has a style that lends itself to a smooth read. Good usage of humor and knowledge. You are not overwhelmed with all heady stuff yet it is not fluffy either. There is a good amount of meat on the bone, and leaving you still chewing on the bone wanting to invest in others when you are done. I had to buy this for all the guys in my church (still need to buy a few more units!!) because it is that good.” – David McDougal
Man’s Ultimate Challenge uses the military tradition of challenge coins (click here for “The Fascinating History” ) as an event to remember that you organize to turn that “man” switch on that is at the center of all men. We are in a battle, a battle for the very identity of what a man looks like in our culture and there is no modern tool available to turn on that internal switch. So what is the result? We have today a culture of boys in the body of men. I know this because it was true of me. Think about this question: do you recall a time when your father or another man of significance “flicked the switch” and challenged you to be a man? God gave us body signs called puberty that begins the process of changing our bodies into men; however, there is no spiritual or emotional puberty! We have to be challenged to be purposeful in order to make this happen.
A desire to celebrate a transition to manhood “rite of passage” ceremony for my own son when he turned 13 is what lead to the creation of these challenge coins built around the classic virtues & vices (pictured above). The virtues & vices, the virtue symbols, and colors that I placed on every coin trace back to antiquity (click here for more). What is great about this modern tool is that Your son can be any age for it to be meaningful. You can adjust the challenge to the age of your son.
Man’s Ultimate Challenge uses the concept of US military unit challenge coins in order to challenge men:
How to use the Man’s Ultimate Challenge Coins:
> Host a boy to man “Rite of Passage” ceremony during the teenage years. More can be found here
> Manhood Challenge before college
> Manhood challenge upon graduation from college
> Manhood challenge before marriage (I had a friend do this and it was powerful!)
> Manhood challenge as a Mentor
> Discipleship challenge on what a Godly man looks like for new believers
> Host a Men’s event or weekend retreat where the men learn about Man’s Ultimate Challenge through teachings by Pete Lackey that challenge men to live as “Men of virtue in a culture of vice”. At the end of the event or retreat have a ceremony where each man receives a summary challenge coin to carry as a daily reminder (see back story). (I can customize this and make it any of the coins) As a followup to this event complete a small group study on each virtue and how they apply to daily living.
Picture of the summary challenge coin (c) Peter P. Lackey, Jr.
Goal: Call men to accept the challenge to be a Man of Virtue and not Vice: This will be a weekend filled with a “Do!” message and not a “Don’t” message.
- [too many men’s retreats are self-defeating because of the focus on “DON’T” and not “DO”]
Friday Night: Session on “Man’s Ultimate Challenge” [Becoming Men of Virtue in a Culture of Vice]
Saturday: Challenge Weekend Sessions on the 7 virtues and vices combined with spiritual, emotional, and physical challenges that we customize and design together for your men.
Sunday: A final session on the importance of “identity” [the Trinity knot our unit symbol]
The weekend ends with each man receiving his Man’s Ultimate Challenge summary coin [shown above] during a ceremony that concludes the weekend. I will challenge the men to always carry this coin to remember whose they are and who they are called to be.
Now What?: Take your men through a discipleship program focused on these classic virtues or use your own discipleship program.
I can offer ANY Challenge coin if you would like to end on a very specific VIRTUE.