Aug 31 2022 How The GOM Began…
When I was here in Dallas, Texas, between 1974 and 1978, we were seeing a lot of students in this area come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we’d send them back home with their newfound faith, we found that if anybody encouraged them in their newfound faith, it was their mothers, not their fathers. Not that the dads necessarily didn’t care. They just didn’t either know what to do or they didn’t know the Lord themselves. I also noticed that on a Sunday morning, there were a whole lot more women or ladies in the pews than men. My question was, “where are the men?”
And that wasn’t just in Dallas, that was around the country wherever I would speak. I also didn’t see a lot of pastors really spending intentional time with men as husbands, as fathers and as men, in general. At this same time, either Young Life or Billy Graham’s association did a study that said in a home, if the father was not connected to the Lord, you had about a 22 to 23% chance of the kids coming to know Christ. If the father was plugged into the Lord, you had almost a 90% chance that the kids would come to know Christ.
In addition to all of these observations, the Lord was working on my heart. I came across a little note card that fell out of a folder that I had been looking for. I picked the card up and I had written down this statement from a meeting or something a year or two before. And this is what it said, “If you could do anything you wanted to do and you knew you couldn’t fail and money wasn’t a problem, what would you do?” I got a notebook and for the next few months, I started writing down everything that came to my heart about what would I do. And obviously it had to do with my relationship with the Lord. What could I do to make a difference for Him in the lives of people?
The main thing on my dream sheet was to reach men for Christ, especially leaders, to help them come to know Him, grow up and develop and be a better man, an effective husband, an effective father, and an effective influencer in the city in which they live. But we realized that we had to throw the net out around the city and reach more men. I remembered that here in Dallas, for the high school students, we did a thing called TBC: Team Breakfast Club. It would start at 6:59 AM before school every three months. And we had about 70 high school kids that were part of our really committed group of kids that would fill their tables up with students that either didn’t know the Lord did or who weren’t growing in their relationship with the Lord.
So, I started thinking about that… “What if we did that for men? Same idea, same concept… you get table hosts. They bring their buddies that need to be there.” I didn’t want to use a Christian name because we’re trying to reach non-Christian guys and I didn’t want to turn them off before they even get there. So, I said, and literally this happened with a yellow pad at night at my home.. and I said, so what are we doing? I said, well, we’re gathering them in together. Oh, there it is. The Gathering of Men. And that’s where it came from.