Section 1 – Background/Introduction

Personal – grew up in ministry, baseball, meeting Chloe, marriage, student director

Trinity Students – weekly, disciple gen z, growing, 20 baptisms, winter camp sponsor

Section 2 – Overview

1 Corinthians looks a lot like Gen Z (sexual, idolatry, lack of identity, false teaching, sin)

1 Corinthians 4 – Paul outlines true Christian Leadership, creates generational legacy

Verses 14-21 – Pauls heartfelt personal appeal as a spiritual father of the next gen

We can not idolize or demonize, steward the next gen with love and spirit of gentleness

Application: There are men at all different place in life, we’ll meet you wherever you are

I want to speak to all 4 spiritual categories : sons, older brothers, fathers, grandfathers

Section 3 – Identity

1 Corinthians 4:14

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

Paul addresses the Corinthians as his beloved children, he starts with their identity

To admonish = counsel behavior, be a witness, encourage living from identity of son

Admonishing is the majority of my job with young men, so sign up to serve and help

Problem : We have a generation that has chosen rather than been given an identity Gen Z’s personal identity and digital identity are inextricably linked = complete chaos

Work from your identity, not for it. Work out of shame as a slave or faith as a son.

Shame/son of Adam (Genesis 3 hiding) vs beloved children/son of God (Romans 8:17)

Example: 5th Grade, ‘you are a leader’ Father calls us by name, speaks life over us.

Student Example: gender confusion, lack confidence. HS at camp – can’t lose salvation.

Section 4 – Leadership

1 Corinthians 4:15-16

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

Lack of Identity causes wandering eyes – idols, porn, darkness. sons seek guidance.

Problem : Lack of spiritual fathers = Gen Z imitating ungodly leaders (social, political)

Culture’s version – Andrew Tate (lion) + Drag Queens (lamb) = unhealthy balance

Celebrity Culture 1. Ruins celebrities 2. Ruins followers. Same sin, new tactics

Leadership = Influence = Imitation. Just start by showing up and God will use you How will our sons know how to be a godly man if they have never seen one? Guides (10s of thousands) vs Fathers (1 who looks you in the eyes, confirms identity)       

Section 4 – Teaching

1 Corinthians 4:17-19

That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church. 18 Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.

Arrogance is the default – chronological snobbery is built into young men

Satan is already teaching this generation (media, curriculum)

Problem : Gen Z has access to more knowledge than ever, faster than ever

“Pew Research Studies show that 95% own a smartphone, 83% own a laptop, 78% own an advanced gaming console, and 57% have a desktop computer. 29% use their smartphone past midnight on a nightly basis.”

Solution: We need to send out teachers of the gospel, older brothers like Timothy. 

If we submit to God’s word, we walk in His will, grow in wisdom

Wisdom vs Knowledge (3 year old can use google, but 21 year old man w/o wisdom)

Teaching Knowledge = Arrogance, popular, non relational, unfulfilling, but easy

Teaching Wisdom = Faithfulness, regeneration, power, but difficult refining process

The only thing more powerful than a man is the gospel, only the Spirit breaks mans will.

Sometimes children need reminding.

Example : serving with Chloe in kids min for 6 years. Influence starts with relationship. MS boy with no interest for 5 years, saved, Leviticus 19:28 questions, needed reminding

Section 5 – Worship

1 Corinthians 4:20-21

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. 21 What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

Problem : A generation lacking fathers doesn’t understand how to worship the Father

We have worshipped our way into trouble, and now need to worship our way out of it.

Solution : Rally the troops, we’re at war. Bring men together to build/defend in worship

Power = Spirit of God working in us to advance the kingdom. (Romans 1:4)

Gentleman is an oxymoron, men are only gentle by the Holy Spirit. That’s real power.

Jesus didn’t just tell us to worship, he came down to show us how to worship.

Jesus came to earth in love as worship, and he will return in power to be worshipped

Final Encouragement

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Paul ends letters with final greeting, 1 Corinthians is a brotherly kiss lol

There is hope for a legacy and future, but only if we place our hope in the Gospel today Encouragement : God is raising up sons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers in this church!

I want to build a legacy here with my wife + future children because this is a community led by men who love truth and worship by the power of the Spirit, and that is the key.

Group Questions

1. Are you living out the identity God has given you?

2. How can you walk in love and a spirit of gentleness as a real man?

3. Do you have spiritual fathers? Is God raising you up to be a spiritual father?

In this special guest talk from Real Men by Pastor Mark's oldest son Zac, he focuses on 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 and how identity, leadership, teaching, and worship are key to men of all generations.
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