Welcome to the official website of For King and Kingdom ministries and the Men of the
Ouachitas experience. It is our hope that the next several minutes that you spend reading and
exploring our site will provide you with the information and resource that you are looking for to
deepen and catalyze a movement of men within your own church as it has ours.
If the Why is important enough then you will figure out the How!
When you start pulling on the “why” thread it has a tendency to take you on a journey towards
and into your core values, beliefs, and motivations. It can also take you into a deeper
understanding of yourself and your own story, as well as what God has and is forming within
you. If you were to ask me “ why do an intensive 4 night men’s experience for just 8 men,” or
“ why recreate the wheel since there are already programs out there for men,” or, “ why
do we need another men’s retreat,”here’s what I’ll tell you, the answer to my “why”:
For King and Kingdom, through its 4 night intensive Men of the Ouachitas’ experience,
catalyzes and unites men in their local church for this purpose: through a deeper
understanding of themselves and their own story, set and told in the context of God’s larger
To inspire, unite, and free men to pursue their kingdom destiny through a
transformational storytelling experience grounded in a gospel knowledge of God and of
self that will encourage and challenge a community of men to take their gifts of
leadership and influence into their churches, their families, and their communities …
For King and Kingdom.
The decision to become a believer in Jesus as well as to become a follower of Jesus is really
the same decision. At least it’s supposed to be. Too often though, this decision is seen as
two separate choices or decisions. Why? Well, at the heart of this life choice and commitment
is the question of trust and control. Will I trust this God who has demonstrated that He loves
me unconditionally, the work and presence of Christ as I face each moment of each day, and
the power of the holy spirit of God to change who I am and how I live among others?
Or rather, will I pick and choose what I trust and what I prefer to maintain control of: my
marriage, my money, my time, my health, my children, my relationships, my future? Will I
cling to my self-protective strategies of control, even though in the end they will rob me of
deep connections with others as well as God? Will I continue to trust them even though they
hinder me from becoming fully alive in Christ and from living into my destiny as a participant in God’s kingdom work?
This struggle with trust and control is what splits this decision in our hearts. The church needs
men who desire to trust God and others this way. Men need an experience that gives them
the courage and faith to try, and a network of men committed to help each other on their quest
for such faith.
There is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self, and no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God.
16 th Century French Theologian and Pastor
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 Men of the Ouachitas. Since then, over 140 more
of our men have participated in this intense discipleship experience. God is using Men of the
Ouachitas 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.
Humble self knowledge is a surer way to God than a search after deep learning.
Thomas a’ Kempis
“The Imitation of Christ”
We spend a significant amount of time during our 4 days together:
“Life is not a list of propositions, it is a series of dramatic scenes. As Eugene Peterson said,
‘We live in narrative, we live in story. Existence has a story shape to it. We have a beginning
and an end, we have a plot, we have characters.’ Story is the language of the heart. Our souls
speak not in the naked facts of mathematics or the abstract propositions of systematic
theology; they speak the images and emotions of story. Contrast your enthusiasm for studying a textbook with the offer to go to a movie, read a novel, or listen to the stories of someone else’s life. Elie Wiesel suggests that ‘God created man because he loves stories.’ So if we’re going to find the answer to the riddle of the earth—and of our own existence—we’ll find it in story.
For hundreds of years, our culture has been losing its story. The Enlightenment dismissed the
idea that there is an Author but tried to hang on to the idea that we could still have a Larger
Story, life could still make sense, and everything was headed in a good direction. Western
culture rejected the mystery and transcendence of the Middle Ages and placed its confidence
in pragmatism and progress, the pillars of the Modern Era, the Age of Reason. But once we
had rid ourselves of the Author, it didn’t take long to lose the Larger Story. In the Postmodern
Era, all we have left are our small stories. The central belief of our times is that there is no
story, nothing hangs together, all we have are bits and pieces, the random days of our lives.
Tragedy still brings us to tears and heroism still lifts our hearts, but there is no context for any of it. Life is just a sequence of images and emotions without rhyme or reason.”
Waking the Dead
For King and Kingdom
In our bible, God is revealing Himself and His mission to us through an amazing story that
includes us, human beings! We are interwoven together in a story with Him from innocence
and tragedy that ultimately culminates in a final act of redemption, mission, and destiny. But
not just for us individually, but for the world.
Jesus reveals himself to us as a revolutionary king, “not of this world”, on a mission to
establish God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven. We, the church, are called to join him on this
mission. It is not an easy mission.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to
violence, and violent people have been raiding it.”
The church needs men with a vision as big as this. The world needs churches full of men that
are united in their love for this mission and their love for one another. Men who together are
committed to accomplishing the task assigned to us by our King. Men who hate injustice, love
righteousness, and who live to seek and save the lost. Men who will choose to reject the
corrupt systems of the world that create greed and imbalance, and instead are willing to lay
down their life for love while they follow and obey King Jesus.
Love Gives Us Courage
It takes courage to live against the grain of the culture. It takes courage to make unpopular
decisions in our families and other relationships. Even if we know what we are supposed to do
and want to do it, it often takes great courage to follow through.
Where do we find this kind of courage? I can tell you without hesitation that you can’t find it
easily on your own. It’s not impossible from time to time to act courageously on your own
initiative, men can do that. But to live courageously day after day following a radical and
nonconformist King is a different challenge, one that requires committed companions …
committed to the mission and committed to each other.
The beauty and the power of love is experienced as we enter into the holy ground of another
man’s story, his life. Nothing breaks down the walls of fear and comparison like the sharing
and hearing of the deepest places in a man’s heart. When experienced in an environment of
genuine love and acceptance, a bond is forged that makes a man stronger than he imagined
he ever could be. It galvanizes us into a company of men that together will find the courage to
live our lives on mission For King and Kingdom.
You see, the big thing for me is to love reality and not live in fantasy,
not live in what could have been or what should have been, or what I think I need
to be okay,
but instead, to live out of my story, love reality, and then imagine that God is
present, and that’s enough.
For King and Kingdom
(570) 634King (5464)