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Young men’s maturity as Christians is aim of new Patrick Morley book

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–For Patrick Morley, writing a book to help young men grow and mature as Christians wasn’t just a job, but a calling.

“There is a battle of men’s souls going on,” said Morley, author of 10 books, including his latest, “The Young Man in the Mirror,” a Broadman & Holman January release.

“This book is for young men in high school who want to do something with their lives,” Morley said. “It is straight talk, not watered down and not hyped up. It’s more than a book, it’s a cause.”

In 1989 Morley wrote “The Man in the Mirror,” a best-selling book that developed from his search for meaning, purpose and a deeper relationship with God. As a result in 1991, Morley sold a lucrative business as a real estate investor in Florida and founded Man in the Mirror, a ministry designed to encourage and inspire men to become more like Christ.

His great hope is to reach men early, preparing them for what they might face and what they are destined to be.

“A man’s most intense need is his desire to do something with his life, to be significant, to make his life count,” Morley said. “My feeling is that 12th grade is too late to begin teaching them that.”

At the root of “virtually every problem in America today” is the failure of a man, Morley said. For example, Morley notes on his ministry’s website that 93 percent of prisoners are male, and 85 percent of those had no fathers in their homes.

“No man fails on purpose, but they do fail,” he said. “My whole ministry is focused on helping men who really would do it right if someone would come alongside them and help them.”

Before writing The Young Man in the Mirror, Morley met with 15 teenagers to determine topics important to them. His chapters address dating, sex, family relationships, manhood, identity, purpose, independence, integrity, secret thoughts and suffering.

“This could be possibly the first book written to high school boys to solve the problems they want solved,” he said. “Certainly a lot of dads who have read The Man in the Mirror would like the same types of information for their sons, though this is by no means a rewrite of that book.”

Many fathers today who profess to believe in Christ are a “generation of cultural Christians rather than biblical Christians,” Morley observed. “Most men only know enough about God to be disappointed with him. Their faith is lukewarm and their testimony should make them blush.”

Of the 98 million men in America today, 63 million don’t know Christ, he said.

“Only 8 million are active in discipleship. This would be the equivalent of 12 guys playing on a football team and only one of them knowing how to play football.”

But Morley hopes to see those numbers improve.

“Now your generation gets its shot at living radically for Christ,” he wrote in the introduction to his book. “The purpose of this book is to give you a head start.”

“Ultimately, my dream is that churches will use the book as a rite of passage to initiate their high school boys into manhood, maybe an annual program among churches done through small-group book studies,” he said. “That’s the way the book is designed, with a leader’s guide included.”

Broadman & Holman is the trade publishing arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Morley’s book is available through LifeWay Christian Stores and on the LifeWay website at www.lifewaystores.com.
LifeWay, founded in Nashville, Tenn., in 1891, is engaged in the production and sale of Bibles, church literature, books, music, audio and video recordings, and church supplies to provide biblical solutions that spiritually transform individuals, churches and cultures. LifeWay owns and operates 110 LifeWay Christian Stores as well as two of the largest Christian conference centers in the country. An entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, LifeWay is a religious nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that receives no funding from the denomination and reinvests income above operating expenses into LifeWay and SBC ministries worldwide.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://bpnews.net. Photo titles: PATRICK MORLEY and THE YOUNG MAN IN THE MIRROR.

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