Becoming a Better Man Requires Other Men

Derwin Gray shares the benefits of doing life together.

Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? I have. Let me tell you a story.

I was a rookie with the Indianapolis Colts in 1993; we were preparing for our first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks by watching film of the Seahawks. As I watched the film, I opened my mouth and proceeded to tell the other defensive backs how awesome I was going to play. On film, the Seahawk players didn’t look big or fast. I was so sure of what I was going to do! Then the game came. The Seahawk players were bigger, faster, and more skilled than I thought. On one particular play, a Seahawk tight end hit me so hard I flew in the air like a rag doll. On another play, a Seahawk running back ran so fast at me, I didn’t even touch him. It was like he vanished.

After the game, I was humbled and humiliated. I began to doubt if I even belonged in the National Football League. A 10-year veteran defensive back pulled me to the side and said something like this, “Now you are ready to learn how to be a professional football player. Young fellow, if you noticed, the other veterans and I were quiet, taking notes, and respecting our opponent.”

I am grateful for that older, wiser teammate. He taught me how to be a professional football player by exemplifying humility, professionalism, and by passing his knowledge on to me. I’ve witnessed how BetterMan provides a similar comradery of men as the co-founder and lead pastor of Transformation Church. We hosted a BetterMan Experience at our local church, and 300 men gathered for 11 weeks straight with the joint desire to become better men and pass the baton to the next generation. As we met as men, from multiple generations, and dove into the BetterMan Curriculum, God did something beautiful and powerful. As I reflect on this past year and we head into Thanksgiving, the BetterMan Movement is something I am thankful for.

Here are three things about the BetterMan Movement I am grateful for:

  • Humility & Transparency 

I’ve been a part of men's groups for 20 years, but I have never experienced humility and transparency so fast and so rich. It was the combination of the Holy Spirit, the pandemic, and the BetterMan Curriculum that moved fast to bind our hearts with Jesus and each other. I’m grateful for men yearning to be better men. I’m grateful for men sharing their honest struggles and their openness to saying, “I don’t know how to do this, but I want to learn. I want Jesus to lead me.”

  • Learning Together as Multigenerational Men 

I am grateful that in our BetterMan Community, teenagers learned from men in their 70s; it was a multigenerational and multiethnic environment. Something powerful happens when multiple generations cross-pollinate. Because of our multiethnic and multigenerational community, Transformation Church got better!

  • Passing the Torch 

Lastly, I am grateful for the men with “the gray hairs of wisdom” for sharing their life with the BetterMan Community at our church. They reminded me of the veteran defensive back with the Indianapolis Colts who shared his wisdom with me so I could become the best professional football player I could be. He passed the torch. I’m grateful for Robert Lewis and the BetterMan Movement for passing the torch of biblical manhood on to the next generation.

Brothers, grab the flame, let it consume you, and pass the torch. 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Dr. Derwin L. Gray

Are you interested in launching a BetterMan Group at your church? Learn more about the BetterMan for Churches curriculum we’ve designed with your local church in mind, free of charge.