An Open Letter to the Men of the Church

Posted by Lydia Kinne on May 31, 2024
An Open Letter to the Men of the Church
Lydia’s father, Carl Kinne, preaches during his years as a small-town pastor.

Dear Men of Faith Bible Church—

Grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons—who seek every day to be what God has called you to be as men: Thank you.

Thank you for doing what has become so challenging in our culture. A culture that mocks masculinity and labels it as “toxic.” A culture that’s trying to erase differences between men and women. A culture that isn’t teaching boys what it means to grow up and embrace the strength of manhood.

Thank you for being countercultural.

I hear stories of women who have been exploited, preyed upon, and abused by men in so many ways. My heart breaks for them. And I wish that wasn’t their story. I wish they could have my story, which has been filled with “a few good men” who have made me feel safe and lifted me up.

As we celebrate Father’s Day in the month of June, I want to pause and thank the men of Faith Bible Church—generally and more specifically—for the ways they have encouraged me and modeled true manhood. Even if I don’t mention your name, your Heavenly Father sees your labor of love. Matthew 6:6 reminds us, “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” He sees your sacrifice, and he is pleased by it.

Faithful Workers

God called men to do honest work and to provide for their families, as Genesis 1:28 reminds us: “And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion [over it].”

It would be easier to be selfish. To walk away from a family and pursue what makes only you happy. Yet, you choose to sacrifice, to put in the long hours, and to do the hard and boring things to serve your family.

My dad chose the life of a small-town pastor. And after he left his last pastorate, he took whatever job he could get to support his family. He wasn’t too proud to take a laboring job—and in fact, that’s what he worked at until he finally retired. He was a faithful worker.

And now that my father has passed on, I have faithful men who have stepped in as “foster dads” to take care of needs around my house and with my car—Walt Takisaki and Roy Anderson. They take time out of their busy lives to come fix a malfunctioning washing machine, a dripping faucet, a broken bathroom fan, or a failing porch roof. Thank you for taking care of me as a fatherless single woman, Walt and Roy. Your sacrifice means the world to me.

Faithful Fathers and Husbands

God also calls men to a high standard as husbands and fathers, as Ephesians 5:25 says: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Men, thank you for fathering well. For spending time with your kids, making them laugh, doing fun things with them, rocking them to sleep, kissing them on the head, tossing them in the air, tickling them, reading bedtime stories, praying with and for them, and showing up at their events. This was my dad. He never failed to tell us he loved us, and he never failed to prove that he loved us with his actions.

I see so many dads and husbands in our church loving their kids and wives well, even though they’d say they’re imperfect at it. I think of Gharrett Dursma, Aaron McCullough, Jeremiah Taylor, and Jared Millican, who love to support their wives’ gifts and abilities—who speak well of their wives, give them opportunities to have breaks and do what brings them delight. I see these men and others with small children rocking the baby carrier, taking their turns with diaper duty, playing games with their kids, and patiently disciplining even when it gets hard. Thank you for putting in the time, men. Your labor is appreciated.

Still more men — like Dennis Dougherty, Josh Gilchrist, Seth Weber, Troy Caselli, Jeremy Rainbow, and Henry Yan — have modeled what it looks like to teach their kids both how to laugh and think deeply. Men who are deeply committed to ministry but know how to put their families first. Men who prioritize time in the Word and leading their families to love Christ more while also doing practical things to provide for them.

Faithful Men After God’s Own Heart

Finally, God calls men to pursue godliness, to be conformed to his image, and to lead others to him.

1 Timothy 6:11-12a says, “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith.”

If ever a man pursued these qualities, that man was my father. He got up at a quarter to four every morning because having his quiet time before he left for work at 5:30 was the most important part of the day. He’d make breakfast, read his Bible, and then get down on his knees (literally) and spend ample time in prayer before leaving the house.

I took it for granted, but then I began to realize how rare having such a man of God as a father truly was. Not so rare though, that I don’t see it in other men at our church.

I think of the men who labor diligently over the Word and have helped me love it more over the years through their sermons, their counseling, and their leading of worship—thank you, Jerod Gilcher, Dan Jarms, Brian Sayers, John Gardner, Nathan Thiry, Ian Rush, and Paul Funchess.

I think of the men whom I get to do ministry with—who faithfully lead Bible studies, who make me think more deeply, and who are true friends—thank you, Daniel Dougherty, James Wilson, and Travis Viehouser.

I think of the men who serve the church body well in every season, recognized or not—thank you, Joe Swart, Cory Brandt, and Joseph Clark.

May our sons grow up to be like such men. May they carry this legacy forth into their own families. May you change the expectation of what it means to be a man in a world that desperately needs to see godly manhood on display.

Thank you to every man in my life who has modeled this and given clear examples of what God has created you to be. You are greatly appreciated and greatly loved. Keep fighting the good fight of faith.

Lydia Kinne

Lydia is a teacher, poet, and blogger, who serves various ministries here at Faith. You can read more of her writing and subscribe to her blog at

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