Les has an unusual testimony among most men.  He is a real-life example of a fulfillment of God’s Word.  Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  Les’ father came from a rough, sinful household, so when he came to know the Lord and started his own family, he “drew a line in the sand” and said, “For me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  He trained Les and his 3 brothers in the ways of the Lord and modeled the Christian life for them every day.  The kids seldom had babysitters, for his parents spent all their time raising their family and teaching them Godly principles.

Les embraced his parents’ faith and came to his own faith in Christ.  He was a talented athlete, which gave him lots of opportunities for college.  He played baseball at the University of Arizona, even getting to be part of a National Championship team.  He had the privilege of playing on an Olympic team and spent some years in the Minor leagues playing professionally for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels.  In the midst of all this success, Les was determined to honor and serve God through it.  He would host Bible studies in his home and would act as Chaplain for his teammates.

He also conducted himself as a man of God.  He never tasted alcohol until he was 22 (in a Dixie cup) and his wife is the first woman he ever kissed and the only woman he’s ever been intimate with.  He “lived out” his faith before others.  It wasn’t just theology; it was life.

After baseball, Les became a business man, but he never stopped honoring and serving God in everything he did.  He hosted Bible studies, and he would pour himself into Couples, helping them to learn how to have Godly marriages.  His business was his profession and provision, but his passion was in ministry.

Seven years ago, as one of 8 Elders in his church, Les raised his hand when they asked, “Who will help us get a men’s ministry started?”  He had an idea.  He wanted to find out what the spiritual climate was amongst the men in their church.  So, he challenged each of the Elders to recruit 5 men to go away for a retreat.  He felt they should look for men who were NOT currently leading anywhere, and he wanted them to seek out men who were “hungry.”

Forty men gathered for a weekend, and Les had his former coach and good friend, Pete McKenzie, come to lead the men in their first “Man of God” conference.  God showed up in a big way, and All of those men vowed to be the Spiritual Leaders in their homes.  Each of those men grabbed 3 men and they did another retreat 6 weeks later.  Again, it was a powerful time and God was calling out the men.  Six months later, over 200 men gathered again.  At this time, Les saw all these fired-up men, and said, “We’ve got to disciple these men.”  That’s when Pete said, “Have I told you about The Journey?”

Les jumped on it and told all the men to meet at the church at 6:00 on Friday morning.  They praised God together, and then they launched several Journey groups meeting throughout the church.  As Les read the material, it mirrored the truths that were already in his heart.  Now, he had a tool to help men find that truth.  The Journey was a huge success, and it tied in perfectly with the other larger gatherings that continued monthly and annually.  Many of those men have gone on to become Journey Guides and more and more men are being attracted to this move of God in this church.  Today, 300 men meet weekly at the church for The Journey. The actual attendance of the church has gone from 400 to 3200 since all of this started.  And it all started with a search to find “hungry men.”

Six years have passed, and over 800 men have gone through The Journey under Les’ leadership.  Lives are being transformed, and men are truly becoming the spiritual leaders of their homes.  They are also “living it out” in their community.  One year, they were allowed a God-honoring float in their community’s Christmas parade.  They regularly go in groups to feed and minister to the homeless.  Last Thanksgiving, Les and his Journey guys fed 20,000 people in their community.  These men have formed an Army of God, and they continue to take more ground for the Kingdom.

Les is unassuming about it all and extremely humble.  He doesn’t even realize how special he is, for he keeps his eyes on his Father in Heaven and on the needs around him.  Ask him about his Lord or about his men, and you’ll see a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes.  All these years, he has not turned from the way his parents trained him.  He lives to honor and serve the Lord.  No wonder he embraced The Journey material.  Les looks a lot like Gabe.

 

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