#PlayTheMan Book

Today Mark Batterson releases a new book entitled Play the Man. I had the privilege of receiving a pre release copy from his publisher.

I love plane rides for the enjoyment of opening up a book without any interruptions except for the occasional stewardess bringing me peanuts and Ginger Ale. I could get use to this.

I recently took a trip to Atlanta, GA for the Orange Conference and was able to almost read Play The Man in its entirety.

Here are my thoughts as I contemplate Mark Batterson’s NEW book, Play The Man.

  1. Kabash!

“Picture a submission move in mixed martial arts. Kabash is an arm bar, a choke hold.”

I love this word! It has a ring to it that makes it memorable. It is the Hebrew word for subdue. Mark makes reference to this word in the chapter about the virtue of manhood — true grit. Men are made of true grit when they have “resilience in the face of rejection, fortitude in the face of fear. Its a no guts, no glory approach to life, even in the face of impossible odds.” 

This is were the word Kabash comes into play. To have true grit and put our full effort into what we do we must have Kabash. We must constantly subdue our selves. If we have Kabash and subdue our human nature, King Solomon says, we will be greater than someone who conquers an entire city. (Proverbs 16:32)


     2. A Man on a Mission

“If you aren’t on a mission from God, “

One of the virtues of manhood that Mark lays out in Play The Man is a clear vision. Without a clear vision or a mission we become sidetracked. When we have a clear vision we are motivated on the right thing and demotivated to do the wrong thing. Mark suggests having a vision retreat with your spouse and even older kids to form a family vision and values.

These are the steps to crafting a family vision and core values:

  1. Start with prayer
  2. Do your homework – ask other couples, read biographies, etc.
  3. Take a vision retreat — a change of pace + a change of place = a change of perspective
  4. Write down the vision
  5. Rewrite the vision

What is your vision?

What are your values?


3. Make the Man

“Its the father’s job to recognize teachable moments. It’s the father’s job to create teachable moments.”

And you thought this book was called, Play The Man! And I’m talking about make the man. Well, in my opinion the best part of the book is the call for fathers and men to pass on Godly manhood and instill the virtues of manhood into their sons and other boys. One of the greatest responsibilities of adults is to pass on their faith to the next generation.

Mark, using his experience with his own boys, gives examples of The Discipleship Covenant. It is a paper that sons and fathers agree upon as a year of discipleship. An example is included in Play The Man. It is reminiscent of an internship but the most important one ever. In my opinion, this tradition is missing entirely in the post-modern culture of America. Mad props to Mark Batterson in doing this with his kids.This year of discipleship includes three challenges they father/son complete together:

  1. The Spiritual Challenge — read entire New Testament
  2. The Intellectual Challenge — read 12 books together
  3. The Physical Challenge — marathon, triathlon, mountain climbing, etc.

At the end of the Year of Discipleship, they go on a Rite of Passage. A strenuous overnight trip that will challenge the boy and challenge him. On the trip, the father takes moments to speak into the boys life or even have other mentors and father figures be involved. For the Rite of Passage, Batterson recommends there be a memorable gift given to the boy

Mark Batterson ends the book with a call to men and I close this post with the same chant:





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