Promise Keepers & Stories of Changed Lives
*Editor’s Note: David Roadcup was one of the founding architects of Promise Keepers. In this series, David shares some of the amazing things God did through the movement.
The manager of a large business had an employee who had left his wife and moved in to live with his secretary. Several weeks later, the employee’s manager informed him that he had purchased a ticket for him to an event at the local NFL stadium that coming Friday night and Saturday. The ticket had been paid for and the manager wanted the employee to accompany him to the event.
Somewhat hesitantly, the employee attended the event with his manager. The first session on Friday night dealt with dying to yourself and accepting Jesus as your Savior. The employee sat and listened. There was a second session that evening with another powerful sermon. On Saturday, the employee returned with his manager to attend the sessions.
At the end of the evening, the employee confessed to his manager that he wanted to accept Jesus as his Savior.
He left the stadium, drove to the home where his wife was living. It was very late in the evening. He arrived at the house, went onto the porch, rang the doorbell, awakening his wife. She opened the door to find her husband on his knees in tears, begging her to forgive him for his betrayal of their marriage vows. This was the first step in opening the door to a reconciliation and the renewal of their marriage.
Stories like this one and myriad others flowed out of the Promise Keepers ministry.
Men were exhorted, nurtured, fed, convicted and challenged concerning giving their whole hearts to Jesus. We taught them that this would be seen by the change of heart they would experience and by the words, attitudes, and actions that always accompany genuine, spiritual transformation.
When we talk about a spiritual conversion to Jesus, there must be faith in Jesus as the historical Son of God, genuine repentance from sin, and Christian baptism.
As the believer grows in his walk, what then flows from his life tells of the depth of his conversion experience. It is possible for a person to go through the initial steps of accepting Christ and not really go through the deep, transformation of life that Paul talks about in Romans 12:1-2.
In verse 2, Paul uses the word “transformed” to describe our conversion experience. This word in the original Greek is the word metamorfousthe from which our word “metamorphosis” comes. A metamorphosis is what happens when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly or when a tadpole becomes a frog.
It is a complete changing, a transformation.
I bring this up because this is what we wanted to happen to the men who came to our stadium events. We did not want men to come, worship, hear sermons and decide that they needed to try harder or to do better. We wanted them to come, truly experience an encounter with Jesus, and die to themselves.
This event would bring the genuine personal, spiritual transformation Scripture describes. An encounter that would foster a radical change in their lives. This would be seen for sure in their attitudes, words and actions. Jesus Himself said,
“By their fruits you will know them.”
You can count on this for sure: when people have an encounter through the Holy Spirit with Jesus, their lives change. They are different. There is new ownership of their hearts, passions, words, actions and attitudes. The change is recognizable. This is what we were desiring for every man who attended our events.
We saw the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit and the Presence of Jesus in our events continually. Experiences happening that were so dynamic that they had to be attributed to the power of God.
Two men who had been good friends were co-owners of a business in a Midwestern city. They decided together to sell the business. As the sale was progressing, through legal manipulation, one of the men cheated the other out of $50,000. The one cheated was a believer and decided not to pursue court proceedings against his partner, but gave the betrayal to the Lord instead. (He was showing his clear understanding of Romans 12:17-21.)
Two years after all of this had transpired, the business partner who had done the cheating wound up attending a Promise Keepers event. He was deeply impacted and broken by the Lord at this event. The next week, he drafted a check for $50,000, got on a plane, flew to his former city, went to his former business partner’s home, asked for his forgiveness and presented him with the check!
Finally, an amazing story connected to our Stand in the Gap event in Washington, D.C.
In an east coast city, it was disclosed that a prominent business man had had an affair, left his wife and children, and departed the city with the woman not his wife. They literally picked up and left their former lives and in their passion, set out on a new life together.
As usually happens, the luster departed, the woman returned home, and he was left alone. He spent the money he had and finally wound up on the streets, broken and destitute.
A busload of men from the Midwest had stopped at a truck stop for dinner on their way to D.C. for our Stand In The Gap event.
One of the men saw the former business man, sitting on the concrete walkway leading to the doorway of the truck stop. He sat down by the man and engaged him in conversation. The man was disheveled, desperately needing a shower and change of clothes. The man from the bus wound up inviting the homeless man to join them on their trip to D.C. for our event.
Having no other plans, the man decided to join the busload of men. They bought him dinner, a shower, and a change of clothing and he boarded the bus with these brothers. They drove throughout the night and arrived in D.C. early in the morning.
During the overnight bus ride, the man shared with the men around him about his situation. He told them everything. Leaving his wife and sons and his job, the affair, her departure, and his now nearly two years of being alone and destitute.
The bus arrived in D.C. and, as many groups did, the group with their guest came to the mall to claim their place to participate in the events of the day. Groups would approach the mall and spread their tarps on the ground to mark their territory. The group from the bus chose a place, put their tarps down and relaxed, waiting the couple of hours until the event began.
As would happen, the men from the bus struck up a conversation with the men in the group next to them. It turns out that the group next to them was from the city that their new passenger had come from.
Not only that, one of this man’s sons was in the group next to them!
Long story short, the two were united and the man went home with his son, planning to approach his wife for a possible reconciliation! This is called a “Divine Appointment.” God, again, making His Presence and Power apparent.
These are just a few of the thousands of stories from our Promise Keepers experience. God, transforming the lives of men, and women as well. We saw God powerfully bring personal life-change to thousands of men and their families.
What a God! What a powerful show of His love, mercy and grace. And, I do believe that it can happen again!
This is the fifth installment in our series on the Promise Keepers by one of PK’s founding members, David Roadcup. Here are the other articles in the series:
- Part 1: “Promise Keepers: The Beginning”
- Part 2: “The First Promise Keepers Event: Witnessing the Power of God”
- Part 3: “Promise Keepers and the Power of Prayer”
- Part 4: “The Promise Keepers and Spiritual Warfare”
- Part 6: “Promise Keepers: The Night We Encouraged Our Pastors”
- Part 7: “Promise Keepers: Stand in the Gap”
- Part 8: “Revival: God Could Do It Again.”