Gateway Church is one of the significant churches in the world today. Pastor Robert and his wife Debbie built this powerful and influential church out of a Bible study in their home. Read below his reflections about a pivotal point in the launch, and how CMN’s founder Ed Cole was involved in helping.
At CMN we love Pastor Robert and his team. We are fans of the local church—in whatever form God shapes it culturally.
Pastor Robert graciously added this amazing story below to the CMN book, Real Man. Be sure to take advantage of savings for you and your men's group this month with the book, Real Man.
REAL MAN FOREWORD
BY ROBERT MORRIS
As I turned around to leave with my coffee, I saw that in a plump corner chair sat the men’s minister, Dr. Edwin Louis Cole. He had a big cup of coffee and a morning newspaper. He saw me at the same time and invited me to sit down. We talked for a short time. He encouraged me and I left reinvigorated. The rest became history, as Gateway went on to grow into the outrageous proportions God had told me it would.
And, Dr. Cole left for Heaven less than a year later. That impromptu meeting was the last time I saw him.
For years, I had sat in different men’s gatherings listening to Dr. Cole. My pastor, Olen Griffing, was one of the “early adopters” of Dr. Cole’s ministry to men, the Christian Men’s Network. Dr. Cole came every year to our church for a men-only meeting where he would take the stage alone and talk about the principles of the Bible. Hundreds of men would sit for hours, drinking in every word. I was one of them.
In a book called The Blessed Church, I wrote about master builders. They build according to a blueprint, with great quality, with love, and they are ready for a fight as they build. Dr. Cole exhibited all of the traits of the master builder. His ability to distill complex Biblical principles into memorable sentences made him not just a “leader” of men but also a “feeder” of men. The quality of his message and his life was freely imparted to all. The love with which he shared the message was evident. It’s the same caring love that he exhibited to a young struggling pastor by giving me his time that morning in Starbucks. And, Ed Cole was a man’s man, ready to stand up for what he believed—a real man.
Today, no man alive can do what I did on that morning—walk into a coffee shop and bump into Ed Cole. He’s left this earth now. But, the beauty of Ed’s life is that he left so much of his life and wisdom behind. Any man, at any stage in life, can just pour a cup of coffee, turn the pages of this book and imbibe what I received on that wonderful morning with Ed. I encourage you to do just that. And as you read it, apply it. It will challenge your manhood, and make you more of a Real Man.