“In all, there were 212 gatekeepers in those days, and they were listed according to the genealogies in their villages. David and Samuel the seer had appointed their ancestors because they were reliable men.”

“The gatekeepers were stationed on all four sides—east, west, north, and south.”

1 Chronicles 9:22, 24 NLT

Growing up we had reliable men in our community. If you needed something fixed you went to Uncle Babe. If someone was messing with you, you went to Uncle Lish. If you wanted to know where the fish were biting you’d ask Uncle Ed. These were God-fearing and hardworking men. They were reliable!

Who are our community gatekeepers now? In each neighborhood we should have some gatekeepers; reliable men who watch over the community.

David had 212 gatekeepers who watched over the temple to make sure it was not vulnerable to attack or theft. Who were these reliable men?

  1. They were hand picked from each village. We should be on the lookout for men who show great promise and make them gatekeepers. There are reliable men around you but you have to approach them. Great gatekeepers are also great promise keepers. They are reliable. They do what they say they are going to do. When you find reliable men in your community you should task them to be gatekeepers.
  2. Gatekeepers are posted up on the North, South, East, and West side of the Temple. These 212 reliable men were responsible for guarding the entrances to the temple. I think we need reliable men guarding the church and the city, but first the church. If the church is going to be relevant we need reliable men to work alongside faithful women to ensure our communities of faith are protected. This is not a chauvinistic statement. There are strong women leading and serving in church but there’s a shortage of reliable men. The men are there. They just need to be empowered as gatekeepers. Men need something to do.
  3. Our communities need gatekeepers. Who are the gatekeepers in North Memphis? Who are the Gatekeepers on the south side? Who are the gatekeepers on the west side? Who are the gatekeepers in East Memphis? What would it look like if all the gatekeepers came together for the collective goodwill of the city?  We have men who are doing great things in the city but are they working together to watch out for the same thing at the same time for the same reason?

Whenever black men continue to see themselves defeated over and over through the repetitive viewing of police brutality in the media it causes a mental and spiritual castration. The constant experience of loss in a man lowers his testosterone. The inability for men not being able to provide for their families creates hopelessness and angst. If we can figure out a way to raise up gatekeepers and recognize reliable men in our community everybody benefits. As men we can win when we come together as gatekeepers.

Some will read this and say, “He’s neglecting the sacrifice of women and overlooking their leadership capabilities.” No I’m not! I celebrate our strong women who’ve been holding it down. I’m just stating the obvious. There’s a shortage of reliable men. We have some but there are more who need to be empowered to get in their respective positions.

Our communities are vulnerable because the reliable men need to get on their posts! Do you know any that we can call? Are you reliable?

Dear God,

Send us more reliable men. We need men who are going to do what they say. We need men who don’t need their ego stroked but instead need that purpose fulfilled. Close in the gaps and make us aware of places vulnerable to attack. Send us men who will stand in the gap to protect and provide for our women and children. Growing up, I had reliable men in my community. Now that I’ve grown up help me to be a reliable man and to recruit other reliable men to stand with me for such a time as this!

In Jesus’ Name,