The Real Win: Pursuing God's Plan for Authentic Success

Overview

Prepare for a paradigm-shifting view of biblical manhood.

Every man wants to succeed. But for so many, life seems to get in the way. We all have friends—good men, followers of Christ even—who start out well but before long, they’re failing at relationships, bending ethical standards, or driving themselves so hard at work they’re losing the hearts of their wife and kids.

In The Real Win, Colt McCoy and Matt ...

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The Real Win: Pursuing God's Plan for Authentic Success

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Overview

Prepare for a paradigm-shifting view of biblical manhood.

Every man wants to succeed. But for so many, life seems to get in the way. We all have friends—good men, followers of Christ even—who start out well but before long, they’re failing at relationships, bending ethical standards, or driving themselves so hard at work they’re losing the hearts of their wife and kids.

In The Real Win, Colt McCoy and Matt Carter wrestle deeply and personally with this challenge, then deliver down-to-earth, biblical answers. Based on their personal experiences and a close study of Scripture, McCoy and Carter show men:

• Why so much depends on who you trust and who you serve
• Why every man is called to lead and why every man can
• How to man up to temptation—and conquer it
• How to find the “win” even in your biggest failure

“The real win means trusting the Lord and walking with Jesus no matter what,” write Matt and Colt. “That kind of faithfulness is possible for any man who follows God with all his heart. No matter what circumstances threaten him, a faithful man is the most truly confident man in the room.”

Now includes bonus section on mentoring, plus a small group reading guide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Real Win
 
“Colt McCoy and Matt Carter have joined arms to lead men to win. Not just win in athletics or careers, but to win in life. The pages of this book are packed with inspirational words and practical guidance. I heartily recommend it.”
—Max Lucado, pastor and best-selling author
 
The Real Win: Pursuing God’s Plan for Authentic Success is a really good book.
It is honest, transparent, convicting, challenging, and instructive. It makes plain what it really means to ‘be the man!’ Colt McCoy and Matt Carter invite men to a higher and greater calling as they follow hard after the real man’s man, Jesus of Nazareth.”
— Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
 
“Men hate asking for directions a little more than they hate to read. It isn’t that we can’t read; it’s just that we need something that keeps our interest and gives us practical help. Welcome to that book. The Real Win will help you grow in your faith so that you can be the man God has called you to be.”
—Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey
 

“A gut-wrenching, soul-piercing book that wrestles honestly with questions every man asks and emotions every man feels, whether he ever admits it or not.
I will recommend this book to all the men in my church. You won’t be able to put it down.”
— J. D. Greear, author of Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart:
How to Know for Sure You Are Saved and Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary

 
“A wonderful and raw work that gets to the heart of all the areas in which men have historically struggled. This book is immensely valuable, not because it points men to success, but because it points men to Jesus and practically walks through how to win by seeking Him in every area of life.”
— Nathan Lino, senior pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church
 
“I can’t speak highly enough about the way this book addresses manhood in our culture. Biblically challenging and radically applicable, it honestly addresses the deepest longings and fears a man faces.”
— Matt Chandler, author of The Explicit Gospel and Creature of the Word
 
“This is not your typical formula for a book on success and manhood. By humbly and honestly walking through their failures, Matt Carter and Colt McCoy teach the difficult truths we face as men and leaders. I have great hope that through this book, more and more men will begin to see their struggles in marriage,
career, and family as a way to point them to the ultimate picture of success:
Jesus Christ.”
— Brad Lomenick, executive director and key visionary of Catalyst
 
“As a young man fresh out of college, I know I’m going to chase something with the rest of my life. The Real Win helps me lock in on exactly what that should be. This book identifies what’s truly satisfying, what’s worthy of being chased. I’m in for the win.”
—Cory Cotton, cofounder of Dude Perfect and author of Go Big
 
“We live in a world full of scoreboards. Matt and Colt have experienced both wins and losses, and I’ve seen them both want God more than all of it. They are men who fight well, and they will lead you to fight well. This is worth it. In The Real Win, Matt and Colt will move you from a life of striving to one of fulfillment, living for the God who has already won the ultimate victory.”
—Jennie Allen, Bible teacher and author of Anything
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601424846
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 559,176
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Colt McCoy is an NFL quarterback who became the winningest quarterback in the history of NCAA football and led the University of Texas to the 2010 BCS national championship game. Colt is involved in ministries around the world; he and his wife Rachel live in Austin, Texas.

Matt Carter is founding pastor of the eight-thousand-member Austin Stone Community Church. He is a champion for the For the City Network, which helps churches partner with social service agencies to meet local needs. Matt is the author of several books, and he speaks at conferences nationwide. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children.

Marcus Brotherton is the author or co-author of more than twenty-five books, including the New York Times bestseller We Who Are Alive and Remain. He lives with his family in Washington state.

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Read an Excerpt

It’s Time to Redefine Winning

Guys, quick! Can you name who won last year’s…
• Super Bowl?
• World Series?
• NBA Finals?
• Daytona 500?
• PGA Tour Championship?

How did you do?

If you’re like a lot of guys, you’re probably surprised by how few of the winners you can recall, especially considering what a big deal those championships felt like to a lot of people at the time.

Inside each man is a desire to set goals and achieve them, to get ahead and finish strong. And God Himself put a desire within us to drive hard and live with excellence. But things can go terribly wrong as we pursue our goals, can’t they?

So many men start out to achieve what they think is the real win, but at the end of their lives they feel a sense of defeat, even though they achieved everything they set out to win. They think they’re achieving what matters most in the long run, but it doesn’t pan out the way they had hoped. Or they find that their goals disappoint them, or their accomplishments are quickly forgotten, or they achieve their goals but destroy their marriages and families in the process, or they never fulfill their destinies and end up frustrated, angry, hurt, and cynical. What then?

Lately, the two of us have been doing a lot of thinking about what constitutes authentic success for a man.

Raised to Be a Winner

Since boyhood, I (Colt) have been trained to win. I have wanted to win and have been expected to win. I even grew up thinking that if I did everything right, God would make sure I won.

A few years back, when I graduated from college, I ended up being the winningest quarterback in college football history. (That record’s been broken now, but it felt good to achieve that goal at the time.) Yet even with all those successes, I still came up short with my goals and didn’t achieve a couple of big wins I really wanted. And that hurt. I’ve gone on to play in the NFL, where I’ve had some successes as well as some challenges. My professional story is still being lived out even as we’re writing this book.1

I get that most men don’t play professional sports for a living. And some men reading this book aren’t even football fans. But I’m pretty sure you can relate to my story, because no matter what you do for a living or how you like to spend your free time, all of us can relate to this: we hate to lose. All of us want to be a success, in one way or another. That’s why we want to talk about what real winning—winning according to God’s definition of success—means, and how you can build a life as a man who makes winning a sure thing.

I’m still learning a lot as I go along, and that’s one of the reasons I’m writing this book along with my friend and pastor, Matt Carter.

Winning or Losing?

Some people think of pastors as guys who don’t have a competitive drive, who don’t have a desire to succeed like everybody else. But I (Matt) am wired like every other man reading this book. I know what it’s like to want to win. The church I planted started with a core group of fifteen people and now has more than eight thousand active attenders. Only God can bring dead souls to life, and He gets every bit of the glory for what’s gone right at my church. But still,
on my end there was a lot of work to do, and I know what it’s like to drive hard. When it came to planting Austin Stone Community Church, humanly speaking, I did succeed.2

But I’ve also learned a thing or two about losing in the process. For one thing, I’ve faced death (more about that later). For another, I’ve faced a crisis in my marriage—a crisis that showed me how close I had come to losing everything when I actually thought I was winning. Through these events and many more, I’ve realized that if you’re going to win in the short time you have here on earth, you have to redefine success. You have to make sure you’re winning, not according to human standards, but according to God’s.

Today Colt and I want to deliver a cautionary tale for men: If the pursuit of God and trusting Him fully isn’t at the core of your life, then it’s going to be impossible for you to really win. In fact, in every way that really matters, you’ll lose. That’s what we want to talk about in this book. What does true success for a man, particularly a follower of Christ, look like?

It’s been great to work on this book with my good friend Colt. Even though I’m an Aggie and he’s a Longhorn, and the two don’t normally get along (that’s an understatement!), we’ve developed a great respect for each other over the years. Colt’s got a lot of insights in this area. He’s a man of wisdom well beyond his years.

Sometimes in this book Colt will be talking to you directly, and sometimes I will be, but every part of the message between these book covers is something that we both fully own and that we can’t wait to share with you.

This Is for You

If you’re concerned about winning at what really counts before your life on this earth is done, then this book is for you. Maybe you’ve had some successes, maybe many successes (though probably not as many as you would have liked),
but you still have a nagging sense that what you’re working so hard for may not be the right goal after all, at least not entirely. All of us know the awkward feeling when we start to wonder if we’ve got our ladder up against the wrong wall.

As a Christ follower, you want whatever God wants for you, because deep inside you sense that that’s where the real win for you must lie. We respect your desire. And we believe God does too. But what you do with that desire is what really matters.

Your quest for authentic success starts here.

Now, if you’re a woman and you’re checking out this book to see what it’s got to say, no need to feel guilty about peeking! There are no secrets here, only revelations from the Word of God and the lives of men. Maybe you have a son, a husband, or some other important male in your life, and you want to know how to better encourage him in his pursuit of godly manhood. That’s great—this book will open your eyes as well as his. Share with him the insights you read here, or propose that the two of you read the book together and discuss it.

And that brings us to another opportunity.

You see, we need to acknowledge that men have a tendency to remain in their own isolated silos, trying to work on their problems all alone. So, male reader, while you can read this book alone and try to apply it to your life individually, we encourage you to read it and talk it through with others, especially a group of men you can trust. Use the study guide at the back of the book with a male friend, with your mentor, in a men’s small group, on a men’s retreat, or in any other setting where you can be honest with some other guys. Iron sharpens iron, and if we’ve been getting spiritually dull, we can help each other get our edge back.

Our promise to you is this: the teachings in this book are based on biblical principles, and if you learn and pursue God’s way of doing things, your definition of success will change in the key areas of your life for all the seasons of your life. We want to help you win the way God intended, because it’s the only way that lasts.

If that sounds promising to you, then turn the page.

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Interviews & Essays

1. Tell us a little about your relationship as quarterback and pastor/mentor. What made you decide to write a book together?

Colt and I met through our shared love of hunting. It's something we've always enjoyed doing together, and it's allowed us to have some pretty honest conversations about struggles, areas we've failed, and where we are weak. There was one trip in particular when we were discussing some areas of our marriage that we wanted to strengthen, and we realized that the issues we faced were all-to-typical for men. So it was out of these hunting trips that we were able to be honest about our lives, and come together on how the Bible speaks to these areas of sin and failure. It was actually Colt's idea to put all of these truths we've learned into a book that would help other men avoid some of the typical pitfalls they fall into because of their God-given desire for success and winning.

2. Why do so many guys invest their entire lives striving for the wrong kind of success? And what is the fall-out when that happens?

As we discuss in the book, success and winning is not inherently wrong, and the desire for those is God-given. But so many men chase after "the win" - whatever it is - instead of God because they think that having the win is going to bring them ultimate joy and fulfillment. Biblically this is called idolatry, and it happens because we have an innate sin problem that causes us to have a worship problem. The fall-out from this is any number of marital, familial, vocational, social, or spiritual ills. It's wives that feel ignored by their husbands who are obsessed with work. It's children that are raised as spiritual orphans because their dad never thought to leave them a spiritual legacy. It's only when our focus and goal is set on worshipping Jesus and believing the gospel that we'll begin to see real success in these areas.

3. Can you describe a time where God showed you that what you thought was winning was actually losing?

One of the major regrets of my life so far is that I almost completely missed the first years of my daughter Annie's life because of my relentless pursuit of growing a successful church. When she was born, things in our young church plant were really ramping up, and my time was more and more being consumed by my pastoral duties. I made a decision in that season to worship the recognition and approval I would get in having a great church, and as a result I sacrificed precious time with my baby girl and lost years with her that I'll never get back. My pursuit of winning in my career actually meant losing the joy and success I could have had had I stuck with my primary calling from God to pastor my family.

4. For our women readers, how can she encourage the men in her life, whether it's a husband, father, or son, to pursue godly manhood?

Women have a huge role to play in the lives of the men they love, and they need to realize the weight that their voice carries in men's lives when it comes to success and failure. Women can begin by seeing their men as leaders and treating them as such regardless of a man's leadership track record. A lot of men I know have an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. Plain and simple, men will continue on autopilot unless they are faced head on with a problem to solve, a hill to climb, or a challenge to win. Women have the unique ability to present these challenges in marriage, family, or career to their men with a heart that believes in them and is there to cheer them on as they work toward success in what God has called them to. If men are presented with these challenges but instead are made to feel like a failure by the women they love, they will shrink back from their callings in discouragement and despondency.

5. What does the real win mean for husbands? How do they successfully love their wives?

The ultimate picture of the real win for men is Jesus Christ, whether it is with work, church, family, or marriage. Because we have Jesus to look to in all these areas, we see that Jesus perfectly demonstrated how we are to love our wives. Jesus pursued His bride, the Church, even when she was ugly with sin. He pursued her to the point of laying his life down for her to make her holy and blameless and to demonstrate His love for her. This is the picture of success for husbands in loving their wives. To win in marriage means to pursue and lay down your life for your bride, and in effect, win her heart over and over again with the love with which Jesus has loved us.

6. You write, "If you desire the real win, that means grabbing a shovel and going to work on your heart." You then list the four main idols men struggle with. What are these, and how can God heal these empty pursuits?

The four main idols we struggle with are comfort, control, power, and approval, and the Bible talks about this as being the root of all of our problems be them workaholism, porn addiction, or marital strife. We desire the temporal comfort, control, power, or approval that the things and pursuits of this world entice us with more than we desire God, and they always lead us to emptiness and dissatisfaction. They promise a whole lot, but never deliver. Thankfully, God has promised our healing by sending us Jesus to pay the penalty for our idolatry and to give us a new heart with new desires if we repent of our sin and place our trust in Him for satisfaction. The more we turn our worship and focus over to God in every area of our life, the more we will see the areas that are broken become restored and whole.

7. What advice do you offer men about leaving a legacy? Why is being faithful to your calling so important?

One of the greatest fears that every man should have is that he would come to the end of his life and see that he wasted it. That fear haunts me, I think, in a healthy way. The question is, how do we as men avoid that when there are so many things vying for our time and attention in this life that seem pressing? It all starts with being connected to God. Knowing and worshipping God is our primary calling, and faithfulness in that will without a doubt keep us faithful in the other things we need to be faithful in. When we worship God with our lives, we no longer live for ourselves. For men, leaving a legacy is unavoidable. This is why it is so important to remain faithful to what God has called you to, because so many people are counting on it, and the effects will be felt for generations.

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