Hello, my name is Joe Martin, and I’m the founder and creator of Real Men Connect (RMC). Before I accepted God’s call into full-time ministry, I served over 22 years as an award-winning educator, international speaker, author, and educational consultant. My job: to help teachers succeed and help students achieve in the classroom. Now I’m considered a spiritually-trained and certified “man builder” who speaks to men’s groups all across America.
However, at the height of my teaching and speaking career, I had a “Road to Damascus” experience that forever changed my life. Prior to that experience, I had succeeded (by the world standards) in my role as a male – especially considering the fact that I had been raised in the ghettoes of Miami, Florida (Liberty City) by a 16-year old, single mother. However, I ultimately ended up failing in my role as a man, husband, and father.
On the surface I had it all. I was the first in my family to graduate from high school; graduate from college (early, at the top of my class); purchased my first home as a college senior; started my first business at the age of 22; became the youngest professor in my state by the age of 24; held an administrative position with the Governor’s Office; and completed a doctorate degree all by the age of 30. And to top it off, I was happily married to my teenage sweetheart with a son of my own. I had achieved the “American Dream.”
So you may be asking, then how did I fail as a man?
Well, let me explain it this way. Whenever I’m asked to speak to church groups on the topic of men issues, I often tell audiences, “A man is a terrible thing to waste.” I say that, because although I’m in my 40’s now, I failed miserably as a man, because I didn’t actually become a man until I was 33 years old! That’s not something I’m proud to admit, but it’s true. See, it was at the age of 33 that I first met and was discipled by a “real man”… a godly man.
Now, when I say “godly man,” I’m not talking about a man who can preach a good sermon on Sunday mornings like a T.D. Jakes, quote a hundred scriptures like a theologian, or debate the Bible like an apologetic. No, I’m talking about a “Real Man.” A man who is a man of faith, who shares his faith, and lives his faith daily in front of his wife, children, colleagues, and in his community – not perfectly, but consistently and authentically.
In all the success I achieved as a male outside the home, I eventually failed as a man in the home. That’s when I first realized that a boy is a male by birth, but he becomes a man by choice. And I hadn’t made that choice; I didn’t even know I had to.
As a result of that hard lesson, the first 33 years of my life resulted in me wasting my wealth, risking my health, ruining my marriage, disappointing my family, undermining my integrity, and almost destroying my life. But God redeemed the man that got lost in the child. And by His amazing grace and mercy, God slowly, but surely, restored everything that I forfeited and had allowed the enemy to steal from me.
Personally, I don’t believe any male should go 33 years before meeting and being mentored and discipled by a real man. So Real Men Connect is my way of reaching out, connecting with, mentoring, and discipling men who are ready and willing to step up to the plate and step into authentic manhood…God’s way.
So thank you for visiting Real Men Connect. Please share this website with any “good man” you love and care about who sincerely desires to become a godly man. Be blessed, and stay in His grip! And remember, “A man is a terrible thing to waste.”
And if you’re interested in possibly bringing me in to speak or train at your next men’s meeting, conference or event, below is a list of some of the most popular topics I address for men, along with a link to a one-page printed-version of my bio and program descriptions.
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