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Play the Man

(Baker Books)


A guide for Men on living out a virtuous life


Author: Mark Batterson

Genre: Christian Living

Reader Appeal: Teens to Adults



First you must know that I am not a man. But when you are invited to be on a book launch team by an author you admire you don’t say no. And I admire Mark Batterson. He’s a student of not just the word of God, but of life. He brings his enthusiasm of learning to each one of his books.


I’ve not read many Christian living books for men, but I’ve read my fair share of the genre for women. I imagine they have some similarities, primarily being that they fall in one of two categories: 1) Hold your head low because guilt and shame are yours and you just didn't know it, or 2) Hold your head high because Jesus is life! I tend to read the latter, including Batterson's book, Play the Man.

Mark chooses seven virtues to focus on. Each virtue is a chapter, introduced with a little-known story. (As an avid student, I began making a list of biographies I want to read for later. Or at least make a quick visit to google.) Then the virtue is expanded and finally each chapter ends with a challenge to Play the Man.

The last half of the book is dedicated to a rite of passage, a process that you can lead your children through. It is a yearlong discipleship plan that you and your child make a signed covenant to complete. I cannot express enough how much I adore this. I have an overachieving personality so that may be why. But if you are a parent, a friend or a mentor of a child it’s worth looking into. 

This book is written to men, and as a mother of sons I appreciate that. Play the Man is easily recommended.

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:


  1. What do you consider “manly”? Who in your mind portrays manliness as you see it?

  2. After reading the short bios of the men Mark mentions in the book do you look at manliness differently? Explain your answer.

  3. Have you ever considered making a challenge list? What are some of the things you would want to do?

  4. Mark speaks about a year of discipleship, how could you adapt this idea in your own life?




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