What is Hocoka Men?

The Vision:

Training young men in the ancient paths of Masculinity. Jer. 6:16

Empowering them to expand God’s kingdom however He leads- Matt. 28:16-20

Who is it?

The council is an alliance of men over 50 who have walked with God many years and distinguished themselves as faithful seekers of God. The original council was 7 men pulled together by Troy Mangum- founder of Hocoka. The council can be expanded to offer more help to more younger men.  

What is it?

Hocoka comprises of  

1- A periodic gathering between older men and younger men with purpose of passing on a masculine truth per event. This masculine truth is relevant for any man at any stage of his life (ex. courage, ...). The structure of the event is ceremonial and not casual. Intention is each event is a masculine experience the young men go through vs. a ‘meeting’ or ‘old men giving speeches’. Events will include testimonies, masculine challenges & Hocoka talking circles. 

2- Monthly gatherings called Hocoka Council for men in a particular stage of masculinity. Single men, Young Dads, Young Married Men. Or Hocoka Councils on a particular topic relevant to men... examples- spiritual warfare, sexual integrity, calling and career, etc..

What is the foundational Scripture?

“This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it. I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’- Jer. 6:16-17.  

What age target?

Designed for young men between mid-teens to late thirties

Associated with a ministry or church?

Hocoka is a ministry of Vertical Life Church where a many of the council members attend. The council is a group of friends that represent various churches and/or ministries. 

What is behind the Name?

Hocoka is used in 3 main ways

1- Hocoka (hoh-cho-kah) is a Lakota Sioux word for a healing circle, a sacred circle, a men’s talking circle. It describes a circle of older and younger men interacting with the intent purpose of masculine growth in younger men by the elders of the tribe. Also a place where important decisions were made.

2- Hocoka is the center of the camp where the fire is during an inter-tribal council. Hocoka is the location of the discussion and deciding making activities in an inter-tribal council. Inter-tribal councils are meetings where Chiefs from various tribes gather to negotiate and make agreements on behalf of their tribes with other tribes. This is similar to when established older men with families, resources and influence come together in agreement for a common goal. Hocoka is a model of how older men can form alliances with one another on behalf of a worthy cause/goal vs. compete with one another.

3- Hocoka is where heaven (sky) and earth meet. In Native American philosophy the world is split into 4 sections. North, West, East, South/ Child, Young Man, Adult Man, Elder/ Earth, Wind, Fire, Water/ Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, etc.. The center of the 4 sections where everything revolves around is where heaven (sky) and earth meet. That is called Hocoka. Jesus is where heaven and earth meet. (ref. Col 1:15-16,19, Col. 2:9)  See section 'final thoughts on why native American practices' on Spiritual/Biblical truth represented in this indigenous word.

What are the Hocoka Challenges?

Challenge takes place at the event. The focus on different elements of masculinity (physical, spiritual, relational, practical, use of words, generosity and more). Each challenge will help shapes a Godly masculine attribute in you.

What is structure of Hocoka discussion?

Native Americans held talking and listening as a sacred practice. Native Americans talk in a physical circle to representing the equlaity of men before the Creator. The opportunity to contribute no matter the age. Yet their is a deep respect for elders experience and wisdom thus the focus of Native American multi-generational communication is questions and listening. They introduced the talking stick (eagle feather, or other items) as a way to honor one another not allowing interruptions and provide order to a discussion. The Jeremiah scripture focused on asking. As Hocoka matures, this will be a place for younger men to ask their burning, tough questions of the Council (older men) in the Hocoka.  

Final thoughts on why Native American practices

I (Troy Mangum) am active member of the Lumbee Tribe of NC. In the beginning of 2020, God pointed me back to my Indian roots. In reading ‘Eternity in their Hearts- Don Richardson’, he shared story after story of God placing within indigenous cultures Gospel truths in their folklore, religion, traditions or practices that missionaries later discovered. God was working in the culture even before missionaries arrived. Not every practice, belief or tradition was Godly but some were.

I spent an entire year, reading missionary biographies of similar stories. As well as, Christian Native American leaders like,  Richard TwissSaving the Gospel from the Cowboys’ (IVP) and other christian Native American writers, theologians, etc…

I’ve have come to the conclusion, Hocoka was one of the ‘ancient paths’ God put in Native American culture to help young men grow up as honorable men connected to God, Family, Older Men, Tribe/ Community and Nature. The Bible is the Ancient Path for all men (young and old) to walk in. It's teachings seen in older men's lives is what younger men want to see. Not just men who talk the Christian talk,  but real men who walk the walk proving Biblical truths out in their actual lives.

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