Is the Church addressing the spiritual need of men both in and out of the church? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

This week "Our Son's of Allen" program gets started. My daughter our Christian Education Superintendant, Our Men's Director and myself met to discuss what we wanted our Men's ministry to look like. There will be weekly Men's prayer meetings and a prayer breakfast before work. We are also using a book called "Wild at Heart Field Manual" by John Eldredge. Let me quote what the author says about the book "For too long, the call of Christianity to men has evoked no higher goal, ultimately, than becoming a "nice guy". No wonder many men are bored to tears with church. The hero instinct has been trained out of them.{" The author encourages men tho fight THEIR great battle, with adventure and beauty knowing that to God they are a hero. The emphasis of the book is to help men have an intimate relationship with God. So here is my question, how do we help men develop that relationship in church and in their lives. One of my members a young man left a message with me to say that he had missed church last week because he had gone bow hunting and had gotten a huge elk. He was thrilled and excited. For he was thinking about the chili dinner we are doing for the football players for our university. I want to create a men's ministry that allows men to be who and what God called them to be!!! Let's talk about men's spirituality how is it different and what issues are men dealing with today that we can demonstrate how reliance on God can help them?

-- Anonymous, September 29, 2002


Dear Rev. Rogers:

I totally agree with your analysis of why some of our brothers don't attend church in large numbers or at all. When witnessing, I have been told that the church is full of hypocrites who only care about what the person is wearing or how much money they have to contribute.

I am a member of Bethel AME Church, Pensacola, FL. My pastor, Rev. Ronnie L.Clark repeatedly stresses the need for us to "go get Lot". Yes, our brothers are hurting and they need to know that there is healing in Christ, no matter what church they decide to attend.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002

I would like to suggest that you began a men bible study that allow the men to be in dialogue with you. The bible study should be designed around issues that is germain to men. Please, feel free to talk about anything that catches their interest and let that be your point of departure. Men need to feel free to discuss their issues and not to be condemn but guided through and lead in a right direction. We are in a new millenium, therefore, we can't continue to do things the same old ways. The Book of Mark 2:22 (RSV)says, " one puts new wine into old wineskins;...the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; wine is for fresh wine skin." Audre Lorde says, "The master's tool will never dismantle the master's house." Beloveth, you must not be afraid to try something new to get men to participate in the church. What i would say to you is be in prayer and critically engage issues pretaining to men and let God use you. Their are some men that would have a problem with the fact a women is heading the "Men's Ministry" that is not my problem. My problem is the church trying to do things using the same methods of old. Men are looking for genuiness and authenicity. Let your creative energy flow, because God did not call us to do everything the same old way. Don't be afraid, let God use you. May God bless you and keep you in Jesus name.

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002

Philip thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I am very blessed that we have Kurt Dieter as the director of our Men's Ministry and he will be leading the men's Bible study. One of the things that I want to create for the men in my church is a place where the men can come together and have time to discuss issues that are pertinent to them with God at the center of the dialogue. We are using a bible study called "Wild at Heart a field manual" it is a different type of Men's Bible study for it looks at the various roles men have to assume in society. It also addresses issues such as fear, intimacy, marriage and other pertinent issues. The men in my church do not have a problem with me being their pastor. Which is really a compliment for when I moved to my town 1o years ago there was only one other clergy woman in the 100 churches in our town. And I was and still am the only black clergy person in my town. In my state there are about 5 black clergy women. So yes, I had to deal with a lot of stuff, but God always intervened. Thank God I am a great preacher;-) The men that come to my church do not have a church back ground and they are so hungry for the word. As a pastor I am always concerned for everyone in my congregation and their spiritual development. Our sons of allen group will do a new thing in the 21st century. One of the things I love about the afore mentioned bible study is that it uses the image of men as being "heroes" to God and that their relationship with him is the greatest adventure they will ever have. Our men are also working with the black athletes at our university. What are some of the ministries for men that are being done at your church?

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002

Philip I had another thought you said men are looking for something genuine and authentic in church. I am happy to hear you say that for it is encouraging news. Men and women are different but God has made us so compliment one another and together we work to glorify him! Men process information differently than women and express themselves differently I think our men's ministry should reflect those differences so that we can provide an arena where men can grow in the Lord. The majority of people in the church are women, why is it that we are not attracting men particularly young men and retaining them. Even when most of our pastors are men. I think we have to think outside of the box. Have programs specifically for men. Seminars, work retreats, outings, and play for men! Let's talk about infidelity, finances, work, children, dreams let's communicate in new ways. Let's use sports as opportunities to engage in a more meaningful relationship with God. O.K it was more than one thought;-)

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002

Denise I never see you mentioning the other AME church in Great Falls why not?

-- Anonymous, October 25, 2002

Harold I had to laugh when I read your question as to why I did not mention Union Bethel in Great Falls, Montana. Because Union Bethel is 600 miles round trip from where I live. Montana is a huge state. We are the fourth largest state in the country. Union Bethel has just started a mission program called the "Joseph Project" where they are providing food for those that need it in the community on saturdays. And two months ago they had an adult baptism. An immersion they actually had to do it in another church. If you would like more information from them. I am sure Rev. Payne would be glad to hear from you. You can access Union Bethel web site by going to the fifth district web page once there click on fifth district maps and when the map comes up click on Montana. Because of the great distances and mountain passes in our state it is difficult to visit other churches. Plus there is nine months of winter in Montana. For example today Oct. 31st it is ZERO DEGREES and the interstate is slick. Our P.E does not come to visit Montana churches in the winter. It is just to difficult to drive over mountain passes. Hope that answered your question.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2002

Montana's frigid winter doesn't appear to adversely affect the footbal performance of the University of Montana. When I scanned the Division I-AA rankings earlier this week I noticed that the number 1 school in I-AA is Univ. of MT. While I would not suggest that Denise's sister school would survive a gridiron match against the likes of the 'Canes in my state, the Sooners from OK, Fighting Irish from ND or even the Dawgs from GA, their stellar performance is still impressive considering the obstacle of inclimate weather conditions (not to mention avoiding wild and dangerous animals like bears, bobcats, moose, caribou, maybe even a unicorn). Maybe our Big Sky pastor can include the sound of bears and moose in her impressive and "slick" covered e-zine:-) QED

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2002

Bill you are truly my biological brother! You and Jenny are so awesome. There is a rivalry between the U of M football team which is the one you mentioned and the Bobcats Montana State University which is in Bozeman where we live. So when you and Jenny come to visit to not mention the U of M;-) The Gritz are very, very impressive and they work hard. One of the national commentators mentioned this week that the team was terrific for they do have to deal with harsh weather conditions. It was below zero in the daytime yesterday where the Griz are and they still have to practice outdoors. For most of us that live here we really don't think about the weather or worry about. The town that I live in is a ski resort so people ski, snowboard or snowshoe. Your adopted niece Danielle skis and I snowshoe. The schools will only be closed if it is 50 degrees below ZERO. It's funny because the school buses can't run if the weather is 10 below zero because they use diesel fuel. So you have to drive the kids to school yourself. It is not as bad as it sounds for we have a very low humidity in the winter. Remember the A.M.E church came to Montana in 1860 when there were no cars, fancy heaters, thermal clothes etc. Lydia Allen and other blacks planted churches and kept them going. I am so proud of the A.M.E church for we evangelized all across this country regardless of the danger or weather. By the way you are not off the hook Bill, you will be hearing from your niece regarding an article on economics for the magazine;-) By the way we get tons of tourists in Bozeman who fly here from around the world to ski. And don't be surprised we will have some video on our web site about the animals of Montana. That will happen in 2003.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2002

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