Zealots and extremists are on the news and in our conversations. What can I do from central Illinois to combat this?
God is busy calling a group of Christian soldiers who are about to change the world. The UMC has in its midst thousands of men who are called to build the kingdom.
You may be one of them
It is not hard to find a conversation about the woes of the organized church, decline and decay, no young people, yada, yada, yada. But, there are some great things happening. Men's ministry is awakening throughout the country. In most mainline churches and many ecumenical groups God is stirring men’s ministry.
With all that’s happening the UMC is richly challenged. For the last decades a structure to equip and send out these men has been in the works. The General Commission on United Methodist Men is a small organization with six full-time and three part-time staff. It is aligned with the United Methodist Men's National Association of Conference Presidents.
Together we have grown and waned and wandered, but still connected many men to this work. The commission is connecting and sending out more than 60 certified men’s ministry specialist and candidates. Together we are connected with almost 300 conference and district presidents. We are connected with more than 4,000 local men’s presidents.
“Give me one hundred men . . .”
John Wesley had a vision. He said, “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or layman, they alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven upon the earth.”
God has called up thousands of men to this task. I believe he created the structure within the UMC for us to connect, equip and send these men out. We have a vast array of tools and resources to accomplish this mission, probably more than any other group in history.
In order to accomplish this, we need to disciple each man individually. We also need to strengthen our connection so we can reach out to each of these men. As we equip them to disciple others the world will change.
Scripture tells us God has a plan for each of us. I believe he has a plan for this group. These are big plans because they come from a big God. Each one of these thousands of men has the ability to reach many men. Each of them has the ability to create stronger families, godly leaders and a ministry that is building His kingdom. This means changing the hearts of men, one by one. With every man who decides to let Christ guide his life, the gates of hell are shaken and the kingdom of heaven is built on the earth. This is the valid way to defeat the devil’s plans.
Now back to "you may be one of them.” The men I know struggle sometimes with; who, when, and where. They don’t struggle with why and what. God has put this ministry on their hearts and they can’t let it go.
If God is placing this ministry on your heart, pray and pray and pray and then call and get connected with GCUMM. The harvest is plentiful and we need you as a brother in Christ.
Mark Dehority, deployed staff member and certified men’s ministry specialist
General Commission on United Methodist Men