ยท Leader Letters

From your partners in men’s ministry

 A bi-monthly e-mail letter from agency officers and staff for United Methodist Men

 December 15, 2009 

 Celebrations and concerns By Bishop James King

As we near the end of 2009, we have much to celebrate:

We had a successful gathering of United Methodist Men in Nashville.

  • We made major strides in the recruitment and training of men’s ministry specialists and scouting ministry specialists.
  • Growing numbers of churches are beginning to understand the importance of helping men to grow spiritually in order to reach unchurched men.
  • The commission provided over 400,000 copies of Strength for Service to God and Country to members of the military and others over the past 11 years.
  • Over 120,000 copies of the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs were given to Boy Scouts over the past 17 years.
  • United Methodist Men were able to continue the Upper Room Prayer Line in spite of major staff cutbacks.
  • The commission launched an effort to get men involved in Disciple Bible Study and they provided a new resource to go with that study.
  • New training materials were developed and a new website is under development.

It is no surprise, however, that financial resources have not kept pace with demands upon staff and resources of the General Commission on UM Men, and the unexpected break down of a $6,300 computer server has put the commission in a major financial bind near the end of 2010.

As you make last-minute Christmas gifts to your local church and others who provided you with services throughout 2009, I hope you will consider sending a financial gift to the Commission on United Methodist Men. I can promise you that overworked and tireless nine-member staff will use it wisely to “help men grow in Christ so others may know Christ.”

Bishop James R. King, president
The General Commission on UM Men

A New Day By John Dowell

 At the September General Commission on United Methodist Men board meeting we were saddened by the announcement that the Rev David Adams, our general secretary, had received the call from God to return to the local church. Over the past three years, David had become a friend as well as our leader. We will miss him.

Throughout the board meeting he kept noting that “a new day has come.”

Indeed it has!

The bishop stated, “Far too long men in the local church fellowships and even in the district leadership, as we say in the military, have not been through basic training. In too many cases men have taken jobs when they had not received adequate training.”

This is changing. At the March 2010 NACP meeting a 10 hour training CD will be introduced. This training will provide the local church, the district and conference leaders the tools needed to do the job. Ask your conference president for a copy of this CD after the second week in March.

Bishop King also spoke of “wisdom warriors” –– men who have experienced the nuts and bolts of ministry, especially the sharing of Christ with others. These warriors must step-up and provide their knowledge and experiences with younger men.

There is no reason that each generation must re-invent the wheel. Older men must be mentors to younger men, sharing the love of Christ and how they can witness this to others. We must show them how to do mission work to those needing a helping hand, to help feed the hungry, to teach the youth how to build a ramp at the home of a disabled person and much more.


To those brothers my age, let us accept the challenge from Bishop King to share the wisdom and experiences God has given us. Doing this and the new training CD promises to carry us into a new day for men’s ministry in the United Methodist Church.

John Dowell, president
National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men


Winds of change By Larry Malone 

 Strong winds of change are blowing! I recently attended a series of denominational meetings held at Lake Junaluska, representing the General Commission on UM Men as interim general secretary.

 The question that mobilizes top UMC leader concern and action is “Will the UMC continue our precipitous decline in the U.S. and Western Europe, or will we boldly move ahead to make disciples of Jesus Christ in new, fresh ways in all parts of the world?”

 For some, the UMC future will be unsettling because large-scale change appears inevitable. For others, the mission-centered re-alignment of the UMC can become a catalyst for renewal and growth.

 The ministry of Jesus Christ through men is critically linked to the UMC mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We have an opportunity to make a strong case for investment in reaching men, and the spiritual benefits gained in men who walk with Christ as disciples. Men have great impact on families and communities - too often, the impact is negative. Many ministries deal with symptoms and effects of men who do not know or follow Jesus.

 The time is NOW for leaders within our family of organizations to become one in heart and mission. With one heart and a strong, clear voice we can have an important role in a re-forming denomination. Those in leadership over the next few years will have unprecedented opportunity to be architects of a renewed UMC that places high value on the ministry of Jesus Christ through men.

 I want to extend an invitation for UMM leaders to attend a leader gathering of men’s ministry leaders from many denominations in Orlando FL on January 28-30, 2010. All the details can be found at www.maninthemirrorsummit.org.  

 Larry Malone, director
UM Men Ministries
General Commission on UM Men

Servant Leadership –– Scout Sunday 2010 By Larry Coppock

“As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms”  (1 Peter 4:10).

This is the time of season to be thankful for the gift of all gifts––the grace and love of Jesus Christ. Let us carry the giving spirit of Christmas into the New Year in advance of Scout Sunday.

Scout Sunday is celebrated the second Sunday in February.

Let us not forget the servant leaders who minister to the needs of our children and youth through scouting (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, and 4-H, Big Brother Big Sisters) With some advance planning, Scout Sunday can be a memorable day for troops and groups affiliated with your church and for parents, some of whom will be members of your church and some of whom are searching for a faith community. A variety of recognitions may be considered.

The Cross and Flame may be given to adults with three years of service. The church may apply for the Shepherd Church Charter for its sponsorship of any one of the youth programs mentioned.

Also, the Scout leader or youth director may nominate Scouts or UM youth for the Good Samaritan Award. This includes anyone who demonstrates the attributes of the Good Samaritan described in Luke 10:25–37. Pastors who have been working with the spiritual development of young people may present P.R.A.Y. awards (formerly God and Country).

The plans you make today will make your Scouting Ministry Sunday a meaningful one.

We want to hear about your Scouting Ministry Sunday. Please send us a brief (one paragraph) article and action photo for potential publication in Scouting News

For more information about Scouting Ministries visit our web site: www.umscouting.org.

Larry Coppock, national director
Scouting Ministries
General Commission on UM Men

New Logo and Website on Horizon By Bari Eason

 Greetings from Nashville! As we are all gearing up for the Christmas holidays and the beginning of a new year, the General Commission on UM Men is also gearing up for something that will be very exciting.

 In just a few weeks, the commission will release its new logo and newly designed website. Much care and effort has been demonstrated by the entire staff and board to review possibilities and make the best choices to showcase our ministry. The launch is expected during the first week of January. In addition to these new items, the commission will also have new print materials to distribute to donors and potential donors about our ministries.

 Also, if you are interested in social media, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog. The blog site is http://gcumm.blogspot.com/. If you visit that site, it will link you to the Facebook page, which is still in progress. Additionally, the twitter address is http://twitter.com/gcummbari. It would be so helpful if you would share these addresses with men in your church and encourage them to follow us as we communicate the latest information on UMM.

 I would also like to share with you that Alvin Townley of Atlanta, Ga., will be serving as an official “celebrity endorser” for the scouting side of our marketing efforts. Alvin, an Eagle Scout and life-long United Methodist, is a successful author and speaker. He will help us communicate the importance of scouting as a ministry of the church.

 In closing, I would like to wish all of you a very blessed Christmas! Among the many things I will thank our Father for this Christmas season; one will be the joy I have experienced in ministry through the UMC.

 Bari W. Eason, director
Marketing and Development
General Commission on UM Men

New training course now available

GCUMM is pleased to announce the availability of a new men's ministry training course titled "Understanding Men's Ministry."

This course is intended for use as a conference, district or local church learning resource as well as an advanced lay speaking ministry training course. It is available for purchase only through GCUMM (www.gcumm.org)  

The Understanding Men's Ministry course is based upon content and materials used in the No Man Left Behind training offered by Man in the Mirror in a 2½-day seminar. The condensed curriculum, offered through UM Men, is packaged in four sections containing 16 learning modules in a 12-hour timeframe.

 Course materials include the textbook No Man Left Behind, a student workbook, a leader's guide, and a CD with a power-point slide set, speaker’s notes, and supplementary materials to assist the presenter. The leader’s guide provides instructions for the presenter and a detailed outline for each session of the course.

 The course objective is to generate interest and enable local churches to develop an effective ministry to men. Congregational leadership teams are coached to develop a plan and process to reach more men, and enable men to mature spiritually as disciples of Christ. The course is available for purchase in two options: a leader's pack and a class pack. See the web site for additional details and pricing.

 For more information on how to utilize and deliver this valuable training in your church or area with assistance from UM Men, please contact La Nisha Sayles (lsayles@gcumm.org) (615-620-7260).

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