Finish the race
By Herman Lightsey
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
–– 2 Timothy 4:7
The January planning and vision meeting with Greg Arnold, our new general secretary, was invigorating, innovative, and like drinking from a fire hose. UM Men leaders left the Nashville meeting with the wind of “new hope” in their sails.
To fulfill the vision established in Nashville, we need men who will respond to Paul’s directions to young Timothy to become “fighters,” “finishers,” and “faithful.”
Men are ok (to some extent) with keeping the faith but fighting and finishing call for deeper commitments.
We are great at getting excited about new methods to reach men thinking that droves of men will respond and commit. But, when they don’t, we quickly become disenchanted and quit. This is part of the negative image that some pastors have of this ministry. Men get excited and get their pastor involved, but when it does not turn out as they thought it would, they quit and leave the pastor out on the limb.
Men often misunderstand “Keeping the faith.” Faith is not belief in a doctrine or creed. It is not believing stupid things that science says are not true.
Faith is taking a step forward without any guarantee that it is going to work out the way we want it to.
Paul never stopped pursuing the goal to be more like Christ. This should also be our standard.
God has chosen Greg Arnold to lead the commission for a time such as this.
God has also chosen us for a time such as this.
Please join with me to fight, finish, and keep the faith to fulfill God’s vision for this ministry, a ministry that is about where men and their families will spend eternity.
Grace and peace my brothers.
Herman Lightsey, president
National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men