· Church Renewal

I am only one person


By the Rev. Dr. Rick Vance


This phrase has been used by hundreds (if not thousands) of men to explain why a project, ministry or initiative of the church cannot be accomplished.


If Dr. Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace prize recipient, had believed that phrase, she would not have planted 10 trees in Kenya. That action began to change the environment and the community.


“I was in Japan a few years ago when I heard a story about a hummingbird,” said Dr. Maathai. “There’s a huge fire in the forest and all the animals run out to escape. But, the hummingbird stays, flying to and from a nearby river carrying water in its beak to put on the fire. The animals laugh and mock this little hummingbird. They say, ‘The fire is so big, you can't do anything.’ But the hummingbird replies, ‘I'm doing what I can.’ There is always something we can do. You can always carry a little water in your beak.”


As leaders and members of United Methodist Men, we too can do something. We can do something in our family, something in our church, something in our community, in our districts, conference and throughout The United Methodist Church.


All of this starts with one person believing he can do something.


You do not have to “reinvent the wheel.” The Center for Men’s Ministries at the commission has a vast number of tested ministry programs that can assist you in bringing about change.


As a young boy, I found encouragement in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Paul assures me that one person, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can make a change.


You are one person, who can bring about change.


We are here to help you.


Your brother on the journey,


The Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministries

General Commission on UM Men


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