Leaders of men’s ministry from 11 denominations tackle racial issues
By Rick Vance*
NASHVILLE, Tenn.––The Denominational Men’s Ministry Leaders, an ecumenical group of leaders in men’s and scouting ministries, tackled racial issues during their March 9-10 annual meeting.
Monroe Miller of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Alex Ruth of the Disciples of Christ Church suggested transformative racial dialogue must begin with honest dialogue, including the courageously telling of personal stories.
Doug Haugen, retired chief staff executive of Lutheran Men in Mission, and Bryan Champion, a leader of men’s ministry in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, discussed ways to frame difficult conversations so that, men feel they are heard and valued, even when the conversations reveal different perspectives. They underscored the importance of preparing for the discussion, listening with empathy, and being open to other perspectives.
Technology increase opportunities
Nearly all 11 participants agreed that ministry and ministry opportunities have increased exponentially over the last year. Virtual resources have enabled increasing numbers of men to become involved in prayer, study, and accountability groups. Men who had been resistant in using these new resources are now using the technology regularly.
John Sundquest, chief staff executive of Lutheran Men in Mission, and Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’ Ministry of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, discussed some of the learning and challenges of this last year. They advised the leaders to develop plans to keep men connected and involved in the future. Both men agreed that the use of technology and face-to-face meetings were both necessary for this to happen.
This group of leaders of men’s and scouting ministry includes representatives from the Lutheran Church, Episcopal Church, Assemblies of God Church, International Pentecostal Holiness Church, United Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African American Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Disciples of Christ Church, and Presbyterian Church USA.
The General Commission on United Methodist Men has served as coordinator of these annual meetings for the last 10 years.
The group will gather in 2022 in Louisville Ky.
People interested in information about the Denominational Men’s Ministry Leaders group may contact Gill Hanke (firstname.lastname@example.org).
*The Rev. Dr. Rick Vance is director of the Center for Men’s Ministry of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.