Teaching men to lead

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The organizer of a three-day conference to be held this month hopes to unite men under one cause — to lead men to a stronger relationship with God in their homes, their work places and in their churches.

The Rev. T.D. White, pastor of The Rock International Ministries of Jackson, said God gave him the idea more than a year ago to unite men, lift them up and teach them God's way. That's how Men's Conference 2008 "Men United for One Cause," to be held April 17 to 19, was born.

"We're going to sit down and give specific teaching and opportunities to ask questions," White said.

The conference is open to all men — and women — age 17 and older in the area for a fee that includes breakfast and lunch during the all-day work sessions April 19, three workshops and accompanying educational materials. The worship services all three days are open to the public, White said.

Already men in the community are signing up to attend, White said, and so are women. Unmarried women are signing up to learn what to look for in a Christian husband. Women who are rasing sons alone and married women whose husbands have not yet received Christ have registered to learn how to minister to their sons and husbands.

"We're hoping this will start a revival of building men in the kingdom for the purpose of being used by God right now all across America," White said.

It seems that men are falling away from church leadership, White said. Although he recognizes the value of women in the church — "my wife is my co-pastor; I have no problem with women in the church" — he feels that men are leaving most of the church's work to the women and "being content with ushering, holding the offering basket and not getting involved with administration," he said.

But leadership begins at home, and the workshop sessions will begin with "Men at Home" led by the Rev. Zack Strong of Christ Church of the Heartland of Cape Girardeau.

The topic is important because "men should be able to know how to be head of the home first," White said. "Some men have no idea how to be an effective father and leader and husband at home. Some are waiting for their wives to give all the answers when God called man to be head, speaking from what is in the Bible. Their first responsibility is to lead the family at home."

The second session, led by the Rev. Curtis True, senior pastor of Church on the Rock of Sikeston, Mo., will lead the workshop, "Men at Church."

When men become part of the church, White said, the church becomes like a second family. The church family needs a strong male leadership, he said, when it comes to such matters as physically building the church property.

"Decisions are being made like buying land, building the building, contracting; men need to be involved more because some people will take advantage of women," White said. "Before you know it they've committed to something they don't understand. That's why men need to be trained in the church."

Bishop William Bird Sr. of Greater Dimensions Ministries in Cape Girar¿deau, will lead the session "Men at Work."

Men who have the confidence that comes with following their Lord are looked upon with respect in the workplace, White said.

The conference will open at 7 p.m. April 17 with a worship service led by Dr. Brett Watson, senior pastor of Destiny Life International Outreach Church of Marion, Ill. The following evening at 7 p.m., Dr. A. G. Green, senor pastor of Rhema Word Ministries of Cape Girardeau will lead the worship service. R. Vashon of Power in Your Praise Ministries Conference Praise Team Leader will also participate in worship.

The educational sessions will take place beginning at 8 a.m. April 19 with breakfast, then the workshop sessions. Following lunch at noon, the conference will close with a service at 1:30 p.m. led by keynote speaker Dr. Ron Webb, senior pastor of Mount Calvary Power House Church of Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Noted Christian musicians Jason Crabb and Javen will sing during the worship services.

With well-known Christian singers and noted local leaders, White hopes this conference will be the first of many annual events, growing with each year.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension160

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