Theme calls for men to be wholly committed to Christ in pursuit of holiness.
By Paul F. South
FORT WORTH—Inside the church walls and beyond, sin’s hold on men is epidemic.
But against the cultural currents, an August men’s rally in the Dallas-Fort Worth area aims to help men pursue holiness in Christ by being wholly committed to Christ.
The Real Men of Impact rally at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15 at North Richland Hills Baptist Church will feature former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna as the keynote speaker. Terry Turner, pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church in Mesquite, will also speak, and the Michael Armstrong Band will perform.
The event, with free admission, is part of the SBTC’s Equip Mega-Conference.
“We’re really dealing with this idea of calling men to be completely in step with Christ,” said Lance Crowell, SBTC director of discipleship ministries. “Part of the struggle for men is they are not fully in step with Christ and as a result there are areas of their lives that actually are being ravaged by sin that keep them from ministry and a lot of other good things.”
Crowell added: “I think a lot of the struggle in many churches where there are not enough men stepping up in some ways is because the men have sin issues that just hold them down very heavily and keep them from being involved in other aspects of ministry or really being who God is calling them to be.”
Kitna, the 2003 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as a quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, played as recently as last year in a reserve role for the Dallas Cowboys. The 41-year-old Kitna, a graduate of Central Washington University, began his professional career with the Seattle Seahawks. In recent years, Kitna has shared his faith at a number of churches in Texas and elsewhere, Crowell said. But Kitna’s message will be more than a personal testimony.
“We believe that Jon is going to challenge men to be who God’s called them to be,” Crowell said. “We really like that. He has been in a lot of locker rooms with guys who have run after the things of the world and come back empty-handed. This idea of him challenging them to be fully committed to Christ, we think he’s a perfect fit for that.”
Men struggle with a variety of challenges—from pornography, to business ethics, to other attacks on marriage that some have called “the secret sins.” For example, according to surveys, nearly one in two Christians–47 percent—say pornography is a major problem in their home, Crowell said.
“That’s almost one in every two Christians saying that,” Crowell noted. “It’s definitely more pervasive than we’re willing to let on, and part of the reason that we’re not seeing a lot of spiritual growth and development is because there’s sin in the camp that just is not allowing for growth and other things that need to take place in the lives of families because they’re just ravaged by sin.
“The reality is that if you want to impact whole families you must reach the men. Most of the time you cannot reach the entire family through the children or even the wife. But if you are able to reach a man’s heart often his family will follow as well.”
“How big is the dad’s spiritual impact on the home? It’s massive,” Crowell said.
Scott Maze, pastor of North Richland Hills Baptist, hopes the annual event will plant the seeds for a forest of spiritual giants. He cited God’s mandate in Psalm 78:4-5.
“We want to see men who are California redwood, spiritual-stature strong in Christ. Not like a bonsai tree, not a dwarf tree but someone who’s strong in following the Lord, in leading. God has designed men to lead,” Maze said.
Men need to focus on what Maze called “the cardinal issues”—that God is central to life, that God has laid out a blueprint for successful men and families in his Word, and that men are commanded by God to teach that blueprint to their children.
“When they do that, the families will gravitate toward that conviction. It will change the direction and trajectory of families for a long time,” Maze said.
God’s Word commands men to follow Christ’s example, to be affirming, loving and generous, not a “get-off-my-lawn grouch.”
“For a man to be who God wants him to be, he’s got to be wholly in step Christ, and only through that can he be holy in practice,” Crowell said. “We want to challenge him to be committed to Christ in all things and let the Holy Spirit do his work.”
While the conference is free, registration is required. For more information, go to sbtexas.com/Equip and look for the Real Men of Impact link.