Lance Crowell has seen Promise Keepers and other such events come and go like the men they draw. Baptists have Baptist Men and church breakfasts and even a few events of their own, yet rare are the church ministries that are helping men conform to the image of the Savior with long-term success.
“I’m not against men’s breakfasts or other events,” said Crowell of the SBTC’s Church Ministries department, “but I think we can see the churches changed if we see men changed.”
He envisions a bottom-up transformation of men’s ministry without the flash-in-the-pan movements that have been initially useful but haven’t affected lasting change.
The problem, he admitted, is finding many exemplar men’s ministries where men are consistently being made into disciples, not to mention a working definition of a godly man.
“Unfortunately,” Crowell said, “for some churches, if men are coming it’s a win. But I think that is a low bar. If you were to ask, ‘What does a godly man look like?’ and were to answer it, then what is the process for getting men to that point? I am afraid that process is not in place in a lot of places.”
So this summer, instead of the SBTC’s “Real Men of Impact” rallies for a general audience, the convention has planned two men’s leadership conferences for pastors and lay leaders?one in Houston, another in Euless?aimed at tackling the challenge of long-term transformation of men.
Crowell said hoping men in the church are transformed is insufficient; churches must be intentional about making disciples.
Crowell asked: “Is the godly man merely a faithful attender? Is he a good tither?”
A godly man, Crowell said, “loves the Lord. He’s committed to his family more than a few hours a week. He’s leading his family spiritually. What does that look like, and have we helped men do that?”
Those are the issues Crowell hopes the leadership conferences will help clarify.
Both conferences will begin at 6 p.m. on a Friday and end at 2:30 Saturday with plenary and breakout sessions. Dinner on Friday and lunch Saturday are included with the $15 early registration.
The Houston conference is planned for July 10-11 at Sagemont Church in Houston with keynote speaker Ken Hemphill of Nashville, Tenn., a former president of Southwestern Seminary now with the SBC Executive Committee.
The Euless conference is planned for July 24-25 at First Baptist Church of Euless featuring Bobby Welch, retired Florida pastor and the Southern Baptist Convention’s strategist for global evangelical relations.
For more information on the conferences or to register, visit sbtexas.com/men.