Is There Still Room for Men’s Events?
Why I Still Believe There’s a Place for Men’s Conferences
It was mid 2013 when the Holy Spirit began placing the vision for Mantour Conferences on my heart.
By January of 2014, there were 7 Mantour Conferences scheduled throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware. In 2015, we have 11 events scheduled, and inquiries for more locations next year.
Yet, even as I saw the vision for Mantour Conferences beginning to come to fruition, I couldn’t help but struggle with questions.
Was there still a need for men’s conferences in the American church?
Did men really have time in their busy schedules on a Saturday attending an event?
I heard the voices that said “What men really need in their lives is a weekly, consistent accountability group—a Band of Brothers they could rely on and turn to through thick and thin.” If that was the case, why had God called us to begin holding Mantour Conferences?
So I began to pray. As I sought the Holy Spirit, I began to remember.
My mind went back a few years to a men’s conference I attended in New York. To be honest, going into the event I wasn’t expecting much. I was attending as a vendor, so my primary focus was work. However, as I sat in the service listening to a man (who wasn’t even a nationally known speaker) share his testimony; tears began streaming down my face. It was as if he was speaking directly into my situation, and I left that service a different person than I arrived. Looking back, I can see that this event was a turning point in my life and my ministry.
It’s time to take a step of faith
After this memory, my mind turned to a men’s conference I attended a few years later. Because the gentleman running the event was a close friend, I know that they were disappointed with the low attendance. Still, even though they didn’t have the numbers they were expecting, the Holy Spirit had a plan for the men who were in attendance—including me. Throughout this event—through the speakers and in conversations with other men—the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “What are you waiting for? It’s time to take a step of faith and follow Me”. Again, I can trace a new beginning of growth and expansion in my life and ministry directly to this men’s conference.
Finally, my mind turned toward another conference I attended. This Conference took place during a very difficult time in my life. Just a few months before, I’d been deeply wounded by a friend, and the wound was still influencing too many areas of my life. Even though I had struggled for days before attending the event with the question of “How can I take time off work to go to this event?” when I arrived, I knew it was well worth the sacrifice.
You see, the speaker at the event spoke about the need to pray daily for those who hurt us so that we can forgive and be healed. Needless to say, I was convicted of neglecting this Biblical principle in my situation. When the time arrived to make a commitment to change at the end of the sermon, I raised my hand and committed that I would choose to obey God and begin praying for those who had hurt me. I’m thankful to say that within 6 weeks of keeping this commitment I sensed a radical change in my heart. It was no longer filled with pain, but rather I was genuinely praying for the blessing and benefit of those who’d hurt me. This complete change of heart came from hearing truth spoken at a Conference.
Men’s Events Still Have Their Place
So is there still a place for men’s conferences in the American church?
After much prayer and remembering, I believe the answer is “Yes”. You see, what I have come to understand is that even though I understand that men have many pressing demands on their time, and even though I am a huge proponent of men plugging into a consistent Bible study and accountability group, I still believe that God is calling men to periodically come away and have an appointment with Him. I believe that there is a time for men to step away from their wives, their kids, their jobs, their home responsibilities, their financial responsibilities, and even their church responsibilities, and spend a few hours allowing God to speak directly to them.
I believe that when men attend these events with an open heart, these events can become divine appointments in which God can redirect their lives and refresh and refuel them to go back into their normal routines as better husbands, fathers, workers, and church leaders.
Looking at my own experiences, I can see that there are times when it’s good to hear a different voice speak the Word of God into your life in a fresh way. As you stand among a group of men just like you—with the same struggles and responsibilities, but also the same desire to follow God wholeheartedly—it’s inspiring and encouraging to know that you are not alone. You feel like you’re part of a team; whether you’re a speaker, a worship leader, or an attendee, you’ve all got the same goal: to be the man God created you to be and fulfill the purpose He has for you in this generation. When these goals are reached at a Men’s Convention, it is never a waste of time. Instead, it’s an investment in men leading better lives, in better families, in better churches, and ultimately better communities. That’s why I believe in men’s conferences.
I share in hopes that, as a men’s ministry leader, you’ll provide opportunities and encourage your men to attend a men’s conference soon, whether it be a Mantour, an Iron Sharpens Iron Event, a Fuel Conference from Man in the Mirror, or one of many other men’s conferences. It’s about reaching men with the Gospel and helping them become all they can become in God’s kingdom, whether through events, groups or one on one.
As a man who’s benefited from the men’s conferences I’ve attended, I can guarantee that these events will only help build the men and the Men’s Ministry at your church. Rather than being a waste of time, I believe it will be a great investment of time that will have far reaching rewards in the lives of men, families, your church, and your community. It is a relevant tool for God’s men today and for years to come! There is still a place for men’s conferences in today’s world.
What are your thoughts re. men’s events/conferences? Are they still relevant? Do you go?
About our Guest Author
Jamie Holden is our guest author. Jamie is the Director and Founder of Mantour Ministries.
Jamie is a graduate of the University of Valley Forge. He is also an ordained minister with the Penndel District of the Assemblies of God.
Jamie’s passion is to help men overcome the pain of their past and reach their full potential as God’s men. “Years ago, while I was attending Valley Forge Christian College, God gave me a deep desire inside to minister to men. My calling is to help men learn what it means to be a godly man and how to develop a deep, personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. We strive to challenge and encourage men to reach their full potential in God’s Kingdom.”