MINERAL BLUFF — God is forever looking for men who will stand tall for Him in a world tending toward chaos. In Ezekiel 22:30 God said, “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.”
The church needs an intentional strategy to reach men, because if you reach a man, you reach his whole family. A changed man will influence a marriage and a family. A changed man will influence a neighborhood and a community. A changed community will influence a state and a nation. A changed man will help change the world.
It all begins with a changed man.
Glen McCall is the state missionary heading up the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Men’s Ministry and is seeking to assist churches and associations in developing Kingdom-minded men to be godly leaders in the home, church, and communities.
McCall explained, “The partnerships we have with our associational and church leaders in north Georgia – as well as around the state – has aided us in having great and godly success in reaching and ministering to many hundreds of men throughout the regions of Georgia.”
The GBMB Men’s Ministries has had good success in getting men involved in Christian ministry. Also, the current Annual Church Report indicates that participation in men’s events statewide has increased 19 percent over last year. Those numbers come in spite of 30 percent of churches having not yet submitted their statistical information to the GBMB’s Church Research Services Department.
One of the many activities McCall and his staff provides for men occurred March 11 at The Ridge Community Church in Mineral Bluff. It was the North Georgia Men’s Conference with an intentional evangelistic emphasis.
Growth in reaching men
The men’s gathering was the third annual conference of its kind in the north Georgia area and the attendance has grown each year from 225 in 2015 to nearly 500 this year.
Evangelist and former Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith was the preacher for the event, His message was based on II Peter 3: 9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” McCall reported that there were 17 men who made professions of faith in Christ, 24 men rededicated their lives and another 115 men requested prayer for themselves or their families.
Smith stated, “Glen McCall and those who assisted him did an excellent job of planning and coordinating the event. The building was full of men and there was the distinct sense that God’s presence was there.”
Crimson Ridge Ministries, a Christian country singing group with a flair for Southern Gospel, provided the music for the North Georgia Men’s Conference. The Morganton, Mountaintown, and Mountain Area (Hiawassee, New Union, Notla River, and White) Baptist Associations and the churches of the area funded the event. So there was no registration fee charged to the men in attendance. Clayton Reeves of Full Throttle Ministries cooked the Bar B Q dinner and his wife and son served the men. The program was funded by gifts from the Cooperative Program.
The biggest praise
Claude Mathis, associational missionary for the Morganton/Mountaintown Baptist associations, stated, “I appreciated the way the men worked together to make the conference a reality. It is great when you can get 450-500 men together for just about anything other than a ballgame. I was encouraged to see the way the men joined hands to raise the funds and encourage their friends to come to the conference. Bailey Smith brought a great message and we are all thankful for the 17 men who gave their lives to Christ.”
Doug Merck, Mountain Area missionary, commented, “It was truly a blessing to see our associations come together so that men could hear the Gospel presented. The food was delicious and the fellowship was great. There were great door prizes, but the best thing was that 17 men prayed to receive Christ.”
The conference had some excellent door prizes including shotguns, drill sets, tools, chairs, a smoker, and hats. The fourth annual North Georgia Men’s Conference date has already been established for March 10, 2018. The place for the conference will be announced later this year.