Reports flow in every week of God moving and revival spreading in Georgia. The Gospel is being shared, and baptisms are increasing! What Ivy Creek Baptist Church imagined would happen at their first men's event in late April since COVID-19 is nothing short of discipleship revival led by the church's men.
2 Years in the Making for Revival
It all started in 2021 when Discipleship Pastor Dave Wiley and a lay leader from the church began to pray for a vision for a ministry to men in the church. They prayed that God would not just revive the Men's Ministry but create something new. They prayed that God would create a brotherhood focused on disciple-making. They had monthly meetings in the past, but this time would be different, with discipleship being the primary goal.
On April 23, Ivy Creek Baptist Church saw nearly 40% of their men gather for BBQ in a packed-out room on a Sunday night. They left that night with 102 men signing up to commit to a weekly men's group for accountability, prayer, and reading God's Word. The topic that evening was authentic relationships.
"Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have." — Billy Graham
Billy Graham was a man who never stopped sharing about Jesus, and he also pioneered networks of disciples who made disciples from his evangelistic efforts. Pastor Dr. Craig Dale, after the event, shared he had a family commitment he had to miss to be at this event because he was "all in" to see the men of the church engage in discipleship. Led by his sacrificial (most did not know he missed that event) example of disciple-making, the church's men were inspired and responded to the call to deeper discipleship.
Men Desire Authentic Relationships
Relationships are complicated, and men often struggle to communicate in their relationships. However, this is not a defense against not providing a space for men to be transparent with one another, it's simply a challenge to get the first step in motion. Ivy Creek, a church that greatly leans on its lay leadership, prayed and created a first step for men to come and be engaged to create space to address relationships.
Authentic relationships with men reflect the following:
Serving Georgia Baptist churches to advance the Gospel as a discipleship consultant has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Regularly seeing God moving in the local church and seeing a revival in discipleship is encouraging and a reminder that we already serve on a team with the one who knew us before we were born. The question is, will we slow down to make disciples who make disciples see revival continue to spread?
Our Church Strengthening and Discipleship Team are here to serve you, the local church, to see the Great Commission carried out. Go to gabaptist.org/churchstrengthening and complete the Church Assessment Tool to take your next step in strengthening your church.
Dr. PJ Dunn is the Georgia Baptist Mission Board's discipleship consultant for the NE and NW regions.