The 2013 General Men’s Convention in Dallas, Texas was a transitionary time for men’s discipleship in the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. As I look back, it has become crystal clear that the Holy Spirit was rebirthing His call for men to be authentic and obedient to the Matthew 28 mandate, “Go and make disciples.”
On two separate occasions, God has used the Christian Men’s Network to confirm vision and impart encouragement to IPHC Ministries for effective Men’s Ministries. In 1985, Dr. Edwin Louis Cole conducted a Maximized Manhood conference in Fayetteville, North Carolina and 28 years later his son Dr. Paul Cole would address IPHC men with a passionate call for empowering the generations.
Throughout this quadrennium, men’s ministries has utilized a resource called “The Launch Kit” that was developed by both the Christian Men’s Network and IPHC Men’s Ministries. The resource is serving local churches well in starting a first-time men’s ministries or re-launching an existing ministry.
In 2014, the General Men’s Ministries Board sensed God’s directive to offer three regional level conferences for men. Thus was born what we know as “Empowerment Conferences” that are hosted across the country featuring great speakers, worship, fellowship and discipleship training. Presently, three more conferences are being planned with one in the fall of 2017 and two in 2018.
A “State of the Ministry” report must be willing to address the tough questions and provide answers that will insure effective ministry to men for years to come in the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. So, what are some of the key questions?
- What is the state of ministry to men in IPHC Ministries?
- How many churches have an effective Men’s Ministries?
- What does the future hold for men’s discipleship in IPHC Ministries?
- What is the biggest challenge for leading men’s ministries in the local church?
These questions and others require committed leadership that understands that the state of our ministry is more than statistics and simply providing a how-to manual. There is the realization that God is at work in the life of men, and men are being challenged to become true Christ-followers. The family is at stake in the church and our country, and men must step-up and fulfill their God calling and purpose.
IPHC Men’s Ministries must not, and will not, retreat from a vision of men’s discipleship that results in a transformed life. I often quote, “Strong men produce strong families, and strong families make for strong churches that continually impact their communities.” May we stay the course and obey our Lord’s command, “Go and make disciples.”