Men's Ministry asked Phil Chapman, Assistant Pastor at Stow Alliance Fellowship, to write about his experience at their latest training event. Here's his story:
In February, the Central District Alliance Men’s Ministry hosted an event at Freshwater Community Church in Wadsworth, Ohio. All I knew about the event when I signed up was that it would provide leadership training in men’s ministries. With this in mind, I thought, “We have a guy who does this at our church. I should let him know about it and encourage him to go with me.” I reached out to “our guy”, Steve, and he came with me.
The time spent was very beneficial. The event encouraged and challenged me. It wasn’t just about tools, it was about gathering together as the body of Christ in a time of worship and reflection. My prevailing thought was, “I should have brought more men with me.”
The Director of Leadership Development, Dennis Turner, shared with us from 1 Corinthians 2:9-10. Verse 10 specifically says, “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” The searchlight of God remains on me even to this day. As I contemplated this verse that day, I wrote three words down on a sheet of paper: consistency, love, and faithfulness. These are things that I am challenging myself in regarding my own journey with Christ moving forward.
Scott Lessing, Pastor of Men’s Ministries at Grace Church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio spoke about our sphere of influence. As men, we are impacting someone everywhere we go. One of the points that Scott shared with us was how even the most introverted people will influence over 10,000 people in the course of their lives. This topic continued to initiate dialogue with my spouse and friends even after the event. This caused me to pause and think about who I have made contact with over the years, and the multiplicity of the connections our sphere of influence creates.
Jim Boscaljon, the co-director of Men’s Ministries, opened and closed our time together in worship. We had over fifty men attend. Often, we do not stop and have the opportunity to corporately worship together in this way. We were able to worship as believers in Christ, coming from different backgrounds, contexts, locations, and stations in life, yet we were able to worship the Lord together. Needs were shared and many were prayed for at this gathering.
Steve shared with me how the event impacted him as well. The Spirit shined on his heart. He heard about concepts that make our district what it is:
Desperate Dependence on the Holy Spirit
Godly Leadership Development
He now understands what the vision is and how we need to calibrate our hearts to the Spirit continually. This is why I should have brought more men with me. The Spirit needs to continually shine His searchlight on our hearts, so He can draw us into greater alignment with Him. Getting together will make us better. Getting together is worth getting together.