EXTREME FAITH plus BOLD ACTION… equals a rich harvest
Ray, Greg, Ben - Disciples of Christ movers & shakers
Yesterday evening I enjoyed a most excellent conversation with a few members of the planning team responsible for putting together the upcoming “Bethany 2012″ Gathering for Disciples of Christ Men. The event – EXTREME FAITH, BOLD ACTION! – is expected to draw between three and five hundred participants from all over the USA, and will be held at the historic Bethany College campus, July 13-15, 2012.
My role is “keynote speaker.” I’ll also be teaching a workshop and presenting a motivational word at the conference opening, but my Main Thing will be the 90 minutes I have Saturday evening.
What has impressed (and continues to impress) me about “Bethany 2012″ is the level of commitment and creativity that’s coming out of the planning process:
The first promotional videos were released several months ago
There is constant interface with regional representatives
Targeted marketing is already under way
The level of belief and enthusiasm coming from the organizers is inspirational.
That’s why I agreed to appear in some of their promos, even though I’m a little unsure when it comes to my video “presence”. Here’s the latest (around 2 minutes). And then – at the end of this post – you can watch the short “musical invitation” from yours truly. You’ll notice my guitar playing is not exactly polished… but that’s the idea. I’m not all shiny and polished, and we’re counting on that sense of authenticity being part of the appeal.
The planning teams’ enthusiasm is contagious.In fact, the biggest concern that came out of our Monday conference call was, “What if 500 men – or more – sign up? What is the maximum number this facility could handle?”
I love it! I love the sense of “can-do” and the way these men are embracing the possible rather than simply looking at the trends of the past decades and concluding that men’s ministry is, “Dead in the water, so why bother…” And, believe me, I hear that doom-and-gloom message time and again when I talk to church leaders. In fact it’s one of the reasons I wrote GET REAL: a spiritual journey for men in the first place.
But I also hear – and see – signs of hope, and especially from those who have read GET REAL or who have participated in a small group study. So now, four years after GET REAL was released, I’m writing a new book that is designed to look – specifically – at where and how we can be charged with new life.
Because, if we want to see a harvest, it’s not enough just to believe. Belief may be a pre-requisite, but over the long haul it’s going to come down to stepping forward in terms of EXTREME FAITH & BOLD ACTION. Check out the next video, and then please pray not only for the ongoing work of the Disciples of Christ Men’s Ministry initiative, but for all men. I for one am convinced that there’s restoration and revival in the making.