The Western Australian (WA) Conference board of directors has recently voted overwhelmingly to initiate a new ministry for men.
The role of the WA Adventist Men’s Ministry Committee will be to act as a resource and support church’s and groups who wish to reach men and change the declining status to one of growth and health.
The new initiative has the potential to become a new missional movement, which will change the male demographic of the church.
Pr Peter Fowler, who has a keen interest in men’s ministry is confident of its success and says, “The new initiative has the potential to become a new missional movement, which will change the male demographic of the church.”
The vision for the ministry is, “For Adventist Men to be leaders in their family and community, demonstrating purpose, courage and integrity by living the spiritual values of Jesus Christ,” says Danny Bell committee secretary.
The concept started three years ago when a group of men sat under a shady tree at the WA camp meeting to discuss how they might stem the decline of men in their churches. The men felt the church was hemorrhaging from the ever-increasing numbers of males disappearing from the local church.
A quick analysis on some congregations in WA quickly confirmed that 15 to 35 year-old-men were scarce or missing altogether.
In December 2009, the first official Men’s Advisory Committee eventuated in WA. “We were really excited when Church administration returned our proposal with approval to go ahead and consult with churches for implementation of our plans,” says Danny Bell.
Athol Prior, one of the committee members who works with men who feel disenfranchised within traditional church settings says, “It has been very encouraging to see local members catch the vision and start considering how they can make their church more men friendly.”
The Mission Statement will provide the basis for the ground breaking ministry and set a standard for the Church when it comes to this new and unexplored territory.
The mission of the WA Adventist Men’s Ministry Committee is: To grow a diverse Adventist men’s network throughout WA, and by education and raising awareness, foster the accountability of church communities in ministering to men by:
1. Challenging men to use mateship and integrity in actively making a difference in the lives of others;
2. Discipling, mentoring and empowering men to re-claim their true masculine soul and biblical identity as strong and valiant men;
3. Creating awareness, educating and supporting the community in meeting the needs of men by balancing their spiritual, emotional and physical health;
4. Encouraging men to actively serve their society in practical and life changing ways, being advocates of justice, protecting the weak, the powerless and vulnerable;
5. Seeking to connect all men to the Kingdom of God regardless of age, social status or cultural attachment; and
6. Encouraging the importance of men’s relationships with their churches, communities, women and families.
The Men’s Ministry Committee hopes that other Conferences, Unions and Divisions will support the ministry model as it filters upwards.