Men’s Ministry Update
March 2022 | Interview by Barb Ryczek, Article by Ellie McGinty
“Adam’s first sin was failing to lead as he passively watched Eve interact with the serpent. He then blamed everyone else, including God, making excuses. Scripture tells us we are to be bold for the cause of Christ, we are to lead, and we are to encourage one another,” said Chris Stackpole, one of the leaders of the Men’s Ministry here at Gashland. “The Men’s Ministry wants to foster relationships through various activities such that we can encourage one another to be bold leaders for Christ.”
This year, the Men’s Ministry has hosted different events such as a monthly campfire at the church, discussion of the yearly Bible reading plan, and movie nights to encourage relationships. During the interview, Chris made the point that leadership has to be based out of relationships and community. Without that support, leadership becomes isolating and exhausting. The design of these regular events has been to encourage relationships among the men of Gashland, that they might better spur one another on to good leadership. Chris describes a situation he’s experienced multiple times, saying, “Have you ever had someone ask you on Sunday morning how you were doing? And in a split second in your mind you think ‘I’ve had a rotten week. God seems silent in answering my prayers and I feel disconnected in my Bible reading. But I don’t know you well enough to tell you that, nor do I have the time to tell you how I’m really doing.’ So you simply say ‘Fine.’ Then go on your way. What are the chances the person asking felt the same? Doesn’t this interaction feel wrong in many ways when we call that person a fellow believer in Christ? That conversation changes when that man has spent time with that person around the campfire talking about issues. That conversation changes when that man has been a part of the Friday or Saturday morning Bible studies where they’ve prayed with that person. That conversation changes when that man has sat in the Sunday school class being real with other men. That conversation even changes when that man knows the other person has been reading the daily Bible plan and they can reference the Scripture that those men have been reading together and can talk about passages they find inspiring as well as those they are struggling with. That conversation changes because it isn’t then just a generic greeting with meaningless words. It becomes an interaction with a fellow believer that we can use to know each other better, to pray for one another, and to encourage each other in our walks with God. And the more the men of Gashland can have meaningful conversations, the better it is for God’s kingdom, Gashland, our families, and all aspects of our lives.”
The Men’s Ministry strives to host events and studies that touch different parts of life, rather than only focusing on one or two parts of life. The purpose and need of having the campfire, different Bible studies, and movie nights is to encourage joy in relationships as well as accountability and challenge. The combination of these things in relationship enables members of the body of Christ to better lead, knowing that they have the support to do so: “I feel it is important for the men of the church to lead well – in our families, our church, our work, everywhere. Having these different events gives us multiple ways to encourage each other to be the leaders God has called us to be by being a part of each other’s lives.”
Chris finished with this: “There are weekly Bible studies on both Friday and Saturday morning. For those men wanting to read the Bible in a year, it isn’t too late to start if you haven’t! There are those who are just reading the OT or the NT this year and that’s fine! Join us for our monthly conversation on the second Friday of every month. Afterwards we watch movies, and those that show up get to vote on the next movie/genre (March will be a good Action/Comedy/Drama movie). The campfire is the last Saturday of every month. Other events will be posted as they come up. Please watch the Link for more information. For everyone else, if you believe this to be a worthy effort for God’s kingdom, then encourage the men you know to participate, and pray that the men of Gashland will be bold for Christ.”
Upcoming events and Bible studies within the Men’s Ministry are regularly updated at gashland.org/mens-ministry/. Contact Chris Stackpole or Chris Schupp for more information.