God built men for action and leadership. On the weekend of April 22-24, 2022, more than 40 men trekked to Cohutta Springs Conference Center in Crandall, Ga., for the first Southern Union Leadership Summit. Marty Miller, founder of Blueprint for Men, was the main speaker. Miller said the key to leadership was understanding one simple truth: “Every person desires to be accepted and loved for who they are.” Happy homes, vibrant churches, and powerful men’s ministries all thrive when relationships grow in atmospheres of acceptance.
Miller shared the seven steps leaders must take to grow their men’s ministries:
1. Know God.
2. Know who I am.
3. Know the men.
4. Rebuild those men.
5. Build them into leaders.
6. Build community together.
7. Build a movement that transforms our country.
Miller also gave the men tools to use in fostering new friendships. One of many skills the men learned at the Leadership Summit is the conversational model F.O.R.M., which stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Message of encouragement. To practice, the men got into pairs and asked about each other’s families, jobs, and hobbies. Then they affirmed each other with specific words of encouragement related to their conversation.
Participants also enjoyed early-morning hikes around the peaceful lake, good food, and worshipping as brothers in Christ. Twenty-eight men volunteered to lead or join a small group, and everyone took home a renewed sense of their responsibility as leaders. Their commitment to faithful service will open doors of blessings.
The very next weekend, Blueprint for Men hit the trails again and led the popular father-daughter campout into the beautiful Hiwassee wilderness. Dads cooked, camped, and canoed with their girls. Miller encouraged the men to remember Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” A father’s words can build a powerful hedge of protection around his daughter. The highlight for everyone was the Ceremony of the Father’s Blessing, a unique three-part message from dad to daughter:
1. I love you because…
2. I am proud of you because…
3. You are becoming a beautiful young lady. I am here for you and give you my blessing for your journey.
Each dad spoke words of life to his daughter, creating a precious moment that both rugged dads and tender daughters will cherish forever.
Creating memories such as these is why Blueprint works so hard to engage and equip Christian men. When men step up and lead a small group or bless their daughters, it makes a real-life difference. This country struggles because many men have given away their responsibilities and lost their strength. Blueprint for Men believes in men, and so does Jesus. God built men for action and leadership, and the Adventist men in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference are answering that holy calling.
Georgia-Cumberland | August 2022
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