I Went, Then I Was Sent | WACMM Men's Conference 2017
November 15, 2017
Recently, we were honored to speak with one attendee of the WACMM Men's Conference (hosted by MBC Tysons last month) as we asked him to share his thoughts and what he learned about God through this event. Enjoy his insights from this fruitful conference experience!
What am I doing driving to McLean Bible Church at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning?
Those were my thoughts en route to the Washington Area Coalition of Men’s Ministries (WACMM) Men’s Conference. It wasn’t my first time attending this conference, so I knew what to expect: eight fruitful, inspiring breakout sessions completely worth the early morning hike. But still...6:30?
Walking into MBC Tysons, I instantly snapped out of my slumber – it wasn’t the coffee or donuts. It was the presence of the Holy Spirit, vibrant and powerful, in every man I met. Men serving, men praying, men praising God together at the top of their lungs -- the energy was thick and contagious!
For anyone who missed the day’s theme, the words of Paul to the Corinthian church were plastered boldly on the Main Sanctuary's screen: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love,” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14.
Following a rousing time of praise and worship, we heard Dr. Evans speak out of Matthew 28 where Jesus – resurrected and fully in charge -- issued the Great Commission. Dr. Evans instructed us that Jesus called not for more “church folk,” but disciples – copies of the Master so much like Him that they become replicated reproductions of Him. When Jesus told His disciples to “go,” He was sending them as His visible, verbal messengers of His messianic message. Had they not gone, this Men’s Conference would have been like a never-ending huddle in a football game: a bunch of guys gathered together, not changing a thing. And, as Dr. Evans reminded us, no one comes just to huddle. We must “go and make disciples” as Jesus commanded.
In that moment, I was driven to ask myself: "am I acting like a true disciple of Jesus?" And it wasn't even 10 am yet.
Leaving the already impactful message from Dr. Evans, we were welcome to select any breakout session we wished with topics ranging from biblical manhood to faith and work to sexual temptation to engaging our community and culture with the gospel.
Following lunch, author and pastor Dr. Paul Tripp called on all of us to pray daily that God: (1) rescue me from me; (2) in His grace, send His helpers my way; and (3) grant me the humility to receive the help when it comes. As we neared the end of the conference, ex-Marine Phil Downer, president of the Discipleship Network of America and one of our keynote speakers, challenged all the participants to prayer, culminating in thousands of men in one auditorium kneeling in prayer specifically for the increased discipleship among men in churches across the region. As a result, hundreds of attendees signed up with MBC Men's Ministry to either be discipled or to disciple other men - a tangible action step towards placing God in the throne of their lives.
Before I knew it this conference was over – but not quite. The Holy Spirit went with each man scattered among hundreds of churches in the DMV. When the day started, we may not have known why we came – but as we left, we were assured of why and in whose Name we are being sent.