Wilcox church invites men to lead
Published 6:02 pm Friday, August 11, 2023
Bethsaida Baptist Church in Furman has developed a long tradition of leadership among Wilcox County churches in its 192 years of existence. On Aug. 26, the historic church will host Men of Wilcox, and is calling men across Alabama – fathers, sons, brothers, and others – to join them for the purpose of learning how to lead again.
Nathan Skipper, pastor at Antioch West Baptist Church in Georgiana, has helped spread word of the event around Butler County, where said he has witnessed the result of a lack of men willing to be leaders in their homes, churches, and communities.
“We have promoted this through [the Butler Baptist Association],” said Skipper, who is vice moderator of the association. “I love the idea [of the event] because there is really a great need. You hear so much in church and in the media about the crisis we face because men are apathetic and aren’t taking leadership positions at home or in any level of society anymore.”
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According to Skipper, the event places an emphasis on every man’s calling to leadership.
“I think that it’s right to restate for a new generation what we [as men] should be doing,” Skipper said. “Let’s quit making excuses and just get up and do it. Men need to consistently hear that message because it’s something we are called and gifted to do.”
Organizer Don Bell, Bethsaida Church pastor, said the event’s purpose is centered around helping men understand their calling to lead.
“There’s a worldwide movement,” Bell said. “Men of all ages are restless. Especially young men because they know something is wrong. They know they ought to be leading, they just don’t know how.”
According to Bell, this restlessness developed because many young men have grown up without a model for masculinity.
“They’re kind of floating around with no linkage to the past or to masculinity, whether it be a father figure – an uncle, or a man in the community,” Bell said. “This meeting is designed for men of all denominations and races. The church is sponsoring it, but it is not a religious meeting. It’s a chance for men to get together and understand it is time to lead.”
Lee Tate is the Associational Mission Strategist for the West Central Baptist Association based in Selma. Tate, who is also the pastor of Benton Baptist Church, said he has also seen firsthand the need for men to assume leadership roles.
“There’s never been a time that men needed to step up more,” Tate said. “That doesn’t mean that no one else is capable. It just means we are called to lead.”
Tate pointed out that by looking around, people can see brokenness resulting from the lack of men willing to assume leadership in their homes and communities.
“This isn’t ancient history, this is today,” Tate said. “In so many ways, homes and churches are broken. There’s a myriad of ways the lack of leadership translates into weakness, a lack of vision, and a defeatist mentality. I think the event will be a lot of fun and a great encouragement.”
Bell said he hopes the event will inspire men to encourage and motivate one another to leadership and responsibility.
“When men take responsibility, they feel better about themselves because they are leading,” Bell said. “They not only lead for themselves, but they are leading other men, young men, and helping them develop self-esteem. We want men to understand that their ultimate responsibility is to lead, whatever that means, to protect and provide for his family and pay attention to what’s going on around him.”
Men ages 13 and up are invited to attend and Bell said the church welcomes other groups to support the non-political meeting.
Men of Wilcox is slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Aug. 26 and will be held at Bethsaida Baptist Church located at 9025 County Road 59 in Furman. For more information call (251) 362-5169.