Part 6 in the #BattleLine series.
The event of one man investing in another man has life-changing effects. Bill Ward was 45 years old when he experienced this first hand. It’s through this investment that a CPA is now in full-time men’s ministry.
Bill describes himself as a “cultural’ Christian up until the Spring of 2000. He was having success at work, but failure at home, which led him to seek something new. Having witnessed his wife, Pam’s, spiritual growth as she attended Community Bible Study, he knew he wanted what she had.
“Then one day I saw an ad in New Man magazine for a ‘Success That Matters’ seminar at a local church. I called the church and left a voice mail. One of the men’s leaders, Doug Park, returned my call and asked if I would be his guest at the event. He sent me a personal note in the mail as well – a handwritten note that I still have to this day.”
It was at this event that Bill gave his life to Christ. He then began a 6 week follow-up study with the men at that church, who poured into him.
“After those six weeks together, they sent me back to my little country church to launch a men’s Bible study. Although I had virtually no biblical knowledge or training, through the work of the Holy Spirit, that ministry flourished and produced some extraordinary fruit.”
None of the men of that little church had participated in Bible study like that before, so they were all growing in faith together. Little did they know that 12 years later, one of those men would complete seminary and became a pastor in Southwest Virginia.
From 2000 on, Bill has participated on the men’s leadership team of every church he has attended. He organized and ran several one and two day men’s retreats, and a number of small group studies were spun-off of those events. He was introduced to Noble Warriors and the Iron Sharpens Iron Conferences by Ken LeFevre, and has been participating since 2011. He serves on the men’s leadership team at his current church, Grove Avenue Baptist, where they actively participate by attending Noble Warriors conferences and host The Manger Build.
Bill semi-retired (with one active client) from his CPA career, in which he worked over 40 years as an advisor/consultant to hospitals and health systems. And he immediately jumped on board with Noble Warriors, serving as Central/Richmond Regional Coordinator, assisting with The Manger Build and other events, and recently heading up the new Noble Warriors Centurion project.
“Noble Warriors has the bold vision of reaching every church in Virginia by the year 2025 with an offer to assist with resources and encouragement for effective, intentional men’s discipleship. To accomplish this, we plan to place 100 Centurions in strategic locations throughout the Commonwealth, each with the goal of reaching 100 churches.”
This project was launched in the Ashland District this fall, and so far, Bill has had interactions with ten churches and is actively engaging in conversation with four of them at the moment. He says that “one conversation in particular is leading to great possibilities, as the pastor has expressed a passion for men’s discipleship. He is reaching out to his personal pastor contacts in the city, and has a vision for the launch of a multi-church, multi-cultural, intergenerational men’s discipleship group in 2020!”
Bill and Pam are overwhelmed by God’s amazing grace. He feels extremely blessed that God has given him this opportunity to keep one foot in his professional career while providing him with the time to devote to this ministry as a volunteer. He says that there is no comparison between his work with Noble Warriors and his professional work.
“My NW role puts me in places and contexts I could never have dreamed of a few years ago. Speaking with pastors, men’s leaders and the “every man” about the life-changing greatness of our Lord and Savior. This is so much fun!”
Growing up, faith wasn’t discussed much in his house, but his father, as well as a man that he worked for as a teenager, helped lay a foundation for honesty and integrity as he became a man. While raising his own family, it was Bill’s wife who was the spiritual leader, while it became evident that it was his career that he worshipped. It wasn’t until Doug Park invited him to that event in 2000, investing in him spiritually, that everything changed.
“I was 45 years old before truly understanding what Jesus had done for me on that cross. For me! My life’s goal now is to finish well, for His glory. I heard a speaker once say it’s all about taking as many people with you to heaven as possible. My prayer for other guys is to set aside all the distractions of this world and focus on that cross. Your family, your church, your workplace and your community will all be stronger as a result.”
BILL IS RUNNING TO THE BATTLE LINE TO ENGAGE CHURCHES.
Run to the battle line with us. Your partnership makes these victories possible.