Discipling men of all ages and background is what Noble Warriors has set out to do since the beginning. But we learned early on that the local pastor also needs to be discipled.
Over 245 pastors and leaders of men from across Virginia gathered to attend the Leading Noble Men Conference on January 23rd. The Noble Warriors team itself was coming off of a long weekend of sickness, but we still prepared to see God move at the conference. After all the prep was done and prayers were prayed, it was time to get the ball rolling.
Carleton McLeod opened up the day with a challenge to the men, encouraging them that the church does not need the flashy elements to attract new members, but relies ultimately on the sound teaching of scripture stating, “We’ve gone from cool to catechism” which resonated with one of the guys in attendance.
“It was refreshing to hear him indicate that we can capture people’s attention all we want with flashy extras but ultimately fruit will depend on us getting men into the word and them getting their families into it.”
After McLeod spoke, the conference offered speaking from Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife and Bryan Carter, developer of the 33 Series and senior pastor of Concord Church. According to the men in attendance both Rainey and Carter struck a chord.
“The teaching by Dennis Rainey and Bryan Carter was great. I think the way they pushed the importance of men discipling men. The whole idea of men’s discipleship vs. men’s ministries was clarified…and how they encouraged the men through the Word of God.”
As the founder of FamilyLife and author of Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood, Rainey gave a compelling talk about the steps a man tacks from boyhood to manhood which really resonated with the men in attendance.
“The stair step (step up) illustration was good. They 12 year old son and father illustration about navigating the traps on stage was powerful!”
Bryan Carter later spoke in the day emphasizing everybody needs a mentor and shared his own testimony of his mentor-mentee relationship with Dennis Rainey.
“His testimony was great. He shared the importance of men discipling other men.”
After the Dennis and Bryan spoke, the men broke into breakout sessions lead by Mike Young, Carlton McCloud, and Keith Tulley. The sessions allowed the guys to dive deeper into the role of Biblical Manhood, discipleship, and marriage. While the day had much to offer, some guys found the breakout sessions to be most practical.
“Mike’s breakout session on discipleship was the most useful part of the day to me. I really appreciated the different levels of commitment, ranging from a big/low-commitment event to small/high-commitment groups. The realistic expectations were helpful.”
As the day came to a close the guys engaged in a time of intentional prayer which left an impression on many.
“It was very good to meet another man, be vulnerable, and pray with them. I was able to share something with them that due to pastoral staff confidentiality, I’m not yet able to share with the men I came with. It was nice to have a brother bear that burden with me.”
View photos from the conference here.