Part 3 in the #BattleLine series.
Nathan Carr has been leading an outdoor ministry for years. He has a passion for men’s ministry at his church, Southside Baptist, both on campus and off campus. So when his pastor, Fred Gray, asked leaders to identify what they were most passionate about and charged them to run with it and knock it out of the park, that is exactly what Nathan did.
And it’s that athletic mentality that helps drive their men’s ministry. The idea of having a team, coaches, and viewing meetings together as practices, are all things guys learned in athletics growing up.
“So many men have never been part of a team so this is a big deal. They’re learning a lot. We break every meeting at the end with ‘MenReady! Great practice, now it’s game time!’”
Nathan has always had a passion to see men grow. He desires them to know what it means to be leaders both inside and outside their homes. His dad was always a leader in the activities Nathan was involved in and had leadership responsibility at his church. But it was when Nathan started attending Southside that he really started to grow spiritually and started to feel the call to invest in men. This passion has grown over the years through his work with outdoor ministry.
“We want to disciple our men. Create some lifelong relationships… Groups of 2, 3, 4 who are willing to do life together. Develop those types of relationships where guys are holding each other accountable, seeking advice and lifting each other up in prayer.”
It was a handful of guys who had a major impact on Nathan’s discipleship journey. A few on the list include Malcom Bunch (who was a great example), Phil Lilly and Terry Violet (accountability partners), and Howard Benton (who provided encouragement along the way).
Nathan and his group have employed such resources and tools as Men’s Fraternity, Outdoor Sportsmen’s Ministry, and MenReady. They have held a campout for fathers and their kids. Nathan has seen guys start getting together for lunch. And he’s had wives come up to him, encouraged by the difference that they’ve seen in their husbands, saying “my husband can’t wait to go each week.”
The biggest challenges that Nathan has faced is the logistics of planning a time to meet that will work for most guys, and then trying to rally the few guys that they lost. But he says Noble Warriors has been a great resource and source of encouragement, providing “insights, perspective and curriculum recommendations, etc.”
The Quest finishes up March 15. They have a big outdoorsman banquet set for February 29. What do the men of Southside have planned after that? “That’s a good question,” Nathan says. And this men’s ministry leader will make plans to “get together and talk about what’s next.”