WACMM Conference - March 1, 2008
(my notes)


I attended the WACMM Conference "Iron Sharpens Iron" on Saturday, March 1, 2008. It was a blessing to be there. There were many seminars to choose from and the choices were difficult, but I chose one regarding men's ministry and one regarding fathering. The plenary session speakers were Steve Farrar and Phil Downer. I had not heard Steve before and I enjoyed his "saying how it is" in an uncompromised fashion. He speaks strongly, to the point, with humor. He speaks truth and says it how it needs to be said. I am quite familiar with Phil Downer. I took a guy from my church to join with guys from Fellowship Bible Church, where I learned about how men's ministry is a discipling community. That was where I was first discipled in a men's ministry and Phil Downer's book Eternal Impact was instrumental in instilling a vision of discipleship within me. I later moved away and joined Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA), where I began discipling men in a book study. Our first book back in February 2006 was Eternal Impact by Phil Downer. I was able to speak to Phil at this conference and share this with him. Going to this conference was not just a time of learning, growth, and encouragement, but also a return to my men's ministry roots. I include my notes from the highlights from both the plenary sessions and the seminars below.

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Crisis - Steve Farrar

"You're a man, so you're a leader."

"The challenging events are the one's you don't plan."

Crisis is the test of a leader.

"All of my goals are pain free."

Life doesn't work out that way "because God wants to mature me. There's going to be crisis. …God works in our lives through crisis."

Story of the Red Sea from Exodus 13-14:

They (God's people) got into Egypt via crisis (remember Joseph?) and they exit via crisis. Background: Exodus 1-12.

"He's [God's] in charge of every crisis that occurs in your life."

Exodus 13:17: God, on purpose, did not take them on the logical route.

God led them into the crisis on purpose. Why? Read Exodus 14:4, 17: "I will be honored." God is SOVEREIGN. You intended it for evil; God intended it for good.

Crisis: Exodus 14:10; see Psalm 57:2-3. You will encounter crisis, but God has a purpose.

Steve Farrar got into men's ministry via crisis.

Crisis turns us to God.

"God still knows how to make a way."

In crisis, "we just honored God."

God puts us in crisis. We cry out because we don't see a way out. Then, God makes a way.

Experiencing crisis is an opportunity to experience God.

We walk faith to faith, smaller faith to BIGGER faith.

Go to God's Word!

"It's worth the crisis to see the living God."

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Ministering to Men in the Local Church
- Jack Elwood

Men's ministry is focused on events while ministry to men is a philosophy.

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Fathering Like the Father
- Marty Granger

Fathering is at the heart of God's story. Why is God referred to as the Father? What does the Father imply?

Relationship, responsibility, authority, reproduction

Everyone has a father (even if not known)

Fundamentally, father implies reproduction.

Father is the most fundamental name in human relationship, but it is most difficult to do because of rebellion.

Only 2 people in the whole world call me Dad and it's a huge responsibility that is difficult.

ICAN - Fathering like the Father



- Relationship, Interaction, Initiative

"Only a man can induct a young man into manhood."

Do your kids see you worship?

God takes initiative, which is the masculine nature.

God created (Genesis 1:1): God initiated. Going out. Men's hearts are to go out. God created Adam out of dirt and said be fruitful and multiply. He took Abra(ha)m out of Ur. He took Moses out of Egypt. God initiates. God is INVOLVED. Be there when you are there.

Find ways to be involved even if you aren't physically there.

God is always involved with us. He never leaves us alone.

For your kids: lead, come along side, let go and support. It's a move from a science to an art.


- Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8; God doesn't change.

Keep your cool! Don't be different Dads. Anger under control can lead to training. Anger out of control can lead to bitterness, hurt, etc. Are you fighting with or for your children. Maturity helps with consistency. God does not change!


- Do whatever is necessary to be aware of the world they live in (but don't smother). God knows and God already knows. Be aware of the circumstances and conditions of your kids' lives. Be aware of their friends. You may have to ask questions. "What are they selling to you?" "What are you being sold?" The first question in the Bible is "Where are you?" God knew where Adam was, but it was a rhetorical question.


- often seen as a feminine characteristic. Love is looked at similarly, but Jesus talks about love with the disciples (with men). Love is masculine. Love is deep, abiding in its greatest form. Love is something we as Dad must not let others do in our place. God loved enough to take initiative, be consistent, be aware, and nurture. Pick your kids up.

Take initiative.

Be who God made you to be.

Know your kids.

Love them.

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Leave No Man Behind - Phil Downer

When's the enemy hit you? When you're tired.

The finest don't leave men behind.

As we go, goes our marriage.

As we go, goes our church.

God's looking for a man; He's looking for you.

We've lost leadership.

Where's your semper fidelis?

Matthew 28:19: Make disciples.

Are you willing to train leaders?

Genesis 14:14: 318 trained men sent out by Abraham

Spiritual reproducer, disciple-maker: Disciple men until they become this!

How are you doing? How are you really doing? [silence]

What are you hiding? What are your secrets.

1 Thessalonians 2:7: like a nursing mother?!

As a discipler, don't wring necks. Let Jesus do it.


Start DISCIPLESHIP at home.

Ask your wife/children: "Have I hurt your feelings?" followed by "Have I ever hurt your feelings?" Then, apologize, ask forgiveness, and pray. Do this until "it's gone."

You fail as a leader when you fail to communicate how to do it. Ask, "How are you (really) doing?"

God said, "This is my Son in whom I am well pleased." Do you say this to those whom you disciple?

2 Timothy 2:2: Teach others to fish for men!

Have you hesitated when God says, "Go."

Are you willing to go after the dead (unsaved) and wounded? Leave no man behind.

Ask for ONE to disciple from God.

Leave no ONE behind.

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Links highlighted at the conference

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Navigational Links

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