Iron Men

Local Christian leaders meet to sharpen one another

The men’s Life of Iron Sharpens Iron started out in David and Karen Woods’ kitchen in 1995. David and his long-time friend Kevin Bowser wanted to bring some muchneeded organization to their church board in Washington, D.C. But there was no local support to do this.

Pastors of large churches are able to participate in seminars and workshops on the national scene, they noted, but what about the leaders of smaller churches?

That is where Iron Sharpens Iron comes in. The Iron Sharpens Iron Conference Network they started now travels across the country offering one-day conferences to local churches.

On Nov. 14, Iron Sharpens Iron will partner with Florida Men of Integrity (FMI) for a conference at Sheridan Hills Baptist Church in Hollywood, Fla. FMI is a volunteer network of men throughout Florida whose purpose is to provide support and encouragement to pastors, men’s Life leaders and denominational leaders in their Life to and through men in their local churches.

Pastor Martin Vargas, pastor for the Spanish congregation of Sheridan Hills Baptist Church, says, “We share the same vision of reaching our men for Christ and equipping them to be mighty men of God.”

The conference will run from 7:30 a.m. to 4:55 p.m. and will include seminars in English, Spanish, Creole and Portuguese.

Pastor Vargas says, “The purpose is clear: Men keeping their eyes on Jesus. It has been hard to challenge men. Women love conferences. Men don’t. A lot of them don’t, because they have been trapped in pornography, adultery, laziness and they haven’t taken their role as leaders of their homes. That’s our task … and we have been blessed by the Lord in that mission.”

Jim Guth, executive director of FMI, explains that the purpose of Iron Sharpens Iron is “to provide … a tool for [local churches] to build their ministries for men and also to equip men in becoming godly husbands, fathers and men of integrity.”

There are seminars and workshops geared toward teenage boys, pastors and church staff and men’s Life leaders. Dr. Bruce Wilkinson and Dr. Johnny Hunt will be the main speakers. Wikinson is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of ” The Prayer of Jabez,” as well as a popular speaker. And Hunt is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga., and the current president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chaplain Joe Gomez attended last year’s Iron Sharpens Iron conference at Hollywood Community Church.

“Last year’s men’s conference was an opportunity for Christian men to make an introspection of their walk with God, recommit themselves to love their wives, consider their responsibility to be the spiritual leader under God in their respective homes,” he says. “To look around and see hundreds of men worshipping, praising, praying, crying is not an everyday event and its effect is not to be taken lightly.”

Sheridan Hills Baptist Church is located at 3751 Sheridan St. in Hollywood. For more information, visit

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