“Men attending Christian churches every Sunday are facing overwhelming opposition,” says Pastor Martin Vargas of Sheridan Hills Ministries.
In 2004, on a memorably cold day in January, Vargas gathered together a handful of men to travel to a men’s event held in Woodstock, Georgia. The theme of the gathering was Grace for the Race. For the next few years, the group of men Vargas took to Woodstock grew. In 2007, they decided to have a men’s conference in South Florida with Pastor Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church of Woodstock as the keynote speaker. The first South Florida Men’s Conference had 225 men in attendance and has grown every year.
The conference’s speakers have included Dr. Tony Evans, Bill Perkins and Bruce Wilkinson.
Bob Reccord is this year’s keynote speaker. Reccord is a nationally recognized speaker, author and consultant. In 2009, Bob was chosen to be Executive Director for the Council for National Policy. Since 2006, Reccord has served as the Founder and President of Total Life Impact Ministries. For nine years, he served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board. He is also a pastor.
Vargas lists six reasons why men should attend the South Florida Men’s Conference:
– Nine out of ten church going men will have kids that leave the church when they grow up.
– Eight of ten men don’t find their jobs satisfying.
– Six of them only pay minimum payments on their credit cards.
– Five out of ten – half of the Christian men in church – have major problems with pornography.
– Four of them will have marriages that end in divorce.
– Ten of ten will be struggling to balance their work with their commitments to their families.
The theme of this year’s conference is becoming a Man of Valor. Reccord’s unique gift for communicating with men has produced life changing results in the hearts of men all across the country.
Vargas wants to raise the bar at this year’s South Florida Men’s Conference. Three main sessions will be held Friday and Saturday. The conference features small group breakouts in four languages besides English: Spanish, Portuguese, Creole and Russian.
More than twenty churches are working together to organize this year’s conference to successfully impact men’s lives. Their hope is to see over 1,000 men in attendance.
Pastor Rob Peters of First Baptist Weston, author of a book about the damage pornography has wreaked on young people, will be a featured speaker this year. Chuck Spector of Chosen Generation will also speak.
Vargas says that three or four pastors out of every ten struggle with pornography. They feel isolated with no where to turn. Pastor Johnny Hunt, one of conference’s leaders, ministers to this group of men.
“We men need to encourage one another,” says Vargas. “Women are much more willing to get together over coffee or tea and share their struggles with one another than men are. Men are always hiding.”
It is Vargas’ hope that men will come out of hiding this year and experience life change that comes through the love of Christ and the fellowship and encouragement of godly men.