Recapping Our First South-Central Mens Conference
Men from six churches in the South-Central Region of Sovereign Grace recently gathered for our first ever regional mens conference. It was a packed 24 hours of preaching, singing, fellowship, and, of course, some food. It represented our first major regional conference under our new polity and held out a compelling vision for what our region can do together.
Our conference name and theme was REMAN which is an old English word originally meaning to imbue with strength or courage again. That wasn’t just our hope, but also our experience at the conference. As we encountered the Lord and His vision for men, the Spirit stirred our hearts toward lasting change.
Here are a few conference highlights:
- Commitment: Many guys sacrificed money and serious time, many driving for 4+ hrs to be there—two guys even started driving at 4:00 a.m. just to make the first session! This speaks highly of the desire of men in our region to learn and grow together.
- Partnership: Our regional leader, Billy Raies, intentionally led the conference to have nearly all our elders preaching or leading during the conference. In light of our new polity, these men are voting on regional matters and Billy wanted our men to meet these pastors and experience their leadership.
- Singing: We sang, loudly, for a long time. I pray that’s a value we never lose in Sovereign Grace. There’s something unique about hearing men lift their voices in unashamed praise to their Savior.
- Fellowship: One of the newer guys that came from our church remarked that, despite the distances between our churches, it seemed like our men really knew one another and had strong relationships. We fellowshiped over good food, good coffee (thanks District Roasters!), and one particularly dangerous dart board.
Now, you may notice that I didn't mention preaching. This was such a highlight that I wanted to specifically recommend each message. In Sovereign Grace we value not only doctrinal integrity but passionate proclamation that applies to the details of life. These messages were powerful examples of such values:
- Re:Read –– God’s Man Knows God's Word by Craig Cabaniss: It’s one thing to have a conviction that you should read the Word (and possibly guilt that you’re not reading enough). It’s another thing to feel invited and inspired to read the Word. That is exactly what Craig did.
- Re:Consecrate –– God’s Man Fights for a Pure Heart by Billy Raies: Lust is one of the defining issues for men in our generation and Billy brought a winsome and fatherly exhortation for the joyful importance of purity.
- Re:Produce –– God’s Man Makes Disciples by Jon Payne: We feel the command to make disciples, but what does this look like in the church? How do we disciple one another? Jon’s practical and packed message focused on the heart of disciple-making.
- Re:Deploy –– God’s Man Is God's Witness by Ricky Alcantar: My message concerned disciple making outside the church through mission and evangelism. I tried to give a vision that God calls ordinary Christians to an extraordinary mission in ordinary life with extraordinary power.
There were many other messages on topics like how to read the Bible, how and why to pursue accountability, how to see work as worship, and how to help restore the hurting. You can grab them all here.
I invite you to listen in and get a taste of what God is doing in our region. May this be the first of many equiping events in the South-Central Region that further our mission to mature and multiply disciples in our cities and beyond.
Ricky Alcantar is the lead pastor at Cross of Grace Church in El Paso, Texas. Additionally, he serves on Sovereign Grace’s National Church Planting Group. He and his wife, Jenn, have two sons.
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