Men’s issues aren’t really up my alley. I find the men’s lifestyle magazines not that interesting and irrelevant. The only article I wrote about men’s kinds of thing is for a church publication back in the good old year of 2000.
One of the people I interviewed questioned my motive in writing the article, and I guess that may have been quite apt, considering I’m not that into men’s groups. I wrote the article because I wanted to write an article and get it published and I didn’t see a problem with writing one about men’s ministry as they call it. It’s pretty suitable.
Recently I’ve heard that Doug Pau, who I interviewed for the article, passed away a few years ago, leaving a widow. I don’t know what’s happening with Paul Subritzky, but he was the New Zealand Director Of Promise Keepers back in the day, I don’t know now. So, the article is firmly within the year 2000, although men’s ministries and Promise Keepers are still going.
Here’s my article:
Is the authentic man of the new millennium a new age sensitive guy; tough and gentle; a doormat; or a rogue? Real men sing, according to a Promise Keeper’s tee-shirt, seen at a Promise Keeper’s weekend conference.
I’m told that at the conference, fathers reach out to their sons. Racial and denominational barriers are broken down. Men and their sons respond to the speaker’s messages. Then they go home to put what they have heard, and learnt, into practice. And Jesus Christ is the reason for all of it.
“At this time God’s spirit is stirring the hearts of men to boldly pursue Jesus Christ. This clearly gives Christian men an unprecedented opportunity to heal their marriages and their families, strengthen their churches and communities and influence others,” says Paul Subritzky, New Zealand Director of Promise Keepers.
Promise Keepers is a ministry “dedicated to uniting men through vital relationships to become godly influences in their world”.
Promise Keepers first came to New Zealand in 1994. Since then there have been annual conferences and a dramatic rise in the number of churches that now have men’s ministries.
In 1997, one million men gathered en masse at Washington DC, a concern for women’s groups who fretted about how the rights of women were being impacted through a men’s gathering.
Phillida Bunkle, Alliance MP and Associate to Women’s Affairs, voiced a similar concern, but was unable to comment because of a tight schedule.
Paul Subritzky told me there is now a wealth of evidence, particularly testimonies from women, that gives lie to the claim that Promise Keepers is anti-woman rights. Consequently, this criticism has not been heard for a long time now, he says.
Mr Subritzky says a godly Christian man is a man of his word, who does what he says he will do, is motivated and founded in his commitment to Jesus Christ and guided by biblical values and principles.
I’m told by Promise Keepers Board Chairman Douglas Pau that Promise Keepers provides leadership training for men’s ministry groups in churches.
Mr Pau, minister at Knox-St Columbia Presbyterian Church, in Lower Hutt, says with men’s ministry taking its place side by side the other ministries of the local church, the potential to succeed in its mission objectives will be greatly enhanced.
“Pastors are encouraged to come with men to a camp who are potential leaders, to catch a ‘vision’ for the men of their Church,” he says.