February 2020                                                                                    Volume 21, Issue 1 

President's Message | Andrew Kissell
A Plentiful Harvest
Good Morning,  
One of our biggest challenges as both a ministry for men and as a church is attracting and discipling younger people. Our population continues to grow while the church in America is mostly in decline. The good news is there's plenty of research  out there (1) on how to reach younger people and, as Jesus said, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few." (Matthew 9:37)
Some of the do's:
  • Younger people want mentors to help them be better spouses, parents, and workers. Get to know a younger man and develop a mentoring relationship (2). Millennials and Gen Xers see older Christian guys as men with a strong moral compass and work ethic, who they regard as role models.
  • Approach them and introduce yourself. You may be too intimidating for them to approach you.
  • Start a small Wesley Covenant Group/Class Meeting (virtual if need be) of no more than 10 including younger folks. Share your faith journey weekly.
  • Budget and raise funds for the activities they want to be a part of.
  • Encourage, build-up, celebrate victories, and bless. That's what Christians do!
  • Be yourself.
  • Pray, and remember that faith produces miracles; miracles don't produce faith.
Some of the don'ts:
  • Don't think they are not interested in you or what you think, or that you're not qualified to be a mentor.
  • Avoid appearing ageist or elitist. Remember the prayer of St. Francis? "Grant that I may not so much seek ... to be understood, as to understand..."
  • Don't expect them to come to you. The men's breakfast or dinner is not appealing to them - especially when it only includes a speaker (expert talking heads can be accessed online). Projects and fun activities are what interest them! Go! and make disciples.
  • Don't talk politics, either church or national.
  • Don't offer advice unless asked.
  • Don't talk ad nauseam.  Listen! It's what you show, not what you tell.
    It's what you show, not what you tell!
  • Don't come across as judgmental or pharisaical. "God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:17
Enjoy the ministry for the harvest is plentiful!
Andrew Kissell, President

Why Mentor? What Will Your Legacy Be? 
The Wesley Challenge | Wesley Building Brothers

Have you ever felt like you are not doing enough in this world for Jesus? Have you ever said, I know I should be doing more for the Kingdom of God, but I just don't know how? Or have you said that I don't know enough about the Bible to help someone else in their walk with Jesus? We all have used these types of questions in our spiritual journey to not step out and do more to share our faith and life lessons with others. In fact, I used the same excuses trying to get out of writing a curriculum for Chris Folmsbee's book The Wesley Challenge. So, don't beat yourself up. We all do this to some degree.
If you are serious about wanting to do more, then there is good news. In two months, the Virginia Conference UMM will offer ways for you to help other people grow in a deeper and more intimate walk with Jesus. We will offer every man an opportunity to mentor another man, or a group, using the book The Wesley Challenge. This is a 22-week small group study using the same questions John Wesley used nearly 300 years ago. These questions are intentional and intrusive and will help you and the men you mentor mature in faith with Jesus. I know this works, because I have personally used this study with two small groups and to mentor another man one on one. It is possible to mentor someone without being a Christian, but if you are a follower of Jesus, you are called to mentor as many people as you can in their faith journey.
Wesley Building Brothers
A great way to grow mature disciples of Jesus Christ within your church is to combine The Wesley Challenge with Wesleyan Building Brothers (WBB). WBB is a year-long process that guides men in their relationship with others, their faith in Jesus Christ, and discovering the most effective ways to serve God's Kingdom. If you are interested in the Wesley Challenge curriculum, please contact David Bean at davkarbean@comcast.net. To learn more about starting the WBB process within your local church or a group of local churches, contact David Bean at davkarbean@comcast.net or Johnnie Draughon at johnnie.draughon@cox.net. 
The Wesley Challenge and the WBB process are two great ways to grow in your relationship with Jesus and, at the same time, share the experiences of your life in mentoring other men. Let your legacy be a long line of strong men who follow Jesus Christ and seek to bring others to Him.
David Bean
Wesley Building Brothers Advocate

A Willingness to Serve 
David Collins Accepts Nomination for VP of Spiritual Life
David Collins has been nominated for the elected position of Vice President of Spiritual Life for the 2020-2021 term beginning on July 1.  Election of Virginia Conference UMM Cabinet officers will be held in the late spring. Thank you, David, for your willingness to serve.
A Personal Note...
My desire for the men of the Virginia Conference is that we might be united. Above all that is happening in our church today, we are still called to make disciples of Jesus Christ. I believe this can happen when we fellowship together, get to know each other, & support each other in our times of need. My prayer is that this unity will bind us together and make us strong to go forth with one purpose. I believe there is great potential for our men's ministry in the Virginia Conference.
I am grateful to have served as team leader of the Elizabeth River District Men's Ministry. One of the highlights of the past two years was partnering with a group of young men and women on a building clean-out project. It renewed my faith in seeing the youth step forward and volunteer to be in service.  They were ready to go! 
I am a member of Community UMC in Virginia Beach and currently serve as the Evangelism Coordinator. We're seeking and praying to God that our church would grow spiritually as well as numerically. That same spiritual growth is my prayer for the men of our Virginia Conference as we move forward together!  
Your brother in Christ,  
David Collins 
Burden Opens in Theaters on February 28  
Only Love Can Drive Out Fear
Burden debuts in theaters on February 28 and is an excellent opportunity to start a conversation with men in your church about race relations.
Burden is based on the true story of Rev. Kennedy, a preacher in a small South Carolina town, who is striving to keep ongoing racial tensions from exploding. When his plan includes his congregation sheltering Mike, a former Klansman who is re-examining his own beliefs, Kennedy finds himself in a dilemma. After he helps Mike to choose peace over violence, Rev. Kennedy must deal with threats to himself and his family as he pursues peace to heal both his congregation and his wounded community.
February is Heart Havens Month  
We Are All Better Together
February is Heart Havens Month! Churches in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church can request materials by contacting Heart Havens. Electronic resources (including worship planning helps) are available by clicking here . Heart Havens would be delighted to visit and speak at your United Methodist Men, church, or other group meetings too! Please contact Jennifer Boyden by either calling Heart Havens at 804-237-6097or emailing her by clicking here to learn more or to schedule a speaker.
Founded by the Virginia Conference with the support of the Virginia Conference UMM, Heart Havens, now an independent nonprofit organization, operates homes in Ashland, Chester, Lynchburg, Richmond, Stuarts Draft, and Virginia Beach. Heart Havens depends on the support of church friends during February to sustain its mission as it does not receive any funding from Conference apportionments.
Happy 100th Birthday to United Methodist Scouting 
Virginia United Methodist Foundation Awards Grant to Boy Scouts
Back in September-October 2019, Mr. Bill Chaffin, came by my office and talked about scouting. Boy Scouts is a great love for Bill and his enthusiasm was abounding. He asked about money to help Districts grow scouting, and I gave him an application for a grant. He promptly filled it out and turned it in. In December 2019, the Grants Committee of the Virginia United Methodist Foundation met and awarded the Boy Scouts a $5,000 grant. 
Scouting was officially recognized by the Methodist Episcopal Church in February 1920. Grace Methodist Church in Delaware, Ohio, may have been the first local church to sponsor a troop. The Center for Scouting Ministries of the General Commission on United Methodist Men takes the lead in nurturing scouting ministries in our denomination. Today, 3,111 United Methodist congregations charter 9,611 Scout units serving 309,739 young people. United Methodist churches provide home bases for more scouts than any other denomination in America. The UMC designates the second Sunday in February for Boy Scouts of America and the second Sunday in March for Girl Scouts.
Paraphrasing Lord Robert Baden-Powell (the founder of the scouting movement) Bill says, "The stated mission is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Youth are trained in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance through participation in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programs, and, at older levels, career-oriented programs in partnership with community organizations."
Because Bill, the Virginia Conference Scouting Ministry team, and the Virginia United Methodist Foundation care about scouting, this grant, along with the fine leadership of hundreds of United Methodists, will encourage young lives to become better citizens of our country. Please join with me in celebrating 100 years of Boy Scouting.
Adapted from an article by Tommy Herndon, Forrest White, and the UM News Daily Digest.
Spring is Coming Soon!
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Words to Live By . . .

 A Lenten Invitation
   " Prayer is a manifestation of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ."
Bishop Sharma Lewis
Journey to Transformation

Recommended Reading:  Matthew 6:1-6 (NRSV)
Bishop Sharma Lewis invites you to observe Lent 2020 by introspection, repentance, forgiveness, renewal, prayer, fasting, and Biblical Study. Her new book, Journey to Transformation, is available from Amazon, Cokesbury, Market Square Publishers (Coupon Code JOURNEY20), and the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen.