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Bishop Holston challenges men: ‘Be the people God needs us to be’

MYRTLE BEACH – One thousand United Methodist men (and a few women) flocked to Christ United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach Feb. 17-19 for a weekend of worship and fellowship – but mostly to inspire them to become better leaders back home in their churches and communities.

“Rooted: Grow Deep, Live Strong,” the South Carolina Men N Ministry Weekend, was designed to equip United Methodist men to become someone God can use in their families, churches and communities.

It is believed to have been the largest state-level gathering of United Methodist Men in the nation.

Bishop Holston

“This is an opportunity for us to be the people God needs us to be, the people God wants us to be, the people God desires for us to be,” said L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. “Your communities need that. Your church demands that. Your families desire that.

“And the word demands that you stand up and be counted.”


While acknowledging the success of the weekend, Herman Lightsey, president of the United Methodist Men of South Carolina, said it can’t end after only three days.

“We want you to take this back into your churches and communities,” Lightsey said. “If that happens, we won’t see any United Methodist churches declining in membership anymore.”

The Rev. Tim Rogers, superintendent of the host Marion District, called the event an “inspiring weekend devoted to encouraging men in their Christian discipleship.”

Rev. Rogers

“Men can influence families, churches and even communities to embrace the Gospel,” Rev. Rogers said. “The leadership of Bishop Holston, Herman Lightsey, and the entire UMM leadership team have blessed our entire conference as we continue to build one of the most effective men’s events in the entire connection.”

Bishop Holston told the men that God has given them a mandate to go into the world and be spiritual leaders in ministry.

“There is no failure in God, there is no failure in you, because God made you,” Bishop Holston said. “As we go out of here, failure is not an option.

“God is demanding something more from us….to be the men that you need to be, to be the men that God wants and needs you to be.”

Sharing advice from his father, Bishop Holston challenged the gathering to stop settling for mediocrity.

“If it’s important to you, you will make it happen,” he said. “If it’s not important to you, you will make excuses.

“Stop making excuses for mediocrity and start living up to what God wants you to be.”

Recalling what Jesus did in multiplying the loaves and fishes, Bishop Holston reminded them that there is a difference between being compliant and being committed to service. When you are compliant, you do something because you are asked to do it. When you are committed, you go beyond what you are asked to do.

“How committed are you to doing something great, so that Men N Ministry will have a reason to be alive and well in your place?” he asked. “If you take a little back home with you, God will take your little and do much with it.

“Now is the time for Men N Ministry to stand up, to be part of teaching churches, to find the men not here with you, to find young men in your schools and communities. Tell them to bring whatever you got, and you lift them up to Jesus and bless their lives in Jesus’ name – and then you watch them grow.”

Throughout the weekend, guest speakers shared strategies for effective evangelism, motivating millennials, church growth and many other topics.

Along with Bishop Holston, the speakers participated both in daily and nightly worship services, as well as small-group workshops.


Speakers/workshop leaders included:

  • The Rev. Jim Cowart, lead and founding pastor of Harvest Church, a United Methodist church in Warner Robins, Georgia.
  • Romal Tune, a speaker, author, strategic consultant who helps teams maximize performance and allow God to redeem their stories.
  • The Rev. Darren Hook, senior pastor of Covenant United Methodist Church in Greer, South Carolina.
  • The Rev. Earl Bradshaw, lead pastor of Mill Grove United Methodist Church in Indian Trail, North Carolina.

To learn more about the weekend’s activities, read the March edition of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate.

Here are more photos from the spiritual weekend:


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