Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Promise Keepers Power Up Men to be Unleashed

Lillian Kwon from The Christian Post writes:

Eight weeks before one of the largest religious conferences unleashes in 19 cities, Promise Keepers has already begun to "Power Up" each conference venue for the tens of thousands of men ready to reach their full potential.

The Friday night rallies hit the first two cities – Ft. Lauderdale and Albany – where the 2006 Unleashed conferences will kick off beginning June 2 and will make its round to nine more ahead of the main city conferences. Hundreds of men have rallied to plan, pray and strategize for the annually anticipated event that even has women encouraging men's participation.

"It's just a taste of what guys will experience at the main event," said Steve Hutton, vice president of field ministry for Promise Keepers, in a released statement. "The men who know about Promise Keepers and respond early can come to 'Power Up' to pick up some strategies and encouragement to bring other guys to the Unleashed conference."

After blowing away the more than 176,000 men who partook in the Awakening conferences in 20 cities last year, ministry leader Phil Chapin has returned as keynote speaker for the local church momentum-building rallies.

"I really want to meet the men of Promise Keepers in a local church setting, where we can go a little deeper, and inspire each other to do some great things in this broken world," he said.

In response to high demand for men's ministry training, Power Up rallies are being followed by half-day training sessions for pastors, lay leaders and others.

The 2006 conferences have been retooled to centralize the focus on men discovering their potential, finding a pathway to optimize their talents, and moving in that direction with a few other like-minded friends.

"Promise Keepers wants to unleash men to reach their full potential," said R. Tom Fortson, president and CEO of Promise Keepers. "The 2006 experience will help men identify the power of God in them and empower them to reach their designed potential as husband, fathers, leaders, and followers of God."

Today, men are not just falling short of their full potential, but leaving the church altogether.

This year's keynote speaker, Dr. Bob Reccord, former president of the North American Mission Board, said that times are changing, and, for that matter, the church must change. Furthermore, the people in the pews must play the service role to help the church succeed.

As for the men, Fortson points to the conferences to recharge and unleash them at their greatest potential.

"Congregations on average are more than 60 percent female; and many men and youth are leaving traditional houses of worship in search for something else," stated Fortson. "There is a disconnect between men's deepest wants and needs and the churches that need men so badly. That's why Promise Keepers is so important. The man-friendly environment of our conferences recharges men, and when they leave the event, they are ready to serve their congregations, families and communities."

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