The Mighty Men Conference (MMC) movement must continue to grow and make a positive impact on South Africa, the Anglican Bishop of Port Elizabeth, Bethlehem Nopece said at a Coastal MMC breakfast in Port Elizabeth today.
He urged the Port Elizabeth-based Coastal MMC to make a special effort to target men in the coloured and Xhosa communities of the city so that the mass Christian men’s movement initiated by farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan in 2004 would continue to grow in the region.
The Coastal MMC aims to provide opportunities for men in the PE area who have attended Mighty Men conferences to meet from time to time to motivate each other to continue to live lives transformed by Jesus and to encourage other men to do likewise. Today’s breakfast, organised by Coastal MMC founder Lance Walton was the first event since the inaugural Karoo MMC at Rusoord farm, Middelburg from April 29 to May 1. At the breakfast Bishop Nopece announced that the next Karoo MMC would be held at the same venue from April 27 to April 29 next year.
Nopece said that many of the problems in South African society today were a consequence of instability in families as a result of misery inflicted on women and children by men. He recalled an incident some five or six years ago when men in the rural Transkei village of Khalinyanga got together to pray about problems such as drug abuse and rape that were afflicting the community. “After they prayed they took sjamboks (whips) and cleaned up the community to everybody’s delight,” he said.
He said men’s participation in public events like prayer walks and breakfasts was significant as Godly men needed to be visible in order to make a difference.
Pastor Mark Upman of Summerstrand Community Church said that in 2010 50 per cent of South Africa’s population was under the age of 25 and that by 2020 it was expected that 60 per cent of the population would be under the age of 18. He said these statistics indicated that there was a growing need in South Africa for spiritual fathers and that it was time for real men to stand up.
Referring to the Bible passage in John 2 in which Jesus chased merchants out of the temple with a whip, he said that Jesus was a man’s man and not the “softy with blow-dried hair” depicted in much Christian art. He had endured beating and death on the cross without whimpering.
Men who met Jesus became real men. They should not be afraid to exercise anger in a controlled way against evil. They should control their lust. It was time for men to be real before God, he said.
Several men at the breakfast shared testimonies of how their relationship and walk with God had been strengthened as a result of their experiences at Mighty Men conferences.