It is never an easy feat to rally men and keep men them at a single venue where the focus is mainly to discuss and learn more about issues of their manhood that they all face on daily basis.
More often than not, it is much easier for men to come up with all kinds of excuses for not being part of such a gathering, but from September 17 to 19, 2015, Gateway Church International in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga, hosted a successful 4th Restored — Men’s Annual Conference.
The theme for this year’s conference was “God’s Truth, the answer to the lives and circumstances of men”. Since the inception of the Restored conferences, the main objective has been to restore men back to the original intent and purpose that God created men for. This year’s main discussion was on understanding more of what it means to be a Christian man, as a husband, as a father, as a son, and the role that a Christian man is expected to play in the modern church, today.
A list of very capable speakers was intentionally chosen because of their expertise and knowledge to come and help address the current challenges and difficulties that men in general, face in their walk as Christian men.
The speakers included Bongani Dumane, Lead Pastor at Dominion Life City Church in Pretoria, Gauteng, Jeremiah Magagula, Lead Pastor at eMbalenhle Alliance Community Church in Secunda, Mpumalanga, Afrika Mhlophe, Lead Pastor at Good News Community Church in Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth, and Dr Thabelo Malovhele, Lead Pastor at Pretoria Christian Worship Centre, Gauteng.
Valuable and profound lessons were shared on the need for men to have and hold a Christ-like image as their only basis and position through which men must define and understand their godly manhood and purpose in life. Pastor Afrika shared eloquently on how God values a sonship relationship more than servanthood; that men should stop remodeling or renovating themselves through earthly ways (education, culture, and belief systems and living for approval of other men) and instead seek and hunger for an intimate time and relationship with God, where they intentionally seek total surrender and restoration as men. Men can only become who God created them to be if they are totally restored back to the original Adam, said Pastor Afrika. Before His fall, Adam functioned under the wisdom and grace of God and this is the kind of a relationship that men require to mortify sin and live a life of purpose. This is the mark of a true Christian man!
This year’s conference closed with the honoring and celebration of the second Phaladi Leadership Awards, named after senior pastor and founder of Gateway Church International ministry, Ps Edward Phaladi Phetla. These awards are given to men as an inspiration and encouragement to serve in the church. The awards have grown since last year.This year, Gateway Church Int’l has seen more men starting to serve and making themselves available to provide much needed leadership in the church. In total, 26 men received awards. Congratulations to all winners!