By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
LANHAM, Md.—Since Jan. 2010, as many as 80 or so men have gathered quarterly to talk about their roles and responsibilities in their relationships with God, family, church and community.
These men gather from the Prince George’s Association’s (PGBA) composition of churches to attend the quarterly “Repairers of the Breach” conferences, which are held on the third Friday of every quarter. Their two-to-three hours together include praise and worship, a devotional teaching and breakout sessions progressively focusing on their relationships.
Inspired by Isaiah 58:12, which says, “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach …,” the “Repairers of the Breach“ ministry focuses on God in the lives of men and teen boys.
The scripture became the basis for a men’s ministry cofounded with Harold Dugger, senior pastor of First Church, Capitol Heights, Md.; Nathaniel Thomas, senior pastor of Forestville New Redeemer Church; Anthony Minter, senior pastor at First Rock Church in Washington, D.C.; and Lawrence Barbour, pastor at Expectation Bible Church in Suitland, Md. Barbour previously started a men’s fellowship called “Manning the Gap.”
The “Repairers of the Breach“ ministry, which officially operates through the Prince George’s Association in Lanham, Md., has gathered men from churches throughout the Association on a quarterly basis to help them “develop and execute an understanding of their roles and responsibilities; in their relationship with God, family, church and community, through sound principles, relevant instructions and great fellowship.”
“Some men come to church and don’t understand their role and responsibility. We want to make sure we have healthy men in our congregations and community. If we don’t understand our role and responsibilities, it will affect every realm of our lives,” Dugger explained, adding that the goal of the ministry is to “help men identify and develop their godly responsibilities in the light of biblical principles, profession and practice.”
“It is an experience when you have a sanctuary full of men… worshipping without any inhibitions,” shared Reynold Carr, PGBA’s director of missions. “My hair stood up on the back of my neck! You just bask in the glory of the whole thing.”
The last event was held April 15 at Maryland City Church in Laurel, where the men were blessed and uplifted as the church’s praise team ushered them into the presence of God with great singing. Daniel Mangrum of Cornerstone Peaceful Bible Church challenged the men at the close of the conference, which focused on men’s relationships with their wives and children.
“We approach everything biblically,” said Dugger, noting that though there is plenty of self-help material available, it is this ministry’s intent to focus solely on what the Bible says.
Keiffer Bent, the new pastor of Berwyn Church in College Park, Md., says his church is still “riding the wave” since hosting the January’s “Repairers of the Breach” meeting.
“It was a spiritually enthusiastic, refreshing and energizing force at Berwyn,” where even the women have been touched by the men’s encouragement, Bent said.
“It was a very intense moment in our church” to see over 80 men of all races gathered in the Fellowship Hall,” he said, adding, “To see the entire Fellowship Hall full of men was an effective tool to build stronger men and their relationships in church and in their marriages.”
The next scheduled quarterly conference will be held July 15 at Landover Hills Church with the theme, “The Man’s Role in the Church.”
In addition to the quarterly conferences, the men meet monthly to do evangelism walks. They’ll pick a community, prayer walk, hand out tracks and minister to people.
They also meet once a year for a conference retreat at Skycroft Conference Center. This year’s Sept. 1–3 retreat is co-sponsored by First Rock Church, in cooperation with PGBA, and will focus on the theme, “Come Back to the Heart of Worship.”
To learn more, contact Carr at (301) 731-4199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.