Growing as disciples of Jesus means following Christ in new directions.  2nd Corinthians 5:17 says “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.”  Bishop James Swanson recently spoke about the need for men to seek a new identity in Christ rooted in service:

Bishop James Swanson

NASHVILLE, Tenn.––“Men are in search of a new Christian identity.”

That’s what Mississippi Area Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. told the General Commission on United Methodist Men, at the conclusion of their Sept. 6-7 meeting in Nashville.

Serving as chair of the 20-member commission, Swanson said that men are seeking to find genuine and passionate ways to express God’s call upon their lives. “This new identity must not be wrapped up in a grab for power or position; it is simply a response to the opportunity to serve God by serving humanity and the Church,” said the bishop.

“We hope to be seen as fulfilling our call to aid in the renewal of the church without being viewed as a threat to anyone or vilified for our deeply felt passion to see the United Methodist Church offer Christ to men, children and youth.” said Swanson. “We’re trying to do this cautiously because we don’t want to offend anyone, but I believe God is calling us to hasten our pace. This calls us to struggle with what this new Christian man identity should be.”

The bishop also urged the commission not to measure success by the large stadium events of the past. “It may be a watershed event even if only 100 men show up. God may be using the event to plant a seed that is bold, wonderful and new.”

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