This year’s London Men’s Convention promises to be a cracker. I ought to confess a vested interest in talking it up. It’s been hugely influential for lots of our guys at church and so, as a local church pastor, I’m a big fan. That’s also why I agreed to be on the organising committee, even though I loathe admin.
There’s lots about this years’ LMC that’s stayed the same; solid meaty Bible exposition, uplifting praise and encouraging fellowship. That’s all there again. In spades. But this year things are also different. We’re meeting in Westminster Chapel not the Albert Hall or the ExCel Centre (which I’m alone in loving). We’ve gone for two conferences in one day to accommodate the numbers. And the price has been reduced to £18. We reckon people are feeling the pinch in these times of austerity. And so we’ve done what we can to make it more affordable. I guess not everyone will be able to find that sort of cash. But we’re hoping that within a congregation the men can sort it out so that no one’s unable to attend.
The subject matter this year is the Christian Man’s daily fight against the opposition we face from the world, the flesh and the devil. We’ve got Australian church planting Bishop Al Stewart, a real favourite from past conventions, to come and address the issues of the world’s lies and our fleshly desires. And we’ve bullied our own convention Chairman, Richard Coekin to speak about the contentious issue of satanic opposition. I’ve heard Richard on this subject before and his material was brilliant. It promises to be a great time.
In promoting the LMC at our evening congregation on Sunday, I said that we should consider going for three reasons
1. Go for yourself. We need help with this, don’t we? The battle against the worldly influence of peer pressure, the sinful desires of our hearts and the satanic opposition that hides behind them is unbelievably wearying. We need help for the fight. Some of us are casualties and we need mending. This convention is meant to help.
2. Go for your mates. They need our encouragement, support and accountability. I have every confidence that the talks will be great. But it’s the conversations afterwards, between people who know each other well, that often make the difference. With mates from church we can talk openly and honestly about the implications of what we’ve heard. And we can pray together, where we sit. And we can resolve to help one another pursue godliness. The effect of the convention ought to be felt long after it’s finished. Men who’ve travelled up together and returned home after a meal and a drink together can take what they’ve learnt back into their families, friendships, churches and workplaces.
3. Go for your church. The health of our churches depends on the existence and participation of godly men. Of course the women are significant, but you need godly guys busy in personal ministry throughout the congregation. Our Sunday School kids need godly male role models apart from their Fathers. Our young men in small group Bible studies need godly role models. Our unbelieving lads on Christianity Explored need godly role models. And so it goes on. This convention ought to help us begin to address the issue and think about the resources God has given us in the gospel to mature as Christian men and fight the good fight together.