This year’s fifth annual National Brotherhood Ministries Men’s Retreat will take place in Memphis, Tennessee at Whispering Woods Conference Center on March 17 – 19. The NBM has been mentoring and spreading guidance for four years with their annual retreat and this year promises to be no different.
“Since we will be in Memphis and visiting the Civil Rights Museum, we decided to use the “I AM A MAN” slogan from the Memphis Sanitation Strike, which is memorialized in the museum, as our theme for the NBM retreat,” said Elder Leroy Divinity, Program Coordinator.
This year’s retreat is designed with a two-fold purpose in mind; to teach young men what the Bible says about being a man, to train adults to mentor and disciple boys and even men about Biblical masculinity. During the retreat, participants will be able to choose one of two tracks; track one is the Authentic Manhood which is designed for mentors and their mentees or track two which is the Mentor Train-the-Trainer. The idea of the Authentic Manhood track is to help men, both young and old, find clear and compelling vision of manhood.
“When men don’t have this, they may define manhood in terms of a series of boyish behaviors to define manhood. Do I become a man when I turn 18, 21 or 25? When I have my first beer or have sex for the first time? God intended so much more for man,” said Elder Divinity. God has called men to lead courageously by rejecting passivity and accepting responsibility for one’s family, friends, church and community. The manhood journey is not won by the one who has the most toys at the end; the winners are those who invest in the things that last for an eternity.
Jeramie Moliere, 26, a member of Christ Temple New Orleans is expecting to get exactly what Elder Divinity described. “Being with men who are a the place that I am trying to get, mentally and spiritually, men like my pastor,” said Moliere.
The significance of the National Brotherhood Ministries is to build the capacity of the local church to mentor young men into adulthood and provide for them a clear definition of Biblical manhood. For the many young boys and men in attendance, the retreat will provide an opportunity for young boys to hear and reflect on a Biblical and spiritual definition of authentic manhood and allow them to counter the destructive and unproductive beliefs and definitions from the world that could lead to negative outcomes and risky behaviors.
“In forging their identity, it is important for the young boys growing into men to know God’s original design for their life,” said Divinity.
For new participants attending the retreat, expect challenging messages along with a rich, fun fellowship with brothers of all ages. There will be many events taking place during the retreat. Guest speakers range from Bishop Lindsay Jones of St. Louis, to Deacon John Johnson of San Diego, CA, President of the Western Diocese Brotherhood, and many more inspiring guest. Participants can also look forward to a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum, as well as an exciting Flip-the-Script-X-Box Tournament in which the adult mentors will be coached and mentored to play the game by their mentees.
“You need to be there because there are things you cannot learn from your job or any everyday experience, you need to separate yourself from others to get these things,” said Moliere
There are many benefits that come out of the National Brotherhood Ministries Retreat. Benefits include:
- Local church leaders will be equipped to be able to launch mentoring programs at their local church that will reach members of their church as well as the surrounding community.
- Young men attending this conference will have a clearer understanding of manhood that will help them as they develop from adolescents to adulthood.
- Older men attending this conference will have a clearer understanding of authentic manhood that will help them personally and allow them to pass on what they have learned to their sons and mentees.
Retreat information will be posted on the NBM website: http://www.menbuildingmen.com/index.html.
Early Bird Registry:
- Ends on Feb. 9
- Youths ages 10-17 will be $150
- Adults 18 and above $175.
- Continues after Feb. 9
- Youths will be $160
- $190 for adults.
Once completed applications can be mailed to:
National Brotherhood Ministries,
c/o Richard Brown,
P.O. Box 2128
Madison, MS 39130-2128