Transforming Men’s Ministry
Leaders in United Methodist Men (UMM) across the globe are working to implement a new model and vision for men’s ministry. Dan Ramsey, who has served as UMM president from the local church to the national level, recently stepped in as Interim UMM President for the Conference and is leading this charge. He has seen men’s ministry done well and is excited to share ideas, make new connections and restart this powerful discipleship tool within the local church. He’s currently focused on 1) rebranding, 2) recruiting and 3) resourcing. “Bishop Jones is very supportive of our efforts to reboot men’s ministry in the Texas Conference and beyond,” Dan shares.
- Rebranding: Dan believes UMM can benefit from a fresh identity and new energy. “It feels like I’ve been involved in UMM since the beginning of time,” says this 30-yr veteran of the Houston police force, “but that’s because I’ve seen and been a part of so many activities that have impacted lives in a powerful way. UMM leaders are starting to refer to it simply as men’s ministry to help revitalize this great aspect of the local church.” He says another recent initiative is breathing life into this impactful area of ministry. Three years ago UMM started a national contest to create competition among local men’s groups. “Our national Top 5 competition is giving us the opportunity to find amazing stories of men’s ministry at the local and district and conference levels that we can then share what a solid men’s ministry looks like and inspire others with new ideas,” he says. He gives a shout out to Wiley FUMC in north Texas for placing in the Top 5 two years in a row, and number four in the country.”
- Recruiting: “Developing principled Christian leaders is the primary mission of our denominational men’s ministry,” adds Dan, “which is reinforced by the TAC goal of training lay and clergy leaders. As Interim President, I want to spark leaders at the local church and district level to share what’s going on in men’s ministry across the conference.” He knows there are men in the conference that would consider stepping up to be leaders that would encourage men’s groups and scouting chapters to be more effective at making disciples for Christ. “The men’s ministry at Jones Memorial UMC is to be commended for their strong hunger advocacy and round-the-clock Upper Room prayer line commitment,” adds Dan. To help rebuild men’s ministry in the TAC at the local, district or conference level, contact Dan.
- Resourcing: I am also very excited to remind our local churches of the resources available to strengthen their leadership development efforts.” Dan recommends the Advanced Lay Speaking course to UMM leaders seeking to have an impact on others, and points to the online training available to help youth to be effective leaders through scouting.
As a leader in men’s ministry since the 1960s, Dan has built an amazing network of friends across the country, and served in countless other rewarding activities. “When I was the national UMM president,” he shares, “we did a mission project at a local school during annual meeting week. We suspected many of the children in this underprivileged elementary school would go hungry over spring break, so we bagged rice and beans for the entire school.” His heart was warmed at their response. “The kids drew pictures and sent us notes of how much they appreciated this -- and that -- along with knowing that might have been all they had to eat that week, is one of the highlights of my long involvement in men’s ministry.”
Additionally, another ministry moment from Dan’s leadership highlight reel is more recent and more personal. “As a former Houston policeman, I knew what the officers in Beaumont and Baton Rouge experienced when they lost fellow officers in recent years,” recalls Dan. He was able to take several cases of the devotional, Strength for Service, which was initially created by an Eagle Scout and printed by the United Methodist publishing house, at their tough time of loss. “I have been through similar shocks like this and really wish a devotional had been around when I was a policeman. So, it is always a special opportunity for me to make an impact on the lives of first responders and help ease their burden.”
Dr. Jesse Brannen, director of the TAC Center for Congregational Excellence applauds Dan as a longtime UMM leader, knowing this is one of the keys to the health and vitality of the local church. “I can already see that Dan is giving this program a new energy that will translate into more active men’s ministry across our connection.”