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They Share the Load

One pastor thanks God for faithful men who help shoulder leadership responsibilities in the local church...


They Share the Load

by Eddie Hodges


It’s 2:45 Thursday afternoon. The day began with a hospital visit at 6:40 a.m., but I did not get to see the patient before surgery. After leaving the hospital, I traveled 30 miles to show support for a family going to court. After my visit with them, I ministered to a bereaved family, then stopped by the nursing home to encourage an aging lady in our church. After praying with her, I returned to the hospital to spend time with the family and visit the patient.

I have made up my mind to spend the afternoon in the study. It’s Thursday, but Sunday’s coming! I feel both satisfied and guilty. You see, a group of men gathered to plant some trees at the church this morning. I wanted to be there to help them, but the ministry commanded my attention. I am grateful for men in our church who give sacrificially that I might be available to invest myself in the other aspects of ministry.

For 15 years, on the first and third Sundays of the month, three other men join me at 6:00 a.m. to intercede on behalf of the ministry of our church. For the past five years, another man has faithfully visited with me every Wednesday afternoon. Others are involved in our church GROW outreach ministry. Several men are both willing and able to lead prayer meeting in my absence. Still others respond to benevolence requests from our community.

Our local Master’s Men chapter includes men who have served for more than a decade in various leadership positions. They serve without fanfare, devoting themselves solely to the glory of God and the edification of His kingdom.

I thank God for faithful men and our Master’s Men chapter. These men have grown and been challenged as they have studied, taught lessons, filled leadership positions, and ministered to others.

Master’s Men provides an outlet for me to be “one of the guys.” Sure, I’m still the pastor, but I am also a man who enjoys fellowship. We play golf together, go fishing, and go out to eat. As a member of our Master’s Men chapter, I advise the men, but I don’t have to take the lead. It is a great way to develop lay leadership.

Our group enjoys fellowship and friendships that developed with men from other states. The Master’s Men department creates opportunities to be part of a national movement, encouraging growth in the Lord and response through service. These opportunities include Operation Saturation, Disaster Relief, and international ministry opportunities. Director Ken Akers sought the help of our men during relocation of the Master’s Men office last fall.

I thank God for faithful men who love the Lord as well as their families, church, pastor, and denomination. The Master’s Men mission and burden is to challenge and equip men to do those things.

We have had an active Master’s Men chapter for over two decades. As a pastor, it has been beneficial to our ministry, the men, and the church as a whole. Wylie Fulton, a thriving member of our congregation at age 92 said, “I was always proud of Master’s Men. I have never heard of any other church group with a similar ministry to men. I enjoyed it.” Pastor, let the Master’s Men department help you develop a chapter in your church.


About the Writer: Eddie Hodges pastors Hendersonville FWB Church in Hendersonville, TN. He is a member of the Master's Men Board.



©2011 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists