MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Pastor Milton Saffold with Stone Street Baptist Church talks about the intimate power of small groups. Here’s a look at our conversation:
ANCHOR: Churches have all sorts of ministry efforts. We wanted to focus on men’s ministry – how does it work at your church?
GUEST: The Men’s Ministry is an extension of the overall mission of the church. It is made up of men of the church, young and old, who are dedicated to kingdom building. These are men of the laity, that is who have not been called to higher service in the ministry, or willing workers who come together to render service to the church, the body, and throughout the community. During this pandemic crisis, the Men’s ministry has assisted with the gathering and distribution of food boxes to our sick & shut-in members, to the general congregation, and members of the community in a drive-by at the church. They also sponsored a drive-through fish fry fellowship for the members in an effort to give the membership a sense of belonging and a spirit of unity.
ANCHOR: Why are smaller groups that are maybe al men, teens or all women important?
GUEST: All of these groups offer a sense and a spirit of belonging and relevance to the members. It provides an opportunity to develop a spirit of sharing, even an opportunity to vent. In their discussions and study, very often they find that there is much in common with the other members of the group regardless of age and with a realization that we are not as different as we thought because of the age gap or other social issues. They find the Word of God is still the measuring rod for us all.
For the men, it’s a deepening bond of brotherhood that will be a great asset to the church, to the men as individuals, and to the community.
ANCHOR: What do you hope to get out of a men’s ministry?
GUEST: My prayer is that the men who participate will accept the challenge and call of leadership in the church as lay leaders. The vision statement at the Stone Street Baptist Church is “Raise a Standard to the People” (Isaiah 62:10). That Standard is Christ Jesus. Constant prayer for the church consists of six parts; that the Lord will bring us people: Who love him; Who love people; With sound doctrine; With a good home devotional; With a willing testimony; and, With money. To that end, we are seeking and will train “men with an understanding of the times . . .”
ANCHOR: What do specialized study and ministry groups accomplish that perhaps could not be accomplished with a general congregation?
GUEST: Perhaps the main thing, in my opinion, is that it offers the opportunity for unabridged discussion. That humbleness can bring about frankness and openness in learning more about the word of God, themselves, and the issues of the day as it relates to the men, their families, their community, and the church. I feel that when the men especially see their peers, there can be some honesty in the discussion that perhaps may not have been there with a mixed group. I might point out that the discussion leader can be a big asset in making the discussion comfortable and inviting the participation of the men in the discussions.