A Brief Report–Men’s Advance 2011

Posted by on Mar 22, 2011 in Men's Advance

Group Picture–Men’s Advance (2011)
The Men’s Advance 2011

Attendance and Speaking Times:
This year we had ninety-seven men and boys attend the Men’s Advance (Feb. 25-26th). I was very pleased with the turnout. Moreover, it was a great privilege for me to work with Dr. Derek Carlsen. He exemplified the doctrine of “Perseverance” through the way in which he met the difficult challenges of his own life—these he related to us with several gripping stories. Especially interesting was his bold and principled stand against tyranny within his native country of Zimbabwe. All six talks are listed on Sermon Audio. You can find the link here. I truly hope you enjoy them!

Mrs. Elise Carlsen, Derek’s wife, also spoke with our wives and daughters at a special gathering at my home on Saturday afternoon. Elise challenged the women to trust God in the midst of persecution, suffering, and trials. As you might imagine this is not easy thing to do, but Elise illustrated this kind of trusting attitude from the events of her own life! It was quite powerful.

Discussion Groups:
One aspect of the Men’s Advance that makes it very different from many other Christian conferences is the group discussion that follows every session. Our discussion groups were led by Al, Bill, Chris, Dan, Jeff, and Paul. In these six groups the men and boys weren’t allowed to simply “sit and soak”, but were encouraged to apply all that they had heard. In short, we learned how to persevere in our own personal faith, in our own homes, and in God’s kingdom work—especially when life gets difficult.

Excellent Meals:
Besides the speaking times, we had some excellent food. From my informal survey I learned that most of the fathers enjoyed the Beef Stroganoff with garlic-roasted green beans that we were served on Saturday evening. Whereas the boys enjoyed the deep-dish pizza we received on Friday night. At all four meals there was an abundance of food and extra side dishes—salads, rolls, salsa, tortillas, vegetables, and deserts. No one went away hungry! Special thanks go to Angie, Beth, Carrie, Cheryl, and the dynamic duo of Melissa TD and Melissa W. There were lots of kitchen helpers this year—both young and old—to assist in the serving and clean-up. Thank you one and all!

Family Concert:
As we already knew from 2009, the concert with the Lautenschlager family on Saturday night would be superb—and it surely was! They led out with a number of hand-clapping and knee-slapping American folk songs and concluded with several bluegrass favorites (ie: “The Orange Blossom Special”). I noticed that there were lots of budding young musicians crowded around Daniel, Katie, Shoney, and Zach after the concert asking questions. The closing dinner and concert drew well over two hundred twenty-five people. It was a fine conclusion to our whole event.

I will post the important details for next year’s Men’s Advance (2012) later in the springtime–dates, theme, and speakers. Be on the look out!

–Pastor Marcus Serven