Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 9, 2013

Ministers go for ‘GUTS’

Upcoming conference aims at heart of ministers’ issues

By SHEILA SELMAN
THE GOSHEN NEWS

If you want to go

 

GOSHEN — There are realities of being a minister. Ministers are human. Ministers may doubt God. Ministers have to balance life and work. And sometimes at the end of the day, ministers just want to call it quits.

“There are a lot of guys who want to write a resignation letter Monday morning,” said the Rev. Jim Brown, lead pastor at Grace Community Church in Goshen.

Getting at the heart of these matters with straight, heartfelt talk is the impetus behind GUTS Conference 2013. GUTS is specifically for men in ministry and will be hosted at Grace Community Church Feb. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The conference is for any man in ministry regardless of denomination or location.

Lead worship pastor at Grace, Jeremiah Olson, said he anticipates 100 to 150 ministers from around the United States to attend the conference. “We’re ready for God to blow us away and give us 300,” he added. “We’ve been blown away before.”

Unlike conferences that focus on “how-to,” GUTS’ leaders will put down the notes and be frank about issues, thoughts and situations that ministers have to deal with, but may not want to discuss.

Olson said, “It’s peeling back the layers and getting to the guts of ministry” — thus the name.

There are thoughts that ministers have that they would never speak out loud, Olson said. There is the perception that they are the only ones who feel the way they do.

“Our hope is that men are deeply encouraged that there are other men who have their backs,” Brown said. He later added, “Because you feel you’re the only one, the enemy keeps you in bondage. … Obviously, there are times you have it together, but what happens when it’s unraveling?”

That’s what this conference is about.

“No one deals with what you deal with unless you are in ministry,” Brown said. “We understand it.”

The ministers at Grace, who admit they don’t have it all figured out, want to impart what they’ve learned over the years. At the end of the day, Brown, Olson and the other ministers want spiritually healthy men walking out of their doors, ready to serve and to be reminded what matters most and why it’s all worth it.

“It’s not about us,” Brown said. “We just love helping and assisting men in ministry. … It’s our chance to give back. We’ve been given so much.”