NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — A United Methodist pastor urged some 800 attendees of the National Gathering of United Methodist Men to become like the mighty men of David.

The Rev. Shane Bishop, pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Fairview Heights, Ill, told the July 12-14 quadrennial meeting at Belmont University, “Men don’t become great because they expect God to do what God expects men to do. Stop waiting on your preacher. Get off the sidelines and change the world.”

Don Davis, a former NFL player now serving as a chaplain to the New England Patriots, warned that if the church, and United Methodist Men in particular, didn’t start reaching out to the millennial generation, “we’re dead.”

He said millennials respond in different ways to church teachings, and you can’t reach them with words alone. He urged the men to pray for the millennials and win them to Christ with “contagious compassion.”

One member of Generation Millennial was honored for creating a 9/11 monument as his Eagle Scout project. Jeff Cox received a Good Samaritan Award, the highest youth award presented by United Methodist Men, during the National Gathering.

The monument, which sits in Cox’s hometown of Windemere, Fla., includes 90 colorful hand-drawn tiles that encircle the beam. Each tile has an image representing the homelands of the nearly 3,000 victims. All told, Cox spent about 2,000 volunteer hours on the project.

“I’ve been amazed at the number of people who have helped make my dream come true,” Cox said.

More stories from the National Gathering can be found at www.gcumm.org.


UMNS photo

Gil Hanke, left, and Larry Coppock, right, of United Methodist Men present Jeff Cox with the Good Samaritan Award for his 9/11 Eagle Scout Project.