This March, Care Net held the first-ever pro-life men's conference. I’ll admit, when God first gave me this idea, I was a bit nervous. After all, there are reasons that no one’s ever tried to do it before! But I realized none of those reasons were from God. When I prayed and reached out to people who share Care Net's Pro Abundant Life vision, the response was unanimous: "This is a great idea. Let's do it."
Fortunately, Dr. Tony Evans was one of the first people I spoke to. He understands the power and importance of engaging men on the life issue and graciously hosted the conference at his incredible church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. We couldn’t have had a better host or a better location! Few pastors in the nation have done more to not only speak about, but apply practical action to the idea that we can't make abortion unthinkable without engaging men as fathers and husbands.
Only God could know that nearly two years after we decided to hold the conference in Dallas, Texas would be the first state in the nation to effectively ban most abortions. Texas is now ground zero in the decades-long fight against legal abortion... and it seems God wanted us there.
We then set out to inspire and equip men to know that they are called and missioned by God to defend the unborn, build strong families, and protect the vulnerable in their communities. Dr. Evans, Michael Jr, Pastor David Platt, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Steve Arterburn, Amy Ford, and I spoke to 500 attendees about their calling and how to take on their mission.
It was a weekend filled with laughter (Michael Jr is hilarious), tears (dozens of men shared their testimonials about past abortions), and — most importantly — hope. Hope for a future in which men know and fulfill their roles in a movement where they have been mostly absent for nearly 50 years. The culture wants it that way — telling men to just "shut up" about abortion. But God knows, when men step in with love and compassion as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to a hurting world, that the gates of hell don't stand a chance.