October 30, 2022 Bible Reading
October 30, 2022
by: Duane Goodling, Mission Director- Think Missions, www.thinkmissions.org
The task for the writers of these devotionals was to talk about people who “demonstrated a willingness to be loyal to God, God’s Word, his church, his convictions, or his family no matter what came against him.” If this doesn’t describe Jamie Holden, I don’t know what does. Jamie has faced many types of adversity throughout his life thus far, but continues to follow God’s call on him to pursue men’s ministry.
Jamie was born in 1977, and graduated from the University of Valley Forge in 1999 with a degree in pastoral ministry. Early in ministry, he spent a few years traveling with and helping his sister at women’s ministry events before the Holy Spirit began speaking to him about doing events for men.
In 2014, Jamie listened to the Assemblies of God General Council meetings online when Pastor Wilfredo (Choco) De Jesús said something that impacted Jamie deeply. Pastor Choco said, “If you don’t do what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do because of fear, you shouldn’t be in ministry.”
This statement spoke directly to Jamie’s heart because he sensed that the Holy Spirit had been speaking to him about men’s ministry. Immediately, he sent an email to Tom Rees (Assemblies of God Men’s Ministry Director for Pennsylvania-Delaware Ministry Network) asking if they could get together to talk as soon as possible. Tom attended the General Council meetings in person, so they set up an appointment for the next week after he returned. Jamie went to meet Tom with fear and trembling, but out of that meeting, he started down the path of what eventually became Mantour Ministries.
That first year, 2014, Mantour Ministries had literally no funding, and what they did have, came from a small personal savings account to pay for hotels and speakers. His sister, Adessa, told him, “We can do four conferences–if it doesn’t work, that’s all the money we have, and we’re not going into debt for this.” But God was faithful, and that first year they were able to hold seven events! What followed is a story that continues to be written.
Jamie eventually became an Assemblies of God US Missionary Assoc., with a commission to develop men’s ministry in the local church. To go along with the Mantour Men’s Conferences, Jamie writes a companion book each year to match the conference theme. He has written seven books as of 2021. The books are formatted to make them a great tool that men’s ministry leaders can use in their meetings to help facilitate discussion. Jamie also raises funds to enable him to send books, free of charge, to prisons for inmates to share. Mantour Ministries is more than just a few hours on a Saturday morning.
The Mantour Men’s conferences are now a standard event on Pennsylvania and Delaware men’s ministry calendars. In recent years, Jamie has added conferences in Virginia and New York to the schedule. The conferences are held in strategic locations in churches around these four states, with an additional event held annually at the Adult and Teen Challenge facility in Rehrersburg, Pennsylvania. While Jamie has a heart for all men, he has put in extra work to reach men who are suffering from addiction or who are currently incarcerated.
While starting a new men’s ministry can be daunting enough for anyone, Jamie was born with a hereditary, degenerative neurological disease that deforms the limbs called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Jamie lives in pain every day. While this disease specifically works in the feet and hands, it does affect other parts of his body, especially when he is tired.
While having men gather, worship, and pray all play a part in fulfilling God’s call on Jamie’s life, and he enjoys the conferences immensely, the events are tough on him. In fact, he often needs several days to recover physically from the toll of travel and the event itself. However, Jamie knows he is doing the will of the Lord for him, and seeing men go forward to accept Christ for the first time, makes it all worth it.
Has God spoken to you about a ministry you should start or participate? Maybe you feel it is too big or you aren’t the person for the job. You may have heard the phrase "God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called."
This is a true statement! If He is calling you to something, He will put the people and processes in place to help you see it through, but you must be intentional and obedient to the call. Don’t take my word for it, test it out.
We all face challenges when doing ministry. Some are physical like Jamie; some are financial, and some may be unique to you, but challenges exist for us all. Are you willing to commit to God’s call for you? Are you willing to trust Him as Jamie did (and still does!)? You can do it! Don’t wait another day. The time is now!
Today’s Scripture: I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)
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