FLEMING ISLAND (FBW)—Hibernia Baptist Church recently hosted its ninth-annual Real Men’s Event at Skeeter Ranch, south of Live Oak.
While there were plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities for those in attendance, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson used the opportunity to mix hunting stories with a presentation of the Gospel.
Afterward, Patterson answered questions from Florida Baptist Witness Managing Editor Joni B. Hannigan.
1. What's the big deal about hunting?
The big deal about hunting is that untold hundreds of thousands of men and women in America are hunters. There are more every day. Furthermore, there are few ways for a father to bond with his son like hunting or fishing or scuba (diving).
2. How is hunting related to evangelism?
Hunting with a lost man almost guarantees a long discussion about Christ. These banquets bring in hundreds of men who never go to church. As a result, they are not Gospel-hardened and often hear the Gospel for the first time.
3. What is your favorite moment from the event at Skeeter Ranch during the Real Men event in Jacksonville?
My favorite moment was when the 40-something-year-old man came to Jesus and then wanted to be baptized immediately.
4. Why do you think men’s events like this are valuable?
Men, even non-hunters, are interested in the out of doors and typically love animals. They come to hear that discussed. I teach a ton about the various animals I show as well as about the people of Africa. Most important next to the conversion of many of these men is creating responsibility of dads and granddaddy for the boys. That is huge. (Patterson travels to Africa on big-game hunting trips and shows many of the animals he hunts to his audiences.)
5. What's one word of advice on planning an event like this?
All the men of the church have to be on board with inviting lost friends. We fail to reach the lost because we never talk to them. Get them there, get the men praying, and everyone will be blessed.
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