In the cold of the winter….on a January weekend…..SCBI men from across the state of Indiana joined together for a Friday and Saturday conference at Highland Lakes! Yeah, it was cold…but it was all worth it! Men starting showing up on campus around 4:00 on Friday, in anticipation of what would be a great time of food, fellowship, instruction and challenge. The focus was to “Fight One More Round”, to continue doing what God has called us to do no matter what our circumstance may be. Just as Paul and Barnabas “kept evangelizing” (Acts 14:7) after being beaten, run out of town, and ridiculed, we are to remain in the fight. Or, as Gentlemen Jim Corbet is quoted as saying, “Fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round—remembering that the man who fights one more round is never whipped.” As followers of Christ, we never give up. The battle is won; the battle is the Lord’s.

The food Friday night was prepared by our own Director of Operations Rick Porter on his Whole Hawg Smoker (not actually the name of it, but I like to call it that). The culinary delights included smoked pulled pork, smoked pork loin, smoked ham, smoked pork belly, smoked bake beans, Mac and cheese (not smoked), and of course Highland Lakes cookies (also not smoked). No one went away hungry or complaining! Thanks, Rick, for an excellent job for the Friday swinefest. Saturday morning men woke up to biscuits and gravy, grits, and scrambled eggs, and lunch was bacon steak burgers, pulled pork, enchilada soup, and spice cake…and more Highland Lakes cookies.

Fellowship? Friday night men played board games, euchre, sat around fires and talked, told stories, got to know one another…got back to that age old pastime of manly camaraderie. As C. S. Lewis stated, “Is any pleasure on earth as grand as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” It was good to have no agenda, just time to re-acquaint ourselves with one another, to laugh, to reminisce, to encourage.

Saturday was a full day of worship, challenge, and discussion. Worship was led by Bo Warren of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Bo and his band have been a staple at the conference for many years, and always gets the crowd in the proper frame of mind for the event. Our main speaker for the conference was Dr. Mark Croston, author and contributor to several books including What About Me?: Staying Healthy and Whole While Helping Others; Removing the Stain of Racism from the SBC; and Big Results Leadership. Dr. Croston has served as a pastor for many years and is currently on staff at Lifeway Resources as National Director of Black Church Ministries. His message of encouraging men to get up when they have been knocked down and to stay in the fight brought insight and discussion to the small group breakouts.

So, men came from across the state, and men went back to their homes across the state. But when they returned home, they were encouraged and ready to continue the mission God has called them to. They are ready to “fight one more round.”

Jim Shields, SCBI Men’s Ministry