The United Methodist Church in Lithuania is not big in numbers. But there are many different ministries that impact people beyond the church members. This is also true for the ministry with men.
According to Pastor Andrus Kask, there is no doubt: The example of a Christian man is very much needed in the context of Lithuania. Christian values must be lived out in families and at large in society. In The United Methodist Church, there are many talented men, but they don’t gather, and they don’t communicate often either. At the same time, society cries for responsible men. Pastor Kask is convinced: «First, the men from our churches and in every area in society need to be restored. When men find and know their identity as God’s creation, then they know the real duties and responsibilities, then they can support each other in Gods way». According to him, there are many theories in books and dissertations about the psychological or social side of men, even in Christian literature. But: «Every man needs to find and recognize for himself the truth in community».
Pastor Kask is aware that his view changed: «When I was a small boy, my image of a ‘real man’ was that of a man who smokes, drinks, is a dictator in the family, and time after time disappears. Later I was told that the absence was because the police had a special place to keep some men, or men had a better place to be and relax». But his childhood experience of men was a not good example. Today he knows: «This is not God’s will. God didn’t create man to become an alcoholic. God created men to take responsibility, to do the right thing, and men who risk to do the right thing». This stands in contrast to the fact that men often take risks to do wrong things, which is, according to Pastor Kask, quite natural. «If a man doesn’t know who he is and who God is, he can’t take on real responsibilities and risk to do the right thing».
Last year, a one-day seminar for men took place in the UMC in Lithuania. The lectures and discussions were based on a number of biblical themes. In 2018, a second seminar will take place: a fellowship retreat over two days. These events aim to offer men an opportunity to have fellowship, to strengthen their faith, and to help each other carrying their calling and responsibilities. Pastor Kask is convinced: «To bring changes in a local community takes time. It starts from at least two individuals who recognize the situation and want change». His experience is that many men play with iPhones, but few visit the sick. Many men work hard to have a better life standard, but few support the poor. Pastor Kask concludes: «Every man should be a leader, they need to discover their gifts and relate these with needs. After learning about an area of ministry, the men could talk and plan activities together, aiming to make social life better – in their families, in their church communities, but also in larger society».
Source: Pastor Andrus Kask, UMC in Lithuania / Fund for Mission in Europe