Although women outnumber men at least two-to-one in church membership, a new symposium nurtures men to take on leadership positions in church and at home.

The annual “Be the Man” conference was held recently in Ridgecrest, N.C. The conference objective is to help churches counter negative stereotypes that keep many men from attending church.

“You’re trying to reach the first generation of African-American men that have never been touched by the church,” Edward Johnson, pastor of Greater Galilee Church in Louisville, Ky., told Baptist News, adding that many older men previously attended church. “Did you ever think about asking them why they left?”

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Johnson and other speakers said many men avoid church because of stereotypes and a congregational culture that is more suitable for women. The goal of the conference is to help men become better men of God so that they can take the lead in their homes, to be better churchmen, leaders in their church, leaders in their community, to set the example of Christ and reach out to other men said conference speakers.

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