Men-ding hearts and minds
Annual Ignite Men’s Impact Conference will be held in Vines Center with guest speakers Ben Roethlisberger, Si Robertson and Tony Stewart
Liberty University will host more than 10,000 at the Ignite Men’s Impact Weekend March 17-18 in the Vines Center, where fathers and sons will have a chance to worship and study God’s word together.
Speakers and guests at the conference include Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Duck Dynasty star Si Robertson and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart.
Praise and worship will be led by Michael O’Brien and messages will be brought by J.D. Greear and Joe White.
The event originally began as Men’s Impact Weekend at Thomas Road Baptist Church and was founded by Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
“(We) wanted to create an event that men would enjoy and would come to,” Clinton said.
“Let’s build an event around what men like — what men enjoy.”
Roethlisberger will take the national stage at the conference to talk openly about his faith after six years of growing in it.
Roethlisberger’s pastor, Dr. Jared Ott, was at one point a student at Liberty’s seminary.
After an 11-year run on television for Robertson and a NASCAR career with three championships for Stewart, both men will use the conference to talk about what is next for them.
In addition to famous athletes, celebrities and pastors targeted toward a male audience, the weekend includes several workshop sessions including topics such as hunting, fishing and sports.
Several faith-based breakout sessions are offered including “seven tips for a healthy marriage” and “strong fathers, strong daughters.”
Southern Baptist regional missionary Darrell Webb will be leading the strong fathers, strong daughters breakout session which is based on the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker.
Webb will be hosting the breakout session with the help of his own daughter, Allison.
Webb wants fathers to realize the responsibility and the role they have with their daughters.
“You are the most important man in your daughter’s life,” Webb said.
“You are her superhero, and your words, your demeanor, your life is a major highlight for her life.”
Clinton said every year the conference has a theme and this year’s theme is grace and redemption.
Clinton said he wants men to realize God has unending grace and forgiveness for those who cry out to him.
“Most men don’t believe God loves them, and I think that a lot of men feel alone and detached,” Clinton said.
“We want them to know that God is a God of second and third chances.”
Clinton said White has spoken at the conference every year since its inception.
White will bring the gospel message through his crossbuilder presentation in which he displays Jesus’ love through an actual wooden cross on stage.
Clinton said although the event is meant to be enjoyable, it is ultimately about making an eternal impact.
“At the end of the day, it’s about changing lives, and that’s why we do it — strengthening and encouraging men to take their rightful place,” Clinton said.
Clinton said he is confident the weekend will be instrumental for men seeking to be better fathers and wanting to grow closer in their relationship with their sons.
“We wanted to build an event that dads and sons can come to together and enjoy together,” Clinton said.
“I think this weekend is the best thing you could ever do for your son. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will be inspired and challenged to be a better dad to your boy. He’ll never forget it, and the most precious gift he will experience will be being with you.”
The two-day conference begins Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. and ends Saturday, March 18 at 5 p.m. Early bird tickets can be purchased by Feb. 28 for $59.