Pastor Bill Heiges is working on making a difference in this community – one man at a time.
Last year nine men went through a 24-week course called “The Quest for Authentic Manhood,” developed by Robert M. Lewis. Now they are eager to share it with others.
“The men completed the series and saw how powerful it was, and really life-changing,” explained Heiges. They have been working hard to develop a second session, and get the word out to others.”
Heiges, who has been with Emanuel Church for the past six years, says this is the most powerful offering he has seen in terms of discovering what your role as a man can be. He’s been a pastor for over 30 years, having served in Watertown, WI and Louisville, Colorado. He was also the synod national director of family ministry for 12 years.
“I’ve seen remarkable changes in the men who went through this process,” said Heiges. “Men who were marginally existing and passive come alive, embracing their families. I’ve been through it, too, and as a result I am a better husband, father and grandfather.”
Pastor Heiges has a fifth grandchild on the way, and is just as excited as if it were his first. He has three sons and two daughters who happen to be twins.
Heiges says he grew up in a broken home, with 11 siblings in a mixed family. “It was tough. I had to face things like a step brother who overdosed on drugs, and many other hard issues.” Heiges says his father was disconnected from the family – not available on many levels.
Heiges says he also learned from his father a lot about how he didn’t want to be and applied it to his life. As a youth and by God’s intervention he attended Christian events, and it wasn’t until he was in his final year in the seminary that his father and stepmother joined the church.
“Through this series, I looked at what my father was like, and looked back further to see what his childhood was like, and saw how that shaped my father and how he related to his children.”
This series will help men come to grips with the reason they are the way they are.
“For me now, it’s all about the legacy you leave. Being involved in your children’s lives is the biggest gift you can give them,” said Heiges.
The Men’s Fraternity has been formed and is designed to help men come together and strengthen each other through weekly sessions that combine biblical teaching and small group interaction.
The ‘Quest for Authentic Manhood’ is a 24-session study that focuses on the primary issues that shape a man’s life; explores in depth the biblical concept of manhood; and finally provides practical building blocks for any man to use to construct for himself a nobler, more satisfying manhood.
The ‘Quest’ consists of two 12-week sessions, with each session covering a different topic. Each session lasts 90 minutes, which includes a lecture and small group discussions. The first 12-week session begins Sept. 13 and is held at the New London High School. The school is located at 1700 Klatt Road, on the south side of town.
You can choose to meet from 6 – 7:30 a.m., or from 6:30 – 8 p.m. each Tuesday. The group takes a break in December, then resumes in January, finishing up in March. Lessons missed can be easily made up with a DVD recording.
This is a low key, in-depth look at where men are going in their lives. It doesn’t matter what denomination you are or whether you attend a church regularly. Men that want to contribute more towards their relationships with their families, co-workers, friends and community can attend – men wishing to become better examples of an authentic man as modeled by Jesus Christ.
For more information about “The Quest for Authentic Manhood”, go to www/nlmen.org or call 888-217-2650.
Heiges likens the ongoing role of a man to a relay race – working hard to get up to speed, passing the baton of faith to your children, then changing roles and being the cheering section as children run their leg of the race.