Report: Committing to Faithful Men

February 14, 2024
Ray Jones

Committing To Faithful Men (CTFM) conferences are the gathering together of young men from various assemblies for the express purpose of helping them to serve the Lord more effectively within and from their local assemblies. This event also includes time for fellowship with like-minded older and younger men who are serious about the Christian life and ministry to others.

The Biblical Example

The Gospel of Mark tells us that the Lord “ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14). He knew that it was essential to spend time with them for their growth. For three years, the “twelve” were with Him: morning, noon, and night. They walked, talked, and ate together.
In His first epistle, John says: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.” (1 John 1:1-2).

Paul, who was an avid shepherd, urged Timothy: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  (2 Tim. 2:1-2).

The Burden

In earlier years before CTFM, the burden to help younger men learn to serve had been experienced by various brethren and attempted in several venues under different names. That great servant of the Lord, John Martin, ran a series in Tavistock, ON, for a while. For a few years, Willy Burnett, another faithful brother, also ran a series in Burlington, ON.

Though these series were no longer running, for many years several men who would later become the initial leaders of CTFM had been involved in their own assemblies, shepherding, and seeking to help young men serve the Lord. Much of my time when I served at NTM of Canada had been spent training missionary candidates, for many years teaching New Testament Church Principles.

Various men now expressed a desire to help younger men serve in their local assemblies. There were many younger men who had a strong desire to learn biblical principles to become more effective servants and leaders in the respective assemblies. At the same time, Jamie Heffer from the Wingham, ON, assembly keenly advocated doing something to help the young men develop in the local assemblies.

In approximately 2017-2018, the Lord brought Brian Gunning and me together, and CTFM was born. Over time, the Lord exercised the hearts of a few more brethren who shared the same burden. There certainly was, and is, a genuine concern amongst the Lord’s people for some way of urging, equipping, and encouraging young men to become actively used by the Lord within and from their local assemblies. These men now form the organizing committee, which is comprised of both younger and older men. The men, some of whom are elders, are from and actively involved in assemblies in southern Ontario. As the Lord continued to lead, about five years ago we gathered at Guelph Bible Conference Centre in Guelph, ON, Canada, for the first CTFM conference.

The Purpose of CTFM

The purpose of CTFM is to follow the mandate of 2 Timothy 2:2 in both doctrinal content and practical areas of service, equipping men to serve in and from the local church. The Amplified Version elaborates: “The things [the doctrine, the precepts, the admonitions, the sum of my ministry] which you have heard me teach in the presence of many witnesses, entrust [as a treasure] to reliable and faithful men who will also be capable and qualified to teach others.”

The Sessions

Each conference begins on Friday evening and continues until noon on Saturday, ending with lunch. The Friday evenings begin around 7:00 p.m. with registration and an evening session that ends around 9:00 p.m. Saturday begins with a prayer meeting at 8:00 a.m., a breakfast buffet at 8:30, and sessions throughout the morning. Each conference has ample time for the obligatory, delicious meals for the men to benefit from spending time together.

The Topics

Some of the topics covered up to this point are: Calvinism; How to Study and Prepare a Message for Preaching from Study to Sermon; Characteristics of Good Preaching; Preaching from the Parables; Rules of Bible Study; How to Lead Singing; How to Start Hymns at the Remembrance Meeting; How to Prepare and Participate in the Remembrance Meeting; How to Read a Spiritual Book; Excerpts from Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles Stanford; Participating in Evangelism; Music and the Local Church; The Non-Public Serving Gifts.

The Location

The sessions are held twice yearly at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre (GBCC) in Guelph, ON, Canada. It makes an excellent and central venue for the many participants to meet from various locations in Ontario. After CTFM met for several conferences, the GBCC board decided to make CTFM an official function.

The Teachers

The teachers are capable men, taken from local assemblies, who willingly invest their time and efforts to equip the next generation of faithful men for service within and from their local assemblies. Presenters include a variety of experienced teachers, preachers, and elders.

The Cost

It is the desire of the CTFM committee that the cost never becomes a hindrance to anyone attending. Therefore, no fellowship gifts are given to the teachers and the only costs incurred are food and lodging. CTFM willingly accepts any gifts towards sponsoring participants to keep costs down and ensure that all who want to come can attend.

Next Conference

There is a real need for this kind of opportunity to be available over a wide area. Please pray that the Lord will use these efforts to raise up mature, active workers for His glory. The next CTFM conferences will be held on March 22-23, 2024, and October 25-26, 2024. For more information, visit or contact Ray Jones at [email protected] or 1-519-716-1405.