THE DYNAMICS OF MEN’S MINISTRY TODAY

Almost unimaginable numbers of men are attending Promise Keepers stadium rallies. Why is that? What are these men looking for? What motivates them to go?

Promise Keepers has created a new Christian culture among men. Promise Keepers responds in a culturally relevant way to men who know there must be more to their Christian faith. PK meets men where they feel comfortable– in football stadiums. I’ve met men who didn’t know what to expect, but never a man who wasn’t deeply touched by attending. Many men are supernaturally transformed by attending a single stadium event. It is truly a unique work of the Holy Spirit.

The difficulty with all mountain-top experiences, of course, is that you must return to the valley. Many men go to large-scale momentum events, get fired up, come back excited, try to start a men’s ministry, and find men respond –for awhile. But then other pressures set in, there are bills to pay, they get distracted, they can’t generate big numbers, the flame burns down, and they become less and less interested in the work of building the kingdom. So the leader becomes discouraged, gives up, and waits for the next mountain-top.

What are the components of a strong men’s ministry? Why do some men’s ministries lose steam? Why does the initial excitement fade away? Is it inevitable? How can we keep the passion? How can we build other men in their faith? Those are some of the questions we will address in this equipping newsletter.

THE KEY PRINCIPLES OF A STRONG DISCIPLE-MAKING MINISTRY

1. Five Groups To Reach. In every church there are five groups of men:

The mass of unsaved men
The mass of cultural Christians
Men who are or want to be disciples
Men who are or want to be leaders
Men who are hurting — men with “broken wings”
For a men’s ministry to be successful it must address the needs of each of these five groups. In other words, you must offer something for every man. The goal should always be to point men to opportunities to rise to the next level of growth.

2. Long Term, Low Pressure. It takes a long time to make a disciple. We must give men permission to stand around the rim of what we are doing and observe. Men come along at different speeds. Give them permission to buy in at their own pace, and allow them to come on board at their own level of involvement.

3. Show Men Christ Versus Fix Their Behavior. Once a man at our outreach Bible study received Christ, but he was slow to let Christ influence some aspects of his behavior. One morning at a leader’s meeting, one of our leaders suggested we get a group of men to take this fellow to lunch and confront him on his behavior. After some discussion, we agreed that we should show him Christ rather than just focusing on his behavior. The Holy Spirit must change men’s lives, but we can point them to Christ.

4. Relationship Based Versus Task Oriented. The foundation of successful men’s ministry is building relationships. Without real and deep relationships, men will feel no sense of community with one another. If we only call men together to “do” there will be no glue to hold them together when the planned event is over. Events attract men, relationships make them stick.

5. Five Goals For Every Man. Over the years we have discovered five things a man can do to keep his life on track. These five disciplines in no way earn salvation, but they are wise. The man who wants to know God will put himself in the way of falling more deeply in love with Jesus.

A consistent quiet time
An organized Bible study
An accountability group
Active church involvement
A personal ministry
(We develop these five ideas more fully in the A Look in the Mirror entitled “The Five Defining Disciplines of Growing Men” which you can request by contacting our office).

When men do the first four of these disciplines they will find themselves filling up to the overflow in their own personal relationship with Jesus. Then, out of the overflow of gratitude for all that God is doing in their lives, they will virtually burst to do something in service to express that appreciation. Give these men opportunities to serve on the leadership team, as discipleship group leaders, and as planners and executors of momentum events.

If you want the men of your church to get fired up, then point them to these disciplines.

6. Five Responsibilities Of Every Man. Every man must be taught that he must take personal responsibility for his own private life in five areas:

His walk with God
His relationship with his wife
His relationship with his children
His personal finances
His health
Your men’s ministry should focus on encouraging men to take responsibility for their own private lives. No one else can or will do these for a man.

7. Senior Pastor’s Support. Perhaps this is the #1 ingredient. Without the support of the senior pastor — not only in word, but involvement — your church’s men’s ministry will never develop. When you ask for his support, don’t scare him to death. Remember, he’s been trying to get his men out of the pews and into action for decades. Now, suddenly you come on strong like you’re the one who finally thought of it. Actually, your interest is the fruit of his ministry. The reaping now taking place among men is the result of years and years of our pastors and men’s ministry specialists faithfully sowing the seed into men’s lives.

WHY MEN’S MINISTRIES LOSE STEAM

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