Are You Targeting Your Men?

For a man to get it, he must be ministered to. And not by just sitting in the pews on Sunday morning listening to the pastor speak. Or in a Sunday school class listening. But being around other men who has his back.

I recently had a colleague tell me that a friend of his stated that Men’s Ministry does not minister to the needs of the people. My first response to that was… WOW! that is someone who doesn’t understand what men’s ministry or ministering to men is all about. I would have to say I don’t think I have heard anyone say that before.

I have heard a church leader say, “I don’t think we need to have a formal men’s ministry.” And to that individual, I did say then you do not understand what ministering to men is all about.

The sad thing is that even though many in the church may not say either of these statements out loud, there are probably some who agree. Though there are churches that have a vibrant and effective men’s ministry, less than 5% of the churches in the United States have an active men’s ministry of any sort – effective or not. So by virtue of their actions, the churches are agreeing with these statements.

A friend in ministry, Jim Ramos, often says, “When men get it – everyone wins.” And that is so true. When a man understands what it means to be a man of God. When a man understands what it means to be a husband who loves his wife, cares for her, shows her honor, tries to live with her in an understanding way. When he recognizes that he is to be an example to his children to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Then that man will be a man worth emulating. He will be a man that will be – not only beneficial to his family – but also to the church and community.

But for a man to get it, he must be ministered to. And not by just sitting in the pews on Sunday morning listening to the pastor speak. Or in a Sunday school class listening. But being around other men who has his back. He sees and hears from men letting him know that he is not the only one struggling in life. A church should intentionally target its men.

In 2017 the article Eight Strategic Decisions was published on the Crosswalk website. It quoted the pastor of the Mecklenburg Community Church. The pastor stated, “At Meck, we unashamedly target men in our outreach, in our messages, in our… well almost everything. We have become convinced through years of experience that if you get the man, you get everyone else within his orbit – specifically, his wife and his children.”

So, what does it mean to target men? It means you think about the male sensibilities in terms of music and message, vocabulary, and style.

What churches may see as just breakfast fellowships, outings, conferences, workdays where men get together to enjoy each other’s company, should be used to help men take the next right step. A step into an adventure and challenge of developing relationships with men who can encourage them in their spiritual walk.

Men need to have those one-on-one relationships. They need a Barnabas in their life. They need that man who can help them through tough times and rejoice with them in the good times. They need an Ecclesiastes 4 man in their life. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But pity him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

So, my question to you is, does your church think men’s ministry doesn’t reach the needs of the people? Does your church believe it doesn’t need a formalized men’s ministry plan to reach every man in the church?

Remember the statement from Jim Ramos I made earlier, “When the men get it – everyone wins”? Well, unless you have a strategic plan to pour into the men of the church, the men are not going to get it, and everyone will not win.

So, I encourage you to step back and evaluate your church’s ministry to men. Are you intentionally targeting your men? Are you providing studies and materials for men to grow into the men of God they should be? To be those husbands that love their wives as Christ loves the church. To bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord.

And the exciting side-effect of targeting your men to be the men of God created them to be – as the renewing transforms their heart and minds, they will seek and desire to move out and meet the physical needs of the people.

I pray you will join me in the challenge and adventure to disciple every man.

God bless.


What Are You Conformed To?

This week I have been reading in Ezekiel 11.  It is a continuation of the episode titled, “Are You Hard-Headed for the Gospel?” but with a different perspective.

In chapter 11, we see that God is speaking to Ezekiel about the people of Israel and shares some observations and warnings. In v12, God reminds the Israelites they have not followed Him by keeping His laws and have conformed to the standards of the nations around them.

How many of us – men – have allowed ourselves to be conformed to this world in many areas of our lives. We have not followed God’s instructions and trained ourselves in righteousness, allowing the Holy Spirit to conform us into the image of God.

Our spiritual growth is referred to as the process of sanctification. This includes two aspects, 1) becoming less like what we were before we came to Christ and 2) becoming more like Jesus.

The Bible says in Romans 12:2,

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

If you are not changing but continue to conform to this world, you need to evaluate yourself to discover where you stand in your relationship with God. The Bible says in Lamentations 3:40 that we need to examine ourselves and return to the Lord.

We should strive to be more like Jesus every day, follow His instructions, and apply His teachings to our lives. The Bible says in John 14:15 that Jesus said,

If you love me, you will obey my commandments.

God told Ezekiel that after scattering the Israelites because of their rebellious and obstinate ways, He will gather them back. And when they return, they will remove all the vile images and detestable idols. Do you have any detestable idols in your life? And recognize that an idol does not have to be a stature, it could be your job or any processions you may have.

God said He would give them an undivided heart or a heart of unity. He will put a new spirit in them or a sensible spirit. And He would remove the heart of stone and give them a tender and reponsive heart.

Then they will follow God’s decrees and be careful to keep His laws.

The Bible says in Ezekiel 11 20 that God said,

They will be my people, and I will be their God.

Men!  Are you still being conformed by this world, or are you being transformed by the renewing of your mind?

Are you putting away vile and detestable acts, or are you holding on to them, resulting in a stunted spiritual growth or possibly no growth at all?

The bible says in Ezekiel 11:21 that if we continue to hold on to these things, it will bring about destruction on our lives.

Will you hold to the promise of God in Ezekiel 3:19, giving you an undivided heart, putting a new spirit within you, and softening your heart so that you can follow His decrees and be careful to keep His commandments?

The Bible says in Joshua 1:8,

Do not let this Book of the Law (the Bible for us) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.

I pray, men, this is your desire. The only way we can follow God’s instructions and to train ourselves in righteousness is to be in the Word of God.

Well, I pray that you will join me in the challenge and adventure to disciple every man.

Are You Hard-Headed for the Gospel?

This week I have been reading in Ezekiel 3. There is a word here for men as they continue their walk with the Lord and want to live the life that God desires for them.

God had called Ezekiel to be a watchman for the nation of Israel while in exile and had given him a word to preach. God told Ezekiel in verses 8-9,

8But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house.” (NIV)

First, we need to understand who they are, who apparently has a hard head. God is talking about the nation of Israel and their rebellious attitude. The Hebrew word used here for “hard” means “strong, usually in a bad sense, hard, bold, violent.” The people in exile were being stubborn in their behavior.  God was sending Ezekiel to the Israelites to warn them of their behavior, both those who were being wicked and those who were righteous.

God told Ezekiel He would make him as unyielding and hardened as they are in his mission to warn them of their behavior. In other words, God was making Ezekiel as hard-headed as those he would be speaking.

Men, what I take from this is that we, too, need to be unyielding and hardened toward the gospel message. We need to be like Ezekiel in our mission to warn this world of their behavior and how it has separated them from knowing God.

It first begins with our family. As Dad’s, it is our God-given responsibility to train our children. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:4,

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (NIV)

The word exasperate is also translated as “provoke,” which means to anger or enrage” your children.

The Bible also teaches us that the words we speak to our children will determine their destiny. Proverbs 18:21 says,

“The tongue has the power of life and death.” (NIV)

So are you going to speak life in your child’s life, or are you going to speak condemnation? I cannot imagine any Dad as a Believer who would want to speak anything but life, training them and instructing them in the Lord.

Then we need to be prepared to speak to those we meet in our daily endeavors. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15,

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (NIV)

I pray you are hard-headed for the gospel, and you will not allow anything to deter you from speaking the truth of the gospel. Starting with your family, then into the world.

Ezekiel was assigned the responsibility to warn the people of Israel while they were in exile. We are given the responsibility to tell those we meet daily about God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ.

God told Ezekiel that their blood would be on his hands if he did not warn the Israelites about their behavior.  If he did, he was not responsible for their demise if they chose not to turn back to God.

All of us will eventually answer to God for what we say and do. That means we must take responsibility for our actions rather than blame others or make excuses.

So, men stand for the truth of the Word of God and be hard-headed – but in a gentle and respectful way.

Remember men, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 16:13,

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (ESV)

To the challenge and adventure to disciple every man – Mike

%d bloggers like this: