If you have followed me for any time, you will know I often talk about targeting men in the local church. Well, recently, I was invited to attend a one-night men’s conference, and I want to give a shout-out to Temple Baptist Church in New Bern, NC, for being about targeting their men.
From the time I walked in the door to the time I left, Temple was targeting me as a man. Everywhere I looked, I saw indications they believe men are important in the church’s life.
When I walked into the lobby or vestibule, as known in some churches, I saw two large TVs with slides on the walls on each side of the doors leading into the Worship Center. One had information about a men’s retreat the church was encouraging men to attend in a month.
The other TV had a large title on the screen that said: “Men Getting Connected.” It listed studies men could participate in, such as a Deep Bible Study Group, Mixed Issues including Pornography, and Chemical Dependency. They also listed activities men could be involved with, such as a Men’s Work Day and Sports ministry. Then the screen listed several coed classes men could lead their families to attend.
Another TV on the other side of the lobby had information on another conference men could participate in case they couldn’t participate in the one mentioned earlier.
They didn’t stop there. When I walked into the restrooms, they had signs displayed predominately at any place a man may stand, providing information encouraging men to participate in activities.
I often ask leaders when men visit your church how would they answer this question about men, “Here men are (Blank).” When I left Temple Baptist Church that evening, it was no doubt in my mind I would answer that question with “Here, men are important.”
I asked the Men’s Ministry Leadership Team Leader Jerry Ramsey why it was essential to target and engage the men. He stated, “God expects us as men, whom He has ordained, to step forward and lead. I want to help men realize their rightful place in their family, the church, and the community through the example in Jesus Christ and God’s Word.”
Leaders, if you truly want to target and engage your men, you not only need to have discipling opportunities for the men to partake but everywhere they turn they need to see something about men displayed. They need to hear the pastors talking about men and they need to be reading about men.
You can have many men participating invisibly in various ministries of the church, but if men do not visibly see the church speaking to men, they will walk out the door after visiting, saying, “Here, men are not important or just a nuisance.”
Another observation I had while visiting Temple Baptist Church was when I sat at a table with five men from the church. I asked them two questions. What drew them to the church, and what has kept them here? To a man, their answer to both questions was the men’s ministry and small groups.
When they walked into the church, they saw the church was about connecting with men.
I want to encourage you to evaluate how your church connects with the men who attend the church? Is it visible? Or do the men have to decide to attend regularly before discovering how the church connects with men?
My prayer is that from the moment they walk in the door, men feel valued and important to the church’s ministry.
I pray you will join me in the challenge and adventure to disciple every man.