Three Common Mistakes Churches Make: #2 – Lack of Multiple Entry Points

I have learned the importance of having numerous “on ramps” for enlisting men in the Battle For Men’s Souls (B4MS). Too many leaders only provide entry points on the “deep end” of the discipleship continum such as; In-Depth Bible Studies, Leadership Training Modules, or High Commitment Venues. This is only going to reach a small number of men.

The best image I can give you to reach the men of your church and community is a casting net. In ministering to men you need to cast a wide net of numerous entry points to bring the men in and help them grow to the point you can take them into those deep bible studies. Men who are on the fringes or has no interest in church will generally not attend any of the “deep end” studies.

We need to create activities that accentuates the Ministry of “Hanging Out.” We want to reach those who are on the fringes who remain disinterested of disconnected. We do this by providing a balance approach and offer entry points on the “wide end.”

In my expereince, I have seen God work uniquely in the lives of men through these various entry points . These “Entry Points” could be activities such as attending ballgames together, taking a hiking trip, attending racing events, or classic car shows. It could include a wilderness adventure – a retreat. One such event is a men’s outdoor weekend where the men have an opportunity to skeet shoot, throw hatchets, archery, etc. Maybe an all day fishing trip. And Yes, a monthly Saturday morning breakfast or evening meal during the week is an “on ramp” activity.

All of these can be included in your “Ministry of Hanging Out.” Most churches so often think within the box and only conduct events for men who are spiritually growing. I have heard leaders say but my men want those studies that dive into the Word. That’s great and I encourage you do those studies. But what about the man who is not there yet. You have to feed a young child milk first and help him graduate to the meat. Even the Apostle Paul recognized when people needed milk and not solid food (1 Co. 3:1-3).

I had a pastor once tell me that you need to take the men deep and then send them out wide. Though I will agree with him in concept, but he was forgetting on the front end that you have to get the men something (milk) that would bring them in to take them deep (solid food). So a church needs to cast the net wide, slowly bring the men in through various “on-ramps,” gradually take them deep, and then send them out.

To develop an active and effective ministry to men in your community a church needs to have something for men every month. Recognizing that not every man will participate in every event planned. Your leadership team should develop activities for men to hang out based on the interst of the men. Which leads us to the third mistake churches make when minitering to men and I will cover that in my next post.

So I will leave you with this question.

How balanced is your approach in reaching ALL Types of men?

To the challenge and adventure to disciple men. – Mike

Three Common Mistakes Churches Make: #1 – Lack of Intentionality

During a trip to the New England area several years ago, Jeff Kisiah, a frequent speaker at men’s events, observed a common scene from a ministry display table in a church foyer. He discovered this is the typical approach in the churches he had spoke at during a nationwide tour.

On the table were three baskets with brochures. As he looked at the three baskets he recognized that most churches tend to focus on three sub-groups in the church… Children, Youth, and Women. In the basket were brochures for the Children’s Minintry, the Youth Ministry, and the Women’s Ministry. But there was nothing for the Men’s Ministry.

While we definitely support discipleship efforts with children, youth, and women, and offer instruction about an “All-inclusive: ministry mindset. We are constantly having to raise the awareness level for reaching and discipling men.

When I review a church’s website, rarely do I find anything on the site regarding ministering to men. If I do, it is buried deep in the pages of the site and hard to find. Ministering to Men need to be VERY visable.

Let’s review some examples of situations where men are neglected. Remember the example of the church above that didn’t have a brochure for Men’s Ministry (probably because they didn’t really have one) is a clear example that men are not important to the church. Or the video I shared in my previous post about a church’s overall ministry and they did not discuss anything in regards to men. Churches that refuse to make annoucements from the platform on men’s activities because it only affects a small percentage of the church. Church leaders not talking about ministering to men and encouraging them to be a part of a growing movement of men in their church.

But then there are churches who take a different approach. Their men’s ministry leadership team is very visable on Sundays. They are meeting and greeting men as they arrive for church and personnally inviting them to a men’s activity. Signs and/or brochures are out for the men to pick up (maybe even for the wives to pickup and give to their husbands) about the ministry to men and upcoming activities. I know of church that has a TV dedicated to inform arriving men of future activities. A church’s website that has a banner button to discover what is happening in ministering to men on the front page right along with the children, youth, and hopefully the women. Church leaders are talking about upcoming events from the platform and inviting the men to join them on the quest.

The question we need to ask ourselves is, “How would men visiting our church finish this statement?” “Men are _______ here.” Would they say men are important here, are valued here, are needed here. Or would they say men are not important, they are a nuisance, they don’t care if I even attend.

I did not really begin to grow spirtually in my walk with God until another man ‘tapped me on the shoulder’ and invitied me to join him and some other men in a study to help me be the man God desires for all men to be. But this is another story for a future post.

So my final question to you is, How intentional is your church in reaching and discipling men?

The next post will discuss the #2 mistake churches make – Lack of Multiple Entry Points.

Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike

Three Common Mistakes Churches Make in Ministering to Men

Men are the most neglected people group in our churches today. To emphasize this, I recently saw a video a church made to highlight the ministries of the church. The video was professionally done and was in fact pleasant to watch. But then I notice the video was highlighting the various ministries of the church. The video talked about the children’s ministries, the youth ministries, the college ministries, small groups, mssion opportunities, and a few other areas the church was involed. But I noticed the video did not mentioned the Ministry to Men or Women. I surmised from the video this active church did not have a ministry to women or men. Therefore I reasoned that men are not valued or important to that church.

Did you know that less thant 10% of churches in the United States have an active and effective ministry to men. Most churches associate men’s ministry around a monthly breakfast or supper gathering. Spending some time in fellowship and eating. Nothing wrong with that and it would be encouraged. Or maybe the church has a monthly work day for the men to help someone in need. Nothing wrong with that. But ministrering to men is much more than getting together to fellowship, eat, and do a few work projects.

Leaders often conduct the same event each year that will only reach a certain group of men in their church and community. Why? Generally it is because it is what they enjoy doing. It is easy. We have done it before. And the biggest misconception, “I enjoy it – so all men must enjoy it.”

So how do we move toward having an active and effective Ministry to Men? Over the course of the next few posts I will share the Three Common Mistakes Churches Make when it comes to ministering to men.

Let me know what you think as I expand on these mistakes. Maybe give some insight of your own,

Together is the challenge and adventure to disciple men. – Mike

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