In my previous article, Supporting Ministry To Men, I discussed the four areas most churches lack to support Ministry to Men. One of those areas was a Lack of Finances and one of the reasons given for a lack of finances is that men do not have has many events. I stated at the time, “But that is a topic for another time.” Well, this is that time.
Creating multiple entry points for your men is necessary to reach every man in your church. If you are not thinking about how to reach every man in your church and operating as every man in your church is a part of the Ministry to Men, then your group is nothing more than a social gathering and not a ministry.
There are two areas you need to consider to reach the men; Events and Spiritual Growth. To adequately plan these areas you need to know your men and we will discuss knowing your men in the next article. But, in this article, we are going to unpack Events and Spiritual Growth.
Events: The number of events you schedule and plan for your men each year is a difficult question to answer. Because the size of your church and the number of men in your church will dictate the number of events to plan. A vibrate ministry to men will generally have at least four events each year – one per quarter – but, no less than two events each year.
Regardless of the number of men in your church, your men’s ministry leadership team should plan a different activity each quarter. Why? Because you want to create events that will, over some time, resonate with the interest of every man in the church.
This is why it is important to have a men’s ministry leadership team. The team should be made up of men who have diverse interests. This way one man does not plan all events. If your men’s ministry is led by a single leader then what generally happens is all the events will be built around his interest.
A leadership team with men of diverse interests will have more success in planning events that may appeal to more men over time. Examples of men’s events many churches have is a Wild Game Night, a Golf Scramble, a NASCAR or some other sport watch party, a trip to a ball game, or a father/son outing. By having a different type of event each quarter will show the team has a desire to connect with all the men in the church and not just a select few.
Each event though should have a spiritual element involved such as devotion, testimony, or speaker. Because you want to use these events to encourage men in their spiritual growth and become involved in spiritual growth groups.
Spiritual Growth: I once heard a pastor state he needs to take a few months to evaluate what is most effective to reach men: discipleship groups, Bible Study Groups, events, or Men’s Conferences. Let me say this, all of them are just effective as the other and should be incorporated to reach all the men of the church and community. Why? Because each one of these methods will reach the man where he is at in his spiritual walk.
Man in the Mirror in their book No Man Left Behind states there are five types of men in the church: a Lost Man, a Cultural Christian, a Biblical Christian, a Leader, and all across the other four are Hurting Men. Each one of those methods the pastor wanted to evaluate which would be more effective will reach each one of those men differently.
A man who is lost even if he does not realize he is spiritually lost will probably not attend a Discipleship Group. They might attend a Bible Study Group and they will probably attend a Men’s Event. Even men who do know the Lord may not be ready to participate in a Discipleship Group. Besides, successful Discipleship Groups generally are created by someone intentionally inviting a man to attend.
In Bible Study Groups, there is a camaraderie that develops between the men. They enjoy meeting together and listening to someone speak into their lives without having to be transparent or vulnerable. They may not even need to be accountable to anyone. But the time together provides encouragement to the men.
Men’s Events are opportunities to allow men to hear testimonies through either planned talks or through conversations about men being involved in Bible Study Groups, Discipleship Groups, and missional activities. God can use these discussions to capture a man’s heart to draw his interest to be involved in one of these groups. Eventually, the Holy Spirit will tug at his heart enough that either he will seek a group or when someone taps him on the shoulder to invite him to a group, he will accept.
A Men’s Conference is an event and will work much the same as Men’s Events. However, I classify men’s conferences as two different types: Pep Rally or Equipping. Nothing wrong with either one and each has a place in Ministering to Men. Attending a Pep Rally type conference a man will hear good speakers and music. The men are encouraged and are around like-minded men, but, it has been my experience that for most men, in a few days to a week after returning the excitement has vanished, and in two-three weeks it is back to normal life before the conference. Attending an equipping conference men are provided tools to take back home and apply to their daily life. They have an opportunity to choose sessions to attend that resonates with them to learn about, and to meet with the speakers in smaller groups. I have been to both types and have enjoyed both types. You just have to determine which one do you and your men need.
In closing, as a church develops a vibrate ministry to men, they need to understand there is a need to ensure events, activities, and spiritual gatherings are planned to reach every man in the church and community. It takes work and it takes a passionate leadership team to create Multiple Entry Points to connect with your men.
Be patient and let the Lord guide you. It takes time to build a vibrate men’s ministry.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – MIke