Remember when you taught someone how to perform a task, and you would tell them, “This is not rocket science?” Well, after working in men’s ministry, coordinating events for men, discipling men, facilitating men’s small groups, and meeting one of one with men, let me tell you – ministering to men IS ROCKET SCIENCE! I don’t say that to discourage you but to let you know that I know the frustration many of you may have as you seek to get your men involved in the ministries designed to bring men into a deeper walk with Christ.
I was talking to someone a while back who had started a small group a few weeks earlier, and I could tell in his voice there was a little frustration. This was the first time he had ever attempted to lead a group of men. I encouraged him to just be obedient to the calling God had placed on his life and let God do the work. Continue to pour his life into these men, praying for them and being there for them. Even if only one man shows up, that would be who God would want you to share life with at that moment. Paul said it best to the people of Thessalonica when he wrote in his second letter to the Thessalonians, “Being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (2 Thess. 2:8).
We often think we need to have a deep bible study when we get our men together, but sometimes we need just to do life and allow God to open the opportunities for us to share the gospel or a word of encouragement. I meet with a group of men once a month to have breakfast just to talk and let them share what is happening in their life, getting to know them, and opening myself up to them, not having any agenda. Another group I meet with once a week as we study through the disciplines of a godly man, all to develop relationships and impact the Gospel of Christ in each others’ lives by either just sharing life or speaking the Word directly into their lives.
When I first began to work in Men’s Ministry, I thought we had to have big events and get as many men to attend as possible. I reasoned that if we had these events and could get men to attend, men’s lives would begin to change. However, I quickly learned this is only a small piece of the puzzle. There is nothing wrong with big events, and they do have a place; but, these events should be used to connect with men. From these events, you should always be looking for ways to encourage men to take the next right step; to become involved in a discipling relationship.
Working with men is all about developing those relationships for the purpose to disciple. Even putting yourself out there to share some of your life’s successes and failures. Men need to see you as being just as fallible as they are. They need to know you have overcome situations in your life, and your hope is rooted in your relationship with Christ. When men see you as one of them, then they will begin to open up. It doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time.
Often we use Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” in our respective men’s ministries. There is truth here, but the only way this can be applied in our lives is to spend time with other men who have a passion for growing deeper in a relationship with God. We will permit other men to challenge us when they see us missing the mark, holding us accountable in our walk with Christ. This can only occur if we are intentional about developing discipling relationships.
Let me encourage you if you do not have such a man in your life; find one. You will be blessed to have that man who will challenge you, be a listening ear when you need to talk, and, more importantly, pray for you. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” To have someone in your life that will sharpen you, knock off those rough edges and smooth the edge so you can be ready to fight the battle that lies before us every day.
There is a battle for men’s souls happening all around us. And we need men who will stand shoulder to shoulder with us every day. Will you be a man who will stand shoulder to shoulder with another man in this battle? Will you pour your life into other men? Do you want to change families in your church? Do you want to change your church to be more of an impact on your community? Then start by sharing life with other men – the Gospel of Christ – developing intentional relationships that will sharpen each of us to be the man God desires for us all.
Together in the adventure and challenge to disciple men,