- February 24, 2017
- Christian Living
What does it mean to be a man? Aside from the obvious physical characteristics, there are a lot of different methods and philosophies on how a man should conduct himself and what kind of person he should be. Some say a man should be tough, hard-working. Others might focus more on a man’s principles. When we look at the Bible, there is no shortage of advice on this topic. How can our churches use a men's ministry to help guys reach their full potential?
Different Focus for Different People
Outside of a corporate worship time, we see that there are several ministries within a given church that are devoted to effectively reaching people from a similar background. Depending on the size of the church, these may be more basic ideas like a youth ministry and/or a college program. If your church is blessed with the resources, you may be able to have things like a women’s ministry, a fine arts program, outreaches for single mothers, and so forth.
The reason why it’s important to have these specialized classes and events is because the human experience is unique to every single person. All of us are facing different problems, enjoy different things, and learn best with different methods. Ministries that are tailored to a certain group’s needs go a long way in both getting people through the church doors and making the most of the time they spend at church.
If your church is hoping to reach millennials, your approach is probably going to look different than if you were going after the previous generation. No one is saying that there’s a problem with the church’s beliefs or its staff. You can preach the gospel with conviction every Sunday and still see dwindling numbers or periods of diminished growth. It’s not about the Bible being insufficient, but maximizing the effectiveness of the church as a whole.
Why Focus on a Men's Ministry?
From what family research has been done on the subject, we know that homes without fathers are at a much higher risk for poverty, teen pregnancy, crime, etc. Having a father who is loving and takes an interest in you might as well be winning the lottery for some families. He completes the home and sets his children up for better opportunities. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a mother’s role isn’t important.
Not every man is a father, but men of all shapes and sizes are called upon to be leaders in some form or another. In 2016, it was found that 96% of Fortune 500 companies have a male CEO. Outside of the business world, men hold leadership positions in politics, churches, sports organizations, and more in an overwhelming majority. Men are supposed to be protectors and providers. If they aren’t growing in their Christian walk, what does that mean for their families and circles of influence?
Men are important. Not just because they make up roughly half of the population, but because they are being found less and less likely to attend church. In case you were unaware, most men don’t like going to church. Whether you are looking at the young adults or the senior citizens at your church, there’s a good chance that the women heavily outnumber the men. Why is it that men don’t like going to church?
There are a few different theories on why men don’t view church as a priority, some more cynical than others. It’s important to keep in mind that we aren’t simply talking about men as a whole, but Christian men. So why wouldn’t guys who already claim to follow Christianity want to spend time at church?
The truth is that church as we know it has a bit of a feminine lean. Singing, a nurturing community, potlucks, and childcare are not huge selling points for men. Some Christian men find church boring while others get frustrated by the lack of community with other guys. This is why a men's ministry can be so helpful.
If you think a dramatic overhaul in how your church caters to men is a bridge too far, then simply starting with a men's ministry events might be a safer course.
Popular Men's Ministry Activities
Churches have a variety of ways to go about setting up events for men. Some are more religiously focused, like a men’s conference or a prayer breakfast. Others focus on more of a “manliness” aspect with hunting or fishing events. No matter which way a church goes, these events are intended to be an invitation from the church to the men of the area.
What’s funny about these events is that you will often see men become more active in worship, more talkative with neighbors, and more eager to listen than they would be in a normal worship service with both sexes. Whatever the cause of that may be, men's ministry events are often a good way to open the door for men who don’t prioritize church. The next step is figuring out how to keep them coming back.
What Makes a Good Men's Ministry?
When it comes to creating or maintaining a men's ministry, there are a few hurdles you’ll have to hop over. Men don’t often crave community as much as their female counterparts so it might take a little while for the uninitiated to warm up to the idea. One of the most important things you can do to keep a men's ministry thriving is to deliver on the idea of authenticity. This can be achieved through a variety of measures, but a lot of it comes down to three areas.
Far from being just a group where men sheepishly confess sin to one another, accountability is a bonding agent that can quickly forge friendships that can last. If a man knows that he can be fully honest with another man, it goes a long way in easing the burdens of life. Accountability can come in the form of groups, natural friendships, or anything in between.
Sometimes accountability just means that you know your buddy is also going to the event, so you might as well go too. When you have a room full of relationships like this, it relieves the pressure of entering a new situation and encourages men to come back.
In recent years, discipleship has become a buzzword in the Christian community. Pastors like David Platt and Robby Gallaty have been quite vocal about just how revolutionary this idea can be. In years past, it seemed like the church body was okay with leaving the spiritual leading and training to a small staff of pastors and deacons. While some staffs are more equipped than others, this often leads to overworked pastors and a congregation that is severely handicapped in their potential to grow in Christlikeness.
Discipleship is meant to be a path for Christians to mentor other Christians who, in turn, mentor other believers. Through this system, the members of a church can grow intimately in their faith more quickly than just by leaning on their pastor’s teaching. This goes back to the authenticity that is needed in men’s ministries. When we build stronger relationships and stop treating church like we’re simply consumers, there’s a better chance for men to be invested in what the church is doing.
Like most things in life, men’s ministries need good leadership. This starts with the pastor and other church administration. A men's ministry isn’t really worth pursuing if the church is going to half-heartedly do it. Having good leadership is a sign of strength that most men will rally behind and appreciate.
These leaders also need to adopt an attitude of authenticity. A lot of guys have a poor opinion of the church because there was a leader in their past who took advantage of their position, didn’t live the way they preached, or wasn’t approachable. Whether your men's ministry is headed up by a layperson or the pastor of your church, leadership qualities are essential.
Many things go into making an effective men’s ministry, but there can be no denying that they are important. Find a method for your church that successfully brings men closer to an intimate relationship with God.
Leadership isn’t only an important aspect for men’s ministries as it can also be applied to the world of sports, music, and more. At the K-LOVE Fan Awards, we strive to celebrate the entertainers who are making the biggest impact in the Christian community. Honoring the biggest names in Christian entertainment, the K-LOVE Fan Awards is the ultimate fan experience. Find out more about this amazing weekend by clicking on the link below.