Get Started with Men’s Groups
By Carl Multie
With the typical man more likely to spend Sunday’s watching football, playing golf or, on the rare occasion, complete unfinished chores around the house than to attend church, how do you establish an effective men’s group in your church? It begins with a clear vision, commitment and mission to disciple men in becoming devoted followers of Christ and leaders in their family, church and community. How you accomplish this task is entirely up to you.
How do I know what will work for our men?
Let’s start with the basics:
WHAT’S YOUR VISION for the group?
We view men’s groups as an opportunity to reach men in a relevant manner with the gospel message, to disciple to spiritual maturity and to release these men in their part of ministry.
But what’s the strategy? What’s the game plan? Use the idea of affinity groups -a group that shares similar interests. For example, HonorBound Red Zone is an outreach strategy for guys to get together for football, fellowship and an opportunity to discuss strategies on winning at life. (See events page). Some may decide to use outdoorsmen events (fishing, hunting), NASCAR, golf, or maybe create a church resource of men to assist widows or single moms with car troubles, house repairs, etc.
The idea is you’re creating a ‘safe’ environment for men (more on this below) to interact with other men, to build upon their relationship with Christ and to strengthen the bonds of male leadership within the church.
Having a specific vision and purpose for the group will help you succeed in reaching, teaching and releasing men to their full potential in Christ.
WHAT’S YOUR COMMITMENT to the group?
Establishing a men’s group with vision and purpose is a great start. The next step is to match that vision with a commitment to see it through. Great intentions don’t always succeed. Set the course and lead the way with a determined commitment to win.
WHO WILL SERVE ON THE LEADERSHIP TEAM?
Select, build and equip a leadership team to help fulfill the vision and commitment to the men in your church. The leadership team will assist in developing, training, planning and executing the game plan for the men’s group. Select key men in your church that are on your team and willing to serve other men in the church. Build this team through ongoing training, encouragement and pastoral leadership. Third, equip the team with relevant and effective resources and tools that will help you reach your goals for the group.
THINK PROCESS, not program.
Programs come and go, methods change and resources cycle through. Discipleship is a journey, a process that comes through relationships, not just through a class or workbook. The resources and materials used will take root if there’s an on-going relationship that is building and encouraging one another’s faith in Christ. Use strategic opportunities such as group activities, ministry events, men’s conferences and/or through your affinity groups to model and train men in the characteristics of being a Godly man.
Eddie Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, shares six steps to developing godly character into the men of the church:
1. Let men meet in male-only settings.
Developing strong, godly men is best accomplished in settings where men can be honest, open and transparent with themselves and one another.
2. Make a man think.
Men are thinkers. They ponder and meditate. While woman use emotions and intellect simultaneously, men tend to use only one at a time.
3. Affirm men in their manhood.
Men need to be affirmed. One of the most devastating attacks on the body of Christ today is the lack of affirmation of manhood. A father affirms the masculinity in his sons and the femininity of his daughters. What is often missing in the family is the have the man look his son in the eyes and tell him, “I love you and respect you. You are a man.”
4. Consistently challenge men.
Once men are adequately affirmed, they must be consistently challenged. Men must be challenged to change their way of life in light of Scripture. Men are by nature competitive. They are looking for the next mountain to climb and conquer.
5. Do not expect too much too soon.
Men do not come to church in a totally sanctified state. Men must be taken through a process of maturing in Christ one step at a time. If we raise the bar too high, men will become discouraged and disillusioned. If we place the bar too low, we will encourage them to live in mediocrity and beneath the standard God has set for them.
6. Honestly present a strong, male image.
The challenge to church leadership is to present themselves as strong, spiritual male images both inside and outside the church. The leaders of the church must be about the Master’s business. When men see godly male leadership lived out before them day after day, it acts like a magnet. We must be careful to present to our men an accurate image of Christ in everything we say and do.
From: www.ministrytoday.com web site
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