Getting Started With Men’s Ministries
By Jack Howard
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, Honor Bound Red Zone is an outreach strategy for guys to get together for football, fellowship and an opportunity to discuss strategies on winning at life. 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.
Deep in his heart, every man wants to be a part of a team that does something great. Just look at the movies men adore. A team comes together to save the world, steal the money, or win the championship. The Lord of the Rings, X-Men, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Oceans Eleven, Remember the Titans, feature a band of brothers who attempt the dangerous, the outrageous, the impossible. Each member of the team has a specialty and makes a vital contribution. A band of brothers. Though he may not realize it, every man longs to be a part of one (Why Men Hate Church, D. Murrow).
Men’s groups are not about having a club or a guild (people with common interests or goals); it’s about integrating men into church. It’s about camaraderie, affirmation, personal development and spiritual growth.
According to churchformen.com
A significant number of churchgoing men attend out of habit, unaffected by what they hear. Quite a few men go to church simply to keep their wives/mothers/girlfriends happy.
The majority of men who attend church do nothing during the week to grow their faith. Relatively few churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry. Men are different. The common perception is men are self-reliant, don’t feel, don’t touch, don’t need fellowship, are too macho and are very competitive. Men see life as a puzzle. So how do we integrate men in and outside the church community?
The Reach, Teach and Release strategy on the following pages is a resource center for you to build a custom designed group for the men of your church. It is a ‘some assembly required’ approach to Men’s Ministries. Every group will be different. But every group can be effective.
From: www.churchformen.com July 2009
This article may not be not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat meat. Throw away the bones.”