Ideas For Men’s Ministry
By Rollo Felt
The following ideas can be used for creating an environment for men to grow together in life’s adventures. It’s about building a community with guys; affirming their masculinity, building bridges with the non-church going man, and to discuss, encourage and disciple one another in spiritual growth.
With any activity, small group or event, have a clear purpose. Men are drawn to clarity and conciseness. If they are going to give up their weekend, weeknight or free time, they want to know why. Be sure to state purpose and goals, what’s in it for him.
Church Sports Nights: Get your men together for Softball, Soccer, Racquetball, Fast-pitch, Dodge-ball, Flag Football, etc.
Outdoor events: Target tournaments, hunting, fishing, etc.
Cooking Classes: Training men how to properly cook steak, chicken, ribs, etc. with the best of them. The best part is, you get to enjoy the feast after its all cooked.
Fantasy Football can be a great stepping stone to building relationships with men at church. Get together to draft teams, watch games, begin the rivalries and have fun. Some may choose to include a small entry fee that covers league fees, hosting season parties in host homes, and/or for Championship prizes.
Check out Honor Bound Red Zone to fit in a Small Group session into the league format.
Set aside regular events for guys to hit the links — one Saturday a month, a weekday morning or maybe a quick nine-holes after Sunday morning service. Construct a tournament, rotate the type of play (scramble, best ball, match play, etc.) or play just for fun.
Get together for refreshments and conversation after the round. Discussions don’t have to be organized or planned to a “T”, but utilize the opportunity for discipleship and spiritual encouragement. Much like life, you have to play golf one fairway at a time. Triple bogey on the previous hole, look ahead and birdie the next.
Race Car Fans
Because a season will cover roughly nine months out of the calendar year, it will be a challenge to plan and incorporate regular events over a long period of time. So plan around races or events, highlighting certain races throughout the year, using a variety of activities:
* Lunch at a sports-themed restaurant equipped with TVs/Projection screens
* Create Go-Kart or Mini-Grand Prix races/tournaments
Form an organized or informal (or partner with) a church basketball league. This could be developed for your congregations, family and friends, or developed as a city-wide event.
* 3-on-3 pick-up games
* 3-on-3 organized teams/schedule
* 5-on-5 organized teams/schedule
* Full-season / Tournament
Hold a post-game “news conference” with a 5-minute devotional — share a “thought-of-the-day”, scripture, “USA Today” version reflection, and a prayer. *Remember, you just finished a full out war on the court — no long-winded sermons at this time please.
Whether guys have “game” or not, most love to watch football. Check out HonorBound Red Zone strategy for the football fanatic.
Thanks to shows like “Wanna Go Fishing,” “Offshore Adventures,” “Madfin Shark Tournament,” and all the others that can be found on your local sports network, fishing events have become huge across the country. From the number of fish caught to the combined total pounds to the size of the fish, there are plenty of games and tournaments to get “hooked” on.
Developing a few of these tournaments for the outdoor guys may be the hook, line and sinker you need in integrating these guys into the church community.
Video Game Tournaments
Over the years, video games have become an integral part of our culture.
From the 1952 creation of Noughts and Crosses to todays XBOX 360, PS3 and Wii, video games have been a source of entertainment for many young fans (and even some of the “older” fans as well!). Maybe you will remember classics such as Odyssey, Atari, Nintendo and Sega Dreamcast.
Popularity of the gaming industry has grown to a huge market. So how can we use this as a tool to building camaraderie and community with the guys?
Just like any of the outdoor sporting events, creating a league or special “tournament” events may be the plug-in to a variety of discussions dealing with life issues and how we can overcome these obstacles to win at life.
Ideally, utilize a location (individuals home per say) that has adequate space (and maybe even a rather large TV!) and let the games begin!
The Business-Man Breakfast
Host a breakfast before the start of the workday. Saturday mornings may be the only day guys get to sleep in, thus deciding to snooze on the biscuit and gravy. So pick a weekday that works for the group.
This could be done in one convenient location or divided in “regions” (pending the size of city and location of work places). Nothing formal or fully planned discussions needed. Conversation will develop on its own.
Be sure to meet with a consistent day, time and place. Most businessmen have a full calendar and appreciate a routine schedule.
Most guys like to fix things. They see something that needs repaired and they are just the one to fix it. Developing a crew of guys that provide mechanical, automotive, home improvement for single mothers or widows or for grooming/renovating church facilities, not only offers a blessing to the recipient, but draws men together for a common cause of serving others.
Take a group of guys on a mission trip: construction, outreach, etc. Show them first hand the mission field the church invests in through missionary and mission project support.
This article “Ideas For Men’s Ministry” by Rollo Felt is excerpted from www.volunteercentral.com/men, March 2003.
This article may 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 the meat. Throw away the bones.”