Men’s Ministry Leadership Development
By Daryl Dale
It has been said that leadership is both natural and learned. “Natural” in the sense that certain personalities seem to shout out “Follow me!” “Learned” in the sense that there are certain skills involved in leading. Those skills, techniques and abilities can be developed in most of us if we are committed to that goal.
Anyone carefully observing a group of men for even a short time can begin to identify certain “natural leaders” Sometimes they express themselves by being the group sophisticated thinker. Often the hub-bub of activity revolves around them. Their suggestions or comments often sway the entire group. Here are a few suggestions on using the natural men�s leader:
1 Get him on your side. Acknowledge his leadership and challenge him to use it for the good of the group. Ask his assistance with significant things.
2 Spend time building friendships. This provides opportunities for your life to “rub off” on him. That is called modeling! Enjoy his interests with him. There are no shortcuts in leadership development.
3 Challenge and disciple the natural leader in spiritual leader-ship. This may include formal Bible study, prayer times or personal counseling. Mutual sharing is important in this process.
Focusing on leadership that is “learned” is a key to a successful growing men’s group. This will likely include the “natural leaders;” but also those “least likely to succeed.” Both groups need the worker’s attention and love. Involving those with lots of potential and those with little (from your point of view) allows you to contribute to their lives. As your men see someone believing in them and encouraging them to break loose from their narrow world, their lives can be transformed. All men need opportunities to develop their leadership abilities. The men’s worker can build their confidence and self-esteem by encouraging them to take new steps forward in leadership. Here are some helps in developing the leadership abilities within your men’s group.
1 Develop a sensitive heart and eyes. Ask God to help you see people as He sees them.
2 Start each men’s worker off with projects he can handle. Help him experience success. Walk with him to assure him of your support. Broadcast successes! Keep failure out of sight.
3 Compliment and encourage new steps in leadership. This provides a good blend of encouragement, confidence and pressure.
4 Identify specific skills, abilities and characteristics that need development (weak areas), and then work with the individual on these. Help him grow.
5 Be patient. Remember, you are growing a leader.
6 Recognize that not everyone will fit your image of a “group leader.” That is not failure, that is simply fact. If you have enriched a life, your time working together was a success!
Appointing And Electing Men’s Ministry Officers
Many men’s groups elect officers as a means of developing leadership. Sometimes workers favor appointing men’s ministry officers and cabinets. Both selection processes have their advantages and disadvantages.
Electing Men’s Officers
Good – Men participate
Men learn to take the democratic process seriously.
Poor – Popularity contest
Difficult in small church
Appointing Men’s Officers
Good – Spiritual tone assured.
Potential of each individual studied, shy can grow
Everyone can have leadership opportunities
Poor – Men may not accept the leaders
A secondary means of selecting Mens leaders is to ask for volunteers. Volunteers can frequently be used to supplement the work of the officers or appointed cabinet.
Men need to understand that leadership is a ministry, not just a job. Therefore, instruction should precede all forms of the officer selection process. Three sample tools are shared in concluding this study on leadership development:
1 Character Evaluation Form: Used in helping men evaluate their preparedness for leadership as well as the preparedness of their peers.
2 Officer Survey Sheet: Used to assist men in recommending their peers for leadership positions.
3 Leadership Pledge: Used in helping Men understand the weight of the responsibility they assume as leaders.
These tools can be used prior to an election/nominating process or as a means of having men present names of members whom they feel are qualified for leadership appointments.
Check the column or columns that give the most accurate indication of where you presently stand in these areas. Additional insights can be gained by discussing this with your group leader. Together you will affirm your strengths and target potential areas of growth.
1 Above reproach; a person who is respected. Cannot be justly accused of wrongdoing (1 Timothy 3:2).
2 The husband of one wife; good sexual conduct, healthy thought life (v. 2).
3 Temperate; balanced; not overindulgent in anything (v. 2).
4 Prudent; sensible; good judgment (v. 2).
5 Respectable; well-ordered life; orderly (v. 2).
6 Hospitable; gracious; generous; reaches out to strangers; eager to entertain (v. 2).
7 Able to teach; able to express faith (v. 2).
8 Not addicted to wine; not a person who parties all the time (v. 3).
9 Not pugnacious; not inclined toward violent behavior (v. 3).
10 Gentle; considerate; kind to those around him; thoughtful (v. 3).
11 Uncontentious; not disagreeable; not looking to correct someone but one who helps bring about peaceful interaction (v. 3).
12 Free from the love of money (v. 3).
13 Not a new convert; someone who has grown beyond the maturity of a new convert and is established in his faith (v. 6).
14 Good reputation with those outside the church; has contact with non-Christians and has their respect (v. 7).
15 Not double-tongued; not insincere, exaggerating or communicating half-truths or false impressions (v. 8).
16 Not fond of sordid gain; not given to unfair gain, stealing, trickery or gambling (v. 8).
17 Holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience; committed to the faith in word and deed without guilt (v. 9 and Titus 1:9).
A key process in developing leadership skills involves:
Tell – Share with them the “How-To” verbally
Show – Do it as they observe
Do – Have them practice it on their own
Do For Real – Have them do it on their own
Evaluate – Correct/Affirm
“Why is it that He gives us the special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God’s people will be equipped to do better work for Him, building up the church, the body of Christ, to a position of strength and maturity; until finally we all behave alike about our salvation and about our Savior, God’s Son, and all become full grown in the Lord “yes, to the point of being filled full with Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
Our goal as people of God is to become like Christ in our attitudes, our actions, our behavior and our thinking. Each of us are “in process,” “becoming” like Christ. Realizing this process requires patience toward ourselves and other brothers in the Lord. It also requires discipline and responsible action on our part.
As A Men’s Leader I Pledge Myself To:
1 Strive to live in a manner worthy of one representing the Lord, Jesus Christ.
2 Support all activities and functions of church in faithful attendance, active preparation and complete participation.
3 Set an example for other men to follow in my attitude and involvement in the church ministries.
4 Perform my responsibilities as a leader:
* working with the church staff in establishing goals and programs
* working with the staff in the preparation and details required in reaching the goals and programs decided upon
* personally minister love, support, encouragement and enthusiasm to others within the church department structure
* reach out in warmth and acceptance to those new and adjusting members of the men’s ministry department
* regularly participate in men’s ministry meetings/retreats
* publicly lead groups or activities within the men’s department as called upon
* publicize and encourage participation in all men’s ministry activities
5 Commit myself fully to serving as an officer for 12 months.
6 Consider myself a learner, eager to try new things under the loving supervision of the church staff, opening myself to guidance, correction and training.
Officer Survey Sheet
1 Consider God’s qualifications for church leaders. Are you moving in the right direction? Or are you off target? What about others in the group?
2 Consider who you believe would best serve the group as a part of the “officer team.” Feel free to suggest your own name if you desire.
3 Be in prayer all week that God will show the church staff who our new leaders will be.
This article “Men’s Ministry Leadership Development” written by Daryl Dace is excerpted from The Worker’s Manual written by Daryl Dace.
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.”