ORGANIZING A MEN’S PRAYER AND FELLOWSHIP MEETING
By: Donn Moehlenpah, Floyd Engquist, and George Wakefield
From: Don Moehlenpah; Rochester, Minnesota
To: All concerned pastors
Re: Men’s Prayer and Fellowship Breakfast
For some time I felt a burden to begin a prayer breakfast for men. The Full Gospel Business Men have done this very successfully for years. They have led many people into the experience of receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Their success is based on a couple of simple points. First, they meet around the breakfast table which is a common denominator to all men everywhere. Both saint and sinner feel at home around a table. Some would feel very uncomfortable around a church until they come to know the Lord. Secondly, Jesus Christ is lifted up in their testimonies. He is praised in song and testimony. Doctrine is not stressed by them in their meetings but a love reaches out from them for other men.
If they can be successful with lesser light than we have, why aren’t we have, why aren’t we using the same medium to teach men that would otherwise be lost? With this in mind, I talked to Brother Floyd Engquist of the Janesville United Pentecostal Church about starting such a group in Janesville, Wisconsin, when we lived there. He pledged his cooperation and the project was begun.
Fortunately, God laid a similar burden upon Brother George Wakefield to help get this going. It was decided that the meetings would be held once a month on a Saturday morning. A suitable meeting place was obtained in a local restaurant where we would not be disturbed and where we would not disturb others. A mailing list was obtained by getting the names of friends, relatives, and acquaintances of the people in the church. Boys old enough to benefit were also included. Speakers were chosen to give their testimonies of what God had done for them. Each meeting was led of the Lord but usually included saying of grace, a breakfast, fellowship, testimonies, prayer for one another, Bible reading, and a special speaker with an anointed testimony. Some were laymen and others ministers in the United Pentecostal Church. God always blessed in a special way. New people were continually brought in contact with the presence of the Lord and the Pentecostal experience.
I highly recommend Men’s Prayer and Fellowship Breakfasts as a means of reaching men for Christ.
“I will not lead a woman to repentance without her husband.” Statement of a great soulwinner.
Men are the key to strength in the local church. Without the man, you do not have the family. (A church growth axion.)
It is time for the United Pentecostal Church to make a concerted outreach to men. Men of all ranks can be reached and converted to this
In recent years we have witnessed a phenomenon. The Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship has touched thousands of lives by inviting them to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, encouraging simple worship and giving testimonies.
WHY HAVE A MEN’S PRAYER AND FELLOWSHIP MINISTRY?
* To provide Christian fellowship for the men in the local church who have received the fullness of truth.
* To provide a special means of evangelism to reach men with the truth.
* Men from all walks of life will attend, who would not otherwise darken the door of a Pentecostal church.
* Men will be saved through this outreach, thus strengthening the local church.
SELECTING A LEADER
It will take much prayer, fasting, and wisdom to select the right leader for this outreach. The director, or leader, preferably should
be a layman who is burdened for men and is able to communicate with men, whether they be janitors or corporate presidents. He must be a
man who will work and cooperate with the local pastor. It is important for the pastor to stay in the background. However, the director should
always present his plans to the pastor for discussions and approval.
SELECTING A MEETING PLACE
It is best to find a restaurant with private banquet facilities. You will want to be able to have the liberty of the Spirit to worship, sing, pray, and speak so that men are able to receive the Baptism of
the Holy Ghost!
It is important to find a restaurant where all men will be at ease. If it is too fancy, the man of the shop will feel uncomfortable, On the other hand, the executive or businessman will not be attracted to a low-class restaurant.
WHY MEET AT A RESTAURANT OVER A MEAL?
* Almost anyone, regardless of church affiliation, will attend. It disarms even the most wary.
* Eating is common denominator to all men everywhere.
* One gets to know people better while eating with them.
* It’s Apostolic–Apostles often broke bread among the people.
* The saying of Grace before the meal is a testimony to many who have never heard someone pray.
* The opportunity for presenting the gospel in this atmosphere is tremendous.
FINDING THE PROSPECTS
1. Invite all the men from the local church
2. Compile a mailing list by asking men from the local church to supply names and addresses of men whom they know. If it is a new work, you may use the city directory or the telephone book for a
supply of names.
3. Pass a clipboard at each meeting and encourage those present to supply additional names to the list.
4. Young men and boys should be included in the fellowship. It is ideal if fathers can bring their sons.
5. “Word of mouth” is still the best method. Men should be encouraged to invite their friends personally or by telephone to attend the meetings.
When mailing invitations, avoid using church letterheads. Some will think it is just a denominal thrust. In view of this, it is best to use plain paper and envelope or postcards. However, you may wish to have stationery and envelopes printed with “Men’s Prayer and Fellowship,” the P.O. box number, or other address, city state, and phone number. All of the invitations should be personally signed by the director.
In addition to the mailing list, you may wish to advertise in the newspapers, or use spot announcements on the radio. Flyers can also be used and sent to local businessmen, placed on bulletin boards, etc.
FORMAT OF MEETING
Make certain that the tables have been arranged, forming a large U-shape, prior to the meeting. Men gather in and are seated. The men who are saved should try sitting next to an unsaved person. It would not be good for all the unsaved to sit together.
Informal conversation follows until the food is brought to the table. The leader asks someone to pray over the food. Conversation continues until after the meal. This provides a relaxed atmosphere for all.
The director welcomes everyone and reads a portion of scripture. Song leader follows director and leads the group in some good choruses. Many of the men have never sung Pentecostal choruses before, so it is important that chorus books be passed out before the singing. If you use a printed program, the words would be included on it. It will put the men more at ease to have the words before them.
The director now introduces the speaker. When the speaker is finished, do whatever you are led of the Holy Ghost to do. If you expect miracles, healings, and men to be filled with the Holy Ghost, it will happen.
CHOOSING THE SPEAKER
Since the Men’s Prayer and Fellowship is a layman’s outreach, a consecrated United Pentecostal layman should be chosen as speaker. If the person to speak is a member of another United Pentecostal church, his pastor should be contacted first for approval. This is needed to keep a good spirit of unity between churches and pastors.
Some of our United Pentecostal Church ministers who are associated with businesses make very good speakers. If the minister is willing to be introduced to the men on a first-name basis, he has a better opportunity of presenting the truth to them. However, if the minister does not approve of this, an issue should not be made of it. Simply introduce him as Pastor or whatever his title is.
It is always appropriate and effective for the speaker to give his testimony of how he came into the truth. He may explain in detail about his repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and receiving the
baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues. However, he should be cautious about promoting denominationalism. When men receive the truth, they will be happy to fellowship with the local United Pentecostal Church.
You will not need a great deal of money for financing the meetings. The expenses of the speaker should be paid, except for men from the local congregation. It is also a good policy to pay for the meals of those attending for the first time who are outside of our fellowship. They will deeply appreciate the Christian love and kindness expressed
in this gesture. Each man who regularly attends pays for his own meal.
You may wish to take special offerings in the local church for financing. If the church has an evangelistic fund, that may be used. Another suggested means is to place an offering container at the men’s meeting with a sign stating that men may give toward the cause if they wish. Passing the offering plate is not recommended. Some will feel you are only interested in money. Once you get their souls, they will be happy to give their money to the work of God.
PITFALLS TO BE AVOIDED
* Do not allow the meeting to be too church oriented. Pray and fast to make certain that you get the leading the Holy Ghost for each session. If it is not led by God, it will be nothing more than just
* Be certain that you have the needed privacy so that men are not afraid to worship.
* Again, be certain that denominations or churches are not promoted. Rather, lead them to Jesus Christ. Later these men may want to come to your church.
An ample supply of gospel tracts and Christian literature explaining the true plan of salvation should be displayed in each meeting. Encourage the men to take any of the literature home free of charge.
A special rubber stamp should be made for use on this literature. It should have the name of the group on it, rather than the name of the church. For instance, “Men’s Prayer and Fellowship” or “Men’s Fellowship,” etc.
EXECUTIVE OUTREACH – SPECIAL MEETING
Reach hundreds of men in large cities with a small budget. Contact all personnel directors of large businesses in the city and tell them you are bringing Mr. (whatever the name might be), to the city for an executive dinner and you wish to send each executive a personal invitation. Select a United Pentecostal Church man as guest speaker to speak on the subject of “Executive’s Problems Today,” or some other related subject. Place ads in the newspaper as well as advertising over the radio. Sell advance tickets with a limited quantity to hear this great message and enjoy a steak dinner. Be certain that the price of the tickets will cover your estimated expenses. Add the list of names of men who purchase tickets to your regular monthly mailing list.
EXAMPLE ANNOUNCEMENT LETTERS
A MEN’S FELLOWSHIP DINNER is planned for this Saturday evening, April 12, 6:30 p.m., at Krause’s Town & Country Restaurant, with you in mind. I trust that you will be able to attend.
The time change resulted from several of the men not being able to attend the breakfast due to Saturday employment, but stated they would be pleased to come to an evening fellowship. Please let me know what your preference is.
A lovely roast beef dinner, complete with dessert, will be served for a moderate $3.35, which includes tax and gratuity.
Our guest speaker, a former Deputy Sheriff, William Sciscoe of Racine, has been transformed by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ into a dynamic man of God full of faith and power. He will have a message from God you will never forget.
Since the restaurant would like to know how many they will need to serve, it will be necessary for you to call in your reservation to me by Friday evening. I can be reached at ac/608-754-8818. Feel free to call me collect if you are long distance.
Yours in Christ,
George L. Wakefield
COME—-“Taste and see that the Lord is good:” Psa. 34:8
. . . MEN AND BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO???? Acts 2:37
Come to the MEN’S FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST this Saturday, March 1st, 8 a.m., at Krause’s Town and Country Restaurant and hear GUEST SPEAKER, JOSEPH CARRILLO, from Stockton, California. Special arrangements have been made to bring this dynamic young man — on fire for God — back to Janesville just to speak at this breakfast.
Yours in Christ,
George L. Wakefield
P.S. Bring a friend! You both will be glad you came!
(The above material was prepared by the General Home Missions Division
in Hazelwood, MO.)
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