Impact

Succeeding at Ministry to Men in the Local Church – Introduction


Why Men’s Ministry?

While this question may appear unnecessary, it is important that we clarify what is meant by ministry, as it relates to men. We must understand our unique role as godly men in an ungodly world. And we must understand how the world has impacted and influenced men in general, and what God’s Word says about who we are, what we are to become, and what we are to do.

Because our churches are presently losing the battle for the hearts of men (husbands/fathers)?

Estimated Proportion of Each Generation Reached for Christ: (3)

GenerationReached for Christ (Estimate)
Builders (1910-1946)65%
Boomers (1946-1964)35%
Busters (1965-1976)
[Gen X 1965-1983]
15%
Bridgers (1977-1994)
[Millennials 1984-1998]
4%*
[Gen Z (1999-2015)]TBD

*Based on present trends among older bridgers.

In recent years, many men have seemingly lost interest. Since 1991, church attendance, Bible reading, Sunday School participation, volunteering, and financial giving have all decreased among men. Out of 96 million men over 18 years old in the United States, only 26 million say they go to church, many for the wrong reasons. Of the 70 million men that don’t attend any church, 80% of them say they grew up with some sort of church background. These men aren’t necessarily opposed to going to church. They just don’t see churches as being “male-friendly.” While many men in our churches are strong Christians and active in missions, most men (husbands and fathers) in our communities are spiritually detached. Are our churches losing the battle for the hearts of men? 

With no “spiritual compass,” many men are in bondage to debt, captured by pornography, and caught up in addictions and sin. Men are confused about masculinity and are disillusioned by the false promises of wealth and power. Many men abuse their wives and children or have abandoned their families physically and/or emotionally. Men have rejected their commitment to marriage, and as a result, families are fragmented and fragile. Marriage, once considered precious and lasting, is no longer seen as safe. Young (and not so young) people are seeking all kinds of alternative lifestyles. Recent developments in our country have opened a debate over the necessity for a constitutional amendment to protect what God intended for marriage. 

Because Men are the Critical Mission Field in our Communities?

Although called by God to be the spiritual leaders, most men are spiritually adrift. Many pastors and other Christian leaders see this as a major crisis and are recognizing the great need for their churches to reach out to men, being sensitive to their needs. Churches must involve men, not only in projects and missions but in helping each other grow in Christ, teaching them how to become better husbands, fathers, leaders, and witnesses to other men in the community. While men and women are created equal (Genesis 1:27), men are strategic (1 Corinthians 11:3,9-11). Therefore, men are the critical mission field in our communities. If churches will respond to create “male-friendly,” intentional outreach ministries to and for men, God’s order can be restored, marriages can be saved, families and communities can be turned to Christ.

Men must lead the charge –  Steve Farrar

Because Men are Strategic to Saving the Nuclear Family?

Consider the following results of a survey completed several years ago and reported by Focus on the Family Publishing:

  • If a child is the first person in a household to become a Christian, there is only a 3.5% probability that everyone else in the household will follow. 
  • If the mother is first to accept Christ, only a 17% chance the rest of the family will follow. 
  • But, if the man (the husband, the father) is the first person in a home to become a Christian, there is a 93% probability that the rest of the family will follow. 

As God’s appointed spiritual head of his household, when a man accepts and grows in Christ, his family will follow. There is something in the hardwiring of creation that naturally causes wives and children to look to husbands and fathers to lead out, especially spiritually. More importantly, it is Biblical (Ephesians 5:22-33; 6:1-4). Satan knows that and tries to keep men convinced of their self-sufficiency. Only in the company of other men will we fully understand the world’s pull on us, the pull which keeps us from surrendering to and growing in Christ. 

Fatherless households produce:

  • 63% of youth suicides
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children
  • 85% of all children with behavioral disorders 
  • 80% of rapists
  • 71% of all high school dropouts
  • 75% of all adolescent in drug abuse centers
  • 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons

These glaring statistics shout the paramount importance of churches becoming more intentional in their development of Men’s Ministries that will attract and grow men for Christ. If you reach the men, you will reach the families. But to reach the men you have to understand their condition and their issues, intentionally enter into their world and specifically address their needs. 

Because it is the Biblical Mandate?
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2 ESV)

We are commanded to have Men’s Ministry! The majority of the worshipers in the early church were men. They were not just males taking up pew space, but strong, earthy men who were truly alive in Christ! Men who did not attend church just to please their wives, to fulfill religious tradition, or to go on a power trip, but men who were there to rock their world!

Because God deserves it!

All of the reasons mentioned up to this point are noble in nature; however, they are all about us! They are focused on meeting our needs, the needs of other men, or our performance. This shows that our motive for ministry needs to be examined in the light of the truth. The Bible teaches that our life is to be all about God! Our life is not for our pleasure, it’s for God’s pleasure. God created us for His pleasure, not for ours.

Now, it does not mean that we do not get pleasure, but that’s not the purpose. We are designed, redeemed, sustained, and powered by the Holy Spirit to bring glory and honor to God! Many Men’s Ministries have failed due to seeking to do a lot of noble works without focusing on the main thing – bringing glory to God. We need to ask ourselves often: What does God get out of our Men’s Ministry? Then follow up with: What, God, do You want to get out of our Men’s Ministry?

The truth is we need Men’s Ministry in order to help men learn:

  • that life is about God, not them
  • to advance God’s kingdom, not theirs
  • to seek God, not just His blessings
  • the Biblical priorities for life
  • to see God’s glory all around
  • to be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit so that they might live to make God famous
  • to honor the completed work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in belief, thought, word, and action

As we focus on seeking God first, we will find that God will take care of all the other things Himself.

But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.(Matthew 6:33 NET)

Furthermore, we can help men to honor God by teaching them that victorious Christian living:

  • is not perfection
  • is entering into the battle and not turning back
  • is a bloody battle, leaving you with scars
  • However, God uses battle-scarred veterans to carry out his plan

Additionally, we can help men honor God by teaching them the strategies for winning the race:

  • Grab hold of the plow and do not look back
  • Enter into the battle and realize that God is not asking for perfection -He is asking for commitment
  • Momentary failure is not fatal!
  • Only leaving the battle can keep you from the crown of righteousness!
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

(2)


Topical Index of Hal’s Blogs (1)

(1) Left-click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.

(2) This article adapted from the works of:

  • Beach Road Baptist Church Men’s Ministry, Southport, NC – Mel Cornillaud
  • Success that Matters – Pat Morley
  • Building Brothers – Dan Shaffer
  • Drawing Men to God – Sid Woodruff
  • UnveilinGlory – Bob Sjogren

 (3) Rainer, T. S. (2006). The bridger generation. Nashville, TN: B&H Books.


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Hal Warren

Hal has been teaching the Bible for over three decades. Through an interdenominational ministry dedicated to helping the local church build men for Jesus, Hal trained men, the leaders of men’s ministries, and provided pulpit supply. Before that, he was a Men’s Ministry Leader and an Adult Bible Fellowship teacher of a seventy-five-member class at a denominational megachurch. Presently, Hal desires to honor Jesus Christ through this Internet teaching ministry, thereby glorifying the Heavenly Father, in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Hal and his wife have five adult children, several grandchildren, and with more grandchildren on the way! He believes, second to cultivating his relationship with God, that raising his family unto the Lord is the most significant task for him while on Earth. Furthermore, Hal believes that being a successful leader in the church or workplace is no substitute for failing to be a successful leader at home. 

Topical Index of Hal's Blogs

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