Can you visualize what your church might “look like” if men of the church were no longer on the sidelines of spiritual life and leadership, but were actively applying their spiritual gifts to the ministries and mission of the church? How can you start or grow a vibrant Men’s Ministry in your church that will attract the men? How can you get them to come?
Remember, some key steps in starting/growing a Men’s Ministry are to:
- Gather interested men,
- Pray and plan with your pastor,
- Select called leader(s),
- Survey the men,
- Schedule major events,
- Communicate well, and
- Trust God to deliver the men.
A well thought out, prayed over, and agreed upon Purpose Statement should be clearly communicated to all men of the church. Accordingly, when first forming, restarting, or revitalizing a Men’s Ministry in the church, all men should be called to this ministry to simply join together to help each other to grow in Christ. We recommend that an invitation go out by a letter from the pastor to all men, with specifics from the Men’s Ministry leader(s). The letter highlights the importance and key elements of the Men’s Ministry and invites them to a special men’s fellowship and kick-off meeting. The letter should be followed by a phone call by the Director and others to add a more personal touch and answer any questions.
Follow-up letters and flyers should announce your first monthly gathering. A Sunday service announcement and bulletin insert remind men of the meeting. Some of the letters to the men go to the heart of the commitment and involvement issues. Many men have reasons (and excuses) as to why they cannot participate. Every effort is made to answer each question concerning what the Men’s Ministry is and what it isn’t, and to remove any and all obstacles preventing men from participating.
Subsequent growth is generated through “multiple entry points,” like special dinners with a speaker, golf outings, fishing tournaments, Super Bowl parties, PK conference, regional rallies, mission fairs, construction projects, small groups, etc. If the new kickoff meeting is well planned, it will result in attendance immediately jumping. This group will continue to grow by using multiple entry points.
Men will come if they see the ministry is open to all men, and because it has been focused on the fundamental Christ-centered ingredients that godly men are seeking. These ingredients are essential to a responsive, vital ministry and fellowship of men. Remember the keys to starting and growing a Men’s Ministry: Prayerfully select called leaders; have pastor and leaders pray for the men; call all men together to help each other grow in Christ; involve all men and their interests (multiple entry points); plan and communicate well, and trust God to grow the ministry! A survey of abilities and ministry interests can also be useful.
Starting and/or Growing a Vibrant, Christ-Centered, Life-Changing, Men’s Ministry in Your Church
By following these ten steps, you can create a male-friendly and balanced Men’s Ministry or revitalized your existing Men’s Ministry to include “ministry to men” as well as “ministry by men.”
Step 1: Form a weekly prayer group, comprised of the pastor and a few men, to seek God’s direction for uniting men in ministry and for the men who are to be the leaders.
Step 2: Encourage your pastor to send a letter to all men in the church, calling them to join together in ministry with the primary mission of helping each other grow in Christ (Proverbs 27:17). A sample letter is attached to this article.
Step 3: Conduct a needs survey of the men in the church. Find out what men want and need. Make certain that your ministry is relevant to their specific needs.
Step 4: Follow Jesus’ example in the calling of leaders – pray them out. (Luke 6:12-16) Start small, go slow, and think long term.
Step 5: Write a Biblically-based purpose statement, organizing the ministry around God’s purposes for disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) (Make, mature, multiply disciples; evangelize, establish, equip and extend; outreach, discipleship, ministry, and missions). Incorporate balance in the ministry by writing it into your purpose.
Step 6: Establish small groups and regular gathering times. Work through existing groups, such as men’s Sunday School classes, handyman group, and the deacon body, filling in the gaps with other aspects of a complete and balanced ministry.
Step 7: Provide “comfortable,” multiple entry points. No two men are at the exact same point spiritually or culturally. Use many “baited hooks” to reach men where they are.
Step 8: Create and capture momentum, building around one kickoff or annual event that has a proven reputation as a winner. Sustain momentum with well-planned monthly meetings or quarterly events.
Step 9: Identify and match resources to meet needs. Ask “what do men want/need and what does God want men to be?” Use available resources as tools to teach, disciple, and grow men for the ministry. One-on-one, small groups, large gatherings.
Step 10: Decide on a primary theme each year and quarter. Creatively promote and regularly evaluate. Celebrate victories!
The following are common pitfalls in Men’s Ministries. Experience has shown that they will result in setbacks. Avoid the following:
- A ministry that does not seek first to glorify God.
- A ministry that does not seek God’s direction through prayer.
- A ministry without clear goals and purpose.
- A ministry focused only on programs and activities, and not on relationships.
- A ministry to men in couples’ groups only.
- A ministry that is not supported by the pastor.
- A ministry that does not have defined, passionate leadership.
- A ministry that does not determine and address the specific needs of men.
- A ministry that does not offer a variety of entry points.
- A ministry that is not flexible and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- A ministry that tries to implement too much, too fast.
- A ministry that is not balanced in outreach, discipleship, ministry, and missions.
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