In this post I will answer the most common questions I am asked about men’s ministry.
1. Why is men’s ministry so important?
Ready yourself for some sobering statistics. The typical U.S. congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male (Barna). On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches (2000 Census, David Murrow). This Sunday almost 25% of married women will worship without their husbands (Barna). Over 70% of the boys who are being raised in a church will leave it during their teens and twenties (Lifeway Research). And ... fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry (David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church). The men that are called to be serving and leading are leaving ... we need to reach the men.
2. How do we convince our men that men’s ministry is important?
You don’t. The key to convincing men that they should plug into men’s ministry is to have an excellent men’s ministry. Pray that God develops an atmosphere in your ministry that men will not want to miss, and it will progressively grow and flourish over time.
3. When is the best time for men to meet?
Schedules throughout the week make it difficult for men to get together, so you have to find the right time. My experience is that weekends (including Friday nights) take men away from their family time, so I have found that midweek is best. Early mornings, before work, can be excellent times for men to connect. Let me say that if your church already has 6 to 7 men meeting for prayer and coffee one morning a week, then you have the foundation for a great men’s ministry! I prefer to meet on Tuesday nights with the men and to keep commitment levels high, we meet twice a month. Twice a month is enough to keep the men relationally connected.
4. Our men’s ministry is very stagnant; what do we do?
Let me share a basic element regarding men's ministry ... every man in the room should have the opportunity to teach and share from the Word of God. Every two weeks (or weekly) have the men read a book of the Bible and tell them to be prepared to share any insights that the Lord showed them in the text. It is that simple. When you combine conversational Bible study with food, prayer, worship, and even small groups ... men grow in a myriad of ways. Let me share with you some of the fruit of interactive Men’s Bible study.
-You encourage the men to take their biblical knowledge and spiritual lives public. Interaction causes them to go “on the record."
-The gifts of the Spirit are in operation through the men on a weekly basis. Words of wisdom, prophecy, faith, exhortation, and teaching are exercised as men share the Word of God. Often men don't even know how they are impacting others through insights that they bring forward. It is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to move supernaturally in a very natural way.
-When a man shares what God has shown him in a particular text and how he is humbly responding to God's direction, it has a powerful sharpening and maturing effect on everyone in the room.
-It encourages men to read their Bibles every day and to abide in a relationship with Christ.
-The men learn to teach the Bible. You should only encourage "soundbite" sharing for a couple of minutes per man but the limited insights that come out of their personal study will be a blessing to all who hear.
-It gives me as a pastor an opportunity to get to know the men better and to see where they are in their walks with Christ. I get to put my finger on the pulse of my brothers spiritual lives by interacting with them.
-This type of interaction works well with groups up to 60 or more ... If your men’s ministry is larger than 60 men, feel free to share in the comments section how your men’s ministry is functioning. I would love to hear about your men’s ministry!
5. How do we get the men to be accountable to other men?
Men are dealing with serious issues of temptation on a daily basis which threaten to derail not only them but their families as well. Therefore men desperately need a refuge where they can come, get equipped, pray for each other, and fight the good fight of faith together. So, having said all of that, let me remind you that accountability is the byproduct of healthy relationships. If we set the framework for men to grow strong in their relationships with Jesus and each other, we will have taken the biggest step toward accountability. Accountability through community. A second step toward accountability can be the addition of small groups for sharing one another’s burdens in powerful prayer. Small groups should be intimate, “leak proof,” and centered on gracious exhortation and authenticity. Remember, effective men’s ministry is not sin centered, it is Jesus centered.