Why Your Men’s Ministry is Marginal
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
Why is men’s ministry such a marginal ministry in most churches? Men’s ministry is like a 13 year old orphan: everyone agrees there’s a need, but 13 year old orphans just aren’t that cute.
In many cases men’s ministry has come to mean “starting a men’s small group, ” which we might call the minimalist approach. This concept has three serious problems and an opportunity.
First, starting a “program” that includes only a handful of men has a low perception of value to a busy pastor. Besides, the men in the group are either his most committed men or the kookiest. In the first case they don’t need much attention, and in the second case he really doesn’t want to give it to them.
Second, for a busy pastor a minimalist men’s ministry becomes “one more thing to do.” It’s another “program” of the church—but a small one. It’s often started only to satisfy the desire of one persistent, vocal man. So when a men’s small group does get going, the pastor can “check” it off his to do list. Once checked off, forever forgotten. From that point, men’s ministry will always be a marginal ministry of the church, receiving limited (if any) intellectual or financial resources.
Third, a minimalist men’s ministry favors the already committed few, but neglects the vast majority of men in the church—the ones who probably need discipleship the most.
Opportunity: A more helpful way to think about men’s ministry is, “A plan to disciple every man in our church to become a Godly man, husband, and father.” Instead of the minimalist “starting a men’s small group” program, develop an “all-inclusive men’s ministry” philosophy. Offer every willing man in your church an opportunity to become a true disciple of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Instead of a “program,” think of men’s ministry as a “discipleship template” that integrates into every program. In other words, how can you disciple your elders, deacons, ushers, Sunday school teachers, greeters, parkers, cultural Christians, and men on the fringe right where they already are?
Is it not in the heart of God to disciple “all” men, not the “minimum” so we can check it off our “to do” list? Frankly, the minimalist approach just isn’t biblical. Don’t be marginal. Have a plan to disciple all the men in your church to become Godly men, husbands, and fathers.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
© 2003 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.