“Sustainability” Part Five
Here are the 9th and 10th ideas about how to sustain momentum and change in your men’s ministry.
Click here to see the other ideas on sustainability.
Intergenerational: Create an emphasis on intergenerational ministry:
Many youth workers now believe that the age segregation (therefore isolation) of our youth into traditional youth ministry over the last century may have been a horrible mistake. Almost 9 out of 10 teenagers will drop out of church by the end of their senior year in high school, and only 5 will return – 40% permanently drop out.
Sustain momentum among your men by creating rites of passage that connect men and boys through sports, recreational activity, and small groups. I wrote The Young Man in the Mirror for a spiritually mature adult to take a group of high school boys through a rite of passage into manhood. Psalm 78:2-7 says,
“I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel , which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.”
As you can see, creating an intergenerational transfer of spiritual wealth is part of God’s order, and a powerful way to sustain ministry to men, young and old.
A Shepherd Model: Recruit “shepherds” rather than “teachers” to lead small groups:
After running the Man in the Mirror Men’s Bible Study here in Orlando for 18 years, we have discovered a simple truth: Men respond to the gospel when they feel like you really care about them personally. This means the men don’t need a teacher as much as they need a shepherd. At a church of 5,000 in California the Men’s Minister, Wes Brown, (yes, full time) experienced a quantum leap in ministry effectiveness when he changed his leadership model from “teaching” to “shepherding.” In the beginning he recruited “teachers” to lead his small groups. Success was modest. After 11 years he had 137 men in small groups. Then he realized that what his men really needed was someone who cared about them.personally. He changed to a “shepherd” model and exploded to 750 men in just 4 years – a 550% increase! Give it some thought..
Next week we’ll wrap this up.
Together in the battle for men’s souls,