36 – Reach 3: An Engaging Offer of Christ for Every Man in America
Before you read this, would you do me a favor? Would you jot down the names of three friends, neighbors, or co-workers you care about who are not known to be Christians. Thanks.
A History of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries
I would like to tell you a story. By the fall of 1995 I had for some time sensed a desire to see if the leaders of the Christian men’s movement would like to come together.
Finally, the impression became so strong I felt that not to try would be to disobey. So, I called Glenn Wagner, at the time Vice President of Promise Keepers. Glenn and the PK leadership liked the idea and said they wanted to be involved. With that in hand, I began to call other men’s ministry leaders I knew.
Now, I have learned that any time someone thinks they have a unique message from God . . . they don’t. Whenever God gets ready to speak, He puts that thought into the hearts and minds of thousands and tens of thousands of His children. So it was encouraging that all of the men I called had also been thinking we should get together.
We first met in Atlanta in January, 1996. Toward the end of the day John Tolson, founder of The Gathering, said, “What would excite me is to explore the question, ‘What can we do together that none of us could do alone?'”
Instantaneously, the room lit up like Times Square on New Year’s eve! We all agreed that our real passion was to reach men for Jesus Christ. The question became, “How can we reach every man in America with the gospel?” The answer, of course, is that we can’t. But God can.
With that question in mind, a group of us in Orlando including Larry Kreider, President of the Gathering, David Delk, Executive Director of Man in the Mirror, and Jack McGill, National Director of Priority Associates, began the Orlando Coalition of Men’s Ministries. At our meetings we asked the natural question, “How can we reach every man in Orlando with the gospel?”
The Reach 3 Strategy
As we were casting about for a strategy to reach men we agreed that we needed an idea simple enough to make men say “I can do this,” but big enough for them to say, “Wow! How can I be part of that?”
We needed a vision and strategy that is simple, intentional, focused, concrete, incites men to join our cause, reflects God’s calling, doesn’t require much management, is inexpensive to implement, includes and builds the church, and can be adopted by large numbers of Christians without much supervision. Now that’s a tall order!
To answer this tall order God led us to a prayer and relationship based evangelistic strategy to involve large numbers of Christian men reaching their peers called “Reach 3.”
How does it work? It’s as simple as it sounds. In fact, the entire strategy fits on the front of a wallet-sized card! See for yourself…
Orlando Coalition Field Test
Some of us in the Orlando Coalition of Men’s Ministries said, “Hey, I can do this! This isn’t just for the men we work with I can think of 3 men to pray for and take to lunch!” With that thought, we each started praying for and meeting with three men.
The results are astonishing. As I thought about the three men on my list, I prayed for two things: that I would be able to have a non-agenda meeting with them, and that they would tell me something I could pray for.
Well, I had trouble setting an appointment with one of the men. Then, one day he showed up at my doorstep and wanted to talk about the rowing scull that he had seen me use on the lake. So we had a non-agenda meeting.
I asked him if he would like to get together for lunch and he agreed.
When the day of our appointment came, he rang the doorbell and told me he would have to miss lunch, his father was in the hospital. I told him that was fine and that we could reschedule. As he walked away, he stopped and said, “Pat, would you pray for my father?” God answered my prayers! The two things I prayed for happened without any other effort on my part.
Later, when we got together for breakfast, this man told me, “Pat, my thing is peace on earth, good will toward men. My problem is that I don’t have any peace for myself. After listening to you, I know what I need to do.” We have met again, and I feel sure he will eventually trust in Christ.
After lunch with another man who I sensed was friendless and all alone in the world, I asked, “Is there anything you would like me to pray for?”
“No,” he said as he slipped on his sunglasses to say good-bye, “I don’t think so.” Then he offered, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“No,” I assured him, then countered, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
“No, I don’t think so,” he said glancing away, “but do you think we could have lunch together again sometime?” Behind the corner of his sunglasses I caught a quick glimpse of his moist, reddened eyes.
Fish ‘n Grits Kick Off
With wonderful success stories brewing, the Orlando Coalition sponsored a Fish ‘n Grits Kick Off Breakfast to launch a “quiet” city-wide field test. 180 men from 38 churches and organizations attended half white, 43% black, 4% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. It was the first Christian gathering in Orlando in anyone’s memory that ever achieved such racial and ethnic diversity.
We sang, we laughed, we watched a hilarious skit, we heard great preaching, and The Reach 3 Challenge! was explained. 118 men accepted the challenge. We are planning such city-wide rallies every six months, eventually involving thousands of evangelistically-minded men.
What Does the Future Hold?
Our desire is that all church and para-church men’s ministries will adopt Reach 3 as their official evangelistic strategy until the end of the year 2000.
We can see men all over America catching the vision and taking The Reach 3 Challenge! to all the men in their churches.
How Can You Be Part Of Reach 3?
1. Individually: Will you accept The Reach 3 Challenge! to help your friends, neighbors and co-workers make a commitment of their lives to Christ? If yes, use the wallet-sized card enclosed (or call us to receive a free card), transpose the three names you jotted down earlier, and follow the instructions on the card.
2. Your Church: Will you bring The Reach 3 Challenge! to the attention of your church’s leadership? You can receive all the wallet-sized cards you need free of charge by calling us at (800) 929-2536.
3. Your Community: Please consider making a community-wide effort to bring The Reach 3 Challenge! to all the evangelistically-minded men of your city.
4. Feedback: We want to record testimonies of how God uses The Reach 3 Challenge!
So, I would like to ask you this question: “What can you and I do together that neither of us could do alone?” How about it? Will you take The Reach 3 Challenge!?
Write us and tell us how it goes with your men. Here are a few questions to consider . . .
1. How do you know him? (e.g., neighbor, friend, family, client, customer, co-worker, club, and so forth)
2. What did you say to set the appointment? How did he respond?
3. What time of the day did you get together?
4. How did it go? Any surprises (plus and minus)?
5. How do you personally feel about this method for reaching men?
6. Where do you think your praying and this appointment will lead?
7. Permission to use this story (without real name): ____ yes ____ no
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley helps men to think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped for a larger impact on the world.
© 1997. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved.