47 – How I Would Start a Men’s Ministry in My Church
(Excerpted from Men’s Ministry Action Plan, published by Man in the Mirror)
Please note – This material is now available in the book, No Man Left Behind.
At our church-sponsored men’s events we host a special session for men who are, or want to be, men’s ministry leaders. In this meeting we teach them the principles of building a men’s ministry that will last.
Someone will say, “I want to do this-I want to build our men’s minsitry. But I don’t exactly know what to do or where to start. Precisely what would I do step by step to get going?” Good question.
There is no one right way to build a men’s ministry in your church. However, here’s how I presonally would go about it.
Let’s assume “you’re the man.” You have a growing passion to reach men in your church, especially those on the “fringe”-men barely inside or just outside the front door. You long for the day when men will grow strong in faith and take up spiritual leadership in their families, church, and community. Well, if that’s you, guess what? You’ve just completed the first step! That is finding a man passionate about reaching other men.
You may be a layman, the senior pastor, or an associate pastor. this isn’t rocket science. You do need to be respected by other men in the church. But you don’t have to be experienced or a great orator to lead a men’s minsitry. If you have a consuming disire to see men’s live change-that is enough. If your passion focuses on the “ends” of changed lives, then God will help you put together the “means” to do it.
THE SENIOR PASTOR’S SUPPORT
Okay, what’s step two? If you are the senior pastor, you get to skip step two. If you’re not, that’s step two-getting your senior pastor’s enthusiastic support. A church will always go in the direction of the pastor’s heart. No middle position here. If he is not actively “for it” then time, attention, thinking, planning, money and people resources will flow to other ministries in the church.
A LEADERSHIP TEAM
Campus Crusade for Christ founder, Bill Bright, has often said, “Everything boils down to leadership.” The height of your men’s ministry will be determined by the depth of your leadership.
Step three? You will need a committed leadership team. (However, your leaders don’t have to start out committed-that can come later). Personally, I would prayerfully write out a list of the ten or twelve most spiritually respected men in my church. I wouldn’t pay attention to how busy they might already be, or whether or not I think they would be interested. Focus on men who have a heart for God and for reaching others. Let them make up their own minds under God’s leadership.
Then I would pray for God to give me favor with those He would have involved. Next, I would approach each of them and say, “God has put it on my mind to explore the need and desirability of starting (or reorganizing) a men’s minsitry in our church. I believe you are one of a handful of men that the other men in our church would follow. I want to have a meeting to discuss the possibilities. Would you be willing to pray about coming to this one meeting and give your counsel?” (By the way, be sure to get your senior pastor’s approval. Better still, ask him to come and share his vision for the men of the church).
Notice what I just did. I didn’t ask for a long term-or even short term-commitment. I only asked for “one meeting”. Also, notice that I gave honor to whom honor is due. This is not flattery. Rather, it’s why you honestly thought of them-they’re spiritually mature. You’re trying to “sell” the best and busiest men in your church on what should be one of the church’s top priorities. Think of it as getting the appointment to ask for the sale.
Guess what? They’re not all going to say yes. But four, five, or six will! And that’s enough. So, take it one step at a time. Now, what’s next?
THE FIRST MEETING
Okay, now we go to step four-“the meeting”. Keep the first meeting to a maximum of one hour. If everyone knows it’s a one hour meeting, you can be very productive. Besides, a long, tiring meeting may create second thoughts about going further.
Set the agenda to begin with prayer-5 minutes.
Next, review the history of ministry to men in your church-5 minutes. (Be honest about past efforts, but not negative. And-pulleeeze-don’t criticize your pastor!)
Talk a little about the present environment for reaching men-15 minutes. (How are men doing? What are their problems? How should the church respond?)
Review the biblical “case” for reaching men-15 minutes.
Finally, introduce the Men’s Ministry Action Plan1- 20 minutes. Say, “It seems clear that God is calling us to reach the men of our church and help them grow. I would like to suggest that, together, we go through a three week process of designing a men’s minsitry for our church using the Men’s Ministry Action Plan from Man in the Mirror. I like this plan because it’s short and sweet, yet covers all the essentials. In three weeks we will be challenged to think through, ‘What is our vision for our men’s ministry? What would we like to accomplish? What kind of men are we trying to produce? and How will we create, capture and sustain momentum among our men?’ Who would like to give it a try?”
THE THREE WEEK STUDY
They all will be excited about reaching the men of the church. Four out of five will also feel led to go through the three week study. Help! Now that you’ve got them committed, what’s next?
Actually, well in advance of your meeting call our toll free number, 1-800-929-2536 and order No Man Left Behind (NMLB) for $17.00 or 5 for $65.00. Distribute, and ask each man to read and prepare for the first session. From this point forward, the NMLB will show you what to do!
YOUR ACTION PLAN
Step 1. Call us and order NMLB, then familiarize yourself with the principles.
Step 2. Make an appointment with your senior pastor to discuss his vision and your desires.
Step 3. Make a list of ten or twelve spiritually respected men. Ask for your pastor’s help.
1. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
2. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
3. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
4. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
5. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
6. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
7. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
8. ________________________________ phone# _____________________________
Step 4. Set a meeting time that works for your pastor (if he wants to attend).
Step 5. Approach your men. The best piece of advice for selling I ever received is, “Go, If you can’t go, call. If you can’t call, write.” Go, Call, Write. You will get a far better hearing face to face. Try to see these men around the church. If that’s not possible, give them a personal phone call. If you need to write them, you may as well forget it.
Step 6. Have your initial meeting. (Don’t forget to order NMLB in advance.)
Step 7: Complete the study. The rest is in the NMLB. May the Lord give you favor with your pastor and these men. Oh, that brings up a good point. Be sure you pray at every step!
In 1998, the Men’s Ministry Action Plan was a three week guide to help you define or refine the vision for your men’s ministry. It has been licensed to denominations representing over 100,000 churches. Call 800-929-2536 to order NMLB today.
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.
© 1998. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved.