Eyeball to Eyeball Ministry
Here is one sure way of knowing whether or not you are discipling men to lead powerful lives transformed by Jesus Christ: Go eyeball to eyeball and have a meaningful conversation.
To give a man a book to help him on his journey to biblical manhood is a tremendous discipleship tool. I am amazed at the impact of Christian literature. If I had not personally seen how much books change men’s lives, I would never have believed it. But the impact of a book generally plateaus far below its full potential unless, guess what, you go eyeball to eyeball and have a meaningful conversation about what the man has read.
Teaching the Word of God in a Bible study is a tremendous method to disciple men. It’s great because you can talk to a number of men all at once. And authentic change and transformation does take place. The problem is, however, that you will not know about those changes or what questions men still have, unless, once again, you go eyeball to eyeball and have a meaningful conversation.
Preaching the word of God from the pulpit is the first, and perhaps the most important, method of discipling men. This is the one time you have the maximum number of men assembled in one location. It is the greatest opportunity to communicate truth to the greatest number of men. As great as this opportunity is, it nevertheless does not give you feedback on how the man has received the truth or acted upon it. Again, the only way to know is to go eyeball to eyeball and have a meaningful conversation.
The same is true whether you invite a man to a seminar, a retreat, a work project, a mission trip, an outreach event, or a prayer breakfast. You do the man and the Lord a disservice unless you go eyeball to eyeball and have a meaningful conversation about what’s going on.
Imagine all of the advertising and promotion money that is spent to get someone into the showroom of a car dealership. You walk into the showroom and see the car of your dreams, stunningly displayed under the lights. You are ready to convert! What would you think if no one came over to go eyeball to eyeball with you and have a meaningful conversation about that car? Would you buy anyway? Or would you leave with a bad feeling?
We need to be careful not to train leaders to “manage” a men’s ministry like they would manage a business. Instead, we need to train leaders to be personally involved in the lives of individual men, to do personal ministry, to get together with real men and talk about real issues, to go eyeball to eyeball and have a meaningful conversation about how that man is doing. This is at the core of men’s ministry. If you’re not doing eyeball to eyeball ministry, you’re just playing games and wasting time. Let’s all make sure that we are going eyeball to eyeball with real men.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.