The #1 Ingredient to a Successful Ministry to Men
There are many ingredients that go into this recipe called “men’s ministry” and all of them are quite important.
If you are going to build a successful ministry to men in your church, there is one thing you must have. Without this, your church’s men’s ministry will never develop.
Your Senior Pastor’s Support
When you ask for his support, don’t scare him to death. Remember, he’s been trying to get the men out of the pews and into action for decades. Now, suddenly you come on strong like you’re the one who finally thought of it. Actually, your interest is the fruit of his ministry. The reaping now taking place among men is the result of years and years of our pastors and men’s ministry specialists faithfully sowing the seed into men’s lives.
Before you jump into building a men’s ministry, make sure you sit down with your pastor and ask these crucial questions: “Pastor, what is your vision for men’s discipleship in this church? How can we support that vision?”
If you want your pastor to be “for” your efforts to build a disciple-making ministry to men in the church, a pastor needs to believe you are for him first. Here are five more ways to do that:
- Pray for your pastor. Just don’t tell your pastor, at least not at first. They probably won’t believe you. Why? They hear that all the time! Just faithfully pray for your pastor. After you’ve been consistent for a while, then start asking for requests, even offer to pray with them.
- Support your pastor. Pastors suffer the slings and arrows of the enemy…and sometimes of “friends” too. The leaders of your men’s discipleship ministry need to be known for having the pastor’s back. If you hear someone deriding or gossiping about your pastor, stop them. Say, “We don’t talk about our pastor that way here.” Word will get around that you support your pastor.
- Inform your pastor. No surprises! Keeping your pastor in the loop will help you avoid landmines in the church, and also help your pastor avoid being in the middle of a conflict inadvertently.
- Include your pastor. But include them in the way they want to be included. Some pastors prefer a leadership role—praying for the meal, sharing a devotional, etc. Others just want to be “one of the guys” when they are at a men’s event. We had a rule that on our men’s retreats that our pastor was not “Pastor Pete,” but just “Pete.” He appreciated the opportunity to relax and enjoy the time away with the men of the church.
- Love your pastor. Serve your pastor in tangible ways. Get your leaders together and buy a restaurant gift card and pay for babysitting so they can enjoy a night out as a couple. Find out what your pastor is passionate about and pitch in to help make it happen. Show your pastor that you appreciate all they do for you and the men of the church.
Being a pastor is one of the hardest jobs out there. Pastors bear the weight of the pain and hurt of their congregations on their shoulders. Love and support your pastor well and they will be that much more excited about your efforts to reach and disciple men.
For more insights on supporting your pastor, check out this article.
Every man who wants to initiate or grow the ministry to men in his church needs to make sure the pastor is
Pastor, what is your vision for the men of the church? How can I (or we, the men’s leaders) help you accomplish that?
(Note: This series of posts is based in part on a previous article, How to Build a Strong Men’s Ministry. Many of these same principles have been expanded on significantly in our book, No Man Left Behind, and the training it is based on.)