125 - How One Man Can Start a Men’s Ministry – Part 2
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Wednesday, December 10 2008 12:01|
Last month we introduced the story of Kevin, a man whose life was transformed by Christ and wanted to reach out to other men. He began by watching the Man in the Mirror Bible Study webcasts and starting small groups. Next he and the pastor gave a great Christian book to all the men in his church for $1 each and started even more small groups. All this activity brought more and more questions and Kevin was looking for answers.
Receiving Email Resources
Kevin realized his ministry had found a vacuum, and men rushed in to fill it. He quickly began to feel like he was in over his head. He knew he felt called by God, he knew the need was great, he knew men responded to him, but he also felt ill-prepared. About that time Kevin had signed up to receive all of the Man in the Mirror emails. One of those emails, The Weekly Briefing, began to encourage and inspire him that (a) he was not alone, (b) the problems he was encountering were normal, and (c) there was help and hope for him.
One of the Weekly Emails from Man in the Mirror was an article, "The Case for a Men's Discipleship Program." The article talked about the concept of "all-inclusive men's ministry." It made the point that if you have 100 men in your church, then the size of your men's ministry is 100 men. That idea rocked his world and changed the way he thought about his mission—and his own level of competence.
The emails only made Kevin feel even more under-prepared to lead the men of his church into discipleship. The deeper into it he went, the more it felt like a spiritual battle. He didn't know what to do next. One day a Weekly Email headline caught his eye: "Feel like your men's ministry is stuck in the minor leagues?"
That about sums it up for me, he thought. The email went on to encourage him to consider taking some training.
Attending Men's Ministry Training
Meanwhile Harold, who lives in the same state as Kevin, had stumbled onto Man in the Mirror's Leadership Training Center ("LTC") and attended a two and one-half day training in Orlando called, "How to Build a Sustainable Men's Ministry." Harold caught the vision for engaging every man in his state with a credible offer of Christ and the resources to grow. A few months later he hosted a regional men's ministry training workshop taught by Man in the Mirror faculty. Kevin heard about it, and attended. It was there that Kevin learned the principles of creating, capturing, and sustaining momentum in a church-based ministry to men. He quickly realized that passion without a systematic plan was a formula for failure. He took advantage of all the leadership training he could get. He went home and invited five men to work through the Men's Ministry Action Plan ("MMAP"). Four of the men finished the MMAP, and agreed to become Kevin's Leadership Team.
Hosting a Seminar
Once Kevin had finished teaching the men's Sunday School class, things tapered off. That was about the time he learned through the NTC leadership training that he periodically needed to create new momentum, then capture and sustain that momentum. When he heard that his church could sponsor a men's seminar that would also jump start a small group ministry, he instantly knew that was their next step. He learned the seminar could be taught by a Man in the Mirror faculty, or through a "You Teach It" format. He talked this over with his pastor and Leadership Team who loved the idea, and they decided—at least for the first one—to bring in an outside faculty person.
God really showed up at the seminar, which was held on a Friday night and Saturday morning. At the closing session, three men prayed to receive Christ for the very first time and 42% of the men confessed that they had not been walking with the Lord and rededicated themselves to become biblical Christians.
Even more astounding to Kevin, 66% of the men signed up for the six-week follow up small groups. And 72% of the men who had never been in a small group before signed up!
Attending Small Group Training
After a couple of years, Kevin could see that getting men into small groups was the one thing that seemed to have more impact on men's lives than anything else. It was in small groups that men studied the Bible and discussed books. But that was also the place where they built open, honest relationships with other men. In time, those men learned to love and trust each other, and the sharing became authentic.
So when Kevin learned about the LTC course, "Brothers! Building Vital Relationships," he decided to take his Leadership Team through the course. Their greatest lesson from the training was that you cannot violate "process" when building relationships. You have to give it time.
Becoming a Donor
Meanwhile, as Kevin honored God, God took care of Kevin. In fact, although many leaders find their circumstances get more difficult when they lead men, Kevin's business flourished during this period. By now Kevin had developed a real bond with Man in the Mirror. One day he received a postcard that asked if he would be willing to take a call from a Man in the Mirror staff person to talk about becoming a monthly donor. He enjoyed the called—the caller prayed with him about his ministry—and after talking and praying about it with his wife, they became monthly donors. It brought him satisfaction to think that he was making it possible for Man in the Mirror to surface other men just like him who would become leaders and reach their churches and peers like he was reaching his.
Joining the Man in the Mirror Leadership Community
Kevin heard about Man in the Mirror's upcoming plans to build a Leadership Community to offer email coaching, online training, an annual Leader's Meeting in Orlando, and a website that would connect him to other men like him from around the nation and world.
As part of the Man in the Mirror Leadership Community, Kevin will be able to preview, download, and rate the best practices of other men's leaders. For example, if he wanted to do a Wild Beast Feast he could download all the "how to's" about where to buy meat, find a speaker, graphics packages, and event logistics. That would save 50 hours of labor or more!
He was pleased to learn the Leadership Community will include a National Directory of men's leaders like him. So, for example, if he witnessed to a man on a plane headed home to Phoenix, he would be able to hop onto the website and connect the man with someone in Phoenix committed to reaching men.
Kevin felt relief that, as a member of the Leadership Community, he would have access to a list of the Top 100 Men's Resources. He wouldn't have to struggle anymore to find out if a resource was respected or not. And, along with other leaders in the community, his votes would determine the ratings and, if he wants, he would be able to write a review (like amazon.com!).
Kevin's only disappointment was that the Leadership Community will not be fully functional until the middle of 2006.
Kevin has come a long way in a short while. He realizes that having a ministry partner to train, encourage, and resource him is vital. You too can have a ministry like Kevin's. Of course, you will design it to suit your personality, style, and situation—no two men's ministries look exactly alike.
On the other hand, all effective men's ministries do look alike in certain respects. One key indicator of your success will be to know when you can stamp your ministry with your own ideas versus when you need to stick with the "system."
Man in the Mirror can help you stay on the right path. We encourage you to explore our website. Call us. Get training. Use our free resources. Purchase the resources you need to disciple your men. This is a battle that, together, we can win. We must not, we cannot and, by God's grace, we will not fail.