Excerpt #7. An All-Inclusive Ministry to Men
NOTE: In conjunction with the release of our new book about men’s discipleship ministry, No Man Left Behind, we are publishing 12 excerpts to give you a taste of the book. This one is from Chapter 7, “An All-Inclusive Ministry to Men.”
Every Man is Part of Your Men’s Ministry
Finally, an all-inclusive men’s ministry helps every man in the church feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. It allows men to be involved in your church wherever they feel God is calling them to participate.
If every man in the church is part of our men’s ministry, then we must come up with innovative and effective ways to communicate that message to, well, every man! (This is why the Resonance and External slogan concepts from Chapter 8 are so important.)
For instance, at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs, Florida (where Brett attends), they call their men’s ministry Iron Men. To help every man feel a part of the men’s ministry, they always refer to the men of the church as Iron Men. There are no men at Willow Creek who aren’t Iron Men. If you go to church there – even for one week – you are an Iron Man. Almost every time there is an announcement to the men, whether it is in service or elsewhere, the statement is made, “Every man in our church is an Iron Man.” Sounds hokey? Perhaps, but when you look around the sanctuary, you’ll see the guys sit up a little straighter every time it is said.
Wherever men are involved, you need to “claim” them for your men’s ministry in a way that supports and honors the other ministries of the church. Help these committed men understand that coming to the annual men’s retreat or monthly men’s breakfast or weekly Bible Study is not a requirement to be part of the men’s ministry. The men working with children need to see themselves as a man in ministry. Provide apron/smocks in the infant classes with the logo of your men’s ministry. This gives a dual benefit. First of all, the man looks down at that logo and says, “The men of this church consider me a part of the men’s ministry. They think what I am doing with kids is an important ministry. I’ve got the smock to prove it!” Second, the moms dropping off their children see the logo and say, “Wow, the men of this church are willing to do whatever it takes. They’ve even got guys working in the nursery!”
Help men who assist with parking see themselves as men in ministry. Give them prayer cards each Sunday with the men’s ministry logo, a scripture verse, and a prayer request for the church. Ask them to use any down time to pray.
What other areas that men are already involved can you think of? How could you engage those men in discipleship and help them feel like they are part of the men’s ministry in your church? Think about men who serve or participate in:
- Leading a boys Sunday School class
- Working in the sound booth
- In a couples Sunday School class or small group
- Helping in the youth group
- Involved in the building project
- Singing in the choir or praise team
- Coaching a children’s team in a sports league
- Working with the boy scout troop or Awanas
There is no end to the creative and unique ways you can help men feel like they are a part of what God is doing through the men of your church. In the end, the message must communicate that it’s not about some program that you want men to join. Help men feel like your church values and desires that every man in the church would learn to experience God’s love and the brotherhood of the other men in the church.
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.