How Do We Disciple Those Who Don’t Want It?
A leader in our group posed this question after the last Weekly Briefing: “That sounds great. How do we disciple those who don’t want it? I sincerely want to know what you think, and what your plan is?”
Answer: Thank you for your question, “How do we disciple those who don’t want it?” Evangelism and discipleship simply means taking someone as far as they want to go with Jesus. So you really can’t disciple men who don’t want it, but that doesn’t mean our hands are tied. Far from it. You can pray for them, expose them to opportunities, and make the gospel attractive and valuable.
So in one sense, this is perhaps asking the wrong question (How do we disciple those who don’t want it?) Possibly a better question is, “How can we build a discipleship model that over the long haul will engage every man in our church when they are ready?” We don’t catch men when “we” are ready, but when “they” are ready. And we don’t tell them how involved to become, we simply take them as far as they want to go with Jesus. The same holds true for women, youth, and children.
Now let’s get practical. Using the No Man Left Behind Model, you offer repeated and varied opportunities to men that “create momentum.” These can be business or sports speakers, wilderness trips, topical seminars, a Wild Beast Feast, etc. The idea is to catch/engage men when they are open. So it’s also important to know when men are open—like when they lose a job, have marriage problems, kids are not doing well, lose a parent, midlife crisis, a moral failure, etc.
Using this methodology over, say, a 10 year period, you will eventually intersect with almost every man in the church. Think in these terms: “How can I give men what they need in the context of what they want?” For example, men need to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus for their marriage to work, but what they may want are 10 tips to improve their marriage. Make sense?
In the No Man Left Behind Model, you also must takes steps to “capture momentum” and “sustain momentum.” Take the Men’s Ministry Mini-Course to see the model. Get our book, No Man Left Behind, and study the model. Then attend a No Man Left Behind Conference with several likeminded men from your church (bring your pastor). There are over 500 free resources to assist you at www.maninthemirror.org. We’re here to help you, as are thousands of other leaders around the world.
You can do this, but you have to get trained. Denzel Washington said in Man on Fire, “You’re either trained or you’re not trained.” There is no other way. Make sense?
Let’s lock arms. You can get there from here. This is a battle you can win. With God’s help and the right training, you will not fail. And don’t tie yourself in knots about it. It’s his work, not ours. Our job is to be faithful, not produce a particular outcome.
Keep the faith,
Pat Morley, Ph.D.
Of the 113,00,000 men 15 and older, 10,600,000 were 15 – 19 years of age, and 10,800,000 were 20 – 24 years of age. The number of men 20 – 21 years of age were estimated from Census Bureau totals. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/06s0011.xls , retrieved September 29, 2006.