124 – How One Man Can Start a Men’s Ministry – Part 1
Men often ask us questions like, “How can I get involved? Is there a right path I can follow to reach men? How can Man in the Mirror help me reach men?”
The following story, based on actual events, answers these questions in a case study. Hopefully, the story will spark some ideas about how we can help each other do something great for God.
The mission of our high quality staff is to increase the competence and results of leaders who, while passionate about the battle for men’s souls, also realize they must be equally committed to implementing a systematic approach to disciple men.
Reading a Book
A father called his 33 year old son, Kevin, one day and said, “I’m sending you a book. It has revolutionized my life.” Since his dad didn’t usually talk like that, it caught Kevin’s attention.
Kevin read the book, and realized just how far he had wandered from his faith in Christ. Several times he had to put the book down, so strong was the conviction of sin he felt. He realized he had neglected his wife and children. He realized that he had made idols of work and money. He realized he was blaming everyone else for his unhappiness, instead of taking responsibility. He repented.
Starting a Bible Study
Kevin found his way to the www.maninthemirror.org website where he discovered the weekly Man in the Mirror Bible Study webcasts. He started watching the videos in his office. One day he turned around to make a comment, and realized no one was there.
He thought, This is crazy! I should get together a group of guys, and we should discuss these topics. He started inviting co-workers to join him in his office on Tuesday mornings, and soon was filled to capacity with six men. He printed out copies of the discussion questions from the website, and they began talking about what it means to be a man of God.
One of the messages encouraged men to pray with their wives. Kevin asked during the discussion time, “How many of you pray with your wives?” Only one man did. Kevin challenged the men to start praying with their wives, and hold each other accountable for it. All the men wanted to live more Godly lives, so they leaped at the opportunity to increase their spiritual intimacy with their wives.
Soon, other men wanted into the Bible Study, but Kevin’s office was full so he started a second group on Saturday mornings. Eventually, one of the men from the Tuesday group and another man from the Saturday group spun off and started groups of their own. Now they are up to four groups.
Distributing Books For $1
Kevin felt a growing passion to reach men for Christ. He discovered that he could order books by the case from Man in the Mirror, $50 for 48 books. He took an idea to his pastor, “If I pay for them, can we give every man in our church a book on how to become a more Godly man, husband, and father?” His pastor’s heart leaped—he had been praying about how to get his men more involved in discipleship. Kevin ordered enough books so each man could receive one.
Exploring the Website Resource Center
Kevin virtually camped out on the Man in the Mirror website for several months, reading “A Look in the Mirror” articles about how to disciple men, have a deeper walk with Christ, and how to grapple with practical issues. He appreciated the “New in the Last 7 Days” section, because there was always a fresh article, success story, Bible study, or radio broadcast available. He got goose bumps when he saw, “A Mini-Course in Men’s Ministry.” That was just what he needed! Plus he found case studies of churches who were “getting it done.”
He found the website to be content rich. There were over 500 practical, free resources available to help him be a more effective, systematic leader. He was surprised to learn that Man in the Mirror had worked with over 15,000 leaders last year.
Through the bookstore Kevin found enough curricula for ten years of small group studies. And Man in the Mirror was adding two, three, and sometimes four new resources every week! He was able to find a resource for virtually any topic he could think of—like Biblical Manhood, Personalizing the Great Commission, and the 12 Tasks of an Effective Father. And the resources came in audio, video, workbooks, short studies, books to study, CDs, DVDs, and even audio tapes! Special Tool Kits were available for Disciple-Makers, Moral Purity, and Marriage and Family. The “Drive Time 18” series were tailored for men in their cars. The topics ranged from Drive-Time Dads to Drive-Time Husbands to Drive-Time Spiritual Disciplines. He even ordered a Man in the Mirror hat!
Starting a Men’s Ministry
When the books for $1 arrived, Kevin noticed a Discussion Leader’s Guide in the back of the book. Kevin asked his pastor if the pastor could teach a men’s Sunday School class following the Guide in the back of The Man in the Mirror. His pastor was enthusiastic that Kevin was stepping up and, instead, urged Kevin to lead the group. Kevin felt inadequate, but his passion prevailed and he said, “Yes.” Kevin put an announcement in the bulletin. His pastor encouraged him to augment the bulletin bullet with a two-minute announcement from the pulpit one Sunday morning.
The church had tried several men’s classes in the past. Usually about 30 men would start, and the study would steadily dwindle down to three or four men by the end of the class. So Kevin was pleasantly surprised when 40 men turned out for the first session. They simply discussed one chapter each week. The men were encouraged to read the chapter before coming to class. The discussions were robust and cut to the heart of practical issues men grapple with every day. It was “news they could use.” At the end of the book study most of the men were still attending.
Several wives of men who were in these groups began stopping Kevin’s wife, Stephanie, in the church halls or grocery store aisles to ask her, “What in the world is your husband saying in those classes? It seems like I have a new husband and our children have a different father!” She replied, “I have a new husband too. I think all they are doing is asking the questions in the book.”
To Be Continued…
Join us next month as Kevin continues his efforts to reach and disciple men through his local church.