Blueprint for Your Best Men’s Event Ever
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been talking about how to create value for men. Often, churches accomplish this through events, and as the fall approaches, your church might be considering one for your men. At Man in the Mirror, we are BIG fans of events—with one BIG caveat: Events should create value that produces momentum, and momentum by definition implies movement and growth:
1 :strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events
We know that churches don’t set out to do events for the sake of checking a box on the ministry calendar; no, they want to see lives changed by the power of Christ! But without a plan to capture the momentum—the “strength or force gained”—that was created by the event, the impact is frequently short term.
We always say that spending your time, effort, and money to host an event with no follow-up in place is like turning up the heat in winter and opening all the doors and windows. Before you know it, there’s little to show for your team’s hard work.
For this reason, we don’t want you to ever plan a stand-alone event. Instead, we want to help you wisely use events as the powerful tool they are within a bigger strategy to disciple men over the long term.
Here’s a three-part plan to ensure your next event impacts men long after the day ends!
Want to tap into the ultimate source of momentum? Ask God to begin moving in the hearts and minds of men in the days and weeks leading up to the event. The Holy Spirit is able to do more than we can even imagine, and our best laid plans pale in comparison.
It’s easy to get caught up in the tasks and work to be done, but prioritize prayer. It’s the single most important thing you can do for your event. Consider recruiting a prayer team, and include the women’s ministry in this effort!
If your goal is inspire a man to take the next step in his spiritual journey, often out of his comfort zone, then something has to connect with him at the heart level. There are a lot of ways to make your event meaningful and resonant, such as through the use of humor, art, teaching, etc.
One of the most effective ways though is testimony—one man simply sharing his story with other men. Intentionally prepare for this, choosing someone ahead of time to share and discussing things like topic and duration. You may want to encourage him to write an outline, or even record it ahead of time.
The men in your church are going through their own struggles, whether known or not. An event gives men a unique opportunity to break out of normal routines and company, where they can pause and examine the state of their lives. So no matter the method you choose, do your part in creating an environment where the Holy Spirit can move in the hearts of your men.
We’ll never forget a letter we received from Pastor Mark in Illinois after their Success That Matters event. Here’s an excerpt:
“As a pastor, I get the privilege of being involved in people’s lives and supporting leaders who are involved in people’s lives. This means I know things that are going on at an event that many don’t see or understand. For example, during our event:
• One young man, married less than a year, was considering leaving his wife.
• One man was struggling with an addiction to pornography.
• One man was struggling with how to tell his wife they were deeply in debt.
• One man has been out of work for over a year and was feeling so useless he was considering ending his life.
• One father was there with his two sons, both of whom have been very far from God.
“The list could go on, and I am sure there were many stories that weekend that I didn’t know about. I can tell you this: in each of the above cases, God used the event to make a profound and significant difference in the lives of the men who were there.
“The young couple is in counseling and the man is recommitted to making the marriage work. The man struggling with pornography shared this with his small group and they are supporting him as he gets help. The man in debt not only told his wife, but God honored that honesty with a new and dramatically better job opportunity that will help them get back on their feet. The man who was considering ending his life has found new hope, even though he still hasn’t found a job. One of the sons joined our men’s group the next week and has been in church every week since.”
What a harvest! Don’t just have the foresight to pray that God would prepare and bring the men who need to be at the event. Have the insight to make the most of the opportunity He’s given you.
We’ll let you in on the secret ingredient that has resulted in more than 2/3 of 120,000 attendees joining small groups at our events. The ingredient is onsite commitment.
Don’t let guys leave the event without committing to their next step. For Man in the Mirror events, we use six-week follow-up groups. You may choose to offer small groups as well, or something else entirely. But there should be a follow-up plan in place, prepared ahead of time, and men should walk out of there knowing who, what, when, and where.
Experience has shown us that even if you wait just 1-2 weeks to invite men to take a next step, much of the momentum of the event will have been lost, and participation is greatly reduced. If you want to capture the momentum that has been produced, onsite commitment is the key.
Pastor Jim in Michigan served as Event Director for his church’s Man in the Mirror men’s event, where we helped them prepare for onsite commitment to follow-up groups. He shared:
“I just wanted to say thank you again—not just for the event itself but for the way that you clearly established in almost every man’s mind the need to join a follow-up group. We have more than 100 guys involved in weekly small group studies in the middle of the summer because of the way God used the event.
“I’m estimating that at least 50% of those guys are in their first small-group experience. And a couple of our new leaders are kinda glowing about how easy it was to lead their groups, and how God just eliminated their fears about it. Isn’t that awesome?!”
In the summertime, when many churches take a break from ongoing discipleship activities, this church experienced a surge in spiritual growth and engagement! Why? They made sure their event was part of a larger strategy to get men into the Word and into relationships with others.
Here’s the truth: Event-driven ministry eventually resembles a roller-coaster ride of alternating ups and downs—exhausting to both the leaders and the men. The way you step off the roller-coaster is by providing men with their next step to continue growing up in biblical maturity, and the best way to get as many men to take their step as possible is onsite commitment.
Don’t shy away from events. They can transform your ministry! Just make sure your next event is built to last by remembering foresight, insight, and onsite. Click here to read about the power of personal invitation, too.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you disciple men through one of our men’s events, go to mimevents.org. Every event includes curriculum for six-week follow-up groups so your church can capture the momentum.
(Don’t yet have a leadership team in place? Start with GO: Jumpstart Your Ministry to Men. We’ll help you do a simple event, followed by a four-week study!)