Men’s Ministry Meets Social Distancing
From the Man in the Mirror Team
We all share a fundamental understanding that the church isn’t a building—that the body of Christ isn’t defined by or confined to four walls, a roof, and a steeple. This season of uncertainty and difficulty surrounding COVID-19 presents endless opportunities to demonstrate this in how we care for and love those in our communities.
And yet, it also presents challenges in continuing to minister to the men around us, as millions of people are social distancing or sheltering in place.
In the absence of four walls, a roof, and a steeple, how do you disciple men effectively, especially when they may be anxious, isolated, sick, or fearful?
We want to equip you to overcome those challenges and thrive in the spirit of Hebrews 10:23-25 (NASB):
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
In this post, we’re going to introduce you to five resources you can use right now in your ministry to men. And at the end, we’ll share some tools that will enrich your experience and make online community easier.
Resource #1: Online Bible Study
Did you know that we have hundreds of FREE video Bible study messages available for men? We offer application-based series on diverse topics such as marriage, fathering, finances, spiritual disciplines, outreach, and more.
Here’s how to begin using it this week: go to www.mimbiblestudy.com and choose which messages or series you’d like to share with the men in your church, small group, office, or neighborhood! Each video teaching is approximately 30 minutes long and comes with a downloadable handout with discussion questions. Use one of the digital tools listed at the end of this article to engage men in group discussion.
Resource #2: Books! by the Box
Many of your men may be experiencing financial hardship, and our Books! by the Box program enables you to put a heart-oriented book in their hands to help them grow for less than $2 per book. Books come in cases of 12 or 48 and each one comes with discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Here’s how to begin using it this week: go to www.booksbythebox.com and choose between two great books by Patrick Morley: The Man in the Mirror or How God Makes Men. Invite men to join the book study over the next several weeks and then deliver a book to each of their mailboxes, as able.
Use one of the video meeting services at the end of this post to facilitate a group video call to discuss each chapter. This is a great way to help a small group or Sunday school class feel connected to one another during this time apart, while growing spiritually.
Resource #3: The Christian Man Mentoring Experience
The Mentoring Experience is an easy way to facilitate one-on-one discipleship during this time! This 12-week mentoring experience is based on The Christian Man book by Patrick Morley. When used with the downloadable Coaching Guide, men will examine what God says about the major areas of their life; discuss their struggles, strengths, and goals; discover what it means to be a Christian man in today’s world; and grow in their faith, as well as their relationships.
Here’s how to begin using it this week: If you’re a men’s leader at your church, decide whether you want to pair up men from your ministry or encourage your guys to invite someone from outside the church to go through it with them. If you are doing it outside of your church’s men’s ministry, pray about who God would have you invite to go through it with you. Then go to www.maninthemirror.org/mentor, watch the short video tips, and order the mentoring package.
We’ll send you the books and a link to download the Coaching Guide. Then as you read the book, meet with your mentor or the man you’re mentoring over one of the video call services mentioned at the end of this post. Or you may opt for a phone call if preferred! Aim to “meet” at least once a week.
Resource #4: MIM Devotions for Men
Through a partnership between Man in the Mirror and GoTandem/Back to the Bible, the MIM Devotions for Men App gives you a daily dose of Scripture and teaching targeted towards men. Whether you are working from home right now, watching young children, providing healthcare services, or delivering groceries, this resource will help you grow in your faith right where you are.
Each daily evotion includes a key verse, devotional reading, and questions you can use for discussion and journaling. The integrated note-taking feature allows you to record your thoughts right in the app, and the One-Year Bible Reading Plan is integrated as well.
Here’s how to begin using it this week: click here for instructions to download the app. Go through it on your own or with other men. No matter when you get started, your group will all receive the same devotional and questions on the same day so you can discuss them as you go!
Resource #5: Leadership Training
As life slows down for many, use this time to equip your men’s leadership team. The video-based No Man Left Behind Courseware is a convenient way to train your leaders to build a customized discipleship strategy using the No Man Left Behind Model—on your schedule, at your pace.
This online training consists of 16 sessions, and each one includes a teaching video, participant guide, and facilitator guide to download.
Here’s how to begin using it this week: Go to www.nomanleftbehind.org and register your church to gain unlimited access for as many leaders as you want to train for one year. Choose a username and password that you can share with all of your leaders so that they can access the training materials on their own and watch from home. Then for each session, have a group “meeting” over video to complete the planning exercises.
If you aren’t looking for the full training at this time, check out our free leadership webinars and blogs for leaders at www.maninthemirror.org.
Tools to Help Your Men Gather Digitally
Today its easier than ever to help your men stay connected.THE BIG IDEA: The goal is social distancing, not social isolation! Connect men to Christ and to each other.Click To Tweet
Here are some great tools available to help your men stay connected to one another.
Zoom: At Man in the Mirror, this is our preferred video service; it’s easy to use and can be done on a PC or mobile device by simply downloading the free app. It also allows larger groups to gather—up to 100 participants for free and up to 1000 paid.
Skype: Up to 10 men can use Skype for a video call for free. If you need to reach more men, you can pay a small monthly sum for a business account.
Google Hangouts: Up to 10 men can use Hangouts for a video call for free. They can access it on a PC or mobile.
AnyMeeting: this can be a good option for a small group of 4-6 men.
FaceTime: this is an easy-to-use tool is great for groups of 2 or 3 men with iOS devices.
Facebook Groups: Create a private Facebook group and invite men to participate in a book or Bible study with you. Post the links to videos if applicable, as well as any discussion questions included with the study. Keep the men engaged in discussion and lift each other up in prayer as requests are shared.
There are several additional tools out there! Determine your needs and then explore your options online.
If you need additional support for your ministry at this time, please call us at 407.472.2100 x 110. Or to find a local Area Director near you. Our trained Area Directors are here to serve you at no charge.
In the coming days and weeks, Man in the Mirror will be offering new resources and ways for you to stay engaged in men’s discipleship and spiritual growth in these unique circumstances. We are praying for you and your church.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…”