No Man Left Behind: Model, Method, and Mindset
When a man comes to church for help, we need to be ready for him, because it’s a tragedy if he shows up and we aren’t. For 20 years, we’ve been training leaders to be ready for men through No Man Left Behind: a model, method, and mindset.
By Brett Clemmer
President & CEO
Recently Nate Flynn, our Area Director in southern Indiana, shared:
A woman emailed me recently to ask if I could recommend a men’s group where her son could get connected. Then another man reached out to me looking for a church.
In both cases, one question came to my mind: “Who is ready for him?”
When a man thinks to himself, Maybe the church can help, we need to be ready, because it’s a tragedy if he shows up and we aren’t.When a man reached out to me and wanted to find a church where he could get connected, one question came to mind. 'Who is ready for him?' Click To Tweet
For 20 years, Man in the Mirror has been training leaders to be ready for men when they show up. Through our No Man Left Behind training, we have helped thousands of churches think strategically about how men are discipled there and create a process that has the potential to reach every man, no matter how mature or involved he is when he starts.
No Man Left Behind can be looked at from from three perspectives that, together, give you a comprehensive approach to men’s discipleship. Let’s look at each perspective briefly: model, method, and mindset.
No Man Left Behind: A MODEL
When I was a boy, I loved building models. The picture on the box and the instructions inside showed me what I was building and how to build it. I knew that if I (mostly) followed the directions, I would end up with the P-51 or a B-52.
No Man Left Behind is a model as well. The “picture” we’re working toward is a disciple: a man who is called to live in Christ, equipped to live like Christ and sent to live for Christ; a man who loves God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength, and his neighbor as himself; and a man living a powerful, transformed life who understands his identity in Christ.
The model provides “directions” are a process that if you (mostly) follow, you will have more men in church and more men connected and engaged in discipleship.
In the same way that my model plane showed me what a B-52 looked like and how to build it, the No Man Left Behind Model shows what a church that disciples its men looks like and how to put the right pieces together.
No Man Left Behind: A METHOD
The No Man Left Behind Model looks like a conveyor belt. You can see it here. The model is built on the firm foundations of the proper focus (discipleship), leadership (3 strands), and environment (“man code”).
But the engine that runs the conveyor belt, helping a man grow and move forward in his journey, is the Create-Capture-Sustain process.
Create-Capture-Sustain is a method that you can use to make sure that every activity and interaction with men contributes to long-term growth and impact. Here is a brief explanation of each component:
- Create Value: Give men what they need in the context of what they want. Men have a lot of choices. To get men involved, you need to show them the value of what you’re offering. Determine the felt need of the men you’re trying to reach and meet that need—whether its financial guidance, marriage advice, Bible knowledge, or challenge and fun.
- Capture Momentum: Always show men the right next step. How many times have you seen a bunch of guys show up for an exciting event, only to wonder where they all went two weeks later? It’s important to capture that momentum you created with good “second gear” opportunities. Never plan an activity without offering an immediate short-term follow-up opportunity.
- Sustain Change: Find the activities in the church that are the most effective and help men get connected. If you want to help men plug into other activities in the church, make sure you are helping them find the best, most effective ministries that make sense based on their interests and spiritual maturity. Don’t just tell a man what to do or where to go next; instead, bring him with you. Make it easy for him to say, “Okay, I’ll try that.”
Put it into practice! If you’re a leader in your church, look at the upcoming events and activities and apply the Create-Capture-Sustain process to it. You’ll be excited to see men become and remain engaged for the long haul. And if you aren’t a part of the leadership team, you can still use this process in your personal, one-on-one discipleship efforts.
No Man Left Behind: A MINDSET
Answer these two questions quickly:
- How many men are in your church?
- How many men are in your men’s ministry?
A conventional mindset defines “men’s ministry” as only those guys who show up for the weekly men’s group, monthly breakfast, or annual retreat. Break out of that thinking and consider a new idea that we call an “all-inclusive” ministry to men mindset.
Make a list of all the places men interact with or participate in your church—the worship service, nursery, ushers, setup team, youth group, Sunday School, elders, parking lot volunteers, softball team, sound booth, etc.
Now, here’s a radical idea: They are ALL part of your ministry to men!
Instead of focusing on how many men you can get to your men’s-only events, strategize ways to help every ministry that touches men in your church disciple those men right where they are.
An all-inclusive ministry to men maximizes the Kingdom potential of every interaction your church has with every man.
For example, help the head usher get his men talking about Scripture and praying for each other. Tell the men working in the nursery how much you appreciate their ministry to the babies and parents they serve. Get some mature Christian guys to join the softball team and develop relationships with guys behind them on their spiritual journey.Expand your thinking. Every man in your church is part of your ministry to men.Click To Tweet
Expand your thinking. Every man in your church is part of your ministry to men. In fact, you may decide to abandon the phrase “men’s ministry” altogether if it limits your men to a picture of a few guys eating pancakes rather than what it is: bold, passionate disciples pursuing Christ together.
If you’d like to create or strengthen a culture of men’s discipleship in your church, check out how you can get trained at nomanleftbehind.org.
We want to ensure that when someone asks, “Who is ready for him?” you can say confidently, “We are.”
THE BIG IDEA: Adopting the No Man Left Behind approach as a model, method, and mindset will dramatically change the way your church disciples men.