During the Men’s Ministry Leadership Training, we talk about a quote from Patrick Morley: “You have not made disciples until your disciples are making disciples.”
One of the consistent challenges in men’s ministry is that it is the same men attending your events and small groups. Then, you have others who have a “Been there, done that” attitude – seeing everything solely from the perspective of “What’s in it for me?”
If Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples, how do we even get men to begin to invest in others?
Who Will You Bring?
The starting point is the culture of your church and ministry to men. As a leader, you create the culture – you set the atmosphere that defines what your efforts will be about. Every single event and every single activity that you plan requires one consistent focus in your promotional efforts: “Who will you bring?”
Men need to be challenged with this question over and over again to the point where it becomes an automatic thought. They need to be praying for others who need Jesus, and they need to be confronted with what they are doing to bring those other men to him. In the Gospels, we read that the first disciples would often leave Jesus to go and bring someone else to him.
I recently heard stories of groups of men who attended a men’s event and the leaders acknowledging that it was always the same group of men. The leaders would also acknowledge that they never challenged the men to bring other men with them – to reach out to those who are in need. As a leader, you create the culture for this.
Four Simple Steps
Once you have created the culture, you can begin to give your men simple steps to help them invest in others.
1. Prayer time
Every time your men meet together, have a prayer list of men they can invest in and pray for those men. If your men are unable to think of another man to pray for or bring, then challenge their thinking – have them build a list that includes the following:
- men you know at work
- your neighbors
- men you know through your kids’ sports activities
- men you know through hobbies you are part of
- men in your own family
- men you know who are going through a difficult time
2. Pursue Friendship
Once they have a list, then challenge men to go out for coffee or do some type of activity with one or two of the names on that list. Encourage the men to get to know these other men. Then, plan a time where they will report back on how that pursuit of friendship is going with that other man. Repeat this process as necessary until it becomes natural for the men.
3. Provide Resources
Give your men resources they can pass along to their friends. It might be a book, article, podcast, video or anything else they can pass along. Give something to the men and challenge them to pass it on to others. These things will all plant seeds in the lives of others.
4. Prepare your men
Equip your men to mentor other men through a training program or equip them to share their faith or answer difficult questions. Remind men what Jesus taught His disciples, this won’t be easy, and there will be pushback, but we live for a greater cause than our own comfort.
Men are not usually relationally strong, so it is incumbent on you as a leader to create the culture, training, and support to help men reach out to others. Without this, men will simply stay in their comfort zones and make life about themselves.