Men’s ministry in the local church has never been easy, and it is about to become even more difficult. Even the most committed local church has had challenges with their men’s ministry during COVID. Having everyone stay home and eat bacon and eggs while joining a Zoom meeting just is not quite the same. As the church looks to rebuilding ministry over the coming months, how can you relaunch your men’s ministry?
Recognize Men’s Ministry Is Not the Priority…
In most environments, men’s ministry has never been even close to the highest priority activity in the church. This will be exaggerated even more in the next few months. The leadership in your church has a lot on their plate right now. They are navigating different levels of restrictions and regathering rules for Sunday mornings. They are trying to rebuild volunteer teams who have basically disintegrated since the spring of 2020. Pastors are focused on a lot of things because many are essentially relaunching their entire church in the coming weeks. If men’s ministry was not a priority before, it will be even less of a priority for the next six to twelve months.
But Understand You Need Men for the Mission
While men’s ministry is not the priority, the need for godly men is massive. We need men who are going to love their families and invest in their spiritual well-being. We need men to serve in children’s and youth ministry to help the next generation know how great God’s love is. We need men stepping up to serve in greater levels of leadership in the life of the church. The mission Jesus has called all of us to requires every person to be “all in” if the church is going to be everything she is designed to be.
Learning from Nehemiah
When it comes to rebuilding what God values, I believe we can learn some great lessons from the story of Nehemiah in the Bible. Nehemiah was a normal guy like you and me. He was not a priest or a prophet. His role was to supervise the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Jews returned from living in exile in Babylon.
Start rebuilding by getting on your knees.
Nehemiah’s starting point was not to build a plan. He started in prayer. He sought God for the forgiveness of Israel’s sin, and he sought God’s favour in the work he wanted to do. How is your prayer life for the men’s ministry you are seeking to rebuild?
Talk to those in authority.
God has placed people in spiritual authority in your church. They may have a lot of things on their plate, but that does not mean they do not care about rebuilding the men in your church. After Nehemiah prayed, he went to the king and sought his blessing to rebuild Jerusalem. Who do you need to meet with to seek their blessing to rebuild the men’s ministry in your church? Do not move ahead until you have this blessing.
Inspect and assess your current reality.
Once he had the blessing of the person in authority, Nehemiah’s next step was to inspect the walls of Jerusalem and see what he was up against. There is a lot you do not know about the state of the men in your church. Take some time and do your research.
- Which men are still connected with your church?
- How have their habits changed during COVID? Will they attend in-person gatherings? Online groups?
- What are the challenges men are facing today and the questions they are wrestling with?
- What is their current emotional state?
These and other questions will help you assess your reality. As you do this, note one more little detail from Nehemiah’s story – do not try to rebuild alone. In Nehemiah 2:12, we discover he took a few men with him to assess the current reality. Do not try to do this alone. Take the time to build your men’s ministry team.
In Nehemiah 2:17, we see that his next step was to cast vision to a broader group. You need to begin to connect with men, and cast vision for why building up men is so important for their families, church, and community. Only a compelling “why should we do this” will help gather others for the rebuilding of something.
Have a sense of urgency.
If you have been called by God to rebuild your men’s ministry, then you need to have a sense of urgency about it. Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days because he knew how important this was for his people. If you are convicted of the importance of rebuilding your men’s ministry, then have a sense of urgency to get things going.
The work God has called you to in building up men is critical. Men’s ministry may not be the priority for others, but that does not minimize the value God has placed on it. You are needed to help rebuild the men in your church and community. Start today by following in the steps of other leaders like Nehemiah.