“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time” – Zig Ziglar
This old adage rings true for men’s ministry. Every men’s ministry I work with is trying to minister to . . . you guessed it . . . men.
Makes sense right? I mean, isn’t that what men’s ministry is about?
Here’s the thing, this is actually too broad a target. “Ministering to Men” is such a broad statement it’s like a fisherman saying they are “catching fish”.
What kind of fishing? What kind of fish are you catching? Where do those fish live? What kind of hook do you use? Sure, you can go out with any equipment, in any random spot and hope you catch something. But your chances of catching fish are much higher if you know what kind of fish, where they live and what they like to eat.
That’s a whole other level, and it requires more thought, expertise, and a different set of skills or execution pending on what your target is.
Churches that want to start men’s ministry need to think in these times of specific terms:
What age men are we trying to minister to? Pick one age target. Will you reach guys on either side? Of course. But the things you do to reach a 35-year-old and the things you do to reach a 55-year-old will be quite different. Don’t move to the other questions until you’ve selected an age. Hint: I’d suggest you target the 35-year-old .
- What are their biggest needs? Once you have the target age, you can ask what needs they have that you can serve. Different ages of men have different needs. Meeting the needs is a primary way grow a ministry. It doesn’t mean that’s all you do, but it’s a great way to start and grow.
- Where are these men now? To answer this question, look at the men of that age in your church and in your community. Ask yourself, where are they currently? What do they find themselves doing? What are their motivations? What struggles are they having? What do they celebrate? This specificity will help you decide what to do next.
- What kind of men do we want to see? This is the discipleship question. After guys have been with your ministry for 6 months, what kind of attitudes and actions should we be seeing? The term “better ______” is too vague. What exactly do we want to see men growing in? Name them. Write out the attitudes and actions you should see developing.
- What are we willing to do to reach them? Now that you’ve locked in on the age, discovered their needs, located where they are, and cast a vision for what they could become, it’s time to ask yourselves, what’s it going to take? Most of our ministries aren’t reaching men because we’re busy doing something else. In order to change, we must be willing to do things we’ve never done before. We’re going to have to invest time and dollars into something new. We’ll have to be willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of those not yet in the room. This is going to require sacrifice.
Stop trying to “reach men” and start getting specific. By improving your aim, you’ll reach more than you ever thought possible.