“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
Men’s ministry is usually not one of the highlight points of the ministry menu in a local church. If they have a men’s ministry, it’s a smaller group of guys that meet once a month for breakfast or coffee, or it’s a small group that consists of the same guys attending over and over again. We long for a vibrant ministry to men where young and old guys encourage one another to become, grow, and live as disciples of Jesus. We would love to see men in our community find and follow Jesus. But, if we’re honest, we’re not seeing that.
Maybe it’s time to rethink how we do men’s ministry in our local churches. Here are 3 ways to help you rethink men’s ministry:
1. From Programs to People
The Church is the people. A men’s ministry can come across like a program we do, rather than a people we minister to. I like the term “ministry to men” instead, because it means that you don’t have to come to a study or an event to be considered a part of our ministry.
Ministry to men puts the people in front of the program.
If you’re a guy in my church or community, you are part of my ministry to men. This will force you to think differently about how you minister to guys who don’t come to the things you invite them to. How do you disciple a man if you don’t have a bible study or breakfast? How do you develop community outside of church programming? It will cause you to get innovative in how you do it, but it starts with this simple shift.
2. From Inbound to Outbound
Most of our men’s ministry is focused on helping Christian men be better Christian men. While there is nothing wrong with this, we miss the great opportunity to disciple non-Christian men in our community, to help them discover Jesus Christ and follow Him with their lives.
When our ministry is geared to Christian insiders, then our language, content and mindset becomes exclusive.
We tend to ignore the unchurched man in your community who needs what you’re talking about. He just needs it in a different way. When you shift your ministry to think about that guy in your community, it will affect the language you use (no more “Christianese”), the things you do, and the intentionality you place on connection. Men from your community don’t understand the things that Christian men understand. They don’t share the same value sets. So…considering them in your ministry to men will force you to talk about the things that matter to men in your community in a way that the men in your community will understand. I believe this will also equip your Christian men to better reach the men in their circle of influence.
3. From Old to Young
In many churches, congregations are getting older. They have failed to truly engage the younger generation to the point where they are taking the mantle of leadership. In our ministries, we have the opportunity to lean young and intentionally put younger leaders in positions of influence to help steer the ministry to reach the next generation. I know this may seem scary, but it’s necessary for the sustainability of ministry; we must reach and keep this next generation. Leaning young in your ministry to men will force you to be intentional about who makes the key decisions in your ministry. If you have a 20-year-old making key decisions, they won’t think like you. This is a good thing.
Leaning young will cause you to place younger leaders in positions of influence, and place the older leaders in positions of mentoring and developing the younger ones.
Ministries grow because people are developed. If we don’t develop people, then we will end up carrying it all on our own. Rethink how you can utilize the younger men in your church to lead the ministry.
Rethinking ministry gives us the opportunity to try new things and innovate. God has given each of us the ability and desire to create. Rethink the ways you have been doing things and let’s start something fresh.