Studies are a great way to bring a bunch of guys together for a set period of time to discuss a topic that would be valuable for them.
I highly recommend thinking in terms of studies because it gives guys an easy on- and off-ramp to the men’s ministry as opposed to joining forever and ever.
Studies are great ways to inject life into the ministry and gather a new group of guys 3-4 times a year.
Here are 5 tips for finding the right study for your men’s ministry.
Keep it to 6 weeks.
In the Canadian climate, the best commitment you’ll get from guys is often 6 weeks. Many studies go for 10-16 weeks, but I recommend chopping it down to 6 weeks max. A great time to run a study is right after Thanksgiving until the first week of December, or from mid-January to the end of March. Running a study in May/June can make it harder to keep guys engaged.
Call it something a guy could talk about to any guy.
I’m all for catchy titles, but doing a study called “The Bait of Satan” (a great book!) ensures that your guys won’t be discussing it much with the other guys in his life. If it has a Christianese title, change it. It’s OK to rename a series so that it makes sense to every guy and not just the Christian guys.
Answer questions from the Bible that people are asking.
A great study is one that answers the questions that people are asking. People are trying to make life make sense and work, and the Bible can help with that. Pick topics and studies that answer questions that the guys in your community are asking.
Avoid overdoing the “mushy” topics.
It’s easy to focus on the softer side of life, but guys don’t need a non-stop diet of “love” and “feelings,” as important as those things are. I’m all for occasional workshops on “Developing Better Friendships,” but I’d prefer topics like “What to Do When You’re So Mad You’re Going to Lose It.” Tackle some of the hard-edged topics about being a guy and not just the softer stuff, and you’ll see good results.
Read the Bible.
I’m all for books and videos, but at some point, you need to crack open the spine of the Bible and ask, “What does it say?”; “What does it mean?”; “So, what are we going to do about it?” This is pretty close to the DMM (Disciple Making Movement) strategies we see worldwide. In the West, we can be so resource-rich that we’re not consulting the Source of it all. At least one study a year, make it this style – open the Bible, read it, and discuss it.
It’s time to start planning some great studies for your men’s group! Take these tips and let us know what you come up with.