Welcome to our next Leadership Tip where we discuss some of the most pressing issues you will face as a leader of men in your church and community.
Today, we are going to address how to lead well when men are so busy all the time.
Busyness is real and makes it incredibly difficult for you to plan your ministry activities. Most of us have felt the sting of planning some type of event or group only to have people back out at the last minute or not even bother to register. It can make serving in ministry very frustrating at times when you feel like nobody cares about all the effort you put into planning something.
So how do we handle building ministry to men when they are so busy?
Three types of busy men: healthy, unhealthy, and delusional.
The Healthy Busy Man
The men who are busy in a healthy way are legitimately investing in things that are important to God. They work hard, invest in their marriage and family, serve in some way the needs of others, etc. They may legitimately have no time for more activity. Instead of criticizing them for not showing up, take the time to notice the faithful men in your church and become their primary encouragers. Most men don’t have anyone in their life who encourages them.
Take the challenge of writing one note card per week to a faithful man in your church and let him know that you see the impact he’s having and you are praying God continues to use him and shape him in significant ways in the days ahead.
The Unhealthy Busy Man
The unhealthy busy men are the guys who have life way out of balance. They are working 70 hours per week, and have no time or energy left for God, their marriage, kids, or church. They play multiple rounds of golf in a week but don’t have time to attend a Bible study. These men will run dry at some point. They cannot sustain an unhealthy busyness because God has designed our bodies to only handle so much. I want to recommend to you a book called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. This is an excellent tool to help guide men who are constantly talking about how busy they are in life, but there is no good fruit coming from their life. In the book, John Mark Comer talks about the difference between busy and hurried and how Jesus was always busy, but he was busy doing things that mattered. He was never hurried.
Jesus was always busy, but he was busy doing things that mattered. He was never hurried.
These men require certain moments where you try to get their attention to jar them out of the current rhythms of their lives. For me, it came the first time I heard a quote about succeeding in life at things that ultimately don’t matter. That was jarring for me and made me pause to reassess how I used my time. The other recommendation I have for working with these men is to ask them for a time commitment they might be able to handle. I have a group of very busy men I meet with, but our commitment is to meet once a month and stay connected the rest of the month digitally through a private group chat. It’s been great and the men are committing the time to be together because they see the value in sharpening each other’s lives.
The Delusional Busy Man
The delusional busy man is the guy who literally does nothing with his life but has convinced himself he’s so busy. Did you know that in Canada, the country where I live, the average man watches 24 hours of television a week!! One full day a week watching television but yet we believe we are so busy. Imagine what we could do with those extra 24 hours. Imagine how a man could serve people in need, date his wife, play with his kids, read his Bible, or even just sleep a little longer. I always try to encourage leaders to never accept the first response of “I’m too busy” from men. Don’t let them off the hook. Ask a man what sports or news he’s watched on tv this week. After some small talk about that, ask him how much time in his week those things took up. Talk openly to men about what the Bible says about being lazy and making the most use of the time God has given to us. There are men who are just plain lazy and need to be challenged to step up.
When it comes to the busyness of men, you cannot have a one size fits all approach because different men are at different realities of busyness. This is one of the reasons why our recommended men’s ministry strategy has different options and strategies to help you connect with men. If your men’s ministry has a one size fits all approach, then you end up telling many men who have a certain level of busyness that there’s no place in your men’s ministry for them. However, if you build a flexible plan, then you can connect with even more men in a year. I want to encourage you to check out our Men’s Ministry Leadership Page to learn more about how to build a men’s ministry plan that can reach different types of men who have different types of schedules.
God bless you as you continue to lead in the coming days.
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