healthy men’s ministry: a critical demographic for church vitality

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Measuring Church Vitality:

 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power… – Colossians 1:9-11

data-statistics-cdStatistics… numbers… percentages… trends… comparisons; these can all be interesting, and they do provide useful information, but I’ve been thinking about the metrics that tend to be used to measure the health and vitality of church congregations, and can’t hep but note that one of the most significant indicators is never bundled in with the usual reports.

“The usual” reports in my denomination typically include: Church membership, average worship attendance, Christian Education enrollment, and total contributions. But the indicator I’m thinking of is likely buried somewhere inside the CE numbers; I define it like this: “The number of men committed to, and actively involved in, men’s ministry small group and Bible-study initiatives.”

For me, such information is a highly accurate barometer of church vitality.

This is in addition to an accounting of the faithful men who get together to take care of important work projects (at WFPC they’re called Premise-Keepers), or the many men who participate in the huge variety of mixed small-groups, Sunday morning classes, and active ministry teams that meet throughout the week. That’s all wonderful, and such broad-based participation signals tremendous vitality. But I’m convinced that – all other things being equal – the church where men get together specifically to encourage one-another as disciples of Jesus is always going to be the church that is pulsating with life.

Here at WFPC – between the Friday morning men’s Bible-study, the two Saturday morning covenant groups, and the two Wednesday evening covenant groups – around 60 men now participate in a men’s ministry built around Bible-study, prayer, encouragement, support, and accountability.

statsdrawingENCOURAGEMENT: Wednesday evening, 14 men sat around a table with me as we continued our conversation about The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). We’ve been looking at the list of “equipment,” one item at a time; this week was, “The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (verse 17b).

In my email to the group, which always goes out a couple of days before our meeting, I simply said this:

Gentlemen – bring your swords. Let’s talk about how to use them.
Looking forward to some more great conversation. Peace – DEREK
For the Roman soldier (the root of the metaphor used in the Ephesians text) the sword was the critical tool in terms of representing their mission. Our mission – as disciples of Jesus – is to live into a reconciled relationship with God, and to live an invitational witness to the Gospel. Our most critical tool, in terms of accomplishing that mission, is God’s word.

Guys who are motivated, honest about their personal journey, and excited about growing their faith, make facilitation a joy. All I had to do was to ask them to share stories about how the Bible plays into their lives as followers of Jesus. What they shared, in response, was – and always is – inspirational.

It’s a simple equation. Bring men together in an environment where mutual encouragement is standard operating procedure, ask the Holy Spirit to enter every heart, connect to one-another by sharing honestly, build a conversation around God’s word, value every contribution, and seal the time together with prayer.

It’s a simple equation. Bring men together in an environment where mutual encouragement is standard operating procedure, ask the Holy Spirit to enter every heart, connect to one-another by sharing honestly, build a conversation around God’s word, value every contribution, and seal the time together with prayer.

speaking to men
speaking to men

A men’s ministry that encourages guys to practice the presence of God in their day-to-day lives, and then to share openly about those experiences, actively encouraging one-another in day-to-day faith, is – I believe – a critical emphasis if we want the church to be vital, alive, healthy, and growing.

If you want to know how, shoot me an email and we’ll talk.

derekmaul@gmail.com

2 comments

  1. Hello! Our pastor over the past few week’s has done what he called the “Master’s Mens Ministry”. The idea being that each week the men of the church would meet and discuss a certain topic as it pertains to their Christian walk as men. Topics included things like marriage, money, manners, time management, etc. It has been a huge blessing and our men seemed to really take to it as an opportunity to grow.

    I believe you are right; the men of the church need to encourage each other and grow in their roles in their families and ministries. It was actually quite powerful to participate in and to watch the men grow in understanding and build stronger relationships. That type of male fellowship seems to be so priceless, and so needed right now.

    Thank you for your post, my wife and I have just begun to take part in this community and I was happy to stumble upon your page.

    -Ryan

    Like

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