5 Reasons Men’s Ministry Is So Hard
Unlike the other sub-groups in the church (children, teens, college kids, singles, women) most men are not motivated to come to church activities because they want to be with their friends. Kids and teens are often bored and want to hang out with their church friends. Singles want to find a mate. Women are naturally motivated to connect with other women. But men’s hard wiring takes us in the opposite direction–towards independence and isolation. Though we need connection with brothers at the spiritual level, being with friends is just not a strong motivation for most men–so they don’t show up just because a men’s event is planned.
Your men’s event takes men away from their homes. Many men already feel guilty about being away from home so much to do their jobs. Church ministries to women, teens, and children do not have to overcome this obstacle. To get a man to come to your event, you may have to overcome the guilt and pressure he feels NOT to be away from the family more.
Men spend their days in the work world where products and activities are assigned a bottom-line value. That is how he will see your men’s event. Most Christian men are loyal enough to their church to come to a special event targeted to men. But, it must be of high quality and have high value to him in order for him to come back consistently. It takes a lot of effort to provide well done, high value events for men. Many churches are not willing to invest the resources it takes to do men’s ministry well. The result is that their men don’t come to their men’s events.
For the 21st century man, time is often the commodity of highest value. An explosion of activities compete for his time, from Karate for his kids to 200 channels on TV, including sports channels that have games nearly 24 hours a day. The length of the American work day is the highest it has ever been, while commuting time is increasing. The 21st century man has less time that he is willing to devote to a men’s event than ever before.
The availability of graphic pornography at the click of a mouse means that more men are enslaved to secret sins than ever before. They are often not interested in men’s ministry because they feel guilty and fear being found out. As a church, we can not stand idly by and let this happen to our men. We must pay the price to design disciple-making ministries for men that will lead men out of their isolation!
Because building a discipleship ministry for men is so tough
- It can not be done effectively with a half-hearted commitment.
- It can not be done effectively without a wise, carefully thought out strategy.
- It can not be sustained over the long haul without a trained, committed, lay men’s ministry leadership team to lead it.
- It can not be done effectively without an investment of significant resources. Staff time, funding to train the men’s ministry leadership team, leaders who are freed from other church responsibilities, strategic time on the church calendar, funding for a men’s ministry library, funding for speakers and/or retreats, are just some of the resources it will take to be effective. (Now is the time that many church budgets are being formulated; make sure you get the funding you need to do ministry well in the coming year.)
- It can not be done quickly. Pat Morley says it takes 10 years to build a strong, sustainable disciple-making ministry to men in the local church. Only tough, stout-hearted men who know how to persevere need apply for this job!
- It is not for wimps, lightweights, or immature Christians who want instant success. The battle for men’s souls is an all-out war, and it requires an all-out effort!! Dare we give our Lord anything less!!