How do you build a sustainable disciple-making ministry for men in the local church?

How do you build a sustainable disciple-making ministry for men in the local church?

A. Build a strong foundation.

  1. Enthusiastic support and involvement of Sr. Pastor
  2. Support of session
  3. Men’s ministry champion/point man
  4. Equipped, motivated men’s ministry leadership team

B. Follow a proven strategy for the church of the 21st century to disciple men This strategy is fully explained in the book, No Man Left Behind, written by three PCA authors, Pat Morley, David Delk, and Brett Clemmer. Here is a rough overview of the strategy:

  1. Recognize that the men of your church will fit into one of 4 categories. a. Non-believers b. Those who would say they are believers but appear to be growing little as Christians. In the Bible belt, they could be called cultural Christians c. Believers who are pursuing discipleship d. Believers who are using their gifts to reach out to others
  2. Another group might be called “hurting men,” which includes those struggling with addictions, divorce, the death of a loved one, etc. Hurting men could be in any of the above 4 categories of spiritual maturity.
  3. An effective disciple-making ministry to men moves men along the spiritual maturity continuum towards greater spiritual maturity
  4. Step one is to estimate roughly what percentage of your men are in each of the 4 categories of men on this continuum, 1) non-believers, 2) “cultural Christians” (immature believers or church going non-believers), 3) growing Christians 4) mature Christians (or leaders.)
  5. Make a list of what you think are the primary heart motivations of each of these 4 categories.
  6. Next, look back at the last few men’s activities at your church. Where on this continuum would you say each of these activities was targeted?
  7. Looking ahead, what group do you believe God is calling you to target your next men’s event to?
  8. List potential programs, events, activities, which appeal to the heart motivation of those in this target group. (eg, non-believer’s heart motivation might be fun and male camaraderie so a softball league would be great)
  9. Plan a specific event for your men by designing an event that would have value to the men in the target group
  10. Capture the momentum created by that event by designing the right next step (e.g. at the end of the softball season have a fun awards banquet for the whole team where a guy shares his testimony.)
  11. As men move across the spiritual growth continuum, provide opportunities for them to build closer friendships with other men.
  12. Give men who are starting to grow spiritually the tools they need to build a bond of brotherhood for encouragement and accountability.
  13. Call men to be gospel-centered, kingdom disciples, i.e. help them see that in every area of their lives, they have an exciting calling to live out the reality of the gospel, participating in the redemption of the cosmos by making visible the invisible kingdom of Christ. Men love challenges; they are hardwired for mission.

C. Purchase a copy of No Man Left Behind or attend the Man In the Mirror seminar by this title. There is much more to effective men’s ministry than the above 13 steps.

D. Call on the services of a PCA men’s ministry coach to help you with the above process. Contact

Rev. Gary Yagel began his ministry as a volunteer Young Life leader, served 4 years as a youth pastor and over 20 years as a church planter and senior pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America. He has led various men's discipleship ministries, including Top Gun, and spoken to numerous men's groups. He is a Field Network

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