Why is it that a successful men’s event or ministry in my church is so often followed by a total loss of momentum?
Do these stories sound familiar?
- You have a great men’s retreat with table discussions after the talks. The men all want to continue getting together with the guys at their table after the retreat, but 3 months after the retreat no one has actually connected.
- The pastor leads a men’s Bible study group. The first night there are 25 guys. By the fourth meeting the group has dwindled to 8.
- You have a great speaker as you launch your monthly Saturday morning men’s breakfast ministry. 30 guys come. The next month 20 come and one of the elders shares a devotional. The next month 10 come. Then it evens out at about 5.
- When Pete Jones was at the church, great things were happening with the men. He organized paint ball socials, the golf tournament, the December First Saturday “Let the Mom’s Shop” event when the men took care of the kids all morning at the church. Pete moved 2 years ago, and now nothing is happening in men’s ministry at your church.
- The pastor led a Wednesday night men’s study on Man In The Mirror. It went well. 8-10 guys were consistently there throughout the study. But, this year the pastor feels called to lead EE. So right now there is nothing going on in men’s ministry at your church.
A. Because men’s ministry is so difficult, successful events don’t automatically lead to success in subsequent events or ministries. The success of events is only maximized when they are fit into an overall strategy that meets the needs of men and moves them down the path of discipleship.
B. In effective men’s ministries, part of the planning for a men’s event includes how to capture the momentum of that event and use it to move men to connect with another aspect of the church’s ministry to men.
C. It is great to have a pastor or layman who is a champion for men’s ministry. These are two of the most important ingredients to sustain long term success in your men’s ministry. However those champions may leave or get busy with other ministries. That is why it is so important for that champion to build a lay men’s ministry team around him.
D. Saturday morning men’s breakfasts can work temporarily but it is rare that a monthly Saturday morning men’s breakfast will be effective for very long. The reason is that it is very limited as a vehicle for reaching the 2 goals of men’s ministry-helping men get connected to other brothers at the level of their spiritual life and giving them Biblical insight that is specific to their responsibilities and temptations as men.
- Their time is often too valuable to them to give up two hours on a Saturday morning just to hear a devotional. The Biblical content that is presented must be focused on his felt needs, and presented well.
- Excellence in the content, (not to mention the breakfast) is too difficult to obtain every month. A wiser plan is to have quarterly special events for men that are done with excellence, including excellent content that addresses the men’s felt needs.
- Monthly men’s breakfasts can be an important starting point for men to enjoy a surface level of fellowship. But the superficial discussion that happens at monthly breakfast is nowhere close to the brotherhood connection that God commands us to have as Christ followers. Monthly meetings can’t accomplish close connection.