As I travel throughout Southeast Georgia and speak with pastors, I often ask the question, “How is your men’s ministry?” Following the eye roll, the response is usually two-fold. “We’re hanging in there, but numbers are falling.” Or, more prevalent, “We no longer have a specific men’s ministry.” This has led me to ponder: Is a targeted ministry to men still important in today’s church?
In short, I respond to that question with an emphatic YES! Although previous methods and strategies of reaching men may be waning and ineffective, it is imperative for churches to develop an intentional strategy to disciple the men of their church and community in order to fulfill the Great Commission.
Men are one of the largest neglected people groups in today’s church.
On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches. That’s a staggering statistic. The typical U.S. congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. We must be more intentional about reaching men.
America is suffering from a lack of spiritual leadership from its men.
Recent statistics tell us that there are approximately 90 million men who are not involved in any kind of discipleship. That leaves only 6 million men being discipled. That’s only 1 out of every 18 men! The results of a lack of discipleship is devastating our homes and future generations. This lack of spiritual leadership has left its mark. We now know that 33% of the 72 million children in America have no biological father in the home.
Reaching and discipling men is one of the best ways to fulfill the Great Commission.
Although numbers may vary slightly, most of us have seen research that suggests that if the father is the first to accept Christ, there is a 93% probability everyone else in the household will follow. Contrast that to only 17% for mothers. If we took this statistically seriously, wouldn’t an intentional ministry to men be paramount in our churches and take precedent rather than an afterthought? Shouldn’t we invest more time and effort in men’s ministries if we want to be faithful to fulfilling the Great Commission?
Jesus had an intentional strategy to disciple men.
Although the New Testament records Jesus in many different locations and situations, it is important to note that he spent the majority of his time with 12 men. Jesus’ intentional disciple-making strategy demonstrates a balanced approach. While preaching and ministering to the crowds, Jesus also prioritized mentoring 12 men, while personally and intimately investing in Peter, James, and John. If Jesus personally poured himself into a small group of men for the purpose of reproducing disciple makers, shouldn’t we?
An intentional ministry to men is not only excellent; it is a biblical model for bridging the churches generational gap.
Most of us are familiar with the growing generational gap in our churches. Many have asked the question, “How do we bridge the gap?” Mentoring is the intergenerational transfer of spiritual wealth. Psalm 78 talks about passing down stories from generation to generation, telling the next generation about the glorious deeds of God, and teaching the commands of God to our children-and they in turn to their children. Young men need other mentors in addition to their fathers. It is important for the future of the church for young men to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life of another man and what may be missing in his. This rarely happens in a large group gathering.
An intentional ministry to men enables churches to be intentional in their leadership training.
2 Timothy 2:2 challenges us, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” How do we address the lack of leadership in today’s churches? Studies show us that Individuals who have been mentored are 130% more likely to hold leadership positions. If we want to fill the leadership gap, we must begin today investing in the lives of future leaders. A church’s intentional ministry to men should serve as a much needed pipeline to prepare young men for future leadership.
For more information about Men’s Ministry or how to create an intentional pathway to disciple men, please contact the Discipleship team of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and schedule a consultation. Join the conversation on Facebook!
*Statistics provided by the Washington Area Coalition of Men’s Ministries (www.wacmm.org/Stats.html)