Success Strategies for Developing an Effective Men’s Ministry

February 20, 2017

A church of any size and location can be effective in reaching men for Christ, provided they follow several basic biblical principles. Effective men’s ministries are:

  1. God-centered rather than program-centered. The greatest need in men’s ministry is to teach men to hear and obey God. When I was playing little league baseball, I remember my coach telling me to keep my eye on the ball. This is a requirement for being a good hitter. Spiritually speaking, it is easy to take one’s eyes off of the ball by relying on a program rather than a Person, Jesus Christ.
    Effective men’s ministries develop men who are radically in love with Jesus Christ and committed to knowing and doing the will of God. The heavenly Father will reveal Himself to those who love Him, seek Him and wait on Him (John 5:17-20). In the ’90s, the Lord has
    used Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King to help men know how to develop a love relationship with Him and how to join Him in His activity.
  2. Founded and fueled by prayer. Jesus modeled a prayer life for His followers. He must have felt like He was making some headway with His disciples when He heard them say, “Lord, teach us to pray (Luke 11:1).” So, from the beginning, there must be a group of men gathering together for prayer on a weekly basis to pray for the needs of their church and especially the needs of their men’s ministry.
    Jesus taught “that at all times,” His disciples “out to pray and not to lose heart (Luke 18:1).” Men will grow weary without the supernatural power of the Spirit of God, who grants wisdom, encouragement and power for ministry to those who call upon Him. The need for a men’s prayer team remains constant even though other aspects of a men’s ministry will be constantly changing.
  3. Led by men who model what they want to see multiplied. As the leaders go, so goes the ministry. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus modeled what He wanted to see multiplied. Each men’s group needs leaders who are determined to do the same.
    Healthy men’s groups establish a leadership training process and do not initiate new ministries until they have men prepared to lead them. Through the leadership training process, men are equipped for service (Ephesians 4:11-12) so that the ministry is carried out by the men themselves. The Man God Uses by Henry and Tom Blackaby is a seven-week study designed to help men identify and develop godly character.
  4. Balanced. A written purpose statement for men’s ministry should be constructed to reflect a balance between helping men come to God, grow in Christ, serve through the church and go to the world. Thriving men’s ministries “lead men to discover how they are uniquely called and shaped by God to live the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) in every aspect of their lives.”
    Effective men’s ministries keep the various aspects of their ministry interdependent and mutually supportive, providing a variety of entry points that make it easy for men to get involved.
  5. Culturally relevant. Paul declared, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some (I Corinthians 9:22).” While his presentation of the gospel never changed, Paul’s methods for delivering the message were constantly changing. In Iconium, he entered the synagogue to share the gospel (Acts 14:1). In Philippi, he went down by the riverside to fish for souls (Acts 16:13). In Athens, he strolled down Main Street and struck up a conversation about religion with the men gathered on the town square (Acts 17:16-34). Effective men’s ministries find ways to connect with men “on their turf.”The men of each church and community have different interests, pressures, schedules and incomes. Affinity groups (fishing/hunting clubs, single-parent father support groups, etc.) are effective tools for reaching the lost and for helping men connect with other men whom they perceive as similar.
  6. Sustained by relationships. Believers are not “lone rangers.” The many “one another” passages in the Bible tell us that men need each other for encouragement, accountability and spiritual growth (Proverbs 27:17, I Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 15:14 and Hebrews 10:24). A Christian man needs to surround himself with some trusted friends who will be honest, transparent and confidential as weaknesses and burdens are shared. Relationships are crucial to building and maintaining an effective men’s ministry, as men are far more interested in relationships than programs. And don’t forget it!