SIDEBAR: Unintentional intentional VersusIntentional tentional Men’s Ministry
Many churches are good at public ministry to men. There is a men’s calendar of events and gatherings that include weekend retreats, pancake breakfasts, recovery groups, service opportunities within the church, and other affinity groups of men who share a common interest in a sport or hobby. These funnels draw men initially. But they usually run out of fuel because there is no larger vision beyond the “gathering.” Nothing connects men directly to the church’s mission in a compelling way. As time passes, men’s ministry becomes nothing more than bulletin announcements and arbitrary tasks that translate to the men as, “This is good for you; you should do this if you are a man.”
In equipping men, however, a great event is only as good as the vision behind all the energy and expense. A high-commitment discipleship program is good if a few make it all the way to the end. But it’s infinitely better if the events that gather men also cast a vision for the church’s goals and draw men into life change and leadership development. This link between the “getting in” pieces of men’s ministry and the getting “healthy, strong, and going” aspects makes the difference between unintentional and intentional men’s ministry.
Clearly, Jesus practiced an intentional and relational brand of men’s ministry. I call Jesus’ way of doing men’s ministry the “show-how” method. The message to men in this process from the start is:
I do, you watch.
We do together.
You do, I watch.
You do, others watch.
Until churches find a way to involve men, intentionally, beyond the great event, they will not produce strong, spiritual men the way Jesus did.