Building A Great Men’s Ministry: Consistency

17 Jun

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About a month ago, I started a discussion about the key ingredients of a great men’s ministry. I touched on a few of the basics (if you missed it, you can find it here), but I didn’t get into a lot of the meat of what makes them tick or fall apart. There are 4 absolutely essential elements that will make or break or break any men’s group: consistency, transparency, focus, and discipleship.

Let’s break down the first one…

Consistency

Approximately 4 times a year, I feel incredibly inspired to start getting in shape.

During the first few days, I will put together a plan, tell all my friends about it, get my bike tires filled with air, set out my exercise clothes… heck, I may end up even exercising a few times, but without fail, I always run out of steam after a few outings.

You know how effective that method of exercise is?

It’s not effective… It’s pathetic.

You know why I fail? Because I give up when the feelings of excitement go away and the aches set in, rather than pressing in and pushing through. I am a serial quitter when it comes to exercise.

You know how effective your men’s ministry is if you have 20 guys come to the kickoff BBQ and then have 4 show up for the first real session? It’s not effective… it’s pathetic. You might have a few people that grow and mature, but on the whole, you will have missed a grand opportunity to grow as a community of men.

When the guys in your group are attending consistently,

  • There’s no need to backtrack and review what’s already been covered for those that missed it
  • Relationships develop faster and go deeper
  • Everyone has an opportunity to lift up and follow up on all of the prayer needs
  • Conversations that started in group often continue outside of group
  • Cultivating consistency in one area typically helps you more easily develop it in others
  • It shows respect to the leaders that are putting in significant work to make the group happen
  • It shows respect to the other men that make an effort to come and inspires those who don’t

Don’t get me wrong: the success of a men’s ministry is not about the numbers and it’s not the leader’s fault if men don’t show up. You can’t force a person to make good choices or to follow through on their commitments—that is up to them. If they want to miss out on the opportunity to grow together in Christ, that is their loss, however there are ways to minimize losses of attendees…

Accountability

I was once part of a church small group that made me sign my name to a covenant promising that I would, to the best of my ability, attend every week for my benefit and the group’s benefit. Our leader didn’t hammer you to the wall if you missed, but it impressed on me from the outset that my attendance was important. I never missed a session during the 12 weeks.

If people do start regularly missing, ask them about it when you see them next (not in an aggressive, confrontational way, but in a “really missed seeing you on Saturday” kind of way). It may be that they simply forgot or had something come up, but it could be that there is something deeper going on that you need to address. I have known of  situations where a person is missing from a church for months without anyone calling and checking in on them, and by the time someone finally got around to doing so, the damage was already done and they never end up coming back (I’ll be honest, this happened to me a few years back). Don’t drop the ball and let people slip through the cracks. This is everyone’s job, not just the leader! Watch out for your brothers in Christ!

Ownership

Make sure that the men who are attending the men’s ministry plug in and help out in some way. Not only does it take pressure off of the leadership when different men step up and take care of different elements of the group, but it is an important part of helping them grow.

Every time we meet for men’s group, I am part of cooking breakfast. If I don’t wake up on time or I blow off going to group, some element of breakfast will be missing because I wasn’t there to make it happen. That sense of duty keeps me waking up before 6 AM on the especially hard days because I know my brothers are counting on me.

Some different task ideas to plug people in: cooking breakfast, organizing outings/work projects, leading prayer request time, leading the study, integrating/following up with newcomers, clean up after meetings, etc.

Sometimes fun opportunities present themselves that take place during the time scheduled for men’s group. Sometimes you’re not feeling welll. Sometimes waking up early on your day off totally sucks. Sometimes you may not even feel like pressing in and studying God’s word.

At one point or another, I’ve struggled with all of those excuses and there have been occasions when I’ve made the wrong choice.

Don’t take the easy route.

It takes a lot of work to commit to regularly attending a men’s group, but unless there is  consistency and investment in the group, attendees will never feel safe enough to actually open up and be transparent with one another. I’ll cover transparency in greater detail in part 3…

Is your participation in a men’s group consistent (or even happening at all)? Why or why not?

-Dave Wonders

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Yes, “David Wonders” is his real name. Dave is  a husband, a father, and the midday host at 104.3 The Pulse (thepulse.mn). Somehow he finds time to read absurd numbers of books.  Connect with Dave on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Klout.

6 Responses to “Building A Great Men’s Ministry: Consistency”

  1. For the Love of God June 17, 2013 at 18:53 #

    I have tried to get men together in my church, but there are so few that its tough to get the buy in. That and a much stronger womens ministry leaves the men either not attending or not having their deepest needs met. Id like to see more o this topic. I think men need to move beyond breakfast.

    I would also recommend a book titled “Why Men Hate Going to Church” by Morrow (I believe).

  2. Ben Hedgspeth July 15, 2015 at 14:33 #

    Was there ever the follow up/part 3 to this one?

    • gdavidboyd July 20, 2015 at 10:00 #

      Thanks for your question, Ben! The series has not yet been finished. I am glad that you enjoyed it. There is very little on the internet for men and those doing men’s ministry. This is one reason why MTAB exist. Keep plugged in for future content!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Building A Great Men’s Ministry: Transparency | More Than A Beard - June 26, 2013

    […] (You can read the first entry in this series here, and the second part here) […]

  2. Building A Great Men’s Ministry (Part 1) | More Than A Beard - December 12, 2013

    […] Dave continues the series.  Check a link to read more…  Part 2, and Part 3. […]

  3. Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016 | More Than A Beard - January 12, 2017

    […] 6.  Building a Great Men’s Ministry: Consistency […]

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