Men’s ministry has certainly impacted my life over the last twenty-five or so years, and because of that, I love men’s ministry. I appreciate being with guys to dig into the Word of God. I enjoy the joking and laughing, the fellowship, and the ways that men can do ministry together. But the worship—that singing! There’s just nothing like hearing the sound of male voices singing praises to Jesus!
Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:8 that he wanted “the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.” This is significant because Paul is advocating for men to pray, worship, and lead the church in peace. In other words, men are essential in the mission of the church in reaching and teaching others.
That said, every church should find a way to effectively minister to men. Years ago, I was a new pastor in a rural church and decided to start a men’s Bible study in a little country breakfast café. We began with a few men and took up half of the room. Within weeks, we filled up the place, studying the Word every Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. and ministering to the “regulars” each week, as well as the employees of the restaurant. God truly bore fruit in that ministry for many years!
So what can you do in order to have a life-changing, fruitful men’s ministry? Here are 5 helps to consider as you build an effective men’s ministry:
- Christ-centered. Every ministry of the church needs to have Jesus at its core. I once knew a man in his 70s who pointed out to the rest of us younger men that if it weren’t for Jesus, we probably would never even talk to each other. Jesus is our reason for our existence, and He is the reason for all we do. Don’t miss this point as you keep Christ at the center of your ministry.
- Prayer-focused. Paul called Timothy to first have the men to pray together. God does an amazing work when men pray together in unity. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” Prayer of righteous, unified men in Christ is powerful beyond our natural means.
- Word-impacted. We are called to make disciples, and men’s ministry is an important part of accomplishing that mission. While men’s ministry should go above the groups ministry, the fact remains that there should be an ongoing emphasis in discipleship of the men in your church. My preference is to study the Bible book by book, and Lifeway’s Explore the Bible has some easy-to-use, affordable resources to help you study the Word together.
- Relationship-building. Paul also emphasized to Timothy the need for men to be at peace with one another as they served Christ together. Jesus taught plainly in Matthew 5:24 to “go and be reconciled with your brother.” Relationships take time, honesty, and patience, but an effective men’s ministry has activities and settings that encourage bonding to take place.
- Ministry-engaging. The purpose of a men’s ministry is to make disciples of the men you engage. However, this also includes equipping men in your ministry to do the same. One idea is to set up mission trips or ministry events that make use of the gifts and experience of the men that you have in your ministry. An effective men’s ministry will make plenty of opportunities available for men to serve others.
I can’t thank Jesus enough for the men in my life who have loved, encouraged, and strengthened me with my walk in Christ. There’s just such great joy in having a healthy men’s ministry in a church. What has been a blessing for me hopefully can be a blessing for you as you apply some of these ideas to your church.
Dr. Fran Trascritti (@frantras) is a husband, father, and grandfather, but most of all, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has served as a pastor in churches for over 23 years and now serves with the Explore the Bible team at Lifeway. You can reach him by emailing Fran.Trascritti@Lifeway.com