Men ‘s ministry is hard work. It’s been at this for the past 10 yrs and when I look back on it there seems to be so little fruit for all that I’ve put into it. Work doesn’t make it any easier these days. It’s becoming crazier and crazier. Men are working longer and crazier hours and so it’s hard to organise anything to bring them together. On top of this men are not good in talking and so it’s hard to get them to open up. But also many men are not convinced there is a need for such a thing. So it’s hard.
I still believe it is a very strategic ministry so I’m not one for giving up on this one so easily, but what to do? This is not easy and it seems that a lot of other churches have similar problems.
Anyway the men’s committee had a major pow wow. We’ve organised many men’s dinners but every year the numbers get fewer and fewer and fewer. After a quick stock-take of the situation, just out of the blue, I decided to ask the guys if they knew how to grow another man in Christ and/or if they were discipling anyone? Their answer was a reality check for me. All of them said NO! This floored me. In my mind I felt like hitting my head against a brick wall. I had been organising men’s dinner for many years in the hope of growing men into men of God, but when we get down to the grassroots, if the leaders weren’t personally and actively discipling other men, or worse still, didn’t know how to do it, then why would I, or should I expect other men to be able to do it? Events and programs are important, but they can never be a substitute for the unimpressive ministry of discipling others.
Training is very big on my agenda. I’ve always made it a point to train all my committees in ministry and to remember it’s always about people. But I wonder if I’ve ever trained my leaders and committee members to actually be discipleship makers?
Committees, as we all know can be notorious for organising one thing after another. In reaction to this we keep drumming into our leaders that ministry is all about people and not programs. Granted. This is the catch cry of recent generations. However focusing on people is one thing but teaching our leaders and committee members to be discipleship makers is more than just focusing on people – it’s thinking about how to “personally” grow people.
My team members wanted to focus on people but when asked if they knew how to grow people – they didn’t. Shock horror! So as I said, if the leadership doesn’t know how to grow people by discipling them then why am I busting my guts, spending all my time trying to organise one event after another. OK there is a place for events. I’m not against this, but I guess my problem was that I had been distracted into getting my team to organise events when I should have got them into discipling one or two or if possible three men. (More than just focusing on people)
When I think about this, if I had started this 10 yrs ago when I first started the men’s ministry who knows where it would be now? Maybe I would have had many many more men growing in Christlikeness and reaching and growing other men.
Men’s ministry – What would I do differently? Yes, I probably would still organised the one or two men’s events in the year, but I think I would have also spent more time teaching the committee and challenging them to start discipling one, two or three men.
So I want to say this: Ministry is not about programs, nor is it about people. It is about discipling people into Christlikeness. Yes committee have an important role in the organisation of the ministry without which nothing would happen, but this should never be an excuse for them not to disciple a few people as part of their responsibility.