Effective Men’s Ministry Means Keeping Score

Effective Men’s Ministry Means Keeping Score

Men’s ministry isn’t easy because motivating men isn’t easy. Men’s ministry is almost impossible, however, if you cannot give a man a reason to invest his time. Whether you are leading a men’s ministry to your church at large, or whether you’re leading an outdoor ministry in an effort to reach hunters, if you want to reach men, you’re going to have to give them ROI: Return On Investment. For many years as a pastor I thought that the mere fact that operating men’s ministry efforts under the banner of “we’re doing this for Jesus” would be enough to motivate men. It wasn’t enough. Honestly, I cannot tell you if that is good or bad. I just know that it was the truth. If you really look at it, there’s a ton of things to do in Jesus’ name. So, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise any of us living life under the steeple that men won’t get motivated just because something is being done in the name of ministry. If you are looking to boost your men’s ministry or outdoor ministry efforts, consider some of these tactical approaches to stop the heart of men long enough to get them to consider riding the wave with you: Men’s Ministry Means Redefining The Scorecard For the past century or two, churches haven’t really changed the scorekeeping mentality. Yes, churches keep score, but I’d venture to say that our scorecard needs remodeling. Men keep score. There’s no way around that because it’s how we are wired. So use that to your advantage; just be willing to redefine the stakes of the game....
Wild Game Dinner Strategies That Deceive.

Wild Game Dinner Strategies That Deceive.

I’ve been speaking at wild game dinner events in church settings for almost two decades now. Wild game dinner strategies are great tools of ministry for churches, but they are also one of the most abused, and often deceptive, tools a few churches use in the name of “telling people about Jesus.” Here’s how it happens. A church spends hundreds, even thousands of dollars, promoting and marketing this awesome event for outdoorsmen called a Wild Game Dinner. They place huge posters all over the community in grocery stores, pay for radio and print ads in local media, and some have even paid for television commercials on local news networks, doing anything they can to attract hunters. Churches will promise hunters that they will get opportunities to win guns, treestands, and duck decoys. My gosh, I’ve even seen churches give away ATVs after I come off of the stage. They boast that they will have amazing food, and they typically do. Prizes are great, and food is wonderful. It’s what happens next that destroys all the hard work they’ve done to get hunters on the campus and in the door. The Deception Begins After Hunters Arrive I love speaking at a wild game dinner. It’s one of the greatest privileges I have in ministry. I’m thankful that I can say that I don’t see deception as much as I used to; if I were to put a number on it, I'd say I only see it happen about 1 out of 8 events where I speak. Yet, I still see it every now and then, and it’s got to stop....
Outdoor Ministry: When Nobody Understands Your Calling

Outdoor Ministry: When Nobody Understands Your Calling

I’ve been working with churches and denominations for almost 15 years now in outdoor ministry strategies to help churches and leaders reach hunters. Outdoor ministry can be some of the most rewarding work you’ll ever encounter, and it can be equally as frustrating. Yes, I’ve had many men reach out to me at live events where I’m speaking, through an email, or a phone call, and tell me that they are crushed because God has called them to engage the journey of ministry within their church by reaching hunters, but that they are meeting heavy resistance from membership, and sometimes leadership, with their new found passion for outdoor ministry. I can safely say that it doesn’t happen often, but I cannot truthfully say it never happens. The real issue comes down to how you can respond. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years. Remember: Your Call Is Not Dependent Upon Anyone. In the end, it doesn’t matter one tiny bit if anyone supports you. You must be faithful. However, I can promise you, life is much more easy, and certainly more fun, when you have support from those around you. You need people, and you don’t want to live the life of an isolationist prophet. I’ve seen guys do that, and they almost always take on a martyr complex. Be sure you are called to this thing, and if you are, move forward. Outdoor Ministry Starts With Your Pastor. Over 90% of the pastors I meet do not hunt. That’s why I wrote the free eBook Being A Pastor To A Hunter because it helps pastors get inside the...
3 Ways Churches Fail With Technology At Wild Game Dinners

3 Ways Churches Fail With Technology At Wild Game Dinners

I see so many failures at wild game dinners that would be so easy to fix. The failure often comes in the form of technology and presentation. Churches spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to host their wild game dinners because wild game dinners are a super way to grow their outdoor ministry in an effort to reach hunters. Think it through however: what’s the point of putting in all the money, sweat, and muscle if you fail with how you present the message? The failures I see most at wild game dinners tend to land in the category of technology - especially in terms of audio and video blunders that could easily be avoided. Remember this and never let it escape you when planning an outdoor ministry event or a series of wild game dinners: the gospel message has little effect if people literally cannot hear it, or if they are so distracted by technology glitches that they lose focus during the presentation. I'll take that one step further and say the message has little effect if people fight to see it. Men are visual. 10,000 words have a tough time competing with a well produced 3 minute video aimed at a man's soul. Yet if that man cannot see the video because it’s so distorted, then the church let him down. Here are 3 key ways you can win with technology: Never Cut Corners With Equipment I realize your church has a budget. However, the smallest church around can rent a sound system for a single day, and even negotiate a sound engineer fee to have someone...
6 Proven Approaches To Promote A Wild Game Dinner

6 Proven Approaches To Promote A Wild Game Dinner

Over the years I’ve noticed that churches often struggle with how to effectively promote their wild game dinner. Wild game dinners that have been around for several years have built a following, but my experience is that after about 5 years, your wild game dinner is going to plateau. A wild game dinner is a super way to build your outdoor ministry and sportsman outreach efforts. Every great movement needs rebranding from time to time; and that applies to what you do with your outdoor ministry efforts, especially when it comes to re-energizing your wild game dinner with how you tell your story in the community. Here are 6 strategies and 1 foundational truth you can employ to boost your reach. The 1 Foundational Truth: Motivation Is Always Better Than Information The greatest mistake that most churches make is they use websites, flyers, radio ads, news paper print ads, and church bulletins to tell about the “event.” Events do not motivate people. Stories do. Whatever you do, tell a story. Talk about changed lives, not about what time the event is happening. People give you 5 seconds at the most before they check out of your promotional piece (flyer, ad, commercial, etc) – if you use that precious time to talk about the date, the place, etc – you’ve done nothing but waste money. Your website is where they go to get information. Your promotional strategies are about motivation. 6 Strategies To Promote Your Wild Game Dinner Emotional Print Media. If you do choose to print ads in the local paper, use emotions, not data about the event. Print...
Promise Keepers Decline And What Churches Can Learn

Promise Keepers Decline And What Churches Can Learn

Promise Keepers isn’t dead. In fact, I hope it lasts until Jesus comes. However, few things do. The truth is, I believe Promise Keepers will go down as one of the Top 5 Movements of God in the 20th century. No matter where Promise Keepers is on the spectrum of sustainability, one thing nobody can argue is that PK is not what it used to be. And, Christians globally shouldn’t see that as a failure. My gosh, could anybody honestly say PK was or is a failure? No way. That being said, the brutal facts are this: things change. Our country isn’t even the same America as it was on the day that Coach McCartney hosted the first Promise Keepers event. Since God called me into full-time ministry in 1991, I’ve had my eyes and my heart attached to creating ways men could connect with the God that made them. Promise Keepers as a movement was coming onto the landscape with booming volume about the time I entered ministry. I’ve personally attended many PK events over the years, and as time went on, it was easy to see that Promise Keepers was struggling. From a men’s ministry standpoint, I believe there’s a lot to be learned from PK’s rise and fall; and by fall, I don’t mean fall to the point of no longer in existence, but rather that it’s had significant decline which can be super teaching points if we look closely. My main filter for this conversation is this: what can the Church and men’s ministry leaders everywhere learn from what has happened with Promise Keepers? God Used...