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.
Churches typically measure success with what is often referred to as the 3Bs. Buildings, Budgets, and Baptisms. While those may be measuring tools, I believe we can do better in the world of men’s ministry. We can do a lot better.
Measure Success By Your Ministry Goals
If your outdoor ministry doesn’t have goals, then it’s impossible to know if you’re winning. When it comes to leading men, you cannot forget ROI, and ROI won’t happen if men see nothing that is worth investment. [read a quick article here about strategy if you're struggling with that]
For example, if your outdoor ministry has a goal this year of 3 outreach events, 1 Bible study, and 1 mission project, then let those (5) mile markers be your scorecard. If you accomplish those 5 feats, then that’s a win.
Measure Success By Soul Growth
A super way to recalibrate your scorecard beyond the 3Bs is look at what constitutes real growth in the lives of men. If your men’s ministry tackled a mission project, then survey your team to see if this was the first time some of your men ever went on a mission trip. For many men, you’d be surprised that something as simple as traveling to a neighboring state to do chainsaw work from a tornado is actually the first time they’ve ever been a missionary. That’s a huge win in terms of growing the kingdom of God within the heart of a man.
Measure Success In Front Of Your Church At Large
Ask your pastor if you could grab 2 minutes at some point in the year to celebrate victory. Any pastor worth his prophetical salt will be all for it, because it shows God at work in the lives of men and in the life of your men’s ministry. He’ll probably work it into a sermon on how lives are changed through God’s power, and that’s a perfect spot for you to offer up your 2 minute testimony on what God is doing in the lives of men within your church.
Show The Score
I am convinced that this area alone is where we fail miserably. Christians, at least those of us in America, are pathetic at celebrating what God has done.
Celebration doesn’t have to be complex, but it does need to be consistent. You can do a lot with a little if you’ll only put your mind in celebration mode.
Return On Investment means keeping score, but keeping score means nothing if we do not show the score. Fail to show the score and men become disenfranchised, and can even become disinterested.
Use dedicated space to put up a scoreboard. No kidding. Grab a few feet of drywall space and stake your claim for God’s glory. Put up a men’s ministry display complete with a scoreboard where you’re seeing God at work.
Use social media to not only announce events, but to testify about those events when they are accomplished. Tell the story. Show the story.
Use pre-worship power point to show a graphic of men who are winning in their marriage or with their newly rekindled passion for their career.
I can promise you this: men are willing to attempt great things for God. What men are not willing to do is waste their time in a world where time is at a premium. If you’re willing to show lives being changed by the power of God, you can bet God will meet you there. And so will men who are searching for significance.
If you're frustrated with trying to reach hunters and encountering resistance check out this post titled "When Nobody Understands Your Calling". It'll help with perspective.