Historically our churches in America women have always attended church more than men. According to one online article titled “Quick facts on the gender gap”, sixty-one percent of women attend church more than the thirty-nine of men. Almost twenty-five percent women who are married attend church without their husbands because they do not see the importance going to church with their spouse, The men in their lives choose to stay home because they want to watch a sporting event, go fishing with the boys or wash or wax their car.
During the midweek bible studies and prayer meetings in church “seventy to eight percent of the members who go to those services are women. The seventy percent of young boys who attend church come with their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. However, as the young men get older choose they stop coming to church because they see a lack of male involvement in the church.
Now you may say Elder Strong the reason why people go to church is that they see it as a place where we collectively come together to worship and hear a Sunday morning message. Now that is true my sister or brother, however, we should come to hear a word from the Lord and not a feel-good message from man. Yes, I believe a church should be concerned about every person, male and female, young and old. However, when a church does not have a strong culture of ministering to men they will not be able to attract and keep men in their church on fire for the Lord. I believe a church which has a vibrant men’s ministry will have men who have a high level of satisfaction with their married, family and personal life. An effective men’s ministry I believe should be word based, it will hold men accountable to God and it is a place of confidentiality.
Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
And straightway they forsook their nets and followed him (Mark 1:16-18).
Word Based Ministry
An effective men’s ministry in a local church is a word based ministry. When Jesus came to this Earth as the Son of man, he walked as the Word of God in flesh (John 1:14). As men came into Jesus presence they encounter the word of God which provoke them to run and tell other men they had found the Messiah. We saw this happen with Andrew met Jesus, which he went and got his brother Peter and Jesus declared “that they would become fishers of men”. Another man name Philip who became a disciple of Jesus would go tell Nathaniel that he had found the Messiah. These men who were in the presence of the “Word made flesh” also were given a revelation who there were or who they would become by Jesus. When Nathaniel met Jesus, the Lord revealed to him that he was “a man of integrity” and Peter who the Lord called “Cephas” which meant “stone” (John 1:35-50).
When men become a part of your men’s ministry in your local church it should be a place where they encounter Jesus. Yes, men can come to a Friday or Sunday service and encounter the presence of the Lord with women and children around them. However, there is something powerful when men come together who have a passion for the presence and the power of the word of God. In the presence of just men, it can help men to get freed up and tackle the real issues in they wrestle with secretly to themselves. As the word of God is discussed in the meeting, the word will help men to work on their character that they should always strive to be men of integrity. The word of God, not religion will help men to understand who Jesus is in their lives and also understand who they are in the Kingdom of God. The word of God says in Matthew 4:4, “that man shall not live by bread alone but every one word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.
Holding Men Accountable
An effective men’s ministry in a local church is not only a word based ministry but it is a ministry that teaches men accountability. In the Old Testament the statement “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” is made two times in the book of Judges (Judges 17:6 and 21:25). The Children of Israel lived there lives not wanting to be accountable to Jehovah God. The people, later on, asked the Prophet Samuel for a king because they wanted to be like the other nations who had their own. However, their request for a king was not because they wanted to be a nation who would be accountable to a man who ruled over them but their request was their way of rejecting the rule of God in their lives (1 Samuel 8:4-7). The people wanted to keep Jehovah as a sign but not paying tribute to Him as the one had brought them out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. Sadly our nation has gone down this same dark and destructive path where men don’t want to be accountable to others or to the true and living God.
In a men’s ministry as the word of God transforms the hearts of men, a desire to live one life accountable to God is birth on the inside of a man. Not only will the men who come regularly every month learn to live a life of being accountable but they will also learn to become accountable to each other. When you see your brother struggling in his marriage, there is an understanding between men who are accountable that you are not in someone business but you are there to be your brother’s keeper. When a man’s son has gotten involved with drugs, attempted suicide and gang activity, as a men’s ministry we rally together declaring to the enemy that you will not have our brother’s son. An effective men’s ministry will not only help men to have a relationship with the God of their salvation but it will also help them to be accountable to one another. In Proverbs 27:17, the word of God says that “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”.
A Place of Confidentiality
Finally, an effective men’s ministry is not only word-based, it not only teaches accountability to men, but it is also a place of confidentiality. The word confidentiality means “the state of keeping or being kept secret or private”. When men come together to share the things that are on their hearts which trouble them there should always be an environment what is said in the meeting stays at the meeting. It should be a place where we come together in prayer laying our burdens down at the altar and touching and agreeing that we will see the Lord move mightily in our lives. There should be a level of maturity within the group that if a man’s weakness is revealed that we seek to cover our brother in prayer and not exposing him before others (Genesis 9:20-23). Each man in the group understands that we all have an issue that we keep secret before our spouses, our children and other men. That issue if it not kept in check by submitting it the Father can cause our nakedness to become exposed because we have drunk from the wine of our own pride of how great we think we are and what we have done with our own hands.
I have been involved in men’s ministry for over twenty years encouraging, challenging and pouring into men lives. I believe now more than ever we need men ministries that are committed to leaving no man behind in the battle of his struggles. It is critical for men’s ministry to value the importance of confidentiality among those who are a part of the meeting and not a place to get source material to post on Facebook. The Apostle Paul said to the Galatians believers in Galatians 6:1 that “if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted”. Having confidentiality is a sacred trust among men which they seek to restore one another in a spirit of meekness when someone has been overtaken by their fault. The word meekness means strength under control. If we fail to restore a person in meekness, the Apostle Paul warns us that we too can also be tempted to fall to our own shortcoming. I encourage every Apostle, Pastor, and men’s leader to seek the Lord for His guidance so that we can become better fishers of men so that we will impact the lives of men in the church and in the world.