I have been involved in pastoral ministry for over 30 years, and have been focusing on Ministering to Men for the past eight years. Over those years I have seen several things work, and I have seen several others fall flat. However, what is interesting is that some ideas I implemented were successful in one place, and a failure somewhere else. This difference in success from place to place can be found in the attitudes of the attendees and the opinions of the leaders. As a leader I would sometimes view an event or activity as a failure or unproductive, but this may have been the farthest thing from the truth.
I have spent a great deal of time looking at the activities and events I have encouraged men to partake in, trying to determine the success and flop of each. The only formula that I have come up with is what the Lord has laid on my heart.
· Was the activity/event Christ centered? Personally, this is the most important aspect. If Christ is not the center of the activity then there is no reason to have it.
o Did the attendees see Christ lifted up through my actions, and speech, and those that participated in the event?
· Did the men engage and participate in the activity/event?
· Do you see a number of the men making changes as the result of their participation?
Planning an activity or event that provides the following principles will help you to answer yes to the questions above.
· Use a variety of methods that will reach, engage, and challenge men of various ages and cultural groups.
o Avoid the trap of only ministering to one age group, because that is where we fill most comfortable, and it is the path of least resistance.
· Ask your men questions, such as what are your men interested in doing? How can you make their interest a successful event?
o Be willing to think outside the box.
· Remember … an outcome is simply a matter of someone’s opinion!
· Continue to try, and improve on those that work.
· Understand your personal limits and search for help from others that have a special skill that will help you.
o Example … I love to write, but my grammar is really bad (most editors say I “write like I talk”) So over the years, I have surrounded myself with some awesome editors, that take time to proof read and clean up everything I write (Including this post).
The key to success is simple …
Keep trying and give God the glory!