Not every healthy church has a formalized “men’s ministry,” but every healthy church ministers to men. Ministry to men must be a priority and a passion, not merely a program. If a formalized “men’s ministry” works best in a specific context, then the leaders should implement it, but it is possible to minister well to men without a formalized “men’s ministry.” Ministry to men is essential and must not be limited to a “men’s ministry”; in other words, ministry to men should trump a “men’s ministry.”
Because men are the spiritual leaders of their homes, the pastors to their families, it is absolutely essential that churches reach and teach men. Healthy ministry to men connects, disciples, challenges, and ultimately sees men transformed by the power of Jesus. No matter the approach, here are four essentials in ministry to men.
1. Connected: Every man needs other godly men (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Men need to be connected to others in biblical community. No man should stand by himself or attempt to live the Christian faith in isolation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated, “Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation.”
2. Discipled: Every man needs to grow (Colossians 1:28-29).
Church leaders must labor, with His energy, to present men mature in Christ. Whatever means of discipleship a church uses with men, whether groups, classes, or mentoring, Christ must be proclaimed to the men over and over again.
3. Challenged: Every man needs a holy mission (2 Corinthians 5:18).
God created men to have a mission; thus, men look to conquer, to subdue, and to lead something. In His grace, God invites men to join Him in His mission of reconciling people to Himself. Sadly, many men choose a lesser mission, a lesser cause to give themselves to. Men must be challenged to live on His mission as Christ lived on mission for us.
4. Transformed: Every man has a master (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
The ultimate goal of any healthy ministry to men is transformation. As men are connected, discipled, and challenged, the Lord does His transforming work. Every man has a master, something or someone that he lives for. As men are transformed, the Lord rules and reigns over every aspect of their lives, with “ever increasing glory.”
Whether you have a formalized men’s ministry in your church or not—engage in ministry to men.