MEN’S MINISTRY – NOW MORE THAN EVER
Friends, these are unusual and trying times. Many claim that our society, including the church, will never be the same after the cessation of this Covid-19 outbreak. Time will tell. However, a few things that we as believers do know for certain – God is in control, none of this has taken Him by surprise, and, despite how things might appear to us now, He has a beautiful plan for each of our lives –pre, and –post Coronavirus. As people across our nation and around the world are gripped with fear of the known and the unknown, the church is called to reach out with a word of assurance. Many organizations are taking this opportunity to help the church be the church – offering assistance and Christ’s love to their neighbors. I encourage you to be familiar with the Baptists on Mission Coronavirus Webpage, which has many good and helpful resources for individuals and churches. As we look to care for those who are affected by the virus itself, as well as the economic, emotional, and societal hardships that are quickly becoming a result of it, I encourage you to not only continue - but strengthen - your ministry to men during this time. Strive to maintain the balance we remind Men’s Ministry leaders to always keep in mind – Ministry by Men – and – Ministry to Men.
Ministry By Men
We will need men to reach out and help those families and individuals who are adversely affected in the weeks to come. This will most certainly be a community-based effort, with each response taking on a different look depending on specific needs. Work with your pastor and mission leaders as you develop ways your church can minister. Following the appropriate recommendations, involve men of your church and provide ways for them to be the hands and feet of Christ. Keep in mind that healthy and lower-risk men may be used in some ways, and, higher risk men in other, less direct ways.
Ministry To men
Remember that men, including men in your church, will be greatly affected by all this as well. Fear for the health of family members, fear of losing a job, and fear of what the future may hold, will become very real for many if it has not already. Now, more than ever, seek to be that “Men’s Ministry Champion”. In the temporary absence of “traditional” church, find ways to continue connecting to each man in your fellowship. Emails and text messages are always appropriate ways to quickly “check in”. However, nothing takes the place of a phone call. You well know that many men keep their emotions and fears bottled up. Some men may just need to talk, or vent. Let them. Take time to end the conversation by praying for him and his family (along with other specific requests he may have.) Video calls may also be a great way to stay intouch with your men as a group. Video calls are also a great way to stay connected with your men as a group. (More below)
men's small groups
Many churches have engaged men in small group ministry for years. This may be the time for you to begin planning for the implementation of small group ministry among the men of your church. I am not at all suggesting that there will not in the near future be a time when your full men’s group meets again - if that is what you are accustomed to. I’m simply saying that the time might be right to begin looking at smaller groups of men meeting on a weekly basis to offer fellowship, support, spiritual sharpening, and accountability. Men’s small group ministry leads to spiritual growth. Man men will need support and prayer in the coming months. Lifeway Christian Resources and Man in the Mirror offer some good information. There are others – just search Small Groups for Men. In the presence and aftermath of Coronavirus, some things may need to be adjusted, but the “small” in small groups is part of the beauty – and effectiveness of them! Many established small groups are using video call (Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.). These are great tools for being able to maintain your small group connections and activities.
Blessings to you, your family, and your church. Our prayers are with you in this challenging time!
- Mark Abernathy
Senior Consultant for Men's Ministry
North Carolina Baptists on Mission
Igniting the Hearts of Men for Christ
The purpose of Men's Ministry through NCBM is to encourage and equip churches to effectively reach, minister to, and activate men. We believe that reaching men is about relationships, and encourage the development of trusting relationships through meaningful shared experiences that may include fellowship, study, and missions participation. We encourage churches to implement the four cornerstones of men’s ministry:
- Evangelize Men to Salvation (outreach and fellowship)
- Establish Men to Spiritual Maturity (discipleship)
- Equip Men for Ministry (service within the body of the church)
- Extend Men on Mission (local, state, national, and international missions)
We believe that the pastor is key in the development and maintenance of an effective ministry to men, and that the ministry should support his overall vision for the church. We feel that each men’s ministry also needs a “champion” – someone who has a passion to see the ministry succeed – as well as a core leadership eam to serve alongside him.
|MESSAGES FROM MIKE: Mentors
Mike Sandlin, Men's Ministry/Discipleship Coach for the Cape Fear Network of Bapitst Churches in Wilmington, NC, is our NCBM Men's Ministry State Coordinator. Featured above is the current article from Mike, designed to assit and encourage men's ministry leaders. In addition, here are some of Mike's most recent articles: December January
Our desire at NC Baptist Men is to see men and families reached for Christ. We want to help the men of our churches take up the challenge of living a Christ-filled life in all areas of their lives - home, work, and church. Too often, Church Men's groups focus more on "Ministry By Men" and not enough on "Ministry To Men". Both are important.
Allow us to be of service to you as you plan your strategy for effectively reaching men in your church!