All church ministries share one overarching purpose: Regardless of age, gender or race, they exist in service of God. However, just because ministries have overlapping agendas doesn’t mean the means through which to form them are the same. In fact, depending on the type of ministry, optimal organizational strategies often vary wildly.
Summer offers the perfect opportunity to focus on best practices for organizing one group in particular: the men’s ministry. Let’s count down five tips for forming—and sustaining—a vibrant men’s ministry within your church community.
Have a Vision
With so many men leaving the church, ministry membership can be a vital faith-deepening tool. Luckily, there are many different ways for men to come together through the church, including prayer, fellowship, mentoring, work projects, and volunteer opportunities. The first question to ask when establishing your ministry? What changes are you looking to evoke in the lives of the men of your parish? Determining a vision for your ministry—one specific enough to bring people together and yet broad enough to appeal to many different kinds of men—is a critical part of ensuring its success.
Look for Leaders
While an active pastor is crucial to any men’s ministry, the influence of other men can be equally essential. Why? Because while pastors hold a certain kind of sway, the power of the peer cannot be overlooked. Men who are both trusted community members and passionate in their faith are critical leaders when it comes to creating and maintaining a men’s ministry.
In today’s hectic, fast-paced world, time is a commodity. The quickest way to alienate both current and potential ministry members is to waste their time with poorly-planned meetings. While regular assemblies are important to supporting any ministry, how they’re managed is just as significant as that they’re held in the first place. Each meeting should have a clear agenda and stick to it.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Of course, the most consummately executed meeting is pointless if no one attends. Expecting people to show up based entirely on an invitation from the pulpit is unlikely to deliver the numbers you need. Why? Because not only are many unlikely to hear it, but the message itself can be easily set aside, disregarded or lost completely. Employing different modes of communication, meanwhile, offers multiple entry points—both in terms of what information is shared and how it is conveyed. In addition using a multimodal methods—everything from email blasts to social media posts and text messages—to reach members, also plan on incorporating a mix of message types, such as newsletters, updates, and meeting notices.
Correct Your Course
One final, yet-overlooked component of a successful men’s ministry? Swift and accurate course correction, if necessary. Routinely check in with ministry members—both formally and informally—to determine which aspects of your ministry are working and which can be improved upon. This will help you stay on track toward your mission while simultaneously boosting the engagement of members.
The good news for all organizations? The same basic principles which apply to cultivating a successful men’s ministry can be carried over to all types of groups and gatherings.