by Dennis Gunnarson.

The mission of rallying the “man of the house” in our churches starts with respect. In general, men have enough to occupy their time; they do not need time fillers. They need value.

In everything we do, we must respect that men could be doing at least a half dozen other things during the timeframe we are asking them to spend with us. We must provide something they consider to be of more value.

At our church, we have monthly Men’s Breakfasts–a common format for churches, I know. But it works. Men love food and lots of it, so we provide a huge buffet of quality food at our breakfasts.

However, let me go on to say that we realize men are not always the most social of God’s creatures. Still, they innately desire some social contacts. So we have leaders who provide conversation starters at each table to help to break the ice. We give the men sufficient time to talk before our speaker gets up.

To further establish value, we publish the breakfast speakers and their topics three months in advance. We generally use our own elders, deacons, ministry leaders or pastors to speak, rather than outside guests–because the Men’s Breakfast is all about networking men with existing ministry.

We work hard to offer a subject that rings true with the men, and we do our best to provide follow-up in that area. The result is that we have expanded from Men’s Breakfasts to sport fellowships, finance classes, book-by-book Bible studies, thematic small group studies, and other activities.

We understand that men may not have time to come every month, so we make sure they receive email notices and quarterly mailouts so they can plan for a month in advance. We also understand that it is difficult to come to that first event if you don’t know anyone, so we have men in the church who personally invite other men every month. Some men are invited three or more times before they make it to a Men’s Breakfast. We work to always maintain an openness to all men being part of men’s ministries, not just those who frequent the meetings. Cliques and exclusivity only limit the size of the ministry.

Men’s ministries will grow and expand whereve men are allowed to take a valued role in the leadership. So from handing out breakfast invitations to leading a small group or fellowship, there is a place for all men to be valued in the ministries of the church.

Dennis Gunnarson is associate pastor at Church for All Nations, Tacoma, Washington.

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