I prepared the following comments to assist men’s ministry leaders as they work with their pastor in establishing or moving their men’s ministry forward. They are based on my observations while serving on a district office staff. I believe the comments will be helpful in framing your interaction with your pastor:
Most pastors are very focused on their own ministry context. It might be good to spend some time discussing his ideas on where men’s ministry fits in the overall scheme of things and his perception on how the men of the church are doing. Also, ask about his greatest frustration with men’s ministry. These questions convey your concern for him and his ministry success and also provide important clues to you about where his needs and the needs of the church may be.
It might also be helpful to ask about ways men’s ministry fits into the overall ministry of the church. I hope this does not make it sound like I think pastors are selfish and self-centered. I don’t. I do think that the pastoral task is extremely difficult and becoming more so each year. It is requiring more disciplined focus for pastors to lead their congregations to growth. Additionally, they are inundated with appeals from organizations who want to co-opt them for an outside purpose. The way to win your pastor’s support is to demonstrate that your first commitment is to their success and the health of the church.
Whenever possible, in whatever way may be appropriate, affirm and encourage him. Most pastors are constantly being bombarded by “little criticisms”, little statements about dissatisfactions with items that cumulatively can become eroding to their morale. Encouragement and affirmation from his men can be an enormous lift. When it feels like you can’t please anyone, words of affirmation can be treasures that lift his heart.
As a men’s ministry leader, you have the capacity to make a difference in the life of your pastor and your church. I trust that the Spirit of God will guide and encourage you as you connect with your pastor and assist him in advancing the Kingdom. Keep up the great work you are doing.
Rev. Douglas G. Conley