(There is a wide to deep spiritual continuum. Natural men and cultural Christians enter at the wide end. The desire is to move them toward a meaningful, ongoing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The men at the wide end, those in the community or occupying the pew on Sunday morning need activities or events that gain their interest in becoming a part of the “band of brothers.” Create events need to be non-threatening to those on the fringe of faith and will have little spiritual content: a prayer or brief devotion. The idea is to create a comfortable environment and develop relationships. Below are some guidelines for hosting a "create" event. At some point in the event, share about an upcoming study, seminar, workshop, or conference on a life issue or challenge that men face. See No Man Left Behind, pgs 127-143.
Six Key Issues When Planning an Event for Men by Brian Doyle, Director, Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences. My wife, Barb, was helping host a women's tea at the church. We arrived at church early on Sunday morning so she could post some details of the upcoming event on a white board in the church lobby. She wrote that it was a ladies tea, the date of the event, when it started, what women could bring, and to please bring a friend. I love my wife and I want her to succeed in her ministry endeavors. I reviewed what she wrote and offered what I believed to be some thoughtful insight. I asked her: "When does the event end?" "Is there a theme for the tea?" "Will you have a guest speaker?" "What else will there be to eat?" Before I could ask another question, Barb stopped me short and graciously shared with me. "This isn't a men's ministry meeting - we like to get together!"
Return. Man in the Mirror Ministries asks the question when addressing how to create momentum in your men's ministry: "How do you overcome the inertia in men?" Many men in the local church are not moving forward in their spiritual life. Our challenge is to help them move from their prolonged state of rest to ongoing growth and change. The challenge is great!
Relevance. In 1996, Promise Keepers asked the men attending PK conferences to describe their local church experience. Two words came up more than any others. Two words from men who not only attend church, but accepted an invitation to attend a national men's conference! What words would you use to describe your own experience in your own local church?
Getting Men to Your Men's Event. Develop a plan to give every man five to seven touches. Men need the facts, and they need to hear them many times in many ways. The average woman will be informed of an event and she will check her calendar to see if she can go. She has a disposition to say yes to the invitation. Most men do not have this disposition. The average man may not even check his availability until he becomes convinced that he would like to attend the event. My experience is that it often takes five to seven touches to move a man to the point of checking his availability. Men are different and you reach them in different ways. Make sure to develop a comprehensive plan to promote your event. Here are a few ideas:
Make Entry-Level Events Distinctly Masculine. A men's event should not just be a church sponsored men’s event. The planning and preparation should make sure that the event is distinctively masculine. Here are a few ideas to help that happen:
- Men's Ministry Ideas (MS Word)
- Event Planning Worksheet (MS Word)
- Survey Your Men
- Establish a Tradition
- Building the Kingdom through Relationships