There is a saying, “Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time.” When it comes to men’s ministry, having a focused direction is important. A purpose statement provides direction and forms the basis for all of ministry activities, goals, and guiding principles. Here is an example from Joshua’s Men a ministry of The Summit an Evangelical Free Church located in Enumclaw, WA. It states mission, vision, standards, strategies, and guiding principles.
Mission - Serve the Lord at home, at work, at play and in the Church.
Vision - Help every man deepen his personal relationship with God (Matthew 22:37-38), develop his relationships with other men (Matthew 22:39-40), and disciple his life for works of service (Matthew 28:18-20).
Worship God in Spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)
Create an environment which develops a biblical love relationship with God and other men (John 13:34-35)
Build up men in the Christian faith (Colossians 2:6-7)
Teach men how to be godly husbands and fathers (1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 6:4)
Help men discover their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31)
Equip men to accomplish works of ministry (Ephesians 4:11, Colossians 1:28-29)
Train men to witness (Matthew 5:16, Romans 1:16)
Guide men to discover the compartments of their heart and turn them over to the Lordship of Christ (Ephesians 1:18-19; Psalm 119:34;139:23)
Make disciples who can reproduce other disciples (Matthew 9:36-38; 28:18-20)
Facilitate growth in the basics of the Christian life
Strategies - Strategies are a necessary part in gathering men together. Most men will attend something if they are invited or have some similar interest. Here are four areas to consider in developing a strategy and scheduling a tailored men’s event.
Social – Fun activities to invite Christians and non-Christians to attend
Summary of Joshua’s Men Purpose Statement: Joshua’s Men is a Christ-centered ministry calling men to serve the Lord at home, at work, at play, and in the church. We strive to help men in three key areas: deepen a love relationship with God, develop a brotherhood with other men, and disciple a life for works of service.
A purpose statement is critical to keeping a men’s ministry focused. Without focus, a ministry can exist but never accomplish something significant toward building the kingdom of God. Building the kingdom of God is accomplished by training men to labor in the harvest fields of men’s souls. Jesus worked to train His men to fulfill the great commission.
Take a moment to think about this question: What should be the main product of a church? Let’s consider a major manufacturing company like Boeing. What is its product? Although it is true that Boeing produces aircraft(s), planes and jets are not really its end product. Boeing’s product is really air transportation. They manufacture planes and jets to satisfy a wide range of aviation transportation needs.
Considering this illustration, what is the product of the church? If you say godly men, you are correct. The church should be producing godly men who reflect the character of Christ. However, like aircrafts, godly men are a means to an end. The final product of a local church is a transformed world. Just as Boeing fulfills its purpose to satisfy air transportation needs every time it manufactures an aircraft, the local church needs to recognize that the purpose of building Christ-like men is to transform a hurting world.
Assume that Boeing purchased all the best raw materials available to build an aircraft. After collecting rubber, metal, glass, and plastic materials, they dump them into a pile on the showroom floor and call it a jet. This pile of “raw material” is not aviation transportation; it is only the beginning of the process of producing it. Now think about the average man sitting in the local church receiving a pile of biblical and spiritual knowledge. To think that this man will walk out of the building as a Christ-like individual ready to impact the world is as far fetched as believing that a showroom of parts is an operational aircraft.
To build an aircraft out of parts, Boeing employs a strategy that the Christian church should consider and employ. First, it defines the type of aircraft with specifics and standards. What is the finished aircraft supposed to do? How will it operate? What will it look like? What features will be needed to ensure quality air transportation?
Next, they design an assembly line where the aircraft sections are put together part by part. Completed sections are organized for integration and aircraft construction. Once the aircraft is completed, the finished product is tested to ensure it meets all the standards and qualifications as planned. In a similar way, the local church should build men into mature disciples of Christ. At Boeing, the work is done component by component, section by section. In the church, discipleship should be done precept upon precept, biblical principle upon biblical principle. Inspired from Wired To Work.1
To view this from another business perspective, consider an aircraft component manufacturing plant that produces tires. Early on in the business cycle, someone invested huge sums of money, time, and abilities in creating a plant that would produce a quality tire. A solid business plan was created with a forecast to include overhead, salaries, supply chain management, and raw materials. The combined elements were assembled to create a tire.
One year later the operation employs twenty five full-time and five part-time personnel. All of the employees live and work frantically to keep up the demands placed on them in their official occupation. With each new month, more demands are placed on them. The company’s operation continues at a frantic pace; activity is at an all time high.
At the end of their first year of operation, the original investors, board of directors, and stock holders call for an annual stock holder’s meeting. Just prior to the meeting, they inquire of the plant production manager regarding the number of tires produced, current list of clients, and total tires sold. The plant manager reports that after a full year of business, they have not produced one tire. However, all the employees feel they have contributed to the success of their operation. All are very active at their jobs and consider themselves above average performers.
Imagine how the stock holders would feel about their investments. What would they do in a case like this? What would you do? Get angry? Fire the current management? A manufacturing plant that does not produce a specific product will not continue to exist. Yet, this is how the local church often treats the process for making disciples. Church staff and key volunteers are very active in accomplishing large volumes of church work. Ministries exist, committees are formed, and associations abound. Time, money, and energy are spent doing local ministry, but no real equipping of people takes place. Inspired from Lost Art of Disciple Making.2 Without a clear process of what a church is to produce, the members of a body will not make a significant difference in their society. When men and women are properly trained to be mature disciples for Christ, they will naturally seek ways to minister to others. The more men and women are trained to be disciples, the more ministries will be developed. Transforming society begins and ends with a clear vision for making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
Making disciples is essential to effective and healthy men’s ministry and should not be neglected. It is a critical part of establishing men in the Christian faith and impacting lives in the community. Men who receive discipleship training tend to become leaders in their homes, communities, and churches. They give more time, talents, and treasures than men who have not received training. Unfortunately, having a strategic plan for building men into disciples is often overlooked by the twenty first century church. This needs to change.
Discipleship training takes place in the context of personal relationships. For some men this requires a one-on-one type of mentoring process. Others prefer a small-group environment where three to six men gather to grow in Christ and process biblical principles into everyday obedience.
This manual contains a process based on scriptural principles which describe an end result. Appendix B: Men’s Discipleship Ministry Profile lists three levels of maturity in men. Below is a basic description of the three levels as they relate to the main sections of this training manual.
The Warrior’s Way series of training modules is designed to help men learn the basics of the Christian life. New men in Christ display changes from their old life to their new one.
He shows evidence of possessing new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
He demonstrates a favorable attitude toward Jesus Christ
He exhibits an unfavorable attitude toward sin
He hungers for the Word of God
He turns from idols to serving God (1 Thessalonians 1:9)
The Warrior’s Way and The Warrior’s Characterare designed to help men develop into mature disciples of Jesus Christ. Here are twelve attributes of mature disciples in the local church.
He puts Christ first in the major areas of his life (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 1:18)
He takes steps to separate himself from sin (Romans 12:1-2)
He continues in the Word through such means of intake as Bible study, Scripture memory and listening to sermons (John 8:31)
He regularly applies God’s Word to his life (James 1:22-25)
He maintains a consistent devotional life (Mark 1:35)
He routinely prays for himself and others (Colossians 4:2-4)
He attends church on a regular basis (Psalm 122:1; Hebrews 10:24-25)
He shares in God’s work through consistent giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
He properly relates to people at home and at work (Ephesians 5:22-6:9)
He provides sustenance for his wife and family (1 Timothy 5:8)
He labors at work to the glory of God (Colossians 3:22-25)
He demonstrates Christ’s love to members of the body and people in the world (John 13:34-35)
He serves others (Mark 10:45)
He openly identifies with Jesus Christ where he lives and works (Matthew 5:16)
He presents the gospel with increasing effectiveness (1 Peter 3:15; Romans 1:16)
The Warrior’s Mission is the third section of training. It contains knowledge and skills to train men in effectively sharing the gospel of Christ with those who are within their sphere of influence. Men who follow Christ are to free people who are held captive by the world, the flesh, and the devil. God places men where He needs them. His men need to live for Him where they work, where they live, and where they play. The The Warrior’s Mission bible study equips men to determine their life mission and effectively lead others to Christ and freeing them from powers of darkness.
He evidences growth in the virtues listed under The Warrior’s Way and The Warrior’s Character (1 Peter 3:18)
He shows a growing compassion for the lost (Matthew 9:36-38)
He demonstrates his ability to proclaim the gospel through cultivating relationships, sowing God’s Word, and reaping the harvest (Romans 1:16; Mark 4:1-20; John 4:34-38)
All men are in the process of growing in their relationship with God. It is up to the current men in leadership to determine which setting will facilitate the greatest benefit among their constituents. Each church must decide which setting is best suited for the needs of its men.