Men’s Ministry Meaningless?

I have often wondered about the need for men’s ministry within today’s mainline, evangelical churches.

Here is the question that I keep wrestling with:

In an environment where the bulk of your leaders and teachers are men, unavoidably leading and teaching through a male filter, how much more “manly ministry” do you need?

I realize this goes against the Promise Keeper’s ideals, but I often find myself grappling with this question.

Sure, there is a difference between being led and taught through a male perspective and communally engaging with other men…but does something like that need to be programmed or added to their church community experience?

Any help in processing would be grateful.

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~ by Dave Smith on July 8, 2009.

9 Responses to “Men’s Ministry Meaningless?”

  1. The idea of a men’s ministry seems broad and I think may have something to do with the issue. Does having structured small groups of men that meet and discuss thier faith and life challenges in a setting of love and accountability constitute a men’s ministry? If so, then yes, I think it is a valuable avenue for a church to pursue. I do not think that just because a guy is at the pulpit teaching a sermon we should assume that every man in the audience is getting all the spiritual food he needs. So many factors affect how we process info, the least of which might be that some non-Christian men may feel more comfortable talking about their faith in a setting with other men…who knows? Accountability is another issue as most men are not comfortable discussing sensitive acountability issues in mixed company. The issues of being a better father, a better husband, a better friend are also issues that do not get addressed as directly in a sermon setting…mostly because the audience is split between men and women. Having a men’s ministry allows these issues to be addressed with more candor and depth.

    I would not belittle a church that saw this differently…certainly a men’s ministry is not required, but I do think it can be an area where a church can serve its members and the sourrounding community effectivly.

  2. The avg layMAN in the church is intimidated by being the spiritual leader in his home or in the church. A good men’s ministry helps men bridge the gap between what they are expected to be and who they really are. Most men I know are intimidated by church leaders and even their wives when it comes to spiritual maturity.

  3. In an environment where the bulk of your leaders and teachers are men, unavoidably leading and teaching through a male filter, how much more “manly ministry” do you need?

    The type of manly ministry men need is the type of manly ministry that teaches them to be humble, cherish and love their wives, and respect and value their opinions, hopes, desires, and dreams.

    And I would also argue that we actually need less “manly” perspective and more “feminine” perspective. One of the best sermons I’ve ever heard was by my friend named Sarah in our preaching class in seminary.

  4. I am about to head into the woods with four boys who need to learn to reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and expect God’s rewards. I need to have a depth of understanding if I am ever to impart these values. We live in a world (believers and nonbelievers alike) that has no idea what it means and what it takes to be a man. I am not sure what the right vehicles are, but it needs to happen.

  5. “reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously”

    These are all things that I would expect of my daughter and don’t necessarily seem exclusive to what it means to be a man.

    The (stereo?) typical men’s ministry often gives off a perception that is a goofy caricature of “manly”, which can oversahdow beneficial teaching and learning environments.

    As a programming strategy, i’d like to see more efforts put into encouraging inter-generational settings, both for men’s ministry and otherwise.

  6. Really good discussion.

    I guess I am thinking more idealistically…that if the church is to create environments where holistic development takes place…then the blends of men’s and women’s ministry would be a natural outflow (creating balanced, communal environments vs. community groups and a separate men’s and women’s program).

    With all of the points in support of needing a men’s ministry, I kept wondering why those things just couldn’t occur in their main, community group (i.e. small group, life group, growth group, ABF, etc.)

    But I tend to think too idealistically, and maybe due to the nature of our society and we as people, separate programming is needed for some.

    Thanks to gulker and bk pushing our minds some, helping us to see what integration could look like.

  7. Is it possible to find/encourage a balance between the “intimidated spiritual leader” and the grunting tim the tool man? I am tired of both! I think rather than ask “What does it take to be a man?”…maybe a better question is “what does it take to love God and people?”

  8. Separate men’s and women’s ministries encourage men & women to pursue spirituality separately.

    Christians have become experts at compartmentalization, making the clubs inside the church club, that is inside the christian club. Community is best lived out when our lives are blended – neighbors, co-workers, spouses all exploring the pursuit of faith together.

    Spouses already head in separate directions all week long. Why encourage this at church, as well? We should be doing all we can to encourage spouses to be in community TOGETHER.

  9. Really good perspective here Rich. Thanks for sharing.

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