I know that Seminareist is not a formal word. But the title is a statement a mentor once told me when I started in men’s ministry. He reminded me that those of us who have a deep intentional intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, often forgets that most men do not have this relationship. Decades, even centuries of men not being in a discipling relationship has resulted in men not knowing what this means.
As I have travel and met with men of various churches throughout my region and state, I do find that some churches are getting on board with developing a vibrate discipling ministry for their men. However, there are still way too many that are not. In the area of North Carolina that I live, I don’t have to use all the fingers on my hand to count the number of churches I have visited that has an active discipling ministry outside of the Sunday School.
I recently asked a group of men who are active in their respective churches, “How do you know your church cares about or shows they have a priority toward the men?” Not one of them stated it was because they were involved in a discipling relationship, even though each of them were. Their answer was centered around events for men. A couple of men even said it is a shame our church does not have a men’s ministry, even though the church has a vibrate discipling ministry that involve many men. Another said I have to go to another church to attend men gatherings because my church does not have a men’s ministry even though his church also has an active discipling ministry.
Men do not associate discipling groups with men’s ministry even though that should be a part of the ministry – an important part. Men need entry points to connect with other men. Men need entry points to develop those relationship that will move them into discipling relationships. To get them at least involved in a Sunday School or a home study group.
It breaks my heart when I hear churches state they don’t need a formal ministry to men. This tells me that men are not a priority. They will argue with me this is not true. Then I ask what are you doing to convince men they are a priority? And all they can say is that we have a dicipling ministry.
If you never have events design specifically for men, if you don’t have a place for men to gather, if you don’t speak directly to your men regularly, what convinces them they are a priority? We often talk about how men are visual. If they cannot see a men’s ministry what makes one think there is one and that men are important to the church.
Let me challenge the pastors and men’s leaders out there, or any man who may be reading this. Ask the men of your church, “What do we do as a church that makes you think men are a priority here?” Then record your answers in the comments for this post. Maybe it will change my perception of what I have been seeing and hearing. Or maybe it will validate it. Either way I would like to here throughout the state, nation, and world what makes men think they are a priority for their respective churches.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple every man – Mike