In church, women traditionally have filled more pews and volunteer positions and participated in more activities than have their male counterparts. If your church wants to strengthen its presence in the lives of men – whether they are single, widowed or the spouses of participating women – your outreach needs both to make men feel welcome and ensure they have something to do.
Many men prefer activity rather than just sitting and reflecting on Scripture. An effective ministry tells men that your church cares about their interests and needs. It also encourages, promotes and sponsors activities that will attract the male community.
Connect with United Methodist Men.
Your first must-do is to delve into The United Methodist Church’s website devoted to men. From the home page, you can sign up for a men’s ministry newsletter and learn how to create a custom site for your own United Methodist Men’s ministry. The site offers a wealth of other information and links to all sorts of programs, resources and more. You can also visit the United Methodist Men Facebook page, and invite men in your church to “Like” the page so they can see the exciting things happening around the world.
Scouting brings fathers and children together. Scouting enables dads to interact with their children, while giving back to the community. It’s multitasking at its best. United Methodist Men has a historical commitment to scouting and civic youth ministry. The UM Scouting Ministries Committee helps local churches establish and expand scouting ministries. To learn more about UMM’s scouting program, visit www.gcumm.org/scouting.
Share skills and hobbies.
Ask men to volunteer their talents. A handyman may be willing to work on the home of a less-advantaged congregation member or that of someone else in the community. An accountant might assist with taxes, while a graphic designer may be willing to create a brochure for the church or one of its ministries. A webmaster or other information technology professional may be willing to resolve website or computer problems. Remember that most people have gifts and interests beyond those relating to their employment. Be open to the banker who loves to break out the power tools and build something. Create a directory of talents that members and the church can use when a need arises.
Guide men to minister in their workplace.
Some men may want to reach out to the communities in their offices, factories or other workplaces. Guide them to ensure they conform to their company’s policies and don’t alienate their co-workers. A relaxed, casual approach to like-minded individuals tends to work best. The workplace ministry may focus on going into the community for volunteer projects. There are also great opportunities for recently retired men to get involved in marketplace ministry. Marketplace ministry usually refers to Christian activities targeted toward the secular workplace.
A sports ministry offers an excellent opportunity to help men get active and involved.
Read and research.
United Methodist Men have their own publication. To subscribe or read back issues, visit UM Men Magazine. For guidance on setting up a men’s ministry, check out UMM resources link, which includes suggested group bylaws.
Set up a Facebook group for a men's Bible study. Create a private group and invite those who sign up for it.
Host a gadget show.
Collaborate with a local electronics dealer or electronics enthusiast at your church and invite the community to learn about the latest and greatest in technology—from smartphones to iPad2 to notebooks. An electronics enthusiast in the congregation might organize, host and lead this event.
Incorporate dads into Sunday school.
Promote the father-child relationship and invite dads to get involved in Sunday school with a specific time frame (four to six consecutive weeks or every other month). Have children bring their dads to Sunday school or have the dads lead the Sunday school classes those weeks. Consider a dad-child pancake breakfast (and give moms some “alone” time).
Host a fathers’ group.
Some fathers may want to get together with others to talk about parenting challenges or to learn more about being a better dad. Create a dads’ group and invite speakers and others who can address a variety of topics.
Bond through networking.
Men more typically connect with other men over business. Create a networking event for the men of your church to learn what each does professionally and to make helpful connections. You might also create a mentoring program in which older men work with younger men in the church. Networking can be for business or spiritual growth. Make certain to identify the purpose before the mentoring begins.