A Moment for Mission
“When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.” —Matthew 14:14, NRSV
Observed annually on a date designated by each congregation, Men’s Ministry Sunday celebrates men’s ministry within and beyond the local church. The observance includes organized United Methodist Men units; men’s Emmaus reunion communities, work teams, prayer groups, Bible study and enrichment groups; and other places and organizations where men of The United Methodist Church join for fellowship, nurture, spiritual development, witness and outreach.
Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. is president of the General Commission on United Methodist Men. Recently, he was drawn to a quote in “Change Your Questions, Change Your Church” by J. Val Hastings: “History changed when a single question changed; when we stopped asking, ‘How do we get the water?’ And started asking, ‘How do we get the water to us?’”
Swanson believes that quote applies to many church ministries.
“This is a local question,” he said. “It involves the men of your church investing enough time to study the landscape of your community. … It is what many of us call looking at context. What colors your ministry area? What are the joys, hopes, dreams and aspirations of the males and the significant others of these males in the area where your church is planted?”
On Men’s Ministry Sunday and throughout the year, these are viable questions as your congregation seeds—and harvests—life-changing ministries for men, both those already part of a faith community and those seeking ways to embark on their Christian journey.
—Adapted from “Reframe the Question,” General Commission on United Methodist Men, Aug. 1, 2019. Used by permission.
Loving God, you call us to compassion. Lead the men of our church to discover new ways to move from complacency to love and service to neighbor. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – Gracious God, we bring our gifts to your altar, asking you to dedicate them to do the work of love and compassion in the world. We learned from Jesus, who had compassion on the crowds who gathered to hear him teach, that putting what we have in the hands of Jesus can bring abundance. Multiply these gifts with the love in which they are offered, that they might bring hope to those in need and might glorify and celebrate your love for all your children. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 14:13-21)
From United Methodist Men: Dear Lord, You know the conditions of our hearts and actions, and we are all flawed even when we are closest to You and we need constant prayer. I pray Your church will to turn to Your Word for wisdom and may Jesus Christ be first in Your Church. John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Thank You, God, for Your blessings and may we all ask forgiveness of our sins. Amen. — Joel Thomas, Vidalia, Ga.
In an article titled “What’s Next in Men’s Ministry?” the Rev. Rick Vance looked toward the future of ministries with, by and for men.
“We need to develop holistic men’s ministries that will help men become not only doers of good, but also followers of Christ,” said Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministries, United Methodist Men.
He noted that God created each of us to be in relationships. “While many men spend much of their time projecting a sense of self-sufficiency,” Vance added, “most men seek a place where they can find camaraderie and friendships.
“Men’s ministry must offer opportunities for men to socialize and talk with each other. The once-a-month breakfast meeting works for some men, but we need to offer other opportunities to gather.
“Facilitating opportunities for men to gather for face-to-face or virtual games, workouts, mealtimes, Bible studies and accountability,” he said, “will allow space for men not to only participate in activities, but also to engage in faith development.”
—Adapted from “UM Men—The Magazine of United Methodist Men,” Summer 2020. Used by permission.