Most pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant men’s community driving the mission and vision of their local churches. But this dream rarely becomes a reality because there is no compelling vision for men that's articulated, visible and connected to a meaningful process in the church context.
The idea that a man should just show up and give his best energy and expression just because the church asks is presumptuous and deflating to a man. Without a clear vision that makes sense to him, we orphan our best potential leaders to the culture where there is a clear, albeit unhealthy, vision ready and waiting for him. Then we wonder why most of our best men choose to remain affiliated versus activated in the local church.
It is because we haven’t painted the target! No end game. No goals. No pathway. No larger meaning.
When the vision for men in the community and in the congregation is no larger than “This is good for you” or “You should do this,” without any personally transcendent or transformational component driving interest or curiosity, why go?
Time is their most precious commodity. Team moms on their kids’ sports teams along with numerous other causes are competing for it. No wonder the church is losing the battle.
The results of our existing church strategies for men are clear. Detailed, unresolved problems for churches have resulted in problems including:
- Male flight out of the church
- Male involvement beyond simple attendance
- Giving levels
- Church growth
- Staffing levels and associated costs
- Energy for initiatives
- Delivering justice to women and children
- Leadership needs
On the flip side, if there is a strong vision, a defined process that helps a man realize it and outcomes that make men stakeholders in the ongoing success of the church’s mission—men long for that kind of significance!—they start showing up in big numbers.
Vision. Meaning. Clear process. Influence. Now we’re talking!
The Sleeping Giant model contains those critical ingredients mentioned above, which are central to wide participation and success with men. Key word? Simple.
Men like simple. They also like strong, clear and intentional.
Gathering them together is the easy part. The question every man is asking himself once he gets to your gathering is this: “Now that you’ve got me, where are you taking me?” The consequences of that question going unanswered before he leaves are lethal for your men’s community and for the man.
Why? Inspiration without progression is stagnation.
A larger vision that resonates is required. To this end, the Sleeping Giant model and process answers this critical question and bridges men from inspiration firmly over to the progression of spiritual development by calling men in the congregation and in the community to:
- Get in
- Get healthy
- Get strong
- Get going
We call this the Sleeping Giant Spiritual Pathway. In the next article, I’ll cover this pathway in more detail.
Note: This is the first in a three-part series called “Sleeping Giant” on the state of men in our culture and the spiritual pathway that changes everything—the man, his family, his church, his community and the world.
Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book, Sleeping Giant: No Movement of God Without Men of God, is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries and was recently released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching at EveryManMinistries.com. Follow Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everymm) and YouTube.
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