My colleagues and I have spent 25 years studying why and how some churches disciple men effectively while others languish or fail. One difference stands out. Successful churches have a vision to disciple "all" their men, not just those willing to join men's only activities.
The "old wineskin" men's ministry model was a small group of six men meeting for Bible study at zero dark thirty on Wednesday mornings and 12 men eating burned pancakes once a month on a Saturday morning. In the old way of thinking, if you had that much going, you had men's ministry covered. You could check that box.
But what about the men who are part of the worship team, teach middle school boys, park cars, or usher? How do they become strong disciples?
Where did we ever get the idea that any more than a small fraction of men would ever be interested in joining a “men's only” ministry? Perfectly executed, you might involve 25% of your men, tops. The more you think about it, the more the old way of reaching men sounds like the design of the Hindenburg (a small gondola strapped to a highly flammable balloon).
In fact, we believe the term "men's ministry" is a spoiled term – in some places even toxic. We suggest using the term "men's discipleship" – it can help you shed the baggage of the old way that only reaches some of your men.
So what's the "new wineskin" for reaching men? We call it the "all-inclusive ministry to men" concept: However many men you have in your church, that's the size of your ministry to men.
Why is this so important? Anything less than a plan to disciple ALL your men is a moral failure of catastrophic proportion. We are not responsible for how men respond, but we are most certainly responsible to try.
Until every church disciples every man…