What Happens When a "Men's Ministry" Fails

Easily the number one issue with ministry to men is sustainability: how do you keep it going? You’ve no doubt tried to have a “men’s ministry.” It was probably easy to start, perhaps built around a specific curriculum or a charismatic leader—two of the “easiest” ways to get something going without a comprehensive plan. But it no doubt petered out as just as easily—the proverbial roller coaster experience.

Here’s the real problem. Every time “men’s ministry” fails, it’s like a little inoculation. So the next time a lay leader wants to build a men’s ministry, the pastor is a little reluctant. He's been burned. But because the guy asking is such an influential layman, the pastor gives him the green light.

And then it fails again. Perhaps the leader’s work hours changed, maybe he moved away, or he may have thought he could just get it going and then dump it in the pastor's lap. Whatever the reason, it’s another failed attempt.  And another inoculation.

After three or four such failed attempts, the church’s resistance is complete and impenetrable. Men’s ministry gets the reputation of being “a loser.” The pastor becomes convinced, Men’s ministry just won’t work here.

Today the focus is to explain the "resistance" we need to overcome before we can see robust "sustainable" disciple-making ministries to men as the norm. Overcoming resistance is one of the nine major themes to successfully implement organizational change.

Let me end with a promise. Tomorrow I will show you a carrot so big that any church, no matter how badly burned in the past, will want to give it a try. You can "easily" defeat this start-stop, roller coaster syndrome by adopting a whole new way of thinking about reaching men. 

Until every church disciples every man...