Most pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant men’s community that is driving the mission and vision of their local churches. Every Man Ministries surveys of men reveal this dream rarely becomes a reality because there is no sense on the part of our men that we are concerned about their spiritual health or consider them central to our vision. In the absence of a compelling vision for men that is articulated, visible, and connected to a meaningful process in the church context our men remain passively affiliated versus aggressively activated in the local church. We deal our best assets to the Devil and let him define greatness for them. That sad reality is on the church, not on the men. No vision for them means no ignition of the energy and expression
We simply haven’t painted the target!
Every Man Ministries research also shows there is hope. 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 respond with their muscle, their money, and their mojo! After 23 years of ministering to men, I tell pastors they have a “sleeping giant” right now in their congregations called men. All it takes is a resonating strategy and a few really good supporting tools to move them from the audience to the army for God’s purposes.
Ignite the “Sleeping Giant” strategy (see “How It Works”) by following the four simple emphases and in the process give your men a vision of what being God’s man in the local church is all about. It starts with a simple invitation.
The Sleeping Giant model emphasizes getting guys “in” with other guys who share a personal commitment to become better men and grow spiritually. That could be a weekly men’s meeting where there are a lot of guys. It could be the men in your couples group meeting on a separate day of the week. It could be some guys from work having coffee once a week. It could be a meeting of men at church or at a conference that connects you to other men who seek God’s purpose for their lives and relationships.
The Tool: World Class Content for Men
Start a weekly meeting built for the 90% you don’t have versus the same 10% you do have week after week. Today you can have stadium quality men’s speakers streaming into your fellowship hall speaking into the lives your men. Men are visual and if content hits the pain points of men’s lives with biblical truth and an invitation to begin a relationship with Christ, new men from the congregation and community will come to your church. This weekly gathering of men serves as a regular platform to invite into the deeper dives of life and leader development. The digital delivery revolution is changing forever how men take in spiritual information. You don’t have to fly any big names in. For what you put in the donut basket on a weekly basis you can have the best of the best reaching and evangelizing men like a weekend services, just choose the media subscription plan that makes sense for you.
Men are like icebergs in the sense that they only reveal the tip of who they are and what is happening in their lives. But underneath the waterline of their lives are a host of issues that are producing enormous stress and pressure morally, relationally, maritally, professionally, and emotionally. That reality and the needs they reflect are what make step two of the pathway — “Get Healthy” — resonate.
In a group context and with group safety, men need to go after core health in their own character and relationships first. This involves an open discussion of temptation and compromise (moral health), view of women and marriage (marital health), leadership in the home (family health), and how masculine friendship and accountability work (relational health).
True health in these core areas is the difference between an authentic versus a synthetic leader. More importantly, the Bible requires core health and strong leadership in these categories prior to selection for church leadership (see 1 Timothy 3:1-5 for the requirements for deacons and elders).
The Tool: Strong Pain Point Resources
With a solid baseline of health intact, a vision for each man’s continued involvement must be cast, and a process of preparation for leadership must be in place. The “Get Strong” phase prepares men for deployment into their ministry within the church and their mission in the world. This is the “if any man come after me” moment for each man. It is intentional. It is on purpose. But most important, it is in context as the next meaningful step in the progression. You shouldn’t have to plead or coax at this point. He knows he’s called. Resources and relationships center on strong spiritual formation, which leads to strong spiritual expression of the Great Commandment and Great Commission.
The Tool: Strong Discipleship Transition
Once fully trained, there is only one call left.
The first steps in the process defined and met the core needs of men in the community and congregation (Get In and Get Healthy). The next phase captured the motivation created by transformations in men’s lives with a forceful vision and call to spiritual growth (Get Strong). The last and most natural transition is to deploy these men to serve the church and aggressively share the Gospel. Each man needs to take up his post. It’s time to “Get Going.” In the Sleeping Giant process, a trained “God’s man” is responsible for ministry, reproducing leaders, and replacing pastoral staff in the execution and delivery of ministry to the people.
Men getting in, healthy, strong, and going into God’s purposes — isn’t that the dream of every pastor?
To see the supporting resources and learn how the Sleeping Giant men’s pathway will work in your church, simply go to everymanministries.com/church.
To see the supporting resources and learn how the Sleeping Giant men’s pathway will work in your church, simply go to everymanministries.com/howitworks.