Guest Contributor: Kenny Luck
Most pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant men’s community that is driving the mission and vision of their local churches. This dream rarely becomes a reality because there is no compelling vision for men that is articulated, visible, and connected to a meaningful process in the church context. So it’s no surprise why men remain affiliated versus activated in the local church. That sad reality is on the church, not on the men: It is because we haven’t painted the target! Men like clear targets they can hit.
On the flip side, 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! 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 to move them from being just affiliated to activated for God’s purposes.
Our “sleeping giant” strategy at Saddleback is called the “men’s pathway.” It starts with a simple invitation.
Get In – 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 group. 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.
Get Healthy – 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).