How do I deal with a person with whom I disagree?
By the Rev. Rick Vance
This question has been asked through the years. Another way to ask the question is, “How do I do ministry with men in a setting where agreement does not seem possible?”
The first step is to determine your “why” for ministry.
The “why” of men’s ministry is to “help all men grow in Christ.”
Following that “why” and the words of John Wesley (“If thine heart is as my heart, if thou lovest God and all mankind, I ask no more: give me thine hand”), we need to focus on ministry that builds bridges. Ministry, no matter how hard, should never accept the loss of any man. Every man lost, removed or left behind is a soul who is important to God.
Our ministry to men should focus on the principle of “both/and.” Allowing room for the Holy Spirit to work, we should develop models of ministry that celebrate the best of all gifts that each man has. The table is large enough for all.
I am aware that this is not an easy proposal. New things will need to happen, and some old things may need to stay.
The first thing we need to change is the belief that there must be winners and losers.
If each person comes to the task of ministry open to being mentored and, at the same time, being a mentor, there will be space for the Spirit to move and ministry to flourish.
Men are looking for a place where they can have open/honest conversations without fear of “being thrown under the bus.”
Effective men’s ministry focuses on developing space where all are welcome, heard and respected.
The General Commission on UM Men has resources to assist, but anyone who is entering this type of ministry with men must have a clear sense of his “why,” and not just look for a program to do.
The Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, director of men’s ministry
General Commission on UM Men