Mark Lubbock serves as master of ceremonies for the 2013 National Gathering of United Methodist Men in Nashville. Photo by Bob Vogt.
“But test everything; hold fast to what is good.”
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 –
To Help Men Grow In Christ, So Others May Know Christ.”
––Mission of United Methodist Men: “
Take a moment to ponder the mission of UM Men above.
Even if an activity is purely social, it should have this mission at its heart. As we plan activities for the next 10 months, let’s take full advantage of every opportunity to connect men with Jesus Christ.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
Here are some quick ideas as to how you might weave disciple-making with the various activities.
1. Recruit someone to bring the devotion. Leave the subject open-ended, but ask him to close the devotion with a simple question such as, “How do you see yourself through this devotion?” Have a moment of silence for contemplation. Rotate devotional leaders.
2. Tie the agenda to the mission. Point out how various activities contribute to “helping men grow in Christ”.
3. Share a story from the UMM magazine at each meeting.
4. Close with a prayer led by rotating volunteers.
1. Begin with a short devotion or prayer.
2. Point out how this service project is more than work and fellowship. Explain how the project brings the love of Jesus to others.
3. Close with thanksgiving and prayer. Ask participants if there are any prayer requests. You will be surprised at how this opens up opportunities to connect!
4. Hold a celebration dinner after the activity(ies) to honor participants. Invite a couple of volunteers to share short testimonies about how this service work served as a spiritual catalyst. Prior to the event, coach potential speakers in how to tie their service to others with their commitment to be used by God, and how to keep their messages tight and clear.
COOKING FOR OTHERS:
1. Hand out Index cards and pens with meal inviting folks to write down personal prayer requests. Requests may be anonymous or cards may include contact information if guests want to speak with someone.
2. Provide guests with slips of paper with a short scripture verse and hand-written words of encouragement.
3. Prior to meal preparation, tell volunteers how their work represents Jesus to others. Then share a short scripture like: Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”
1. Encourage key leaders to recruit additional players from the community and to reach out to those who seem to be less engaged.
2. Teach youth leaders how to spot young people who might need words of encouragement.
3. Following the games ask for prayer requests and close with a prayer that addresses those requests.
1. Rotate facilitators to give a variety of men the opportunity to become more involved and engaged.
2. Pick a study that is easily understood and facilitated, not one that requires a biblical scholar. A DVD study with outline is often the best for this sort of activity.
3. Ask the facilitator to start with a short devotion, and close with prayer requests. Have a few leaders prepared to set the example by offering short, specific and personal prayer requests to get things going. Praying for Aunt Edna is fine, but men also must see leaders ask for personal prayers like: “I’m struggling with my relationship with my kids right now.”
These are just a few quick ideas, of course. My word of encouragement to you is to approach everything with the question: “How can we use this activity to advance the UMM mission?” Look for ways to add spiritual content to everything you do, but make them appropriate for the group, activity and opportunity.
For example, if you are serving a community meal, you would not want to submit this captive audience to a sermon. Plan ahead of time with your leaders––always coaching them to look for ways to fulfill the UMM mission in every activity.
You may not be able to introduce spiritual content to every activity, but you can always reach another man, and make a connection that may lead to other chances to share Christ.
The Rev. Mark Lubbock, deployed staff member
Contact Mark with ideas, questions or requests for training such as “No Man Left Behind,” “Understanding Ministry to Men,” or to schedule a speaking engagement.
This article is part of a bimonthly e-letter to leaders of UM Men. Other articles in the February letter may be found at: