We announce, but we don’t invite
By Jim Boesch
Do we just notify men of upcoming men’s ministry events and programs?
Or, do we ask men to join us in gathering at important discipling events or programs?
We’re good at creating programs
As leaders and influencers of men, we do well at coming up with plans and programs for men while toiling to affect ministry through men in a positive kingdom building and serving way.
We do all the upfront work of assessing, designing, developing and implementing some really good life changing, disciple-making systems and programs for the men God is putting into our lives. Then we stop. It’s built so our job is done. Time to start thinking of something else we can do for our next men’s event!
We are pretty effective at designing and scheduling programs and activities for men.
We’re good at announcing
We are also good at notifying men of these activities.
We put our newly created cutting edge, in-your-face promotional flyer on as many websites as we can think of; the more the merrier. That is how everyone gets their information and makes their decisions of how to do life today, isn’t it?
We are careful to not do it too early though as men seeing it on that website day in and day out for too long will get them immune to its impact. Then they will not click on that all important link to the registration page so they can take that next step themselves in becoming a disciple.
Another step we have used forever in our efforts to notify men is taken when we put our event announcements in weekly church bulletins so all the men will see them and sign up right away. Just to be safe, we put the same announcement in our monthly church newsletters and any other newsletter we can find. Surely, that approach will reach all the men we know and get them committed and registered to attend our events.
And if all that isn’t sufficient to accomplish our goals of telling men to come be part of the Body of Christ, we now even have that instantaneous method of reaching out to the masses called the TEXT message. Halleluiah! This 49 character tool that has all but replaced the phone call enables us to get our notification information to all the men in our electronic contact list in a matter of minutes. Surely, in most generational cultures this text is even better than talking to the men in person, right? It just makes sense that if every 12-year-old in the universe has a cell phone, surely every man has a cell phone with a data plan that we can tap into to reach them in addition to all the other means listed above to notify them again of all the great stuff God has planned for them.
We’re not so good at inviting
For the most part, we are pretty good at creating, scheduling and notifying, the big problem that too often derails this ministry is we do a poor job of asking men to show up!
We notify men in a multitude of ways, but we just don’t take that personal step of asking a man to attend. We don’t seek out a man, connect with him, look him in the eye and ask him to come with us to experience our ministry offerings.
We assume seats will be filled through osmosis of the vast array of communication notices. Or maybe we feel there will be a magical Red-Sea parting by God that provides a clear, unimpeded path to the ministry events we build.
Ask a man to an event? You mean actually pick up a phone and call a man? You mean stop a man when you see him at church, at work, in the community or in your neighborhood and just ask him to come with you to a men’s ministry event?
Why in the world do we need to go through all that when we have all these other quicker, less intrusive and more efficient ways of reaching out to men to notify them of the good news of all the awesome men’s ministry stuff we have lined up for them.
We need to ask a man because the outcome we are seeking as disciple-makers is not about just reaching out to men, or even reaching and getting in touch with men. It’s about so much more! It’s about reaching out, reaching, notifying, informing and asking men to gather with other men to experience the Good News of Jesus Christ. It’s about creating welcoming, transformational environments that support them where they are as men, fathers, sons, churched, unchurched, believers, non-believers, followers of Jesus, non-followers of Jesus.
So, today before it’s too late, commit to be a kingdom building and serving influence on that men’s ministry event you have planned or are planning for this summer,
Keep notifying and keep informing. But for the sake of serving and building Christ’s kingdom, also ask men to join you in following Jesus, in being changed by Jesus and in committing to the mission Jesus commanded us of making disciples!
Jim Boesch, deployed staff member
General Commission on UM Men