· Ministry to Men

Keep it simple


By Dr. Rick Vance


 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

–– Philippians 4:8


Speaking to the church in Philippi, Paul says the process of discipleship is as simple as focusing on that which is lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.


The most common questions I am asked is, “Will you give me a plan that will make men’s ministry work in my church?”


I tell them to:

  1. Develop relationships with the men in your church.
  2. Get men involved in small accountable groups.
  3. Listen to the men to determine their needs, interests, and hopes.
  4. Encourage these men to invite other men to join them.

Even though these are simple steps, most men go out and develop a complex multi-step process that requires more time than they have, to implement.


In an article, The Complexity Bias, Becky Kane sarcastically asks, “Why choose a simple explanation when a complex one will do?”


She describes complexity bias as “our tendency to prefer complicated explanations and solutions over simple ones.”


It seems to me that we men always want to make a better mouse trap. When faced with a simple solution, we work hard to add more steps to make the solution seem better.

As men called to “coach men to THRIVE through Christ . . .” we need to get back to the basics. The solution to engaging men is to develop relationships, form small accountable groups, listen, and encourage men to invite their friends.


Kane suggests the following steps to cure our complexity bias.

  1. Develop a bias for action over research.
  2. Choose a system you can stick with.
  3. Apply Occam’s Razor––“When faced with two possible explanations for the same evidence, the one that requires the fewest assumptions is most likely to be true.”

The Center for Man’s Ministries has a variety of resources that can help you in your endeavor to coach men.

Give us a call and we can talk.


The Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministries

General Commission on UM Men



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