8019 Expanding our outreach to men and youth
WHEREAS membership in the United Methodist Church has declined every year since the 1968 merger of the Methodist Church with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and
ABC Pew Research Center poll found that only 32 31 percent of American men attend church at least once a week compared to 44 40 percent of American women (http:// abcnews.go.com/sections/us/dailynews/church_poll020301.html and 13 million more women than men attend church in the U.S.,
25 percent of married women attend church without their husbands,
only 29 percent of men report that they participate in prayer, scripture study or religious education groups once or twice a week or more, and
Gallup poll shows declining interest among young people with 75 percent of those over 75 years indicating that religion is important in their lives and only 47 percent of young adults answering in the same manner, Pew Research Report indicates a declining interest in religion among young people 18-29. Sixty-five percent of those over 65 indicate that religion is important in their lives compared to 40 percent of 18 – 29, and
only 10 percent of few U.S. churches maintain vibrant men’s ministry programs, and most congregations struggle to find ways to minister to men and reach young people:
BE IT RESOLVED that churches be encouraged to expand their ministries to all men in the church and the community. The group of men that meets monthly for study, worship and fellowship serves an important purpose, but it should be only a fraction of a local church’s effort to deepen the spiritual lives of men and to minister to men and young people without church homes,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all churches should charter a United Methodist Men’s organization, and they should be encouraged to utilize DVDs, on-line training, lay-speaking courses, the services of men’s ministry specialists, and other resources provided by the General Commission on United Methodist Men to expand the ministry to all men within and beyond the congregation,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that United Methodist Churches be encouraged to charter Scout troops and to add other youth-serving ministries as a way to reach unchurched youth and as a way to minister to young people within their faith communities,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local churches encourage members to become scouting ministry specialists as a way to expand their ministries through youth-serving agencies.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local churches encourage and provide funding to enable one or more of their members to become men’s ministry specialists and to utilize the services and resources of those already accredited as men’s ministry specialists.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the one of the most effective means of making disciples takes place when men meet in weekly groups, using the “Class Meeting” model of Wesley as described in the book by Dr. Kevin Watson with the same title. These meetings can either face to face or in an e-meeting format. Here men don’t talk about a “historical” relationship with Jesus, but answer transformational questions as to where they have intersected with Christ in the last week.