A men’s breakfast does pretty much what it says on the tin: it is a breakfast to which Christian men can invite their non-Christian male friends, so they can hear a talk which will include the gospel.
This goes without saying, but often it is easy to forget to pray before and during a men’s breakfast. Pray about it as you are organising it, as men are inviting their friends, and also during the set-up on the day.
The venue can be neutral, such as a local sports club or community centre, although a church hall or similar will also work. The venue needs to have space (and tables & chairs) for people to sit and eat, depending on how many you are expecting, and kitchen facilities suitable for cooking. There also needs to be the provision for a means of showing PowerPoints and/or videos. A computer and projector system can be brought in easily. However the need for a sound system may mean that you may have to use the church auditorium for the speaker presentation if you do not have a portable unit.
Speaker & Topic
A speaker from a local church or Christian organisation can work well. Topics that work well are either those grounded in the speaker’s experience, and/or a subject that engages with men, such as work, sport, finances, health, or sex. In either case it is important that the speaker is aware that you want clear gospel content, accessible to non-Christians. The style should be more ‘after-dinner speech’ than Sunday sermon, 20-30 minutes in length but certainly no more than 30. It can be good to raise a challenging question which people can discuss in groups afterwards.
Depending on your venue, you may need to bring some or all of your crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment with you – check this beforehand. You will need a group of volunteers with assigned roles – who will be in the kitchen, who will be serving food, who will welcome people and introduce the speaker? It is also worth deciding beforehand how food will be served – will it be brought to the tables, or will people collect it themselves? It is often easiest for guests to help themselves to cold food such as cereals, orange juice, and rolls, with hot food also collected at a slightly later time. It is crucial to put on a good cooked breakfast as this is a major attraction of the event! That said, logistically it is easier to aim for no more than 3-4 different kinds of hot food (eggs, bacon, baked beans and sausages are all simple to cook and satisfying). Adding hot toast to that finishes the cooked breakfast off well. Please ensure you have enough food. Men are big eaters and they eat more at a buffet event. If you want to control consumption then meals should be plated.
Advertising is key to the success of the event, and producing a simple A5 flyer for men to give to their friends can be a real help. However, the best advert is simply men inviting their friends, so you need to reassure them that it will be a great event, and encourage them to invite at least one non-Christian friend each. You may also like to use email and social media i.e. Facebook.
Other practical considerations
Cost: This will depend on your situation, but there are three options:
1. Make the breakfast completely free, with the church(es) paying the total cost.
2. Sell tickets/charge at the door to cover the cost ($5 - $10 per person). Set your ticket price by adding all your projected costs and dividing by the number of tickets you project to sell.
3. Make it free but leave a container for donations. You will need to assume that there will be a shortfall so someone or the church will need to fund the difference.
If you have no track record of running such an event and projecting attendee numbers, then to minimise risk, sell tickets and close off on the Sunday beforehand. Cater for the committed numbers as food is most likely the expense that will blow your budget. If you have a track record then you can make decisions accordingly.
There is little margin to pay a speaker but if you set a ticket price for the food/venue costs then you should be nearer $5 and you can always do a love offering for the speaker as a donation to his costs.
Saturday is the best day to hold a breakfast. Start at about 7:00am, allowing 10 minutes for people to arrive and then a good half hour for people to get breakfast and eat and chat (this means the cooks need to start much earlier), then introduce the speaker. The whole thing should last about one and a half to two hours (not including set-up and clear-up), so men can get back to their families/the rest of their Saturday.
Think in advance about which other events you would like to advertise. You can use this as a platform to get a Men’s Group established in your church.