Crucial for Men, Crucial for the Church
Every church needs an Open Men’s Group! It is the core Men’s Ministry activity because it is available every week. When a new man arrives at a church, it is likely that the only opportunity for him to participate in Men’s Ministry that week is in an Open Group.
Men are frequently confronting issues that need time, sustained prayer and encouragement to overcome.
Open Groups have a core nucleus of committed men who attend regularly. As these men relate better, friendships grow.
The Open Group provides a platform for everyone to participate, through reading scripture, to prayer, and often taking turns to be the group facilitator for the week, leading the group through a study. This is challenging, and a chance for growth and new confidence.
Over time, Men’s Groups build friendships and grow men spiritually. They also provide an environment where men are encouraged and equipped for mission and ministry.
Promise Keepers offers many resources for Men’s Groups, including: • PK Studies, WiseChoices and other resources | • Information on how to organise, start, run and evaluate Men’s Groups | • Personalised help and consultancy
CRUCIAL FOR MEN
One Open Men’s Group that meets weekly at 6.30am each Friday is even more important and relevant today than it was when it began 18 years ago. It has an average of 18-20 men attending.
In the men’s own words, here are some of its key strengths:
• Unity – men experience true biblical unity and camaraderie as they grow relationally and spiritually together.
• An Open Men’s Group is less threatening - you are not forced to participate until you feel comfortable.
• Men are like icebergs. Most of their emotions, thoughts and feelings are submerged beneath the surface of their lives. Men’s Groups provide a safe environment for openness and vulnerability where these issues can be brought to the surface and worked through. Confidentiality is the cornerstone for openness and trust.
• With the different ages and levels of experience there is tremendous corporate wisdom and advice available. As you give and receive you can learn together.
• Develops character through persistence, leadership through experience and example and understanding through knowledge of God’s Word and how to apply it.
• Diversity of cultures and backgrounds are understood, appreciated and valued.
• Topics change each week, creating a sense of anticipation and a vibrant dynamic. Also, if you miss a week you don’t lose out.
• Men’s needs are met. You have brothers who will stand faithfully with you through your circumstances. “Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men.” Mark 2:3
• Open Men’s Groups equip and encourage men to be focussed, fuelled and armed for ministry and mission. For example a large variety of missions and ministries are supported, including marriage, care for the aged, healing and prayer rooms, missionaries in China and Tibet and Promise Keepers.
CRUCIAL FOR THE CHURCH
An Open Men’s Group is a vital resource that every church needs. Men want to know that the church has something relevant for them. They want to feel part of the church, and an Open Men’s Group is a non-threatening way to connect them easily to the church and allow both new and existing men to build friendships with others.
• Connects new men entering the church and gives them a platform to build lasting relationships with men already in the church.
• Closes the back door of the church. As relationship builds in an open group, so does loyalty and faithfulness to the church. The friendships built can be the glue that holds men in the church.
• Core for Men’s Ministry activities. Because groups are meeting on a regular basis, they become a powerhouse and foundation for Men’s Ministry in the church.
• Continued prayer and support for men with ongoing needs. Sometimes one-off prayer is all that is needed for healing and restoration. However on many occasions ongoing prayer is necessary, for example - for work, family or financial issues or physical healing.
• Creates leaders for the church. Open Men’s Groups allow you to identify the giftings, abilities and interests that men have. It also reveals character – ie whether they will do what they say they will do, their teachability and faithfulness.
• Captures momentum from Men's Ministry events held in the church and prevents the ups and downs that often plague Men's Ministries. If the men attend an event, there are often things they need to work on afterwards. An Open Men’s Group gives them the forum to dig deeper, ask questions, and receive advice, encouragement and wisdom.
• Catapults men into the missions and ministries of the church, often assisting with much-needed resources. Both new and existing ministries are supported, equipped and developed.
• Critical mass for evangelism. Men reach men. As men become victorious in areas of their lives they want to share that victory with others. Often an Open Men's Group is a less threatening place for an unchurched man to come along to than a Sunday service.
• Concern for marriages and families, along with valuable advice given by men who have “been there, done that”.
• Community works. Open Men’s Groups often form a core workforce – it’s a pool for resources, both financial and material. All those skills are in the room together.
SEVEN TIMES FASTER!
The number one desire of Christian men is to grow spiritually.*
In a small group, men will grow spiritually up to seven times faster than they will in any other setting, including attending Sunday services, important though that is.
This is because:
• Men learn by asking questions and can’t do this in a church service.
• In a Men’s Small Group men ask questions they’re too embarrassed to raise in any other forum.
• Men learn how apply what they have learned as they process information.
• A Men’s Group is the only place where everyday issues facing men are addressed on a regular basis.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
*Promise Keepers NZ national church surveys 2007-2012