Ministries or Fellowship
A few years ago, the men's groups in our churches were called fellowships. They started out as small groups; sometimes there would only be two or three. Their main function was to get together occasionally on a Saturday, usually with the pastor, and work on or around the church. Later on, as the group got larger, they began to get together once a month to share a meal. Church maintenance and perhaps a yearly fund-raiser were the fellowship's agenda. We thank God for these early pioneers, for they gave the church a foundation to build on.
In the late '90s, the name was changed from Men's Fellowship to Men's Ministries. The name change called for an end to the meet-and-eat syndrome. It called for pastors to release laymen to ministry. It called for men to be more than repairmen and fundraisers. It gave them golden opportunities to become ministers in and through the local church. How did existing fellowships react to the name change and the new call to ministry? Many churches, led by their pastors, embraced the new concept and are now doing greater things for the church and the Lord.
Sad to say, however, there are still many churches that accepted the name but still function as a fellowship and not a ministry. A few days ago in a conversation concerning Men's Ministries, the question was asked, "How is your Men's Ministries doing?"
The reply was, "We don't have a ministry; we have a fellowship; we just meet and eat." When I heard this, it touched my heart and inspired me to write this article. In today's world, with so many professed Christian marriages ending in divorce, so many Christian men hurting and struggling in so many areas of their lives, we cannot afford to continue on as mere fellowships. We must identify those who are hurting and find a way to help them. We must also reach as many as possible for Christ before it is eternally too late. Men's Ministries has many avenues to accomplish these goals.
One of the most important segments of Men's Ministries is Pastor's Prayer Partners: Men getting together with their pastor to life him up in prayer. Sunday morning, an hour or so prior to service, is a great time for this ministry. Friendship Evangelism is an outreach program that trains men how to lead an individual to Christ. Disaster relief and Men of Action go hand in had, helping others in time of crisis. Supply people with basic needs in an emergency situation; then share Christ and His love with them.
The Royal Rangers mission statement is "reach, teach, and keep boys for Christ." A recent survey by the Barna Research Group says the probability of accepting Christ is as follows: ages 5 to 13, 32%; ages 14 to 18, 4%; ages 19 to death, 6%. Men, we must grow this program. If we don't, there will be no church for our grandchildren. Intentionally Making Disciples is a new ministry that calls for making not only converts, but also disciples for Christ. There are many more ministry opportunities not mentioned. Every church should have an active Men's Ministries.
I challenge every pastor, for you the key to Men's Ministries in the local church, and I challenge every able-bodied man in the IPHC to be a minister in Men's Ministries.
If you need help or have questions concerning Men's Ministries, please call the numbers listed above.
If you would like additional information regarding Men's Ministries including events, available resources and ministry programs, please visit our Men's Ministries main page on the International Pentecostal Holiness Church web site. That web site address ishttp://men.iphc.org/.