By Rev. Gary Yagel
A. Nearly all of the subgroups in the church (children, teens, college kids, singles, women, seniors) are strongly motivated to come to church events because they want to be with their friends. Men are not. Therefore, they don’t show up just because the bulletin says that a men’s event is planned.
B. Your men’s event takes men away from their homes. Many men already feel guilty about being away from home so much to do their jobs. So you have to overcome the guilt and pressure he feels NOT to be away from the family more.
C. For the 21st century man, time is the commodity of highest value. There has been an explosion of activities to compete for his time, from Karate for his kids to 200 channels on TV, including sports channels that have games nearly 24 hours a day. The length of the American work day is the highest it has ever been, while commuting time is increasing. He has less free time to give to a men’s event than ever before.
D. Today’s men are tired and busy. They spend their days in the work world where products and activities are assigned a bottom-line value. That is the way they will see your men’s event. Is the value of the event worth the time and effort to be involved? Out of a sense of commitment to the church, a man may come once to a men’s event. But tired, busy men will not consistently attend something that does not have high value to them.
E. The availability of graphic pornography at the click of a mouse means that more men are enslaved to secret sins than ever before. They may participate in something safe like playing softball. But, they won’t come regularly to events that get them connected to other men at the spiritual level. On the one hand, they know they need help, but they are terrified of the shame they would experience if they were found out.
F. Because of the way God has hardwired men, they are much more likely to come to an event when personally invited by another man. Most churches have not built a strong men’s ministry leadership team that reaches out to the men of the congregation to make these personal invitations. Instead, they resort to bulletin or pulpit announcements which are not very effective.