Close this search box.
3 men sitting on a couch with hand on man in the center praying for him

5 Truths for Investing in Men

Few things bear more fruit and have a greater impact on a local church than systematically and consistently investing in men.

By J. Josh Smith

I am a fourth-generation pastor on both sides of my family. This means my father, both grandfathers, and both great-grandfathers were all pastors. I have a brother who is a pastor, three uncles who are pastors, and at least eight first cousins who are pastors or missionaries.

All of that to say, when I became a first-time pastor, you would think I would’ve known what I was doing. At least, I think that’s what the first church that hired me assumed. But in reality, coming to pastor my first church at 32 years of age, I had no idea what to do. I had never been more overwhelmed in my life.

Somehow, by the gracious providence of God in those early years, I began to slowly but steadily invest in men. I started by inviting 10 men to meet with me once a week for 10 weeks to walk through the 46 verses of Titus. I had no grand vision for this. It was not strategic. I was not thinking about long-term fruit. I just knew I needed men.

When I left that first church after 11 years of ministry, I couldn’t help but think about all the plans, programs, movements, initiatives, energy, and money spent on planning and advertising special events. There were so many things I was convinced were strategic and would bear long-term fruit, so many things I thought would be the most important thing I’d ever done, so many things other churches were doing. Yet, as I looked back on all of those things, I realized most of them bore little fruit

The Titus 10

What I would’ve never imagined in those early years was that the most strategic and effective thing I would do was simply invest in men—10 at a time, year after year. When I left, there were 120 men I had personally taken through what I called “The Titus Ten.” On my last Sunday, I was amazed at the number of men who hugged me, with tears in their eyes, telling me how that process had changed them. This week I looked at the website of the church I left over six years ago. There are 13 men on staff at that church, and 11 of them were a part of ”The Titus Ten.”

I tell you all of that to say, after 17 years of serving as a full-time pastor, I am convinced, without any reservation, that amid all the plans and programs, there is nothing that bears more fruit, more captures the heart of Jesus, and has a greater impact on a local church than systematically and consistently investing in men. The families, the church, and the culture will go in the direction of the men. And even though we seem to know that, most pastors seem to put little emphasis on carefully and purposefully investing in the men of the church.

As a result of seeing this bear so much fruit over the years, I’ve committed to making investing in men one of the primary emphases of my ministry. For the sake of the women in the church, the health of the church, and the health of our community, I want to invest in men. And over the years, here are five lessons I have learned in doing so.

1. Investing in men is my most important work.

This statement comes from a man with four daughters and a doctorate in preaching. I highly value the central role of preaching in the life of the church. I can’t emphasize that enough. Nothing can take the place of preaching. But that commitment to preaching must be joined (as it was in the ministry of Jesus) with a commitment to strategically and systematically investing in the lives of individuals.

At the end of your ministry, you will see that this bears as much fruit as anything else you have done. And as a man with four daughters, I say without hesitation or reservation, that when the pastor invests in men, the family, the church, and the women of the church benefit.

2. Men are hungry.

I have taken 500 men through “The Titus Ten” over the last three years. Our church has never mentioned this process or announced it in any way. Those who go through it invite the next group of men into it. People often ask me how I get men to participate. The answer is simple: Men are desperately hungry. It takes almost no effort at all. They are dying for help. Once you begin the process of investing in men, you’ll be surprised how many men are desperate for it.

3. Men need encouragement and exhortation.

Most men already feel deeply inadequate in every area of life—especially spiritual life and family life. They don’t need to be told they are failing; they already know this. Instead, they need to be motivated, blessed, and supported. They need someone pleading with them to grow, make progress, and fight things like isolation and passivity. They need the voice of someone speaking into them who loves them and has a biblical vision for their life.

4. Men need depth.

The men’s ministry of the past which revolved around manly activities is no longer sufficient. Men need serious answers for serious issues in serious times. They need to understand biblical manhood. They need to know how to fight sin. And they need sound doctrine. The goal is to develop faithful, strong, courageous, biblically-minded, gospel-loving, godly men who know how to love and serve God, their church, and their families.

5. Men need movement.

Someone once told me the key to raising sons is running them like dogs. That’s funny and true. You just have to keep them moving. Men are not much different. They need a pathway. They want to know what’s next. This fits the method of Jesus. He continued to challenge His disciples and give them greater responsibilities.

At our church, we start by getting men in a “Titus Ten” group we offer every Spring. Our next step is getting them into a discipleship group where they are reading their Bibles and keeping each other accountable. We then move them into service and mission trips and challenge them to take practical steps of progress with their families. Men need to be kept moving.

Robert Coleman in his classic, The Master Plan of Evangelism, was right: Men were Jesus’s method of winning the world to Christ. It took me years to believe that. Years of wasted time, energy, and money on processes and programs that didn’t bear fruit. At this point in my ministry, I want my focus and legacy to be investing in men who will invest in their churches, families, and communities. I think the word for that is…discipleship.

Article was originally published on and can be found at

Share this post