By the Man in the Mirror Team
Your church doesn’t have to go all in on a big weekend event to make a big impact on men. You can jumpstart discipleship by giving men an opportunity to gather, connect, and take their right next step with this simple men’s event format.
Do you want to get the men in your church engaged and growing this spring? Christian men’s events are a great way to create value and momentum.
Your church doesn’t have to go all-in on a big weekend event in order to make a big impact on men. A simple men’s event can also jumpstart men’s discipleship.
1) Meal + 2) Activity + 3) Testimony + 4) The Ask
First Things First
Before you start planning, there are a few basic things you’ll need:
The Team. Even a simple men’s event isn’t a one-man job. You’ll need to recruit some people who are passionate about discipleship and fostering friendships. Together, you’ll divide and conquer the details, as well as get the word out.
The Date. As you make a list of prospective dates, would a weekend or weeknight work better for the guys in your church? Also consider both the church calendar and the community calendar. Is something coming up at church that is going to require a lot of resources? Is there a big basketball game scheduled in the community? The opening weekend of hunting season? A school function that fathers shouldn’t miss? A holiday or Spring Break? Steer clear of these kinds of major activities. Then once you’ve decided on your top three date choices, speak with your church’s lead pastor before finalizing.
The Time. What time of day works best for the meal and activities you’re interested in? Morning, afternoon or night? We recommend aiming for an event duration of two hours for a simple men’s event.
The Space. As you’re considering your meal and activities, will you need indoor or outdoor space for the event? What kind of seating works best — round tables inside? Casual seating outside? Bring your own chair? Be sure to reserve the space you need ahead of time.
Once these details are firm, your team is ready to plan your event, made up of just four components.
A meal is a great way to bring guys together. This time can be as structured or unstructured as you want it to be.
Consider your space, any limitations and your preferences when choosing what you want to do for your meal. For example, do you want to order food in or prepare it? The latter requires a different space and more volunteers and time. Do you want men to be able to just show up and eat or participate by bringing or making something? Do you expect to have a large crowd where you’ll need to serve food quickly or will it be a smaller group?
Once you’ve discussed what types of meals will work best for this simple men’s event, here are a few ideas:
Wild Beast Feast (different meats)
Cookout (burgers and hot dogs)
Pizzas and salad
Bacon-eating contest (breakfast)
BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat to grill)
There’s no right or wrong option so have fun with it and talk it up prior to the event!
By adding an activity to the event, you can make it a fun, meaningful experience, while also helping them get to know each other better.
Decide as a team what you’d like to incorporate. Some great options for making the event more resonant are music, humor, icebreakers, competition, physical activity or prayer. Also consider your budget and space limitations as you choose an activity(ies).
Here are some options we’ve seen done at a men’s event:
Corn Hole tournament
Humorous drama (www.skitguys.com)
Cookout and music
Marshmallow Challenge at tables
Newspaper Tower at tables
Get to Know You BINGO
Obstacle course or relay race
Ping pong tournament
Trivia with prizes
TIP: Choose a man ahead of time to serve as the emcee. His two main roles are to help the event flow smoothly by helping with instructions and transitions and to set the tone for the event. He should be welcoming, warm and clear.
Just because you don’t have a formal presenter doesn’t mean you can’t encourage, challenge and reach the hearts of the men in attendance.
Testimony accomplishes this in a powerful way — one man sharing his story of how surrendering to Christ has impacted him and his life. We strongly recommend a story with a focus on having a group of brothers in the church. (This will help you lead into The Ask.)
Discuss as a team who you’d like to invite to share his story at the event. Whether you record it ahead of time and show a video or ask him to share it live, you’ll want to leave plenty of time to prepare together. This component of the event is too critical to “wing it.” You want the man sharing to feel prepared and comfortable, while also maximizing the impact on the men who will hear his testimony.
4) The Ask
We never want a church to offer an opportunity for men without also giving them a next step. We call this “capturing the momentum” and it’s central to our No Man Left Behind Model.
The Ask is arguably one of the most important components of the event so plan as a team what you’re going to invite men to before they leave, and how you can encourage on-site commitment.
Will you use the event to launch men’s small groups? Will you invite them to a new Sunday school class? Is there a kickball league or short-term mission trip coming up? Whatever you decide the right next step is, be sure to make it clear and easy for guys to take it.
Our experience has shown us that as soon as men leave the event, if they haven’t already committed or signed up to get involved in the next step, then participation goes down sharply. Some amount of momentum is always lost once the event ends. Make your plan to capture it and help men continue in their discipleship journey.
What’s YOUR Right Next Step?
Men need opportunities to gather with other men and find true brothers with whom to live the Christian life.
Use this guide to plan a simple men’s event that engages or re-engages men in discipleship. We know discipleship changes men, marriages, families, churches, communities—everything.
This simple men’s event plan was adapted from the resource GO: Jumpstart Your Ministry to Men found at www.maninthemirror.org/go
For more information about men’s ministry among Alabama Baptists, please contact State Missionary Larry Hyche at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2268, or (334) 613-2268, firstname.lastname@example.org.