We don't want to get men into church, but get the church into men! If we get the church more man-orientated they are more likely to come!
Christian Vision for Men have some superb resources which we highly recommend. See their web site here. If you are wanting to start or to re-vitalise your work with men then we recommend that you purchase the 'MEN' DVD for 12 (or download for 10); it's available from here. Watch it yourself. Collect a group of men who you think would want to do something in this area. Over the next three or four months either watch it with them, discussing it as you go, or ask them to watch it together and discuss it. Then hold a meeting with them to look at your strategy as a church to win more men.
- A purely social event with no Christian input where they can meet men from church and find out they are normal.
- An event with some sort of Christian input.
- Discipleship and worship for men. In addition to this it is also important to bring men you already have in the church together for fellowship and building them up in the faith. E.g prayer breakfasts, mens cell groups, Mens Sunday (where the men do everything).
Here is a list of various events that we know churches around the country have successfully held to attract men. Some of them may sound like they may work well in your setting, some of course may not;
- Activity Days (Motor Racing? Paintball? Sport?)
- Beer and Skittles
- Big Boys Toys (Scalextric? Radio Controlled Tanks?)
- Dinners with interesting Speakers
- Father-and-Toddler Saturday Sessions
- Football on a big screen
- Mens Breakfasts
- Pints of View
- Pub Quiz Nights
- Ten-Pin Bowling
- War Gaming
- Weekends Away
Some of these events are of course more overtly Christian than others. The hope of course is that through spending time together, non-churchgoing men may see that Christian men are neither strange nor boring, and may encourage them to explore their own faith journey.
J-Men, at Holy Trinity Church in Aldershot, have the following aims in their mens work:
- Primary focus to reach out to unchurched men
- Created to challenge historic thinking on Spirituality/masculinity and men i.e. can you be a Christian and a real man?
- Core values Social, Fun, Healthy Competition, Challenge and Adventure
- Open to all ages Teens to Retired
- High standard of hospitality They have identified the following as successful elements in their own activities; Good hospitality, (Beer/Wine/Pizza/Food); High Fun content; Escapism; Some challenge; Uniqueness an event that a man can go to that he can/would not do at home or normally
- Social any event where men can talk side-by-side or be occupied and talking, face-to-face is difficult/awkward/not natural stance for men.
Band of Brothers Lee Abbey
- JACOB. David Rowe & Simon Hudson.
- A mens retreat held at The Beacon, our Outdoor Activity Centre Escape into the Adventure in the rugged and inspiring scenery of Exmoor and the Valley of the Rocks! Alongside archery, zip wire, the climbing wall and a host of other activities, they spend time learning how God met with Jacob in the wilderness and turned his life around from being a deceiver to a wrestler. Once again all sessions use their outdoor environment.
- Christian Mens Network: www.cmn.org.uk/
- CVM (Christian Vision for Men): www.cvm.org.uk
- Mandate: http://themandate.org/
- Northern Mens Convention: www.christianconventions.org.uk/nmc/
- Talking Heads www.talkinghead.co.uk/
- Church for men www.churchformen.com/
- Sorted! The Christian Magazine for men: www.sortedmagazine.men/
- Higher Sports: www.highersports.org
A little more further reading (brief!)
- Grove Booklet, Renewal R31 by Carl Beech; Real Men, Real God, Real Spirit; here