Personnel is always the issue, and personnel is always the answer
Building a strong church becomes easier after you’ve built a strong core of men | by Paul Louis Cole
A ministry to men will only grow to the level of its leadership.
In the familiar story of the Cave of Adullam, David was joined by men who were in debt, depressed, and discouraged. Why? Because David was in the same state. He was a mess. But as David’s life began to change, the men around him began to change.
Most of us in church leadership can quote 2 Timothy 2:2 as the qualifying verse for leadership. “Commit to faithful men who shall be able.” Too often, we make the mistake of finding someone who is available. Availability is not the key to the verse of Scripture. Faithfulness is.
Grow men and grow your church. The often unseen but true foundation of a strong church is the spiritual and moral strength of its men. In fact, a strong men’s group is a leading indicator of church health and, when led right, will lead to church growth.
Like David, your men’s leader will attract men with the same heart to your leadership team. The characteristics of the kingdom emanate from the character of the king. Said in another way, the DNA of the leader always permeates the group. The group becomes like the leader. It is a disservice to the church if the leadership team is chosen from men who are just hanging around or have nothing else to do. Those men will attract what is in their hearts.
When we “Commit to faithful men who shall be able,” it means we look for men who are first faithful. A man can be available, but if he’s not faithful in seeking God, not open to your leadership, not teachable, he will never grow. That means, if he’s in leadership, your men’s group and your church won’t grow.
Your goal is to find a man who will grow into the position where you’ve placed him. Busy men are busy for a reason: they get stuff done. When Jesus chose his twelve, they were all busy.
LEADERSHIP BASICS FOR MEN’S LEADERS
Discpling men is what will change our nation. The true measure of a church is not how many people are in the seats, but how many disciples are in the streets.
There are ten characteristics that you want to find or to instill in your men’s leader. If he doesn’t have them already, simply put him on a course of discipleship and, if he is the right man, he will be faithful to develop these into his life.
These are the ten core lessons to teach him:
Maturity: Maturity does not come with age, but with the acceptance of responsibility. As you accept responsibility for your men, you’ll mature. Make a conscious effort to grow, to develop in leadership, to increase your worth.
Authenticity: Be realistic about yourself, but don’t give in to feelings that you’re not qualified to lead. Your ministry will always be based on your authenticity. You can be a leader and still be real. Just take time with your men. The tendency of most men is to feel somewhat intimidated to be in front, especially when there seems to be “more qualified” people in the seats. You are not called to be a peer to the men you are called to serve. Don’t compare yourself to the men in the group. Just serve them.
Expectations: Perfection is not your standard. When the Apostle Paul wrote, “Follow me as I follow Christ,” he did not write that from a state of perfection. At the same time he wrote that, he also wrote, “I am the chief of all sinners.” No one knew his problems and weaknesses more intimately than he did. But, there was a need, he had an answer, and he simply acted in obedience. Just do the work.
Simplicity: Keep it simple. In the ministry of Christian Men’s Network, the Majoring In Men® curriculum is a full process for men’s discipleship that is fully developed and works all over the world in prisons and boardrooms, in small and mega churches, in every socioeconomic, geographic, and ethnic strata of society. “The Word does the work.” Expose your men to challenging teaching, and the truth will transform their lives. It works because truth works.
Obedience: Obedience is simply doing the next thing God tells you to do. As you are faithful with the little things God has taught you, He will make you the leader you wish you already were.
Minister for results, not reactions. Men want to be a part of something “larger than themselves.” They don’t want to be busy for the sake of being busy. Make sure that every meeting or event you schedule clearly serves your overall purpose.
Be relationship-focused over task-focused. Most long-term change takes place in the context of church-based relationships with a bedrock of a relationship with God through His Word and prayer. Events can inspire men. But it’s relationships that make them stay and a cause that bonds their hearts. Look for ways to give men opportunities to create relationships. Men bond shoulder to shoulder. It’s about relationships, working together like Nehemiah and his men. They became brothers.
Make discipleship your core: Jesus told us to make disciples and He gave us one prayer request, which was to pray for workers. Your best workers will be the men discipled in your church. Resist the natural urge to look for men with talent. Commit to the men who are faithful. Then, train their talent.
Fill Your Heart: “What will I say?” Public speaking is one of man’s greatest fears. With Majoring In Men® curriculum, one-line principles will sink into your heart and spirit and then naturally begin to roll out of your mouth. The more wisdom you speak, the greater the esteem people will have for you. Train your key men to speak from a foundation of truth.
Making Mistakes: As you develop as a leader, you may not be at your best every single day or in every single meeting. Just because you have a bad day doesn’t mean you’re having a bad life or that you are a bad leader. The old Space Shuttle program sent astronauts on 135 missions using the highest technology available at the time. However, the shuttles were only on course approximately 3 percent of the time. During the other 97 percent of the time, the leaders were doing course correction. You may correct your course numerous times.
Even after working hard, sometimes we all mess up as leaders. When you do, consider it your entry point to the hall of heroes. You’ve just joined Moses, David, Peter, Thomas, Paul, and every other leader in all of history. It’s just that they just failed so long ago. Yours feels fresher, and much, much worse. It isn’t worse. How did they overcome it? The antidote to failure is success. The only direction to take out of decline is UP. Read the CMN Never Quit book. Evaluate. Make course corrections. Keep your vision fresh. Study. Read. Pray. Then go.
The challenge is not in the ability to obtain but to maintain. You can obtain one great meeting, but what you want is an ongoing, thriving men’s ministry. When you plan, make a plan to maintain what you obtain. Fame may come in a moment, but greatness comes with longevity. Keep showing up.
Men are like trees: they fall the way they’re leaning. Help your men begin to lean into the Word, prayer and brotherhood. Men and their families are depending on you – and you can do this. You can disciple Godly men. The world needs your discipled, Godly, upright, mature, powerful, grace-filled men.