Why Most Men’s Ministry Doesn’t Work

Most men’s ministry is doomed to not have much lasting impact because it depends on getting men all amped up, jacked up, fired up, challenged, and inspired to go out and be God’s man in the world. So far so good. But the appeal is made horizontally to a man’s own ability to “make it happen” and “be better” through his own strength, human effort, strong will, striving, and determination. They’re encouraged to do the spiritual disciplines, be better dads and husbands, and work for God because it’s the “right thing” to do.

As a result, men leave many, if not most, men’s events convinced if they can just stay strong and focused that, this time, things will be different. Essentially, they are misled to believe they can earn that which cannot be deserved. So they pour themselves into winning the favor of God. The official theological name for this is “works righteousness.”

But all such human effort fails. Your works do not improve your standing with Jesus. The Christian life is not won on merit. Well, actually it is, but it’s the merit of Jesus. Grace says, “You will never be good enough to earn or deserve God’s love. But you don’t need to be. He loves you because He made you.” You don’t need to deserve it. You can’t. You don’t need to earn it. You can’t. You don’t need to worry about losing it. You can’t.

Ministries to men that are succeeding over the long haul (sustainable) point men to the love, grace, and mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. For example, our Bible study has been going strong for 28 years. It’s okay to urge men to do better, but as a response to their increased understanding of just how much God loves them.

From Patrick Morley, July 21, 2014