Foundation #3: Your Man Code
What is the man code of your church? The “man code” is the environment your church creates for men. Within a few weeks after beginning to attend, a man understands what it means to be a man in your church. This impression isn’t explicitly stated. Men just soak it in from the atmosphere around them.
Men are smart. It doesn’t take them very long to figure out the message the church is sending about men. Are there any announcements that would interest men? Anything in the bulletin that is directed toward men? Any interesting classes for men to attend?
What is the impression conveyed to men at your church? Are they “important”? “tolerated”? “needed”? “leaders”? “workers”? We’ve received a variety of answers over the years at Man in the Mirror – not all of them positive!
Here are some ways men learn to recognize the “man code” your church creates.
- Impressions from the Leaders: Men follow confident leaders. They like to know the leaders know where they are going and what they are saying.
- Impressions from Music: Men resonate with songs that talk about the challenge, adventure, and battle of following Christ and seeking His kingdom become a reality.
- Impressions from the Bulletin: Does your church bulletin have a section for men’s events? Be sure your bulletin makes strong statements about what God is doing through men in your church. Make sure the titles of studies for men will catch their attention.
- Impressions from the Pastor: The Pastor has a tremendous impact on how men are viewed in the church. How the Pastor speaks about men will say a lot about how the people in the church view men.
- Impressions from the Setting: Men DO notice the décor. It says a lot if the women’s restroom is like a lounge and the men’s restroom barely has paint, toilet paper and paper towels. Get some men on the decorating committee to help with the physical environment around the church.
- Impressions from the Level of Quality: Men look for quality! The flyers you hand out, the events being held, the materials used for Bible studies, even the website for the church need to display quality. The message we are delivering deserves our best efforts – not just a “we tried hard.”
- Impressions from the Use of Humor: Men listen for good humor. They are attracted to humor done well. Matter of fact, the use of humor can show them that not everything has to be “prim and proper” – they can actually fit in at church. However, don’t make men look stupid for the sake of a laugh.
- Impressions from the Church’s Vision: Men want to believe that God is doing something through your church. They want to know that being a man in your church matters.
What about your church? Imagine a man comes to visit your church. How would he honestly sum up what he thinks it means to be a man in your church? Discuss this at your next Leadership Team meetings.