The WIDE-DEEP Continuum
As a Leadership Team, it’s important for you to understand where a man is on his spiritual journey. Does he know who God is? Is he new to this journey? Has he experienced growth spiritually? Is he legitimately interested in learning about the Bible? Does he lead Bible studies and accountability groups with other men?
Making disciples is all about taking men who don’t know Christ and helping them become mature, passionate followers of Jesus. This can be represented by a continuum. At Man in the Mirror, we refer to this as the WIDE-DEEP continuum.
On the WIDE side of the continuum, we have men who are early in their spiritual journey, with no, or little, commitment. To them, their physical needs and own interests are very important.
When working with men on the WIDE side of the continuum, we need to be casting the net very broad, doing things with a broad appeal, bringing guys to activities that are of interest to them. These are activities that require little or no preparation (on their part) and low commitment. Typical activities on the WIDE end might include softball teams, BBQs, a Super Bowl party, golf, hunting, or fishing.
As a man matures spiritually, gets more involved with church, gets more interested in the Bible, following Christ and spiritual things, we need to go deeper and deeper with him. There is an increased need for activities that meet their spiritual needs in a deliberate manner. These activities will often times have a connection from week to week, require some preparation, offer accountability and transparency and go deeper into biblical concepts. Typical activities on the DEEP end might include small groups, Bible studies, leadership training, service projects, and spiritual retreats.
Why is it important for your Leadership Team to know about the WIDE-DEEP continuum?
If you have men who are deep spiritually and all you do is give them WIDE things – shallow things – to do, they will eventually get bored and leave.
At the same time, if you’re trying to bring in guys who aren’t that interested in spiritual things and all you’re doing is offering them deep, deep spiritual activities, they aren’t going to have the context to understand or even be interested. They will end up leaving fairly quickly.
As your Leadership Team plans, make sure you are offering different types of activities to reach the different types of men in your church. Diligently work to build a seamless process to move men across the WIDE-DEEP continuum.