The role of men within the church is absolutely crucial for fostering powerful growth in Christ both at home and in our communities. However, men’s ministry often struggles to attract consistent attendance and active involvement.
In this blog post, we will explore the powerful influence that the lead pastor’s involvement can have on men’s ministry, drawing insights from the teachings of renowned Christian author and speaker Patrick “Pat” Morley of Man in the Mirror. Morley, through both his books and the Man in Mirror Ministries, has helped tens of thousands of Christian men connect with other men to encourage each other and build each other in Christ.
Morley has helped uncover that one of the keys to increasing men’s ministry engagement is to get a church’s lead pastor personally involved. If the lead pastor doesn’t emphasize one of the individual church ministries, then fewer of his flock will show interest. Yet studies have shown that congregational participation rises if the lead pastor promotes, encourages, and partakes in a ministry. The following blog article reveals how:
Setting the Tone
Lead pastors serve as spiritual shepherds, responsible for guiding and nurturing their congregations. When they actively participate in and support men’s ministry meetings, it sends a clear message that engaging in this area of the church is highly valued and essential. If the pastor shows something as being merely “optional” or less important, they’ll most likely have the same attitude. Patrick Morley aptly expresses this sentiment when he says, “Lead pastors play a crucial role in men’s ministry. Their involvement and support set the tone for the entire congregation, communicating that men’s spiritual growth and discipleship are important.” (Source: Pastoring Men: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It Matters Now More Than Ever)
What is involved in this for the lead pastor? Being public about the cruciality of your church’s men’s ministry. From the pulpit or on the video screen or on an Instagram post, the pastor should make the congregation well aware of the exciting things the men’s ministry is doing and why the guys attending your church should never miss it. And he should do this often. Yes, I get it that your announcements part of the Sunday service is getting overstuffed as it is, and it’s hard to cram in any additional blurbs about yet another meeting on the church calendar. But the men’s ministry should be one of the “flagship” ministries of your church and each meeting date regarded as being a “must-see” event for Christian men.
Leading by Example
Patrick Morley emphasizes the importance of leading by example. He states, “When lead pastors actively engage in men’s ministry, it creates a culture where men are inspired, challenged, and equipped to become godly leaders in their families and communities.” (Source: Pastoring Men: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It Matters Now More Than Ever) When a lead pastor actively participates in men’s ministry, it demonstrates a personal commitment to growth, accountability, and discipleship. Men are inspired and motivated by seeing their pastor’s genuine dedication to the spiritual development of men within the church. Morley affirms this, saying, “When men see their pastor actively involved, it communicates authenticity, passion, and a desire for transformation.”
A lead pastor does not need to take the reigns of the men’s ministry. He doesn’t have to write the curriculum, be the meeting host, handle the administration or contact volunteers, send out emails, update social media, or lead the actual meetings. If you already have a dedicated guy or team that already does all that, then let them continue to run it. But what a senior pastor should do is display that he is actively attending meetings and engaging in the conversations and showing the high value of getting together to be “iron that sharpens iron.”
Providing Spiritual Mentorship
Patrick Morley reminds us of the impact pastors can have, saying, “When lead pastors invest in mentoring relationships, they create a culture of discipleship where individuals can grow in their faith, receive guidance, and be encouraged to become effective disciples of Jesus Christ.” (Source: Pastoring Men: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It Matters Now More Than Ever)
Men’s ministry thrives when men have access to experienced mentors who can guide them in their spiritual journeys. With their theological knowledge and pastoral experience, lead pastors or other church elders are uniquely positioned to provide this mentorship. By actively engaging in men’s ministry, lead pastors can directly influence men’s lives, offering guidance, wisdom, and support. And from that point on, build up men to be disciple-makers themselves.
Promoting Authentic Fellowship
Lead pastors have the ability to facilitate and encourage authentic fellowship within men’s ministry. By actively participating in small groups, Bible studies, and retreats, they demonstrate the value of building genuine relationships with other men. This emphasis on fellowship creates a welcoming environment where men feel safe to share their struggles, find accountability partners, and develop lasting friendships. Patrick Morley stresses the importance of such fellowship, stating, “The lead pastor’s involvement fosters a culture of authentic community, where men can connect, grow, and support one another in their spiritual journeys.”
I do have to quickly mention two important points. One, if your local men’s ministry is in shambles or is completely misled and disorganized, there is no “magic bullet,” metaphorically speaking, that will take your meetings from a place of disaster to being vibrant, healthy, and packed full of hungry men every month. Two, ultimate success is up to God and the moving of His Spirit to work in the hearts of men, so pray unceasingly for God to move!
That being said, a lead pastor’s involvement can be a huge catalyst for increased attendance and involvement in men’s ministry. As Patrick Morley emphasizes, the lead pastor’s engagement sets the tone, provides mentorship, addresses relevant topics, and promotes authentic fellowship. When men witness their pastor’s commitment to their spiritual growth and the value placed on men’s ministry, they are inspired to participate actively. Through this involvement, men experience personal transformation, build meaningful relationships, strengthen the overall fabric of their households and communities, and ultimately build themselves into disciples who train up other disciples.
So if you’re a lead pastor, you must heavily promote and get involved in your church’s men’s ministry ASAP! So you are not a lead pastor, get him involved immediately. You may still have a dedicated men’s ministry leader, but assure him that the lead pastor has his back and publicly shows that a ministry for men is highly important in the structure of your local congregation. Let’s get to work!