Men’s Ministry—why bother?
by Major Donna Miller
Peoria Citadel, Ill., corps officer
When we started the men’s ministries at our corps, we were doing it as part of our STEPs goals. Here are three important points to consider when starting a men’s group at your corps.
- Determine the need and motivation of the men in your corps. If you are starting a men’s ministry to simply “check a box,” is unlikely to work out. It’s better to be men-driven from the start. Since I’m the lone corps officer at Peoria Citadel, and I happen to be a female, this took some navigation. To determine the need at our corps, I gathered a group of men together to brainstorm and start asking questions. At first they didn’t seem to know how to get it started, but clearly men were willing to participate and take ownership of the group. So, we decided to move forward.
- Determine who is available to participate and promote to these groups directly. Scrutinize every aspect of your corps programs. In our case we had a predominance of men in three different groups: those who attended the corps, men from our shelter, and our male bellringers. Assume these guys will be interested. Don’t just promote to them in one way; make several attempts. In our case we passed around and posted a flyer with information, made phone calls and then followed up in person.
- Empty your mind of preconceived notions. We discovered men’s ministries are very different from women’s ministries in structure. For one thing, the men are much more interested in doing projects together than having a fellowship time for conversation. Also, it’s better to have Bible study material that is geared toward men. Lastly, we found we didn’t have to have the men’s ministries on the same night as other activities. In fact, our guys preferred an uninterrupted time to themselves.