Read Part 1 here.
Tragically, pastors or peers are mentoring few men. Why? There is a lack of focus on Jesus' and Paul's modeling God's ministry! Many pastors are copying the public pulpit ministry of gifted preachers in mega-churches. Yet this biblical model is not the priority ministry of Jesus and others in the book of Acts. Their goal: world evangelism. Their focus to reach this goal was to spend quality training time with men. Paul stated his passion for being alive: to further the faith of those newly saved (see Philippians 1:23-26 ). Jesus and the heroes in the Acts mentored in the context of evangelism, church planting, and discipleship. Intake — How to get in the Word and devotional life. Output — Living out the Word and touching others in ministry. Having output without intake results in disaster.Another reason men aren't being mentored is that they are much harder to win than women. And when won, they are more difficult to “lasso” into strict Bible study and evangelism disciplines. The pay-off of a man hungry for Jesus and His Word is so eternal and church impacting, however, it is worth any cost. Dr. Howard Hendricks, Dallas Seminary teacher has said, “The greatest crisis in the world is in leadership. And the greatest need in leadership is character.”How do you find people who are willing to grow? There is a principle that helped me lock on to the right people to disciple. “Overexpose people to the Word of God, and they will pop out of the mediocre mass, revealing where God is at work.” What is Vacation Bible School? It is five days of Bible teaching; a month of Sundays in a week. It is an overexposure to the Word in a short period of time. Children get saved and begin growing with this maximizing of the Word of God. What is at the heart of a “Revival” meeting, an evangelistic mission, or a Bible Conference? They all feature an over exposure of the Word in a condensed time span. We, in and of ourselves, can't help anyone grow. But if we can discover where God's Spirit is already at work and follow His lead, reaching out to a person, wonderful changes will take place!
At my last church we scheduled two men's retreats each year. Our leaders looked and listened. Where is God's Spirit touching a heart? When the Spirit is working, men ask questions; want to discuss Scripture, share personal needs and convictions. This openness gave us a door to listen, pray, and lead many men into the Word. Some were willing to be mentored or join a small group. Also we searched for “hungry” men by asking a man to help with a fish fry, or help paint a widow's house, visit a lost man with us, or to work with kids. We moved them into the Bible and ministry. Looking around my church I saw fire in the hearts of men everywhere. Those flames gave off sparks, then more flames. Men and women everywhere growing. Those I mentored were sheer joy for over 13 years in my last church; then God led me into a new ministry.