Revival Sermons

The Christian Man and the Christian Woman => The Christian Man => Topic started by: Richard OFfill on January 03, 2010, 08:57:29 AM

Title: An Article for the Review
Post by: Richard OFfill on January 03, 2010, 08:57:29 AM
I am working on an article for the Review on how to get men involved in the spiritual components of the church. We have talked about some of the special challenges of men already on this board  but if you don't mind let's get down to 'nittie gritties'.

What are some specific ways to encourage men to be more spiritual -- from the home up to the church, in the workplace. Please to it on a  1, 2,   3  as you share your ideas and feelings. OK, Let's go.......

1.   
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Larry Lyons on January 03, 2010, 09:42:48 AM
Perhaps if the pastor started an informal men's fellowship and discussion group. That might be a way to start.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Raven on January 03, 2010, 10:01:48 AM
Perhaps if the pastor started an informal men's fellowship and discussion group. That might be a way to start.

That might be a good idea, but ii many places it turns into a "night out with the guys," where they go bowling or miniature golfing, or whatever.  That will not promote spirituality.  That's one reason I've avoided men's ministries activities.  I prefer "caring for marriage weekends" which means I stay home with my family and try to fulfill the role of husband and father.

One thing that needs to be encouraged, in my opinion, is for men to give up their fascination with sports.  This is an idol for many professed Christians, and SDA's are not exempt.  Many years ago I was on a committee that met a couple of times a year at the conference office.  One of the conference officers showed up rather late.  He apologized and said he had forgotten about it because he was watching a football game.   :roll:  Priorities?  This is not a new phenomenon.  As a teenager I well remember the conversation between 2 adult men on Sabbath morning.  One said, "if it wasn't Sabbath I'd ask you how the Giants (local baseball team) were doing."  The response was, "if it wasn't Sabbath, I'd tell you . . . ," and he gave him the score of the game.  Even as a youth I realized something was amiss.

Until men get their priorities straight this problem will never be solved.

Another emphasis might be on humility.  Men tend to have big egos.  This "macho" mentality is unacceptable for a Christian.  As Paul said, For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?  I Cor. 4:7.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: newbie on January 03, 2010, 10:42:25 AM
That might be a good idea, but ii many places it turns into a "night out with the guys," where they go bowling or miniature golfing, or whatever.  That will not promote spirituality.  That's one reason I've avoided men's ministries activities.  I prefer "caring for marriage weekends" which means I stay home with my family and try to fulfill the role of husband and father.

One thing that needs to be encouraged, in my opinion, is for men to give up their fascination with sports.  This is an idol for many professed Christians, and SDA's are not exempt.  Many years ago I was on a committee that met a couple of times a year at the conference office.  One of the conference officers showed up rather late.  He apologized and said he had forgotten about it because he was watching a football game.   :roll:  Priorities?  This is not a new phenomenon.  As a teenager I well remember the conversation between 2 adult men on Sabbath morning.  One said, "if it wasn't Sabbath I'd ask you how the Giants (local baseball team) were doing."  The response was, "if it wasn't Sabbath, I'd tell you . . . ," and he gave him the score of the game.  Even as a youth I realized something was amiss.

Until men get their priorities straight this problem will never be solved.

Another emphasis might be on humility.  Men tend to have big egos.  This "macho" mentality is unacceptable for a Christian.  As Paul said, For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?  I Cor. 4:7.

God Bless you for this enlighted post! 
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Larry Lyons on January 03, 2010, 02:08:30 PM
A fellowship and discussion group needn't be a freewheeling social event. The pastor, or the strong spiritual minded person who initiates it can set the purpose, the guidelines and boundries for the group.
Alan (not his real name), the grown son of one of our elders who was a third or fourth generation Adventist, born and raised in the church, left the church for an Evangelical denomination. According to him, it was the fellowship and spiritual nurturing he received in their mens Bible study and prayer group that attracted him. He started attending it 3 or 4 years ago. Unfortunately he has now bought into their theology in addition to the love and fellowship that inititially attracted him. He complains that he never found that sense of closeness and belonging in the Adventist church.
The relationships that we have with one another can be a tremendous strength and support. I'm afraid Alan is right in we don't seem to find that kind of unity in our church. At least I haven't seen in except in certain ethnic groups who immigrated to the US. 
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: newbie on January 03, 2010, 02:21:22 PM
A fellowship and discussion group needn't be a freewheeling social event. The pastor, or the strong spiritual minded person who initiates it can set the purpose, the guidelines and boundries for the group.
Alan (not his real name), the grown son of one of our elders who was a third or fourth generation Adventist, born and raised in the church, left the church for an Evangelical denomination. According to him, it was the fellowship and spiritual nurturing he received in their mens Bible study and prayer group that attracted him. He started attending it 3 or 4 years ago. Unfortunately he has now bought into their theology in addition to the love and fellowship that inititially attracted him. He complains that he never found that sense of closeness and belonging in the Adventist church.
The relationships that we have with one another can be a tremendous strength and support. I'm afraid Alan is right in we don't seem to find that kind of unity in our church. At least I haven't seen in except in certain ethnic groups who immigrated to the US. 
I agree with this Larry... for all concerned.  That is why I feel this quarterly is very timely.  We all lack the love that we need to go forth with the message in power.

having said that, I could never sit in another church and hear false doctrine preached ... it would drive me crazy...
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Richard OFfill on January 03, 2010, 03:32:52 PM
A men's study group sounds better than a fishing expedition. After all the question is how to encourage spirituality. Of course the fishing  will attract more men that the latter.

I would like to know more about how the evangelicals do the Bible study group. How did they get it started and how does it work. Could one of our men readers check into this?
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Raven on January 03, 2010, 03:37:08 PM

Alan (not his real name), the grown son of one of our elders who was a third or fourth generation Adventist, born and raised in the church, left the church for an Evangelical denomination. According to him, it was the fellowship and spiritual nurturing he received in their mens Bible study and prayer group that attracted him. He started attending it 3 or 4 years ago. Unfortunately he has now bought into their theology in addition to the love and fellowship that inititially attracted him. He complains that he never found that sense of closeness and belonging in the Adventist church.
The relationships that we have with one another can be a tremendous strength and support. I'm afraid Alan is right in we don't seem to find that kind of unity in our church. At least I haven't seen in except in certain ethnic groups who immigrated to the US. 

This is indeed sad when these kinds of things happen.  We are all different.  Some of us need the type of fellowship this man was looking for.  But we all have choices to make.  What is more important, truth, or buddies?  People leave the church for various reasons, but there are usually underlying issues that have nothing to do with the surface reasons.  I'm not trying to sound unkind, but when the time of trouble such as never was bursts upon us, we won't have "fellowship groups" to rely on.  We will have to rely completely on Christ.  It will be our commitment to Him and the truths of Scripture that will make the difference.  Fellowship it important, but sometimes it seems as if it is overemphasized at the expense of establishing and grounding believers in present truth.  We can affirm each other all we want, but it won't secure us a ticket to the kingdom.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Raven on January 03, 2010, 03:41:41 PM
A men's study group sounds better than a fishing expedition. After all the question is how to encourage spirituality. Of course the fishing  will attract more men that the latter.



I agree.  But first we have to get them interested in studying.  I've puzzled for years over how to accomplish this.  I've been leading a SS lesson study for nearly 20 years, and I've observed that a large percentage of members either don't participate, or don't seem to know their Bibles very well.  This is problem on a personal level.  If one isn't interested in studying together on Sabbath morning, it doesn't seem likely that they would be interested in a more in depth study during the week.  Just my opinion.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Deborah Risinger on January 03, 2010, 03:45:22 PM
Perhaps I am not understanding...but this gentlman Larry spoke of sounds like his satisfaction came from having his felt needs cared for.  Not that "that" in of its self may be wrong....however, it can pose a problem if the felt needs take presidence over "being settled into the Truth."

This is a balancing act I am not sure many of us (myself included) have completely figured out.

Our men have indeed been kicked around and denagrated quit alot....from many different angles. External and internal.

God, thank you for the men in Your House
Deborah  :-)
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Larry Lyons on January 03, 2010, 03:56:10 PM
This is indeed sad when these kinds of things happen.  We are all different.  Some of us need the type of fellowship this man was looking for.  But we all have choices to make.  What is more important, truth, or buddies?  People leave the church for various reasons, but there are usually underlying issues that have nothing to do with the surface reasons.  I'm not trying to sound unkind, but when the time of trouble such as never was bursts upon us, we won't have "fellowship groups" to rely on.  We will have to rely completely on Christ.  It will be our commitment to Him and the truths of Scripture that will make the difference.  Fellowship it important, but sometimes it seems as if it is overemphasized at the expense of establishing and grounding believers in present truth.  We can affirm each other all we want, but it won't secure us a ticket to the kingdom.
Actually Raven, it seems to me that ongoing study groups could be a means for grounding people in the truth. You put your finger on the problem, how do we get people to get involved in them. I think that EGW tells us that we will band together in small groups in hiding during the time of trouble. Also in one of her visions the angel told her in the face of some kind of difficult situation, I forget the context, but the angel said "Press together, press together , press together." I believe it is the work of Satan that keeps us from having much unity in the church.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: CONCRETE on January 04, 2010, 09:10:03 AM
We must realize that there are different spiritual levels of men in every church. Some activities will interest some while studies will attract others. Buddies are as important as truth because buddies is discipleship, which is how truth moves forward. Most churches have a men's event or even a men's study, but it usually stops with that. Creating momentum then capturing that and ultimately sustaining that momentum is the key to success. The sustaining momentum in a men's group is where men grow deeper spiritually and many churches fall short.

Pastor, instead of reinventing the wheel I would reccommend viewing the website below or even attending a "No Man Left Behind" Training session by Man in the Mirror Ministires. Men's Ministry are what these folks are all about and I would consider them the authority on the subject. Have a look and see if you find anything helpful!

As they say...4 things to keep in mind:

1.  A successful men's ministry will be built on these cornerstones:

The senior pastor's enthusiastic support, a man passionate about reaching other men, a committed leadership team, and the right strategy.

2.  Be purpose driven rather than event driven.

Men want to be a part of something larger than themselves. Often men don't come to our events because they don't see any larger purpose. Make sure that every event you schedule clearly serves your overall purpose.

3.  Be relationship based rather than task oriented.

Most long-term change takes place in the context of church-based relationships. Events attract men, relationships make them stick. Give men plenty of opportunities for fellowship and conversation. The relationship is the task.

4.  Make disciples and pray for workers.

The Bible tells us, "Go and make disciples
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Larry Lyons on January 05, 2010, 12:55:03 AM
Actually Raven, it seems to me that ongoing study groups could be a means for grounding people in the truth. You put your finger on the problem, how do we get people to get involved in them. I think that EGW tells us that we will band together in small groups in hiding during the time of trouble. Also in one of her visions the angel told her in the face of some kind of difficult situation, I forget the context, but the angel said "Press together, press together , press together." I believe it is the work of Satan that keeps us from having much unity in the church.
I want to amend my statement here a bit. I have read statements by EGW that she was shown that there will come a time when God's faithful remnant, which I pray will include all of us, will be scattered and will not be able to lean on one another. Our spiritual life must be such that we are able to stand in the face of difficult and threatening circumstances and by faith depending only on Jesus.

That is not to discount the possible benefit of a supportive men's Bible study and well focused fellowship group.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Raven on January 05, 2010, 04:31:18 AM
I want to amend my statement here a bit. I have read statements by EGW that she was shown that there will come a time when God's faithful remnant, which I pray will include all of us, will be scattered and will not be able to lean on one another. Our spiritual life must be such that we are able to stand in the face of difficult and threatening circumstances and by faith depending only on Jesus.

That is not to discount the possible benefit of a supportive men's Bible study and well focused fellowship group.

Amen!

I had those statements in mind when I made my earlier comments, although I couldn't remember where I had read them.  It will be difficult, under Laodicean conditions, to get most men interested, but I suspect that future world events will effect a change in attitude.  I only hope it won't be too late.  Statements by Ellen White about many who have strayed returning to the fold near the end give me hope.  But I realize that this doesn't offer a solution to the current situation.  I fear that the shaking must become more violent first.  Those shaken out will be lost, unfortunately, but this shaking will bring the rest of us closer together, and, I believe, will provoke more earnest study, both individually and collectively.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: Honesty on January 06, 2010, 03:18:13 PM
I am working on an article for the Review on how to get men involved in the spiritual components of the church. We have talked about some of the special challenges of men already on this board  but if you don't mind let's get down to 'nittie gritties'.

What are some specific ways to encourage men to be more spiritual -- from the home up to the church, in the workplace. Please to it on a  1, 2,   3  as you share your ideas and feelings. OK, Let's go.......

1.   

On thinking upon this point it sounds to me almost like another question: How do you get men to take care of or involved in their children/family?
It borders on absurdity, doesn't it. But it is a valid question.
We get involved if we sacrificially love, feel responsible, and obligated in a good way. Basically they have to want to. If they don't want to, that means they want something else. They can't serve two masters, and it shows. If they are pressured into some activity it causes resentment. They don't want to be hypocrites - to themselves, or like the others who they see as involved - so they just don't bother with church stuff beyond the minimum.

One way is to put them in the schedule, and if they don't prepare or aren't ready for whatever they are scheduled for, the church just drops that item for that service. Basically saying - you are not replaceable, we value you, so it's you or nobody (kind of opposite of corporate America). But few churches are willing to go that route, because the church machine must go on at any cost. They are usually bailed out or replaced by someone else. So there is no accountability. We should fail more often rather than constantly be fixing church. As long as there is someone else to do it, why would I? So it involves the more active people toning down, and retreating from some posts, and reinvesting there energy in the covert behind the scenes spiritual work that is probably more important then the limelight activities.

The other way is to invent certain things that need to be done at church, that can allow a guy to believe he is useful, yet not intimidate. This would help with those who are afraid yet sincere. Examples: count how many youth came to church and give a report to the pastor, get him to hand out a magazine at the exit of the church... Once this initial contact is formed, they can graduate to other activities and responsibilities.
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: CONCRETE on January 07, 2010, 05:21:03 AM
On thinking upon this point it sounds to me almost like another question: How do you get men to take care of or involved in their children/family?
It borders on absurdity, doesn't it. But it is a valid question.
We get involved if we sacrificially love, feel responsible, and obligated in a good way. Basically they have to want to. If they don't want to, that means they want something else. They can't serve two masters, and it shows. If they are pressured into some activity it causes resentment. They don't want to be hypocrites - to themselves, or like the others who they see as involved - so they just don't bother with church stuff beyond the minimum.

One way is to put them in the schedule, and if they don't prepare or aren't ready for whatever they are scheduled for, the church just drops that item for that service. Basically saying - you are not replaceable, we value you, so it's you or nobody (kind of opposite of corporate America). But few churches are willing to go that route, because the church machine must go on at any cost. They are usually bailed out or replaced by someone else. So there is no accountability. We should fail more often rather than constantly be fixing church. As long as there is someone else to do it, why would I? So it involves the more active people toning down, and retreating from some posts, and reinvesting there energy in the covert behind the scenes spiritual work that is probably more important then the limelight activities.

The other way is to invent certain things that need to be done at church, that can allow a guy to believe he is useful, yet not intimidate. This would help with those who are afraid yet sincere. Examples: count how many youth came to church and give a report to the pastor, get him to hand out a magazine at the exit of the church... Once this initial contact is formed, they can graduate to other activities and responsibilities.

OK, so how do men "want to?" This is done by discipleship and mentoring. Too often we think that men should be doing certain things spiritually and if they aren't they just are rebelling and such. Most men have no clue (even some who think they know) on how to grow spiritually or be a spiritual leader because the are spiritually immature and want to grow. Giving men tasks for the sake of involving them to make them "believe they are useful" without much thought is a sad pitfall. Most men are not stupid and they can tell when they are being patronized and the task they are doing was haphazardly thought. While men will be involved (initially) with the methods stated above, they will soon loose momentum and fizzle out. Then someone will usually scramble to find something else for them to do and that will decline as well. Getting men involved in family, church, etc. is not about activities or tasks, it is about relationships/discipleship/mentorship with other men that spawn a desire for more things spiritually. The quote I shared earlier in the post speaks volumes and should be considered when trying to reach men.

"The Bible tells us, "Go and make disciples
Title: Re: An Article for the Review
Post by: newbie on January 07, 2010, 10:47:52 AM
unfortunately, we do not always do the right thing....  and make mistakes...  lets not dwell on them and get discouraged but rather think of what the bible tells us to do ...

 ....if GOD IS LEADING. that is a big IF.. then, and only then, will things be done in the proper way.... we must choose .. and choose wisely...    remember that Jesus said, follow me.  We are to follow HIS lead and not ours..... and then bravely go forward in peace and grace.