6 steps from 6 decades of helping men become MEN
Today’s guest post is from NCMM member, Dennis Aaberg, Aaberg Ministries
We have what seems to be a catastrophic shortage of Godly men in society today; the moral and ethical deterioration of society confirms this.
There are many reasons for this decline, and it has been gradual, but the question is, “how do we fix the problem?” Of course, Christ Jesus is the answer, but how do we lead the horse to water and get him to drink from the fountain of life?
Meeting the Need
The first requirement for a leader is to realize all men are seeking to feel accepted for who they are. This is normally referred to as respect. Even though this is mainly rooted in pride, which God resists, it is where we start from because even for a mature Christian man there are many times lingering threads of flesh that want to feel important. Feeling a sense of purpose and worth are integrally connected to that characteristic need.
So we need to create ministries for men that feed their need to be needed, feel like they are contributing to the mainly physical needs of others, and give them action items to be involved with that give them a sense of purpose and worth that ultimately cause them to feel good about themselves – build self worth and self image – as they meet the needs of others through service. This also aids in building a bond amongst them that will help them support and minister to each other.
Once you build a bond with men – likely through service type projects, sports, hunting, or other “guy” activities – you will have increasing opportunities to share with them through Bible studies and your own testimony of what Christ means to you the benefits they can expect to experience in seeking a continually deeper relationship with Christ Jesus. During this process I would suggest increasing their knowledge of what a Godly man looks like using Christ Jesus as your example so they can begin to seek Christ to transform them into His image.
Who was Jesus and Why it Matters
So what was Christ like? Christ Jesus was strong and courageous – more so than any other man has ever been or ever will be, but He was also tender-hearted and compassionate. He went from making a whip of cords to drive money-changers out of the Temple to weeping over the death of a friend and the failure of Jerusalem to accept Him as their Messiah.
Jesus was a straight shooter who called sin what is was – sin. However, He was also compassionate toward repentant sinners and freely forgave, while at the same time telling them to sin no more unless worse things happen to them. He never turned anyone away who sought His help.
Jesus spent quiet time alone in prayer seeking the Father. He said He only did what He heard the Father say and what He saw the Father do. He was kind, gentle, and humble. He never tried to defend Himself against accusations. He patiently endured false criticism, injustice, and mistreatment without taking offense – trusting in the Father for every need and for His direction and strength. Jesus the Christ gave the Father credit for every Word and every miracle He did – never seeking His own glory.
Jesus gave us an example of servant leadership by washing the disciples’ feet. He clearly demonstrated the best leaders serve the needs of those they lead. As a leader you must keep your focus on developing and serving the needs of those you minister to, and not just be seeking men to accomplish your agenda. The men under your ministry are your agenda. As a men’s ministry leader you are charged with bringing them to an understanding of their God-given callings and helping develop them in those callings so they can effectively disciple.
6 steps from 6 decades of helping men become MEN
I would like to suggest a number of simple steps based on my six decades of experience working with, playing with, and ministering to boys and men of all ages to begin your process.
- Walk the talk. Lead men with honesty, integrity, and firmness. Be genuine. Don’t expect anything from them you are not displaying yourself.
- Show them you care. Words are cheap. Be a compassionate listener, but don’t allow them to shirk their responsibilities. For men to mature, they must be held accountable.
- Teach them. Create Bible study or discipleship groups that provide solutions to men’s real world challenges through the Word of God. The Bible is the only document we truly need to teach, correct, rebuke, and mature men. I have found that even effective secular self-help books and articles use Godly principles directly out of the Bible, even though the authors many times do not realize it.
- Develop them. Men want to be strong Godly men with a purpose, but emotional damage and lack of Godly leaders and mentors in their lives many times has left them lacking the knowledge or tools to understand how to achieve what deep in their hearts they want to be. Use the characteristics relating to Jesus in this article to form your model for development.
- Remember your goal. Your goal as a men’s ministry leader is to develop men into disciples of Jesus. Your goal is not to simply fill the pews with men and accomplish churchy tasks. If you develop disciples, the work will take care of itself as new leaders step up to take their rightful leadership roles.
- Family orientation. Married men especially must be taught how to love their wives as Christ loves the church and how to train up their children. To accomplish these goals, as well as the others listed, I recommend my most recent book Want to be a REAL Man? It leads men through a process of maturing into the Godly image of Christ that we all deep in our hearts want to be using ample Scripture references; and it deals with all arenas of a man’s life.
God Bless you in your ministry journey!
Dennis Aaberg is an author and leads Aaberg Ministries. Aaberg Ministries evolved from Dennis’ thirty+ years experience working with youth and adults in a wide varity of capacities within the Christian church. Dennis offers Christian instruction and growth materials born out of a God-revealed need for easy-reading materials that assist believers in growing their faith, wisdom, understanding, and personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.