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Tony Brooks: Sunday School/Small Groups for Men: 3 Things to Consider

Posted: 7/3/18 at 7:40am. Post by Tony Brooks.

To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (I Corinthians 9: 21-23 NIV)

I recently had conversations with two different churches about starting a men’s ministry again. Both have men who won’t come to Sunday School or the small groups that they have tried. So what can you do? Here are some ideas:

  1. Start with what the men enjoy doing! Many men (not all) don’t enjoy reading or being stuck in a classroom with a lecture. Some see Sunday School as just that: school. They don’t want any part of it.Learn about their hobbies. Do they like to hunt wild game? Check out the Spiritual Outdoor Adventures Facebook page. One of their books that combines hunting tips in each small chapter with spiritual lessons is Into the High Country by Jason Cruise and Jimmie Sites. And if you search online, you will find spiritual devotional collections and books for almost every hobby. Get those and use them during devotional times as you gather the men for breakfast before they go out hunting. Or use them as you meet with men weekly over a meal. Jimmie Sites even has his own television show tied to hunting and spiritual lessons.
  2. Go out and serve the community together. As you gather to do a project, lead a devotion and prayer time for the men gathered and for those whom you are helping. Believe it or not, this is a small group! A small group really needs three people: a spiritual leader of devotionals/Bible studies, an outreach/care group leader (to reach new people and care for the ones in the group), and a project/fellowship person (who will line up fellowship events and projects). You need the same three persons to start a new Sunday School class.
  3. If you are teaching a men’s Sunday School class/small group, don’t make it predictable. Men are typically bored when not challenged with new ideas and demands about how to live a better life. Mix up the lesson with thought-provoking questions and object lessons. Click here to read an article by David Murrow’s with his thoughts about why men hate going to church. I am sure there are others out there who will disagree, but many men can’t sit still long if not challenged to think beyond the easy answers.

The numbers don’t lie: In many of the churches in southside Virginia, men will show up to serve a worthy cause in the community and for certain fellowship events, but not for traditional Sunday School. Is it time to try something different? Start by getting to know your men, and discover what will engage them.

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is our Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org. Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7