Looking for resources to help your church become more effective at reaching men? We’ve got you covered with:
- Books and DVDs by best-selling author David Murrow
- Free resources on this website
Books and DVDs by David Murrow
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10 Ways to Man Up Your Church
David Murrow offers a 35-minute session titled, “Ten Ways to Man Up Your Church — Without Scaring the Women and Children Away.” This session is available on his training DVD.
Here’s a brief summary to whet your appetite:
1. A Manly Pastor. Men don’t like macho or power-hungry pastors, but a pastor who projects a healthy masculinity will draw men. This is because men see their churches through their pastor. If a man respects his pastor, then he likes his church. If a man doesn’t respect his pastor, he won’t like his church. Go ahead, ask a man about his church. He won’t talk about the ministries, or the facilities, or the programs; he’ll talk about the pastor.
2. Excellence is vital. Men are less forgiving of anything bad, hokey or half baked. The churches that are growing and attracting men consistently offer excellence – in the preaching, the music, the facility and the programs. You don’t have to be the best in town; just do what you do very well and men will be drawn. And if you can’t do something well, then don’t do it at all.
3. Give men space. Churches that attract men honor their need for space. Don’t force your men to hold hands or hug each other. If you must hug, there are safe ways to do it, as illustrated on my training DVD.
And you should also be judicious when laying hands on men. These days we like to put people in “prayer mushrooms.” You know what I’m talking about – Vince asks for prayer and soon he’s mobbed, with hands all over him. The other men look at what happened to Vince, so they keep requests to themselves, for fear that they will be mobbed too.
4. Make Prayer Real. Christians speak normally to one another, but when they talk to God they lapse into a strange language I call “prayer speak.” I’m not talking about speaking in tongues; prayer-speak is a nonstop petition to God, repeating his name over and over, punctuated by the word “just” (Father God, we just thank you for this day, Father God, and Father God, we just ask that you’d bless us Father God). The problem with prayer-speak is that it discourages plainspoken men from praying aloud, because the feel that their petitions need to be delivered in this “holy language.” If you want more men praying, cut the prayer-speak.
5. Honor Men’s Time. Nothing discourages men like a worship service that drags on and on. It’s no coincidence that African-American churches, known for their 3 hour worship services, are also very likely to have a man shortage. Jesus was not long winded; in fact the average parable of Jesus can be taught comfortably in under a minute. It’s not the length of your message but its impact that changes men’s lives.
The other five ways are captured on David Murrow’s DVD, Why Men Hate Going to church. This DVD is only available from this web site, and is not sold in stores. To order your copy of the DVD, click here.
Go for the Guys Sunday
I recommend that you conduct a “Go for the Guys Sunday.” This is a special service is designed from the ground up with men in mind. Everything from the atmosphere to the decor to the sermon are delivered with a masculine accent.
Once you have a successful Guys’ Sunday under your belt, plan to offer it once a quarter. Your men will come to expect them, and they’ll know that “Go for the Guys Sunday” is a safe time to invite their male friends to church.
Click here to download our free Go for the Guys Sunday Action Plan.
How Guy-Friendly Is Your Church?
The Guy-Friendliness Test
This is a 50-question, non-scientific test that will help you assess your congregation’s “guy friendliness.” Choose a number between 1 and 9 for each question. Any number is acceptable (For example, if your church falls between a 3 and a 5, write in “4.”)
When you’re done, add up your score and read the scale at the end of the test.
Good Worship Songs for Men
This is a true story.
I’m getting ready to speak to several hundred guys at a men’s event. Let me say it again: a men’s event. And the band is leading us through this song:
Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel I’m moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Why do worship leaders choose such girly songs, filled with romantic imagery, even when they perform at men’s events?
Well, now they don’t have to. I asked one of my readers, Jeffrey Painter, to assemble a list of good worship songs for men. He came up with 55. Consider this a down payment. If someone would like to expand this list, let me know.
JEFFREY PAINTER’S LIST OF GOOD WORSHIP SONGS FOR MEN:
2. Our God – Chris Tomlin
3. I Will Follow – Chris Tomlin
4. Awakening – Chris Tomlin
5. Your Grace Is Enough – Chris Tomlin
6. Indescribable – Chris Tomlin
7. Holy Is The Lord – Chris Tomlin
8. How Great Is Our God – Chris Tomlin
9. On Our Side – Chris Tomlin
10. Mighty Is The Power Of The Cross – Chris Tomlin
11. God Of This City – Chris Tomlin
12. Exalted (Yahweh) – Chris Tomlin
13. Let God Arise – Chris Tomlin
14. Not To Us – Chris Tomlin
15. Famous One – Chris Tomlin
16. Awesome Is The Lord Most High – Chris Tomlin
17. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) – Chris Tomlin
18. The Noise We Make – Chris Tomlin
20. Come Let Us Return To The Lord – Matt Redman
21. Salvation – Charlie Hall
22. Revolution Cry – Jason Wade
23. You Are God Alone – Phillips, Craig, and Dean
24. My Hope Is In You – Third Day
25. King Of Glory – Third Day
26. By His Wounds – Mac Powell & Brian Littrell
27. What If His People Prayed – Casting Crowns
28. If We Are The Body – Casting Crowns
29. Voice Of Truth – Casting Crowns
30. East To West – Casting Crowns
40. God Be Merciful To Me (Psalm 51) – Jars of Clay
41. We Win! – David Crowder Band
42. Here Is Our King – David Crowder Band
43. All Because of Jesus – Steve Fee
44. Awesome God (Your Voice) – Vicky Beeching (change a few words & it would be great!)
46. I Am Free – Newsboys
47. Alive – POD
48. Strong Tower – Kutless
49. Word Of God Speak – Mercy Me (Kutless Version)
50. Here Am I – Mercy Me
51. You’re Worthy Of My Praise – Jeremy Camp
52. Walk By Faith – Jeremy Camp
53. My Fortress – Jeremy Camp
54. Hero – Skillet
55. Rebirthing – Skillet
For years I’ve wondered why men’s ministry programs don’t work for most men. It’s a mystery. There is some absolutely fabulous men’s curriculum out there, packed with great Bible teaching. Yet almost every church that launches a men’s program meets with failure. The men just don’t seem interested. Here are the facts:
- The vast majority of men’s programs die within two years of launch.
- Fewer than 10% of churches offer any ongoing ministry to men at all.
- Those churches that do offer men’s minstry programs often see very low rates of participation – particularly among men under age 40.
- Major national men’s ministry organizations are shrinking in size and influence.
After I spoke to men’s ministry experts around the globe, two things became clear:
- The majority of men show little interest in our current models of men’s ministry.
- If we are going to make disciples of men, we need a new approach.
Or maybe an ancient one.
Men’s League is a discipleship structure based on the very first Christian men’s group: Jesus and the twelve. Men’s League develops twelve men at first, and then expands to seventy-two. Men’s League not only delivers powerful teaching, it also gives men personal coaching and a structure that keeps them engaged.
Men’s League is built around the metaphor of a modern sports league, but its methods are as old as Christianity itself. It’s an ever-evolving model that combines the best practices of today’s leading men’s ministries with the ancient structure Jesus modeled for us.
When Jesus left planet earth, he gave us a two word commandment: make disciples.
So simple. Yet most Christians will go their entire lives without ever making one.
Let’s get personal: have you ever made a disciple? I’m not talking about winning someone to Christ. How many people have you personally developed into fully committed followers of Jesus?
Me neither. And I think I know why.
Soldiers don’t just go out and fight battles on their own. Instead, they’re trained. They’re equipped. They’re organized into small units. They’re given an objective. And most important, a support structure is placed around them. If this structure breaks down, the soldiers become demoralized.
Disciple making is a battle. It’s demanding, difficult work. When people go out and try to make disciples on their own, they become demoralized.
Men’s League is a disciple making structure. It provides the support that men need as they challenge other men in their walk with God.
Structure makes the difference.
Most men’s ministry starts and ends with teaching. “What are we going to teach?” we ask. “Which curriculum will we use? What book will we study?”
Men’s League builds a structure before anything is taught. The structure is:
- Two men, who call
- 12 men, train them, and send them to disciple
- 72 men.
The structure comes straight out of the gospel of Luke.
Men’s League is not a curriculum or a course. First and foremost, it’s a structure that supports men as they 1) become disciples, and 2) help other men become disciples. The structure of Men’s League comes from the very first Christian men’s group, Jesus and the twelve.
Jesus began the church by getting to know men…in the synagogue, in their workplaces, in their homes. Eventually, he began to attract disciples. He called a number of men to follow him in Luke 5, including Simon, James, John and Levi.
Then in Luke 6, he called his disciples together, and from among them he chose 12, whom he designated apostles.
Please note that not all of his disciples made it into his inner circle. There were only 12 spots available. At this point, Jesus is not into exponential growth. He’s seeking quality, not quantity.
The twelve were his inner circle. He spent lots of time personally coaching these 12. He taught them by example. We also know that he organized his men into pairs (see Matthew 10). So this was the structure that the early, early church was built upon.
By Luke chapter 9, Jesus is sending these men out in pairs to do the ministry he’s trained them to do. Great things happen.
Then suddenly in Luke chapter 10 there are 72 more disciples (in addition to the twelve). These seventy-two are sent out by Jesus, and they too experience miraculous power.
So tell me: how were these 72 trained? The Bible doesn’t say, but I have a guess. If Jesus had six pairs of experienced, battle-hardened apostles, perhaps each pair took responsibility for training and deploying twelve more.
Even today it would take a considerable amount of organization and structure to train seventy-two men to perform signs and wonders and vanquish demons. I don’t think even Jesus could prepare that many men by himself. He would have to have an organizational structure. And I’m guessing that this was it.
Men’s League is built on this ancient structure.
The League begins with two men who have a vision to disciple other men. Since we’re using a sports league metaphor, these two founding men are called “commissioners.” In the first year, the league looks like the Luke 4 church, but with one big difference: there are two men at the foundation of the league. Since the commissioners are men (and not God) they need to work in pairs, as the Bible specifies.
The first year of the league is a critical time for the commissioners to get to know each other, to pray for each other, and to bond as brothers. They should hang out regularly; read the same books, get their families together, etc. These men will be the foundation of the ministry, and they must be “partners in the gospel” in every sense of the word.
Also during this year, just like Jesus, they’re looking for potential disciples. They’re looking in the church, in the workplace and in the community. They’re seeking committed followers of Jesus who have leadership gifts and a desire to disciple other men.
After the first year, the commissioners call 12 of these men to become “coaches.”
For a year, the commissioners work with their coaches. We recommend a regular, weekly meeting. During this time the commissioners lead the men through a discipleship curriculum. (We are currently developing a curriculum based on the three journeys of Jesus, as revealed in Matthew 10) The curriculum you use is up to you.
Early in the process the coaches are paired. You want to do this early so that, in case you have pairs that don’t work out, you can re-pair the men. The pairs should be well established by the middle of the year two.
Toward the end of year two, the pairs of coaches should begin looking for men that they can begin discipling in year three.
The final build-out of Men’s League happens in year three. By building this structure, two men are able to extend their influence into the lives of eight-four more. And look at the structural strength! Each man has two spiritual fathers (1 Cor 4:15) and a band of brothers. This is the great lack in the church today: men sit in church but have no support, no friends and no sense of place in the organization. In Men’s League, any man can find support, friends and a sense of place.
In Men’s League, no man gets left behind. Men don’t simply disappear or fade away; they have fathers to look after them and brothers to encourage them.
With this structure around men, expect great things to happen. As year three comes to a close, you’ve got a rich honeycomb of male relationships. Plus your men are already organized into functioning teams. You can transition from discipleship training to ministry opportunities, because the men already know and trust one another.
The next step: take our video tour. There are nine short videos in all. The whole tour takes a little under an hour.
These nine videos were produced back in 2008, when the Men’s League idea was brand new. Although there’s been some revisions to the concept, these videos will provide you with a broad overview of what Men’s League is about.
1. Introduction to Men’s League
2. How men’s ministry is structured today
3. Structure: the hidden strength of Men’s League
4. Calling disciples
5. Developing coaches
6. How we teach
7. Frequently asked questions
Sacramento California Men’s Leagues
There are active Men’s Leagues in Sacramento, CA. The League was pioneered in 2012 by Dan Axtell, who created a modified version of Men’s League for his guys. Dan is the pastor of Restoration Life Church, a plant in downtown Sacramento.
Dan created a book curriculum on manhood for his men to study. He took about a third of his content from his years with Campus Crusade. He took a third from Henry Blackaby. And the final third came from the Design for Life curriculum.
These Men’s League groups do not have living parables/ordeals mentioned in the orientation videos. Instead, Dan and his coaches issue a 365 Bible reading and journaling challenge to every man. The coaches check their men’s journals to see if they’ve done their reading.
The men meet 24 times – every other week, over the course of one year. During the “off week” men are encouraged to meet with a buddy. At the end of the year each man creates a blueprint for life. Then they split the groups and recruit more men to for additional leagues.
In their first year of Men’s League Dan recruited 12 guys – and all 12 made it through. In the second year they recruited 68 guys, and 53 made it through.
Dan is now working with other churches in the Sacramento area to spread the concept of Men’s League.
Good Worship Songs for Men
Tired of singing love songs to Jesus?
Get some better worship songs here.
Discussion Guides for Why Men Hate…
Download free discussion guides for the book
Why Men Hate Going to Church.