4 Ways to Attract More Men to Full-Time Ministry
Recently a friend of mine, who ministers to millenials in Pennsylvania, asked me this question: "I have a few guys who are asking me to disciple them. What questions do you ask? Do you have a criteria for a selection process?"
As a matter of fact, I'm in the process of developing that very thing. I've noticed that about 70% of the people going on mission trips are women. For years, I've wrestled with the subject of how to recruit men. And I've seen that almost every serious mobilizer wrestles with this issue.
Inviting Them to What?
I'm guessing that a lot of church pastors don't really wrestle with this issue because they don't believe in the kind of intensive, experience-focused, life-on-life model that Jesus gave us.
If they do disciple, their efforts tend to be focused around Bible studies in living rooms, or meetings in coffee shops. While both of these venues may be useful places to start a relationship, if they are the primary venues for discipleship, the process will bear little resemblance to Jesus's model.
Jesus called His disciples away from home, out into the discomfort of life on a journey, a journey focused around stretching their faith and exposing them to risk in a hundred different ways.
The paradox is, most of us guys are actually looking for more of that in our lives. We're looking for something to get the adrenaline pumping. Jesus offered it, and 12 guys followed Him. Along the way, they got thrown into all kinds of dicey situations that tested their faith.
The question is, can we replicate that in our modern, sedentary, risk-averse society? And the answer, I'm finding, is YES. Guys have a deep hunger to connect with a wild God, a God who takes them on adventures and invests in them with authority.
I've recently begun to recruit a team of 14 high-capacity, high-commitment guys who will go out on an epic journey for half a year. We'll start in Peru and travel to Guatemala, India, Nepal and South Korea.
I'm promising them that I, and a group of the most successful men I know, will mentor them. I'm promising them that I'll give them opportunities to make a difference and to engage with significant issues of justice and hopelessness. They'll have a chance to bond deeply with one another.
It's not for most guys. But Jesus turned away most guys. Just by word of mouth, we've got seven amazing guys signed up. They are hungry for this kind of high-challenge, high-mentorship adventure.
I'm a work in process. I've found that the main thing one needs in a relationship with God is hunger to know Him and be in His presence.
As for the rest of my life, Karen and I are going through a transition as three of our five children are leaving the nest, leaving us with our two youngest, two dogs & a cat. One of our great consolations is the wonderful group of friends at AIM. They are truly the body of Christ to us. Life here is always an adventure and I wouldn't have it any other way!
The Lord is at work redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself.