Men: Why Church Plants Need You
Planting a church requires all-hands-on-deck. Men, women, teenagers, and children all contribute in significant ways to seeing a new church come to life. The organizational needs required to make a church a church are tremendous: facility logistics, greeters, kids workers, and coffee pots (seriously). As we set out to plant the Trails, I am praying we see committed, sacrificial participation from men.
Study after study shows that American Christianity is short on men living out their faith as servant leaders. Why is that? I believe it’s because many of us don’t have a vision of how God might work through us as we lead our families to love and serve him in the context of a local church. How do you get men involved? Start by giving them a job
Not a Spectator Sport
Church has become a spectator sport for many men. Recent studies show that the presence of enthusiastic male worshipers is statistically associated with:
- Congregational growth
- Congregational health
- Unity in the church
- Increased giving
- Retention of young men and women
Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time to be born, a time to die, and a time to plant. But there is also a time to set up tables, tear down stages, serve people coffee, dance with kids in the nursery, and laugh with friends as you serve.
In a church plant, there are no benchwarmers. Everybody gets to play. Acts 11 tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ was being preached in Antioch and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. Who was doing that preaching? Was it Paul? No, not yet. We are told this preaching and leading was being done by “men of Cyprus and Cyrene”. Mostly anonymous guys who obeyed the Lord, stepped out, and led.
What are some practical, concrete ways to lead:
- Show up early before Sunday service to unload trailers, create a worship space in a school cafeteria, set up welcome tables, or build kids rooms out of a music hall. (Don’t worry, practice makes perfect and you’ll soon have more time for coffee)
- Then - wait for it - take it all down after the worship service. By the way: there is a lot less anxiety during teardown if it’s a 3:15 p.m. Cowboys kick off.
The Reward of Church Planting
I was blessed to be part of a church start up. First and foremost, I was overjoyed as God led people to join our church family and together reach the community for Christ. But running a close second, was the joy I felt as I watched men shake hands laughing at 5:30 am, create a church building from scratch each week, and afterward calling their wives and families and tell them where to meet them at church.
In Nehemiah, the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt in 52 days. They accomplished this great feat by having each man rebuild the wall in front of his own house. Trust me, a plastic panel in a nursery room or a curtain wall around a stage is just as important as some rock wall. So men, come and join me! What are you doing this Sunday?