Jesus was on purpose – Jesus was kingdom-focused and He invites us into his mission by giving us the job of making disciples. Only through caring for others can we have the “life to the full” Jesus came to offer. God must raise up someone in your church to lead here. Maybe it’s you . . . maybe it’s someone you know.
Jesus handpicked a few guys – Jesus had more than twelve followers, but He picked a few to be his inner circle, praying intensely about His choices. Our event mentality is numbers-focused. Bigger numbers equal more success, right? No. Jesus started small. He poured into twelve guys and they multiplied.
They walked through life together – Rarely did He sit them in rows and teach them stuff. They learned “along the way,” from real-time situations and people. A core men’s ministry leadership has to “do life together” for real bonding to happen. It can’t be a canned curriculum. It has to be authentic and relevant to their lives.
Jesus explained and lived Scripture – Jesus knew the Law. He brought it alive and made it relevant through His words and His deeds. His guys watched Him live it out through all kinds of circumstances. In a mentoring group, guys memorize key Scripture verses, apply them to their lives, and talk about them regularly.
Jesus prayed and taught them to pray – Jesus prayed with and for His guys, He modeled prayer, and gave them a glimpse of His intimate relationship with the Father by going off to pray alone. Guys who are in community with each other learn how to pray for each other . . . and they will.
A high level of commitment was required – Jesus’ disciples made huge time commitments. They left everything to follow Jesus. A strong men’s ministry begins with guys who are committed to growing in their walk. If they spend a year of intense effort under the guidance of a mentor, they’ll emerge understanding how important Jesus is to them and how important the church is to Jesus.
It was a community – Jesus was there as their leader, but the disciples intimately knew each other because they spent time together, worked together, and challenged each other. Just as the disciples created “ecclesias,” small gatherings of Jesus followers who became the church, when you establish a committed community of men, they’ll replicate that community with others. This is the secret sauce of building a men’s ministry because men feel like they belong.
There was a defined period of time – Jesus poured into His guys for three and a half years. Then He graduated them . . . sending them out to do the work of the Gospel. We’ve found that nine to twelve months is about the right amount of time for a group to be intensely connected. After that, it’s time to send them out . . . to lead, love, serve, and give.
It was about multiplication, not addition – Jesus told them upfront, “Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” From the very beginning, it was His stated intention to pass the baton. We’ve seen how men who experience Jesus through a mentoring group are chomping at the bit to pay it forward to others.