You may, or may not be aware, that since 1992, it is officially International Men’s Day (IMD) on the 19th November. A couple of months ago now on IMD 2015, an aspect of life facing the modern man that is often shunned and pushed to one side was revealed. Statistics released by CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) highlighted the fact that for many men in 21st century society, general life can be a real struggle – resulting in quite breath-taking figures displayed in the image below. Male Mental Health is one of the biggest issues facing modern society.
While IMD was overlooked by some, it did highlight the drastic need for a message of hope and peace into the lives of our brothers, sons and fathers. The reason for having a men’s ministry within church however, goes deeper than to simply offer support for those who may be affected by mental illness – although it does play a vital role on that front too.
Along with a society where men are struggling to find their voice on issues facing them, there is a harsh trajectory of men vanishing from their local church. The official UK wide statistic for male to female church attendance is 60:40 (in favour of women) although in some cases as much as 70:30. The need to create a bloke friendly church / community / environment has never been so prudent. Only, what does that actually look like?
First of all, we want to shake off the dust that causes many men to think church is; irrelevant and boring. For RK Men, so far we have been concentrating on creating a space where men (Christian and non-Christian) can strengthen friendships with one another over social activities. We’ve already done a ‘Best BBQ’er Comp’ and a ‘Classic Board Game Night’, purposefully generating an environment for men to bond, making strong and more importantly, authentic friendships. Why? Well:
Billy Graham reckons that 80% of those who came to Christ during his missions were brought along by a friend.
Learning from Billy Graham and his exploits, we see the forming of authentic friendships among men as a necessity to succeeding in seeing our friends and family come to faith. By following CVM’s 4 level evangelism we aim to take our not yet believing friends on the journey towards faith in Jesus.
What are we doing then? Here’s what’s coming up:
20th February – Ice Hockey Social: Sheffield Steelers v Cardiff Devils at the Sheffield Arena
16th April – Ashover walk followed by a pub lunch and a testimony given by Chris Hardy.
24th-26th June – The Gathering for Men – The perfect event for men’s groups or individuals and tailor-made for you to be able to invite your unchurched mates to. Every year it sees many guys come to faith for the first time.
So, can you picture it working with your mate? I hope so, because it’s got the potential to radically change the lives of your brother, father, son and best mate. I challenge you to think of one person, one friend who you will prayerfully walk along side – inviting him first to socials then to an event with a speaker and then to the Gathering or church. Consider them now. Make your commitment for them now.
There is also some top quality stuff you can get your hands on in order to help navigate life as a modern man:
The Manual – Daily Study Notes
52Men of the Bible – Character Study of 52 Men from the Bible
The Code – A twelve point honour code for the modern man
The Code Bible – The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, the only bible to contain a top ten list and a references to The Code.