The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. (Ed 57.3)
The Ryde Church is similar to most churches in the western world. Our church is blessed by the participation that takes place by both men and women, but just as in most churches in Australia, the women outnumber the men. Praise God for the women and the men that are interested and faithful, but where are the rest of the men? Why aren’t the numbers more equal? And what can we do to help more men feel like they want to belong in a church community?
We noticed that there were several men that were attending but not really connected to the church. We decided that we needed to create a ministry that would focus on helping these men build community with the church. So we began a Men’s Ministry program that would at first meet together every other month. These events are based on providing social needs and spiritual needs – we begin with a meal, different venue and menu every time, followed by a devotional geared towards encouraging men in their family, church, work and community life. This has also been a great opportunity to invite friends that are not inclined to visit the church.
It has been one way that we were able to connect with a semi-interested man. As he grew to know us, and to learn of what we believe, he decided to be baptised and become a member. Another man attended the group one day and a few weeks later attended church for the first time.
Church is about community and encouraging one another in the faith and this program has helped both newcomers and long-time members feel encouraged. The men have said that they are blessed by the meetings and two men that previously have not had leadership roles stood up to the challenge of organising and running this ministry.
Contributed by Allen Bierschbach