A called-by-God church planter is a truly focused individual. He knows that he needs specific things in order to do what God has called him to do in the city to which He has been sent.
Continued from yesterday…
Men As chauvinistic as it sounds in today’s egalitarian climate, you really do need a few good men to help you plant a church. God will send some godly women, whom you will love as mothers and sisters, that will be used by God in unbelievable ways to extend the kingdom through your local church. I am not minimizing the role of a woman in church, or women in general. In our church, women lead worship, teach bible studies, serve as deacons, etc. I’m simply highlighting the reality of the “just as”. Just as the men go, so goes the family. Just as the men go, so goes the society. And, just as men go, so goes the church. You don’t have to have a PhD in Sociology to realize that our world is jacked up because men don’t do what they should and do what they shouldn’t. Men are the problem in our broken world. And, if you work hard and smart, men can be a big part of the answer for a church trying to reach a broken world.
How do you get and develop good men? First, you have to be a good man yourself. You will not attract what you are not. Scripture is full of encouragement and challenges you to become the man God wants you to be. In short, be a Biblically qualified elder and you will do well. Most men who come to your church either did not have a good relationship with their dad or did not have a dad at all. They will look to you for a model of what it means to be a godly man. So, as Paul told Timothy, watch your life and doctrine closely so you can deliver such men. Not only do you need to be a model for them, you need to train them. The first meeting we ever had in our church plant was a men’s discipleship meeting. We studied 1 Timothy 3 and I pleaded with the men who were present to aspire to be elders in our new church. The point is that you have to call men up. You have to plead with them and challenge them to be better than they are. But, you must not just tell them to live better. You must train them to live better. This involves many meetings: one on one, small groups and medium-sized groups. Make sure that you are spending time with emerging male leaders and equipping them to teach, lead and counsel.
It is important to add that while discipleship groups are good, so are one-on-one mentoring relationships, etc. These are not enough to produce the type of men that you will need to build a prevailing, gospel driven church. You must see the pulpit as the main vehicle to reach and train men. Many pastors preach sermons that are too effeminate to draw men. You know this is true because the majority of churches have a much lesser percentage of men than women. When you preach, preach strong! Call men to Christ, call them to lay down their idols of entertainment and work. When you preach, use illustrations that men relate to. Integrate things like sports, music, and films that appeal to men into your sermons. Preach like men are in your church and they will come.