Home Small Group Leaders Articles for Small Group Leaders The Connection Between Small Groups and Mental Health for Men

The Connection Between Small Groups and Mental Health for Men

If a man is so wounded from the spiritual battle that he believes the lie that he doesn’t need church, doesn’t need spiritual community and, worst of all, doesn’t need God… well, things become very grim.

This war on men isn’t just a church thing. It isn’t just an American thing. It’s an earthly realm thing.

As I was preparing to write this post, from the angle of encouraging men to take up leadership roles in ministry, God sent a well-timed news piece my way.

“The benefits of friendship are profound. Having a strong social circle is associated with a longer life and fewer illnesses. Your pals lower your blood pressure and trigger positive chemicals in your brain. People with a strong social network are less stressed, more resilient and more optimistic. They’re more likely to be a healthy weight and less likely to suffer cognitive decline. They also enjoy some protection from cancer, heart disease and depression.

But there’s one group – a big one – that is missing out on these benefits. Men are lonely. Growing numbers of men are standing at the bottom of that hill, alone and overwhelmed, as surveys point to a recession of social connection among those of us with a Y chromosome.”
– BBC Science Focus Magazine

Note this quote is from a secular article, citing skads of secular research studies and surveys. And, they all come to the same conclusion: when it comes to small groups and mental health, men are the target of a spiritual battle, and many are losing.

“A YouGov poll in 2019 concluded that one in five men have no close friends, twice as many as women. In 2021, the Survey Center on American Life found that since 1995, the number of American men reporting that they had no close friends jumped from 3 to 15 per cent. In the same research, the number of men saying they had at least six close friends halved from 55 per cent to 27 per cent.