A major study by scientists at Brigham Young University in the US found that long-term social isolation can increase a person’s risk of premature death by as much as 32 per cent.”
This all sounds very gloom and doom, doesn’t it? Well, it should hit you with a proper amount of trepidation: again, we are on the front lines of a war for souls.
Thankfully, we fight for the winning side.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The article continues to dovetail things we all know: the best way to combat the enemy’s strategy is to build up men, then build the relationships among the men in your church and community.
How do we do that? By making Men’s Groups and Men’s Events a priority in our missional strategy. That isn’t to say make it the only priority, because women need community just as much, couples need other couples, singles need other singles, etc. We were all born for relationships. But building a core of solid, God fearing men in your ministry will do wonders for those other demographics.
There is likely a “few good men” in your sphere of influence who are already passionate about building men’s ministry. Some may not recognize it, but we must all put up our “leader of men” radar and find those guys. Then empower them, equip them, prepare them and unleash them to do the good deeds God prepared in advance for them to do.
The Between Small Groups and Mental Health for Men
Most men love several common things: good food, tasks that are challenging yet completable to provide a rewarding sense of accomplishment, respect from their peers, a purpose for their lives.
Did we cover “good food”?
Whether your church is just a handful of folks meeting in a living room or public place, or a well-established sea of people numbering in the tens of thousands, you can build a thriving men’s ministry. And, if you already have one, adding more value to it is still a big win.
Do for one what you wish you could do for all.
How do you do this if you don’t already have the ball rolling?
You simply start with one man.
Identify the guy, the rock God will build on. If you don’t already know who this is, ask God for the wisdom, insight and vision to identify that man.
Invest in that man, let him know you respect him, value him and that God does too. Give that man a task to complete, to build his momentum. Maybe it’s simply to show up on Sunday and help you look for other men to join the cause. Maybe it’s to lead a men’s group. Maybe it’s to organize and oversee a Men’s breakfast or serving event. Once you’ve identified the guy, you’ll know his current capacity and God will show you how big or small of a task to start the ball rolling.
It is also very important that you quickly partner your first man with another. Scripture tells us two men working with God as the third is a powerful alliance.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
Once you have two men working in unison with God, others will follow. We’re all social creatures and when a man sees other men actively enjoying a purpose, respect from others, a sense of accomplishment and, yes, even good food, it will draw others in like a moth to a flame–and small groups and mental health will flourish.
As this continues to grow, you’ll also notice God’s hand growing other aspects of your Groups ministry. When the involvement of men increases, so does nearly everything else, including small groups and mental health.
This article on the connection between small groups and mental health originally appeared here, and is used by permission.