Welcome to Part 3 of the discipling men series. This part was originally inspired by Rick Howerton’s article, here.
If you are discipling a man or a group of men, I hope you will pore over this list, add to it, print it, and use it to help guide you to an absolutely life-changing, fruitful and God-glorifying series of meetings together. Several additional good resources are linked and cited along the way.
Here we go now…21 Things to Remember when Leading / Discipling Men:
- Men need to see a vision. They need a mental image of the final outcome of accomplishing your goals.
- Begin with the End in Mind. Your discipleship will be more successful out of the starting block if you already know how it feels to cross the finish line.
- Make sure they are really Christians. Make sure they have a saving faith. Repenting and believing in Christ includes admission of guilt as a sinner, belief in Jesus, and trust in Him alone as Savior. Saving faith will be demonstrated by fruit in his life (Eph. 2:8-10; James 2:17; Gal. 5:22-25).
- Men need to be aware of the need for biblical manhood. Men today are confused over what it means to be a man; confused men cause problems and settle for less. The “American male” is friendless, sexually addicted, emotionally isolated, and searching spiritually. Culture offers no lofty vision of manhood today that is compelling to men. The Bible gives answers to all of the above.
- Men need to know and strive towards the Bible’s “20 Measures of a Man” in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 & Titus 1:5-10. These are not simply requirements for elders. They are marks of maturity for ALL Christian men, from which elders can accordingly be identified.
- Men need social time, not just meeting times. Social time on the golf course, at the pool hall, on the ball field, etc… is what will make the meeting times come to life.
- Men are warriors and need an enemy to fight and a battle to win. This is just the heart of a man. Be certain they know who the enemy is, Satan.
- Men need to be aligned with the mission and vision of the church. “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Jesus in Matt. 16:18). The mission (The Great Commission) and vision (your local church’s vision statement) of the church actually offer a monumental task of historical importance; and a team, family, and place with which to accomplish it. (cf. LCCC’s Mission and Vision)
- Men need a bar raised high. Boredom sets in quickly when a goal is easily attainable.
- Few men are readers, so find the right tools. You may be a book junky, they may junk the book. Learn each man’s preference and capabilities for reading. Use the right resources and press the “homework” limits accordingly.
- “To use a curriculum, or not to use a curriculum?” The key to this dilemma is to neither be completely closed to a curriculum nor bound to a curriculum. Your precious time together needs to be thoughtful, selective, prepared and directed; not randomly free-spirited or lifelessly, mechanically bound to a book. LCCC has a variety of resources including books for the readers, and spiritual assessment sheets for the non-readers. Find LCCC’s own one-page disciple’s growth assessment here: Disciples Growth Tool.
- Men will dodge real life issues by deflecting and talking about facts. For instance, you might ask a guy what God is teaching him during his daily time with God. His response might be to tell you he had his quiet time three times this week. You’ll need to dig deeper.
- Men need time to know they can trust you. You’ll need to open the door to this kind of transparency by revealing your stuff first.
- Men will lie to you. Every accountability list I’ve ever seen had as the last question something like this… “Were any of your responses misleading or all out lies?” Don’t declare a man the enemy because of this, he’s been taught by society to protect his influence in this way. Simply help him step into the light of honesty so God can redeem his heart.
- Men need MODELS, not INFORMATION.
- Men need a project. Women grow well together face to face. Men do better shoulder to shoulder. Tue colors are revealed, and deep satisfaction is reached while accomplishing a project. Make serving with him at least once a vital part of his discipleship.
- Men need measurable goals and accountability to reach them. These are a must if you want to see any significant growth.
- Men need to be told early and often about their responsibility to lead his household well. See/review Part 1 for explanation. And remember, spiritual parenting is the BEST way to grow ourselves.
- Men need to know how their time at work can be used for Christ. We spend more time at work than anywhere else. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says to glorify God (make Him look good) in EVERYTHING you do, ANYWHERE you are. The Great Commission is to make disciples “as you are going”, which means ANYWHERE you have influence. Secular work for the Christian man is not second class; it is strategic.
- Mature men multiply. Discipleship isn’t complete until they are discipling others. This includes wife and kids immediately, and a younger man in the faith as soon as possible. Our goal in discipleship is following Jesus by “making disciples who make disciples.”
- There are so many more. What did I miss? What can you add to this discussion? What else have you contributed to the spiritual life of men you have discipled?
Rick Howerton’s blog, Nine Things to Remember When Discipling Men
Gene Getz, The Measure of a Man
Group Publishing, Men’s Ministry in the 21st Century
Voddie Baucham, What He Must Be if He Wants to Marry My Daughter
John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life
Stu Weber, Tender Warrior
Randy Pope, The Intentional Church
My own observations and beliefs