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Discipling Men

Three Common Mistakes

1. Lack of Intentionality

During a trip to Maine a few months ago, I observed a common scene from a ministry display table in a church foyer.

I have discovered this is the typical approach in the 800+ churches I have consulted with during my nationwide tour to 42 States. Most churches tend to focus on the other 3 sub-groups in the congregation…

While we definitely support discipleship efforts with Women, Students & Children, and offer instruction about an “All-Inclusive” mindset, we are constantly having to raise the awareness level for reaching & discipling men.


How intentional is your church in reaching & discipling men?

2. Lack of Multiple Entry Points

During my 3 decades as a Men’s Pastor, I learned the importance of having numerous “on ramps” for enlisting men in the B4MS (Battle 4 Men’s Souls).  Too many leaders only provide entry points on the “deep end” of the discipleship continuum such as:

  • In-Depth Bible Studies
  • Leadership Training Modules
  • High Commitment Venues

Churches get frustrated when the men “on the fringe” remain disinterested or disconnected. We must provide a balance in our approach and offer entry points on the “wide end”.  In my experience, I have seen God work uniquely in the lives of men through these natural rhythms:

  • College Football Games
  • Drive Time Fellowship
  • Hiking Trips
  • Racing Events
  • Classic Car Shows
  • TV Viewing parties
  • Wilderness Outings
  • Camping Trips
  • Brass Band Concerts
  • Archery Range

All Activities = Ministry of “Hanging Out”


We must understand Paul’s admonition in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 when he cites both the…

  • Written Word = Scriptural Engagement
  • Living Word = Biblical Community

How balanced is your approach in reaching ALL Types of men?

3. Knowing Your Players


During my 6 years as a High School Coach, it was imperative for me to know my players.

1-on-1 Coach-Player meetings took place during these strategic times:

  • Pre-practice & post-practice
  • Pre-game & post-game
  • Preseason & post-season

As a Men’s Pastor, I ministered out of a “coaching grid”.  I studied the Life of Jesus and found His approach to be more “life-on-life” than any other method.

John 10:27 references His example.

The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me…  I KNOW them… and they follow Me.

The tribe that I grew up in focused on 2 of the 3 key principles from this verse:

  • Our Listening (10:27a)
  • Our Following (10:27c)

But there wasn’t much emphasis on:

  • His Knowing (10:27b)

If Jesus knew His players, shouldn’t we know ours?


Here are some practical suggestions I would offer for consideration:

  • Team Roster – make a comprehensive list of every man you have an affiliation with on/off your campus
  • Recruiting Trips – be strategic in outreach to spiritually disconnected husbands, dads, etc. whose wives & kids are currently involved
  • Locker Room – ask God for wisdom and discernment as you maintain a “read” on your players
  • Coaching Analysis – be willing to invest some 1-1 time with guys to gauge what is happening in their journey of faith
  • Practice Sessions – discipleship venues are when players go to practice…be willing to challenge the “Allen Iverson” mentality of avoiding or underestimating practice (discipleship)
  • Game Film – give your players encouraging feedback on how you observe God working in them and through them
  • Road Trips – take your players to some men’s conferences, etc. in your region of the country for Kingdom Networking
  • Scouting Reports – assist in giving your players a full understanding of the schemes of The Enemy and his methods of spiritual warfare
  • Awards Night – at the end of every season (September – May), we would have a special night to offer commendation and a year in review
  • Off-Season Workouts – the summer months focused on several key objectives:
    1. Father’s Day Outreach
    2. Short-Term Mission Trips
    3. Family-oriented Outings
    4. Individual Workouts
    5. Strength & Conditioning
  • Men’s Survey – this is a crucial strategy…you will never fully “Know” Your Players until you utilize this approach…

A sample Survey can be provided upon request by sending an email to coachk@intentionalway.org.