Numbers Count! Work hard to get a critical mass of men to your event.
You have probably heard the comment, “Even if only one man comes – it will be worth it.”
I hear and affirm the heart behind this comment. Almighty God certainly believes in the worth of the individual man. We have come to understand though that when reaching men – numbers count. You need a critical mass of men to develop a real masculine context where it is safe for most men to connect to God and to one another. How many men does it take to reach this critical mass? Is it 25? 50? 100? 1,000? 10,000?
There is no firm answer to this question but I think a gathering of 100+ men can be considered critical mass.
What changes with critical mass?
Everything changes. Here are a couple of quick examples:
1. Worship changes. 100+ men in the room allows a man to sing wholeheartedly. This probably means off key and loud. Critical mass gives him the freedom to do that. I remember a Conference during the summer of 1994 in Boulder, Colorado. The conference began with 52,000 men singing ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ and I knew that something special was happening. It was critical mass. I had never worshipped God with thousands of men. I sang loud and with a full heart. This was masculine worship.
2. Men can sit in the back. 100+ men in the room allows a man to sit in the back where he feels safe. Less than 100 men will create an environment where every man is noticed. There is no back to the room and everyone knows if any man makes any movement
3. Excellence and Expertise. 100+ men together bring the resources needed to bring in a program that has both excellence and expertise. It is tough to bring in a national speaker when there is no budget or to host a national seminar when you can’t meet the minimum attendance requirements.
How can our church create critical mass?
Think about how your church can take part in something that already has critical mass.
1. Participate in a denominational or regional men’s retreat. Some local churches hold their own retreat. They rent some space at a local conference center and bring their 15-40 men away for a night or two. This is good, but there is something better. There are denominational and regional men’s retreats near you. These retreats will gather 200-500 men once a year at a retreat center and bring in a first class speaker. I know that each fall in the Northeast there are retreats all over the region. The worship is great at these retreats because the chapel is full of men who are singing freely and loud. You can’t reproduce that when you bring 24 men from your own church away on a retreat. The numbers just aren’t there.
2. Mobilize men to a regional conference. Promise Keepers continues to be a great resource that has serious critical mass. Men’s ministries in your city or region can work together to host an annual men’s conference for the churches in the area. In New England, we have the ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ Men’s Conferences. Each spring a church can send men to a one-day conference with thousands of other men and with seminars that are specifically targeted to men. It takes cooperation and trust and time to develop these conferences, but once they are developed these entry level events are a great blessing to a church’s ministry to men.
3. Host a national seminar.There are men’s ministry providers all over the country who will come to your city and present their seminar. They have expertise, experience, passion and a long history of success in ministry to men. Some have short term tools to help capture the momentum of the event. You can see many of these ministries at the website of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries at www.ncmm.org
*Are you listening to our daily radio program for men? Go to www.Man2ManExpress.com to hear today’s daily broadcast – as well as every past broadcast from this past month. This week, May 30th–June 3rd, we feature the making of the Red Sox DVD – ‘Reversing the Curse’.