by Dr. J. Michael Broyles
The following article is provided by our INCM/CPC Partner Gospel Light.
Recently, at the Children’s Pastors Conference in San Diego, CA, I asked the workshop learners how many men were volunteers in their children’s ministries. Most were in the 5-15% range, but one children’s director said none. Wow, a church without one male to model Christ to boys and girls.
I said something to that group like, “The men in your church need to repent because God’s Word calls for fathers and grandfathers to be the primary spiritual coaches within the family and church.”
That is the big question: how do we move men from sitting on the bench spiritually and engage men with the spiritual growth of children at home and church?
Men need to first look at their own hearts and walk with Christ. Men, if we are attending church just to please our wives, then we need to examine our hearts for the church. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
- A man’s primary calling for the family is to set the tone by example and teaching. With the home and church. Psalm 71:18 says, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” And Psalm 78:3-4 says, “What we have heard and known, what our FATHERS have told us. We will not hide them from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Ephesians 6:4, “FATHERS, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”Men, our first calling as husbands is to lead our families and church spiritually byliving and telling the truth from God’s Word. Men, let us check our hearts and lifestyles to see if we are clearly following God’s standard of a man in the home and church.
- Second, dads and grandfathers, research says positively or negatively, we are the primary spiritual influence in the home. Lifeway research (April 15, 2009) says,
“The influence of a father when he comes to know Christ:
Child first – 3% chance that someone else in the family will come to know Christ
Mother first – 17% chance that someone else in the family will come to know Christ
Father first – 93% chance that someone else in the family will come to know Christ.”Dr. Ken Canfield of the Boone Center for the Family says that there are:
over 1,200 Bible verses on fathering
over 300 Bible verses on mothering
over sixty Bible verses on parenting.It just seems that the research and God’s truth clearly says, as men, we set the tone spiritually in the home and church. What a high calling from God.
- Make fathers and grandfathers in your church the “heroes” of your children’s ministries. Find a man who is a leader in your church, who has modeled being a godly father or grandfather and give him five minutes to tell his story and the rewards of influencing the next generation for Christ to your church family. Have him share on YouTube or write a letter to the men of your church telling how God has used him to influence kids for Christ.By the way, have this same man help you find other men in your church to serve Christ in your children’s ministries. He can become your best recruiter of men for kids’ ministries.
- Make pastors, elders and deacons set the example for your church by volunteering in children’s ministries in small ways, which will impact the church roles in a large way.I worked with Senior Pastor Tom Givens for over twenty years. He cared greatly about children’s ministries within our large church. At one time, we had six services a week and in between services you could find Pastor Tom helping with our nursery children and families. Every Vacation Bible School he would teach with our children’s leaders. You can move men toward children’s ministries by your example helping and working with kids and telling your story to others in your church family.
- Start by giving men small steps they can make in kids’ ministries. Maybe it is helping with first graders in Awana. Maybe, it is helping with recreation time at Vacation Bible School.We need men and women working with your children at your church. What is your plan and prayer for men serving in your church?
Good resources on this topic:
Rock Solid Volunteers by Larry Fowler | © 2010 Regal Books | 978-08307-57459
Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Marrow | © 2004 Thomas Nelson | 978-07852-60387
Husband, Father, Minister, Speaker, Leader, Christian Educator, and a Leading Advocate for Biblical Fathering
Mike was born in Pasadena, California. He was raised by Christian parents that “loved Christ and influenced him to be a Christ follower by their words and actions.” He was led to the Lord by a Sunday school teacher at the age of five. As a graduate of Grace University, Talbot School of Theology, and Temple Baptist Seminary, Mike has provided leadership in a variety of areas. Since 1971, Mike has served in the local church ranging from smaller congregations of only 100 folks to larger churches over 3,000. Mike’s passion is to equip fathers to be godly men by actively modeling and teaching God’s word to their children. Mike has taught at several Christian conferences across America as well as been a church consultant. As a consultant, Mike has worked with such organizations as David C. Cook, Evangelical Training Association, Gospel Light and Awana Clubs International. He taught at the Master’s College for over ten years and at Golden Gate Seminary. He served as Family Life Pastor at Grace Baptist Church for twenty-three years. Most importantly, Mike has learned much of his ministry from his wife, Debbie, who is the Children’s Director at Grace Baptist Church. He has two adult children, Dan, who is the Spiritual Care Direct at Grace, and Jon, who is a missionary to China, and five grandchildren who are his daily teachers of walking by faith (Hebrews 11).