Motivating Men?

Last night we hosted a 'coaches training dinner' at our house. Coaches are adult volunteers who serve our ministry by keeping in touch with our jr. high small group leaders. They pray for them, encourage them, take them to lunch, hold them accountable, fill in for them when needed, etc.

We have 8 women coaches and 1 guy coach. We are having a really hard time getting the men in our ministry to catch the coaching vision, and the one guy we do have shared how tough it was for him last year. The male small group leaders don't seem to respond to the coach the way females do. They hesitate to share struggles, they don't reach out for help and they put on the face of 'I've got it all together'.

Question for those who lead youth ministries: How do you minister to your male leaders? Do you have a specific guy strategy? What success have you had motivating them to take the next step in their ministry to students?


derryprenkert said...


I would love to have answers on this one as well. We find ourselves in the same boat as it pertains to guys and Small Group Ministry. We're running the same model with Coaches for leaders. We struggle to get coaches, we struggle to get leaders, and in general our guys groups tend to be more sporadic and shallow.

Some questions we're wrestling through (sorry, we're only in theory world at this point):

-Are the current Small Group models overly feminized? Do we need to infuse a little John Eldridge-esh action and attitude into the way it works in general.
-Our guys Small Groups seem to open up and share better in groups that can do activity together. If a group of 6 get together and play basketball, then sit down to talk, it's amazing how much more open they are. Wouldn't the same be true of leaders?
-A deeper question, is there an even more significant lack of male spiritual influence in the home and at church the ever before? Maybe it's time for a new emphasis and "Promise Keepers" type move with the American Male again.

Sorry, no great answers, but thanks for the post, sometimes it's good to know that the issues you're facing are present in other ministries.

kurt johnston said...

Those are GREAT questions. 'Are the current Small Group models overly feminized?' is a really interesting one. I'll have to chew on that for a while.

Weston said...

We are facing a similar struggle in our setting with male leadership. Recently we launched a conversation among our male leaders about modeling biblical manhood to our young men. The first thing we found is we all agree the need is critical. The second thing we found is even among our current team we are not in agreement about what to do about it.

We are launching a "Guys Only" small group this fall alongside our "Girls Only" and Co-ed small groups. We decided to not wait until we had everything figured out before we started something just for guys. The interesting piece to all of this is many of our male leaders are enrgized by the renewed committment to our young men. I only hope we can move beyond the similar struggle you are having of shallow and superficial relationships and into genuine, real, transformational relationships.

Nick said...

We're struggling to *find small group leaders* for all of our guys' groups. We have two leaders for most of our girls' groups. And we have little structure for coaching our leaders, that sounds like a great idea - having "coaches".


idrum4him@email.com said...

Hmmm. In our "program" areas (Jr / Sr High mid week program and Sunday morning program) we have a total of 18 volunteers of which 7 are men. Two of them are in their twenties and the rest are mid 30's to 40's. The vast majority of them have been and/or are participating in small groups themselves. We don't have a separate small group ministry within our youth ministry *sigh* but do have break out groups that remain the same as part of our mid-week program. I have found that ministering to them (our guy leaders) takes the form of encouraging e-mails, phone calls, lunches, and their own participation in a small group within our church. In fact, most of our volunteer leaders (both men/women) have come out of our adult small group ministry....which now that I think about it, I find fascinating.

I have found it a pure joy to see these "guys" step up and challenge themselves and the kids - by teaching more, leading mission trips, going to activities of the kids. I try to resource, pray, encourage, and equip them. Can't say that I do it a lot different than for our women leaders - at least not intentionally. Also, we don't have a formal structure. But, being a fairly small/mid size church (about 20-40 kids show up for most activities) without a formal staff position for a Youth Pastor that is where we are at.