On the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake.  For the church, 2013 is the year of the Man.  New Year’s Revolution is afoot. God’s movement of men within the church is exploding! 

Most pastors dream of having a strong and vibrant men’s community that is driving the mission and vision of their local churches. In the past, this dream rarely became a reality because there was no compelling vision for men that is articulated, visible, and connected to a meaningful process in the church context. 

So it’s no surprise why men remained affiliated versus activated in the local church. That sad reality is on the church, not on the men: It is because we haven’t painted the target! Men like clear targets they can hit, nothing new here. 

On the flip side, if there is a strong vision, a defined process that helps a man realize it, and results that make men stakeholders in the ongoing success of the church’s mission — men long for that kind of significance: that would be new!

After 23 years of ministering to men, I tell pastors they have a “sleeping giant” right now in their congregations. That sleeping giant is called men. All it takes is a resonating strategy to move them from being just affiliated to activated for God’s purposes. This is the next relevant revolution sweeping the church.

This strategy has been documented in my book Sleeping Giant, outlining a revolutionary Spiritual Pathway for men within the church. It has been pastor-developed and church-tested over the last 10 years. The Sleeping Giant pathway has been proven to work in any size church. 

Watch the Sleeping Giant video now: Click Here.

Sleeping Giant concentrates on four phases for men, and starts with a very simple invitation:

1) Get In

When a man commits to pursuing and deepening his male friendships in a safe group context, he will sustain momentum to grow spiritually and achieve personal changes faster than he ever could on his own.  The Sleeping Giant model emphasizes getting guys “in” with other guys who share a personal commitment to become better men and grow spiritually. That could be a weekly men’s group. It could be the men in your couples group meeting on a separate day of the week. It could be some guys from work having coffee once a week. It could be a meeting of men at church or at a conference that connects you to other men who seek God’s purpose for their lives and relationships. 

2) Get Healthy

Men are like icebergs in the sense that they only reveal the tip of who they are and what is happening in their lives. But underneath the waterline of their lives are a host of issues that are producing enormous stress and pressure morally, relationally, maritally, professionally, and emotionally. That reality and the needs they reflect are what make step two of the pathway — “Get Healthy” — resonate.

Men need to go after core health in their own character and relationships, through open discussion where men share who they are and what is really happening in their lives. If the most real and relevant issues remain unaddressed and untouched, the rest of what a man may learn or accomplish through his connection with other men will be short-lived in both his life and church contexts.  This involves an open discussion of temptation and compromise (moral health), view of women and marriage (marital health), leadership in the home (family health), and how masculine friendship and accountability work (relational health). 

True health in these core areas is the difference between an authentic versus a synthetic leader. More importantly, the Bible requires core health and strong leadership in these categories prior to selection for church leadership. 1 Timothy 3:1-5 states the Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons: 

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.  Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

3) Get Strong

The natural progression from personal transformation in a man's life is active leadership training. Practically, men will feel themselves going to the next level of commitment personally, spiritually, and practically in ministry. Strong spiritual formation leads to strong spiritual expression of the Great Commandment and Great Commission.

With a solid baseline of health intact, a vision for each man’s continued involvement must be cast, and a process of preparation for leadership must be in place. The “Get Strong” phase prepares men for deployment into their ministry within the church and their mission in the world. This is the “if any man come after me” moment for each man. It is intentional. It is on purpose. But most important, it is in context as the next meaningful step in the progression. You shouldn’t have to plead or coax at this point. He knows he’s called. Resources and relationships center on strong spiritual formation, which leads to strong spiritual expression of the Great Commandment and Great Commission. 

Once fully trained, there is only one call left…

4) Get Going

The first steps in the process defined and met the core needs of men in the community and congregation (Get In and Get Healthy). The next phase captured the motivation created by transformations in men’s lives with a forceful vision and call to spiritual growth (Get Strong). The last and most natural transition is to deploy these men to serve the church and aggressively share the Gospel. Each man needs to take up his post. It’s time to “Get Going.” In the Sleeping Giant process, a trained “God’s man” is responsible for ministry, reproducing leaders, and replacing pastoral staff in the execution and delivery of ministry to the people. 

Healthy, strong, trained men are deployed to serve the church and their mission in the world to aggressively share the Gospel. A church that empowers transformation of men helps itself by winning the loyalty, energy, and expression of its men toward the larger needs, mission, and vision of the church. The Bible requires of a man core health and strong leadership, as described in the first two stages of the pathway, prior to selection for church leadership. 

The Sleeping Giant spiritual pathway must be supported at each step with the right connective funnels, the right tools and resources, and the right relationships to be successful. When implemented in conjunction with these other elements, a solid leadership engine can be built in any church that will accelerate the mission and vision for the senior or lead pastor. Watch the How It Works video now. 

Men getting in, healthy, strong, and going into God’s purposes — isn’t that the dream of every pastor?

Related Resources:

Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church.  His 20th book – SLEEPING GIANT: No Movement of God without Men of God - is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries, and was recently released through Broadman & Holman Books. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching here at EveryManMinistries.com.  

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Publication date: January 3, 2013