Tom Gilson

Motivate Men to Contend for the Faith

It’s not easy to get men fully engaged in church. Maybe it’s because we’ve made it too easy. I want to encourage you, as a pastor or teacher, to motivate your men to contend for the faith.

How Do You Motivate Men?

How do you do that? Here’s some of what we know about motivation (a mish-mash of theory from grad school days). People tend to be more motivated to do something when:

  • They can see its benefits for themselves or others they care about
  • They can see themselves succeeding in it
  • They have the support of friends or others who are important to them
  • When the challenge is proportionate to their sense of their capacity
  • When they have a definite sense of ownership or autonomy

Or in a more memorable format: I can do some good.

  • I — It’s up to me; I have some control, authority, autonomy.
  • can do — I have what it takes.
  • some good — I can see how this really matters, how it helps, how it makes a difference.

And there’s a powerful alternate version: We can do some good: the same thing, only working in unity with other men.

Adventure and Equipping at King’s Domain

Here’s what we’re working on at King’s Domain in southwest Ohio. King’s Domain is an adventure camp with a ropes course, obstacle course, and a mud run under construction. It’s also becoming a worldview center. What a great combination for men! Part of the weekend is spent toughing out the outdoors together. Part of it is about hard-hitting discussions on why their families and our culture need them to step out to the plate as Christians, and how they can become equipped to contend for the faith.

Join Us! Or Borrow the Idea for Yourself

If you’re anywhere near our corner of Ohio and you’re interested, you can bring a group of men for this retreat. Just let me know. Somewhere else? You can still motivate your men to contend for the faith. Teach them yourself, bring in a speaker — from Ratio Christi, perhaps — and get them equipped.

Remember, you’ll need to show them how it benefits themselves or (better yet!) others they care about. You’ll need to equip them well enough they can see themselves being basically competent. You’ll want to do it in a group, so they get the support of their friends. You’ll want to challenge them — don’t make it too easy, or they’ll give it up as “boring as usual.” But the challenge can’t be so great they won’t be able to imagine living up to it.

And then you’ll want to get them thinking through what they can do with it. Give them an opportunity to own it for themselves. Let them lead with what they know. Give them a chance to fail, even.

Motivate men to contend for the faith. Then don’t be surprised if you see them fire up for Christ like never before.

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1 thought on “Motivate Men to Contend for the Faith

  1. I agree. Adventure and/or a little bit of friendly competition is essential to hosting a good men’s retreat.

    I especially like your idea of incorporating a mud run! Two other ideas would be white water rafting or a golf tournament.

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