Reaching Men for Jesus
a mega mission manual
written by Ross Wakeley
(Published on christian-faith.com by Permission of the Author)
This Mission Manual seeks to provide practical tools for outreach to men.
u You'll find it's got "stuff that works" from men who are doing effective
evangelism around Australia.
u Information on specific men's outreach networks is included.
u Resource ideas to assist in reaching men for Christ.
The Australian ethos is strong on personal freedom, opposition to authority, everyone's an equal, "fair go for the underdog" and mateship. From the start of white settlement, religion has been an optional extra that the majority of men have rejected. For men, the issue of spirituality has often involved the pragmatic, "what can I get out of it?" and many a church service is written off with the comment, "I didn't get anything from it!" However, we live in an era of change that has positive implications for evangelism.
Hugh McKay, in his book Reinventing Australia, suggests that our country has experienced a radical change in the last twenty years. Primarily, we live in the "age of anxiety" where the role and status of women and our way of life have been redefined. McKay's research finds that many men are struggling in the social transition that's occurring in their home, workplace and everyday life.
Faced with a relentless series of major personal, social, cultural, political and economic redefinitions during the past twenty years, many Australians are feeling pretty destabilised, anxious and insecure – and the pace of change is only accelerating! McKay suggests Australians have three major unsatisfied needs in their life:
u A need for a sense of control over one's own life.
u A need for a restoration of confidence in an era of change.
u A need to restore a sense of human contact, community and belonging.
Australians are using three strategies to cope. Firstly, sheer escapism: the huge growth in four wheel driving, eating out, attending movies and concerts are all signs of this. Secondly, a rediscovery of values, as we find that the "me focus" of the 1980's isn't working. There is a search for reference points, for "old fashioned values" to help increase personal security. In reaching men for Jesus, this journey for reference points gives the church a huge advantage. Our message is secure and eternal, grounded in the Bible. A contemporary presentation of gospel truths will speak powerfully to the heart search of Aussie men.
Finally, people are rebuilding community – showing a renewed interest in family, social networks and the neighbourhood. Here again the church has a great opportunity in outreach to men. How? Through developing relational small groups and intentionally building community links of service that are perceived by men as "doing stuff that's really helps people". This Mission Manual is one of many that provides you with the tools to reach Australia, with the good news about Jesus Christ .