I interact regularly with young, ambitious, and busy men. They are regular attendees, members, and aspiring leaders in my church. They have young families with two, three, sometimes, four children. Many of them commute over two hours to New York City for work, leaving the house before 6am and getting home after 8pm.
How do you disciple them?
How do you disciple these busy men, especially, if you are a young pastor yourself? How do you actually develop busy men as leaders when you have two, three, and sometimes, four children? What about when you’re overloaded with hospital visits, small groups, and sermon preparation? Here are four ways.
How to Disciple Busy Men – 4 Ways
1. Reach Out Digitally
Technology is a fact of life now. So why not use technology to grow men in Christ? If you’re not able to reach out in person, why not connect through technology? Face-to-face meetings will be limited. Use calls, texts, and social media to bring God’s Word into their lives.
Even if you’re not on social media, you can still use technology to reach men. You can share Bible verses through text message, or email short devotionals. Use any and every digital means available to get God’s Word before the eyes of men. They need it.
2. Enlist Older Men
If you’re a pastor with young children, you need to be home at night. You must safeguard Saturdays too, since Sunday is a workday. As a pastor with a young family, needing to be home at nights and Saturdays creates a time crunch for discipleship.
Do you know when busy men are available for discipleship? Nights and weekends!
How do you disciple young men without destroying your family? Enlist older men. Older men who are more advanced in their careers, empty nesters, and retirees have a lot to offer the church by way of time and experience. Being more advanced in their careers, older men may make their own schedule. Empty nesters, on the other hand, do not have the responsibility of raising children any longer. Retirees are ripe to be employed in service of discipleship, so long as time with grandchildren is respected!
If you take the time to resource and equip a few older men, they can, in turn, meet with younger men who have more limited schedules.
3. Equip Them for Family Worship
Young men play a significant role in the discipleship of their own families. They are head of their homes and the primary disciple makers of their children (Ephesians 5:22-33; Deuteronomy 6:4-9). It is also true that you only really know something if you can teach it to someone else. A man having to teach his young children the Bible is also one of the best opportunities for him to grow in his understanding of Scripture too!
So take the time to give them quality resources to lead family worship. Don Whitney’s book is a great place to start. Ask your children’s ministry workers to develop a list of resources that parents can use for their children at every stage. Make these resources easily available: post about them on your website, set up a book table near your children’s classrooms, give them away freely. You may also want to host an annual parenting conference at your church. Busy men may not be able to meet weekly, but they just might carve out one weekend a year to be equipped.
4. Rest in God’s Means of Grace
The Protestant Reformers argued for two marks of a true church: the correct preaching of God’s Word and the proper administration of the sacraments. For the Reformers, the foundational piece of Christian discipleship was the corporate, gathered worship of God. Furthermore, participating in corporate worship is commanded in Scripture (Hebrews 10:25). Many evangelicals might be surprised that daily devotions are not!
Therefore, having men in the Sunday morning worship service counts. It counts as time in the Word. It counts as a time of prayer. It counts. It is essential and foundational for their discipleship. So rest in the fact that men will be discipled as they faithfully attend Sunday worship.
How are You Discipling Busy Men?
Chris Pascarella is one of the pastors at Lincroft Bible Church in Lincroft, NJ. He holds an M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Heather and they have a son, Roman. He enjoys drinking coffee, watching TV, and following the New York Giants. He blogs at Raising Lazarus.
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