Recently I received a review copy of Steve Sonderman's book "How to Build a Life-Changing Men's Ministry" from Bethany House. In my experience how to books like this are not that helpful because they offer stories on how one particular church did ministry in their location and in the local church context. More often than not these books are not transferable because they don't convey ideas that can be helpful in multiple contexts. Thankfully, this book is not one of those. Sonderman offers an extremely solid and beneficial how to book that can easily be adopted in multiple ministry contexts. First and foremost I appreciate how he starts his book. He begins by showing the need for men's ministry and then showing what type of Christian man they believe the Bible is calling them to strive for. It is always helpful to know what you are aiming at. Sonderman offers an excellent resource for any men's ministry. I highly recommend this book to anyone or church that are serious about discipling the men of their church.
Ok - I'm a woman (a Pastor's Wife), involved in women's ministry - I requested to review this book to see it's appropriateness to recommend as a resource to our men's ministry leaders. My husband have always had a heart for reaching families and for reaching men and women individually to empower them with the word of God to become what Christ intended them to be in their families and relationship and life in general.What I read caused me to look at the men in my church differently as I saw the true challenges they face laid out in the pages of this book. I found many ideas that were presented could be easily transferred to women's ministry. However, what I found most interesting is the loneliness of so many men. This would be a great resource and help to the leaders that are seeking to reach out to men in this day. It would also be a great read for women that want to understand better how to serve their husbands and help promote spiritual growth in the lives of their husbands. When a man is connected with God the family is always blessed and the marriage is always stronger. Encouraging and uplifting.Thank you Baker Publishing for this review copy.
Some events happening in our church brought me to this book, looking for suggestions on implementing study groups.The beginning is very interesting and has some deep Christian principles, like being mission-centered, having prayer as a compass and the Word of God as foundation. Furthermore, the author is concerned about the fact that men need support from other men, and that men of integrity are only those with firm biblical convictions, godly character and a congruent way of life. Therefore, a mens ministry would be focused on men of intimacy, with God, with his wife and with other men, with the objective of attaining the latter. The author also emphasizes the importance of a continuous program that would help men grow in Christ.However, several chapters are dedicated to the different activities that might be considered for mens ministry, like sports or championships. True, special days are always an opportunity to share the gospel, but I do not feel comfortable with planning ministry activities and studies around such. Actually, my opinion is that these have taken priority over the Scriptures; the church is not meant to celebrate matches with others. Besides, there are men (my deacon husband included) that have seen again and again that having a mans day does not edify the church, as the purpose of fellowship then, growing together closer to God, appears to be just a consequence, rather than the cause of getting together. Having said this, I must also say that the pointers Mr. Sunderman suggests for organizing and setting up a ministry are good. It is even better that some business organization books Ive read. The bottom line, there must be a sound balance between events that appeal to men and spiritual growth. Just as the author puts it, the focus should be on the people, not on programs.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review, but this does not bias my opinion on the book nor the author.
In this day and age where more women then men regularly attend a worship service, it is good to have something as a guide to start a ministry to bring more men to church. This book starts off with Sonderman's own personal story of how he got involved in Men's Ministry. The following chapters went to great lengths as in to talk about why should a Men's Ministry be start, to what needs to be accomplished, who are we reaching, and even building leaders who could lead in the Men's Ministry.This book would definitely be useful for anyone, whether pastor or layman, to use to get ideas on how to start a Men's Ministry. Now I know all of these ideas will not work for every church, however, I hope that every man will use this tool to see what can be done to reach men in your church and community. Just because one idea may not in your church, it does not mean all the ideas in this book will not work. Men's Ministry is a challenge and it is worth it. I do recommend this resource to be used to get ideas in starting a Men's Ministry.