Our direction and methods for ministering to men are based on a few simple observations:
How Men Relate
It's clear that men and women relate to each other on different levels. Woman
are comfortable as they relate to one another talking "face to face". Men relate best "shoulder to shoulder".
In other words men relate as they "do". They are most comfortable when there is something between them to buffer
them from one another. This means that the traditional methods of interpersonal communication are often ineffective for
men. There are four basic mechanisms that men use to relate.
out much about each other as they work together. In our modern society more personal bonds are created in the workplace than
any other way. As men relate "shoulder to shoulder" they are able to evaluate one anothers work ethic, directly
relate to his personal character and take measure of his integrity.
Most men tend to
measure their own self worth against other men. It is a natural response to their innermost desire to know how they measure
up to the "ideal" man. Competition is a normal way for men to relate to one another. There are three areas in which
almost all men compete: jobs, mates and honor. Men often measure themselves against sports figures, movie stars and other
successful, influential or powerful people. In extreme cases some men may emulate successful criminals and other notorious
figures. In the Kingdom of God, men learn to measure themselves against the ultimate man – Jesus Christ!
Men who fight and die together form a bond that is stronger than any other human
bond. The struggle for life or death brings all men down to the lowest common denominator. Extreme danger, privation, mental
and emotional duress strip away false pride and "machismo" laying bare the innermost details of a mans heart including
their deepest fears, doubts and regrets.
Men often express who they are by retelling their past triumphs,
victories, and failures. Rather than speaking directly about personal issues, men will often confide in one another as they
storytell. It is reminiscent of our ancestors who would sit around the camp fire re-telling stories in order to find significance
in their daily lives. Notice that they also had a fire between them as they sat "shoulder to shoulder". It is scene
replayed in the TV series "Tool-Time." As the star confides in his neighbor over the back yard fence he never really
admits it’s he who has the problem. Also notice that he never actually sees the face of the one to whom he confides.