Mens Small Group Resources

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June 6, 2014

Maybe you were asked to start a men’s ministry at your church. Perhaps you feel the Lord wants you to reach out to men who have abandoned the church altogether, to help mold them into the warriors they were created to be. How? You’re not exactly sure, but you’re a man; you’ll figure it out, right?

Let’s say you’re one of the few – a committed man who truly desires to see positive change in the lives of others. To find true friendship. Accountability. Discipleship. You’ve planned a small get-together and have personally invited some guys to hang out and talk about life.

The big day finally arrives. Now what?

What are you expecting? What is your end goal? Chances are, your heart is in the right place. You have been given the burden of leading men, and the Lord has no doubt placed you in this position in hopes that you’ll surrender the “burden” part to Him. At ease, soldier. Relax. Take a deep breath.

We got your back.

Many Third Option Men have gone through that first meeting, and we’re here to help you in any way we can. By experience, here’s the natural progression of an effective men’s group:

Awkward Handshakes

What male in his right mind wants to leave his comfort zone and enter a room full of strange men? Give us an hour of football, video games, zoning out… we’ll do just about anything before choosing that scenario. It’s awkward. You don’t know them, and they don’t know you. Sure, maybe you’ve spoken a few times at church, checkout counters, the gym, etc., but beyond exchanging pleasantries, you don’t know these men from Adam. Good. You’re ready for the next phase.

Turtle Shells

Assuming any of them came back for a second meeting, they’re most likely not ready to share their life stories with you or the other neanderthals. Maybe some returned because they feel the same burden as you, to see men truly changed by the power of the Gospel, and they want to be part of the catalyst. Maybe they were court-ordered to continue attending, or worse… their wives made them come back. Regardless of the reason, it will take quite some time for these men to really share their struggles. Oh, some of them will be open books when it comes to past mistakes; war stories are great facades and time fillers men use in order to stay behind that shell. See through it. Let the Holy Spirit give you discernment. After all, if you guys came to BS each other, you may as well have slept in or spent the evening on the couch (depending on the time of day your group meets).

Comfort Zones

What was once awkward will become your comfort zone. Rest assured, it WILL happen if the men in your group are committed to being real, relevant, and reliable. Every group is different. It may take six weeks, it may take six months, but you’ll get there – and there is a dangerous spot. If there’s one thing soldiers are taught in battle, it’s never stop moving. Stopping means death. You’ll need to shake things up eventually, which brings us to the next exciting phase.

Pure Adventures

Hitting up strip clubs and/or getting drunk together may seem like the guy thing to do, but as Christian men we know those things are merely counterfeits to authentic, beneficial relationship building. As with the image chosen for this post, certain substances may expedite the “Turtle Shell” phase, but to what end? We’re called to do hard things, and trust us… the results are far greater! Once your men hit that “Comfort Zone” wall, it’s time to rip them away and get their blood flowing. The actual adventure will vary between groups, but some tried and true examples are: camping, ball games, paint ball, etc. If possible, spend a night or two away from family and friends, and a picture of true discipleship, the way Christ modeled it, will begin to emerge. Wives and/or kids may feel abandoned at first, but as they begin to experience firsthand what Christ is doing in the lives of your men, they may encourage even more “guy time.”

Family Ties

As you and your men delve deeper into the core issues of life, in an environment devoid of judgment or facades, you’ll inevitably develop that “lay down one’s life for one’s friends” bond found in John 15:13. You truly will begin to feel like family, but as with any family, it’s not always smooth sailing; it’s an ongoing battle, but one you won’t want to trade for anything. Authentic relationships are better than any drug, and it won’t be long before other men want in; they will be attracted to whatever it is you’ve clearly found. Good. That’s the end goal of this whole process, drawing men closer to the Christ that lives in us.

Successful Cloning

Many corporations, missions organizations, and modern day megachurches began with a small group of passionate individuals. For whatever reason, those groups chose to continue expanding. While Third Option Men see the need for various forms of ministry, it is our goal to keep things simple… and small. As our example, Jesus preached to thousands during his three year ministry recorded in the Gospels, but He maintained the original twelve disciples along the way. As your group continues in what we’ve defined as the ‘Family Ties’ phase, one or more of the men may feel called to pioneer and lead another group. Having experienced the natural progression of a successful small group of men himself, he is a perfect candidate to be used of the Lord to start another.


If reading this post has fired you up to start a men’s group, know that it’s probably the Holy Spirit placing that passion within you. Again, we’re here to help in any way we can. Feel free to post questions/comments below, and remember; we’re just guys like you wanting to serve the Lord. We may not have all the answers, but we’re pretty tight with the One who does.

For a more in-depth look at leading a small group of men, visit our War Room.


  • Bill Newell

    However, pubs and sports bars can be used to effectively reach each other.

  • Donald Borsch Jr.

    Essentially, my take on it is simple:
    Since the original fall of man, (The Garden, Eve, the serpent), man as a gender has run from responsibility, accountability, and fulfilling his role as priest/pastor of the home.

    While this may be debatab…le, the proof is in the pudding: Rogue fathers who are merely sperm donors, child abusers, whoremongers, or weak-minded limp-wristed men who know that being “sensitive” will get them laid with the pro-death, feminist psuedo-hippie patchouli stink crowd. Oprah has done her job well, guys. Your sons and grandsons are being targeted.

    Now, having said all this, I know for a fact that the head of every MAN is Christ. I don’t care how much testosterone you have coursing through your body- if you are not known by Jesus, you are simply not a man. You are a boy playing at trying to be a man and probably forcing the issue through intimidation or violence, but you ain’t no man, baby. Not even close.

    I know I am known by Jesus and I am a son of my Father. My “history”, if you will, begins with my being born-again out of this kingdom and into His.

    Men’s groups fail because, (for me), men have not fully grasped The Fatherhood of God and The Sonship of Jesus and how these truths relate to us as Christ-followers today.

    I love the fellowship of Christ-following men. There is something that simply defies explanation about it. When men who are committed to The LORD as being their Father and looking to Jesus to see how to be a true son, fellowship together as brothers, you immediately find accountability, responsibility, strength, confidence, and purpose thrown in.


    Many men’s groups meet over a breakfast at a local diner. Why? If the answer is, “Well, brother, it is so we can witness to The World and show them the love of Jesus.” Please. That sounds well and good, but you do realize it is more than okay to set yourselves apart from The World, even if for a couple hours, to speak openly and honestly with not only your brothers in Christ, but to our Father Himself. Many men need time apart from The World, surrounded by men who won’t let them get away with being stupid, and who will hold their feet to the fire, so to speak. Meeting in a local Denny’s restaurant is no place for such realistic and sometimes brutal intimacy.

    Men’s groups fail because of the cliche and the stereotypical and the whole, “This is how we have always done it” mentalities. I’m definitely not saying we should build campfires and cry with one another while beating drums and getting in touch with our feminine sides, no. Men need confrontation. We need the black and white of God’s will vs. our will. We need to be held accountable. We need to know that Jesus is strong, mighty, fearsome at times, and always ready to show us even more of His Sonship so we can learn from it.

    Men’s groups fail because, honestly, most “Christian” men that lead such groups are kinda into the whole “wussy Jesus”. These men have no concept of the Fatherhood of God or the Sonship of Jesus. They know that Jesus loves them, and they should obey The Scriptures and that men should love their wives and not cuss. Their Jesus is straight out of a Sunday School coloring book.

    My Jesus is realistic with me. He knows me inside and out, and He knows I could neither respect nor love Him if He were weak. He is powerful and wonderful and dreadful, all at the same time. Men’s groups fail because they want “Oprah-Jesus” to show up and help them lick their failings like they were wounds. My Jesus shows up and scares the heck out of them and they wonder how I could call myself a “Christian”. I usually snicker and say, “Christians are those people who go to church under a falsely pious sense of obligation and cultural bondage. I’m a Christ-follower, a slave bought at a terrible price, and a son under The New Covenant. I am the church.”

    Brothers, my contempt comes from having to see men of God, men of strength, fail to connect with one another because no one has shown them that they are sons of God.

    Be a “Christian” or be a Christ-following son of God. Attend a men’s group that eats quiche, or form a men’s fellowship that truly sharpens you like iron.

  • Christian Lemon

    Love it: “Christians are those people who go to church under a falsely pious sense of obligation and cultural bondage. I’m a Christ-follower, a slave bought at a terrible price, and a son under The New Covenant. I am the church.”

    Here I was thinking I had come up with that. I’m always late to the party.

    Well said Donald.

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  • Jerry Godsey

    To me, the biggest mistake men’s groups make is in letting men “DO” instead of “BE.” We men are doers, we are constantly doing something. And if we have a choice between really letting God work in some inward issues or pounding a nail and calling it getting close to God, we will look for our hammer every time. A men’s group has to be about discipleship and accountability or it is just another stupid pancake breakfast!

  • Evan Dawson

    I feel like an amen won’t do that comment justice, Jerry. So I’ll capitalize it… AMEN!!!

  • Brian Tooley

    I have been addicted to pornography for over 25 years. Last May, I gave it God and He has broken these chains in my life. I joined a men’s group at my church last fall and surrounded by Christian men I celebrated 100 days of being porn free. I felt such a calling from God to help other men who are silently suffering in my church. I signed up to be Life Group leader in my church and help other men like me. We have been meeting for 5 weeks now and God is so real to me. I am seeing lives changed becuase I listened to God. I have met a young man who recently got married and brought pornography into the marriage. He told me “Thanks for stepping up.” I told him that all the glory goes to God. God has really worked on the hearts of men in this group and in my heart, too.

    • Anonymous

      It amazes me that men can’t figure out that porn is very wrong and stop doing it without other men’s approval. Duh. Only idiots can’t make decisions and change their behavior by themselves…. Probably just want the chance to talk with other men about how tempting a little T&A is….

      • al`

        the anon comment above is typical of someone who is immersed in his own defects of character and has religously castiaged all those who are not as good as him… amazing such luddites still exist. but then you know hurt people hurt people

  • Brian Tooley

    I am leading 6 other men through Every Man’s Battle.

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  • Loftis

    Hey guys I’m in high school and want to start a teen guys small group any sugestions?

    • Robert

      That is great news brother! While I can not suggest anything profound, take it to prayer and act out of faith.

      It is encouraging to hear young men who want to make an impact in their schools. Persevere brother. Persevere!

    • Robert

      That is great news brother! While I can not suggest anything profound, take it to prayer and act out of faith.

      It is encouraging to hear young men who want to make an impact in their schools. Persevere brother. Persevere!

    • Kylem

      I would suggest 33 the series. Check it out at

  • Hoani

    I have been running men’s group for 2 years or so but what I have learnt was 1/ attentiveness 2/ Respect & 3/Empathy without those 3 core communication skills we as Gods servants cannot get to the challenges which could be quite confronting for many men. If cared enough men will share enough umm…I will be moving back to nz from Ausi to start God’s Men’s ministry at a small town of couple thousands I am nervous but ready. Any wise words would be greatly helpful.

  • Steve Wagner

    We’ve built our men’s discipleship groups on most all the principles you address. They are right on ! One challenge now is the ‘keep it small’ part, but that’s a good problem …. I think. Your thoughts on this.

  • Phil

    I’m beginning to lead a group of 5-6 men through Stepping Up. God has truly put it on my heart to lead the men at my church. And not as a man who knows more but as a man who doesn’t know much except the fact that I need Jesus. Any suggestions? Thanks guys.

  • Jean Marie Owachgiu

    I have always been wondering if a Men Ministry could be possible in my Diocese and Parish in particular because of the various challenging situation that come with mobilizing Men. With this article, i feel challenged not to doubt the amazingness of God and His Love for His Men

  • MensGroup Leader

    Creating a safe environment for accountability is definitely critical. That being said, it’s also important to make sure that accountability questions asked get to heart level matters. Guys have to feel safe and have a level of trust established in order to go to that level though. I see three main types of accountability. Cop accountability where the cop takes a “gotcha!” legalistic approach to the person being held accountable. There is also coach accountability where the coach tries to be very positive and encouraging and finally there is cardiac accountability where the person gets to heart level issues and matters with the person being held accountable. This gets at the underlying things that manifest with symptoms of acting out (porn, masturbation, affairs, etc.) The key with accountability is not just focusing on the symptoms which is how the person acted out (cop and coach) but to get to the underlying root issues or causes that were behind the acting out (cardiac). Check out some helpful men’s accountability group resources at: which includes the excerpt that describes the three types of accountability that I mention above.