Starting a Men’s Discipleship Group
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown but we an imperishable one. ~ 1 Cor 9:24-25
You can start a Men's Discipleship Group movement in your parish with a single group. With at least 3 or 4 committed men you can begin learning and growing in your faith together today! As you grow you will invite others and see where the Holy Spirit takes you. You can begin with the steps below. Remember, Live4More is with you every step of the way. You can contact us and we will help in any way we can.
Step 1: LEADERSHIP
- Pray for the Lord's guidance in selecting two or three key men who will make up the core leadership team for the group.
- Choose two men to be the initial facilitators for group gatherings.
- As the group grows, encourage others to become more involved in leadership roles.
Step 2: APPROVAL
- Set an appointment with the Pastor so that you can get his approval and invite him to join in with you in the group gatherings as a participant.
- Make sure you understand the mission, purpose, and goals for the Discipleship Group before meeting with the Pastor.
- Be prepared to explain to the Pastor the format of the gatherings and the benefits to the Parish.
- Invite any other priests and deacons who serve your parish to join in with you in the group gatherings as participants.
Step 3: LOCATION
- Choose a meeting room in the Parish facility that gives you some privacy and the ability to expand.
- Make sure the area you choose is able to handle a TV, monitor, laptop, iPad or other electronic devices so that you can be free to select materials which contain audio or video presentations.
- The group could also meet in a group member’s home or in a public place, but this may limit the materials you can select or reduce the privacy you can reasonably expect.
Step 4: TIME & FREQUENCY
- Choose when the group will meet. This should be a day and time that is good for the core leadership team and that they think will work well for the parish.
- Choose how often the group will gather – weekly (recommended) or bi-weekly.
Step 5: MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT
- Select solidly Catholic study materials for use at the group gatherings which are attractive to the men and are based on Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Live4More is glad to provide suggestions and guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of different materials.
- Bring copies of any written materials and discussion questions along with a Bible.
- The Facilitator for the gathering is responsible to bring any DVD or technology devices which may be needed to the gathering.
Step 6: PROMOTION/RECRUITMENT
- All men are invited! (Recommendations from the Pastor/Deacon would be helpful)
- A personal invitation from a group member is the most effective way to bring new men into the group.
- Make an effort to invite men from other existing men’s groups such as the Knights of Columbus or Men’s Club, especially the leaders of these groups. These leaders are great resources of information about potential group members. Being careful to include these existing groups on the front end will help alleviate the possibility of these existing groups seeing your new group as “competition”.
- Make an announcement from the pulpit at Mass.
- Place a continuous announcement in the parish bulletin regarding group gatherings.
- Distribute postcards or business cards with information about the group gatherings.
Step 7: GROWTH
- One of the core team leaders should regularly send an email prior to every gathering to keep men informed of the next gathering.
- All members should continuously strive to invite new men to the group and do everything reasonably possible to help men get to the group gatherings.
- The man who brings a new member should follow up with a phone call to make sure everything is okay and to remind him of the next gathering.
- Make every effort possible to help new members feel welcomed and cared for.
- The core team should be aware of men that are constant "no-shows" and let them know they are missed and invite them to the next gathering.
- When the core team feels that the gatherings are running smoothly, that is a good time to invite key men from other parishes to attend so that they might be encouraged to start a Live4More Discipleship Group in their parish.