Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Why Churches should program to reach Men"

"Chris Wells is a national Christian speaker, and Chaplain for the BASS Elite Series. He has spoken at over 400 Wildgame Banquets, and preaches across the country."

Sharing the title "Why Churches should program to reach Men" is dangerous! There is always the chance of a lady reading this and immediately coming to the conclusion that this guy is discriminating against women. When in actuality, that is not the case at all. As a matter of fact, I believe that in the last 40 years, women have been the home run hitters in our Churches, and its way past time for men to step to the plate. So if women have been leading the way, why am I advocating that Churches target men. It's simple. Statistics show that when men are reached for Christ, women and children follow.

A study done by the SBC a number of years ago revealed that when a child is reached for Christ, there is a 2% chance that the child's entire family would come to Church. When a woman was reached for Christ, there was a 17% chance that that woman's family would come to Church. However the study showed that when a man was reached for Christ, there was a 94% chance that the man's entire family would come to Church!  In light of those statistics one would surmise that Churches should go after men at all cost, but that is not the case.

This summer I had some minor surgery which gave me a good chunk of time to sit still and surf the web. I chose to visit church Websites just to see how Churches are doing in the realm of reaching men. I viewed over 1000 websites across the country, and I found only a small percentage had any kind of targeted Men's ministry, and virtually none had a Minister to men. Last May we did an event in Columbia South Carolina Called "Meet the Elites" where we brought in the top named BASS Pros to give testimonies and share their faith. While promoting the event I called the local Christian radio station to see if they would be interested in doing a segment about the event. Their response was shocking yet illuminating to me. They said that they would not be interested in doing a segment because 95% of their audience is women. Now of course my response was "yes and they are married to guys who hunt and fish that they wish were in Church", but that is beside the point. The Church today does not recognize the value and necessity of reaching Men.

Jason Cruise of the Mission Media and Resource Group said it best. "Churches program and decorate for women. Most of our Churches look like a flower shop or a funeral parlor." That's a great observation. I mean how many guys do you know that want to hang out at the Flower shop? Patrick Tyndal of Iron Man Outdoors made an amazing discovery while teaching a Men's Sunday school class at his Church. He noticed that when they sat in the the whitewashed Sunday school room in suits, staring at the 1970's picture of Jesus knocking on the door, that no man ever opened up to share anything. However when they did their shrimping retreat at Edisto  Beach out by the boat, men opened up, shared their struggles, and got saved.
His response was to start a ministry where men meet at the lake, in the woods, on boats, and under tree stands. The result? Men coming to know Christ, and bringing their families to Church!

So am I suggesting that we all build Churches that look like the Bass Pro Shop? While that's not a bad idea, I think a simpler strategy will suffice. Here are some good ways to start:

1) Intentionally target Men. Have a leader or minister on your staff whose job is to seek to get men involved in ministry. This involves evangelism, discipleship, gift identification and implementation. Many men think that getting involved in ministry means they have to teach or preach. That is not the case.

2) Create an atmosphere that allows men to be men. There is no spiritual law that says a men's Sunday school class or bible study has to meet at your Church. I had a friend who started a Men's class that met out in the Church Shed. Two rules were enforced. No ties and no sitting down. They cooked over a deep fryer and talked and learned about God's Word. The result was one on the largest Men's Sunday School classes in that city. There is a reason men like the Bass Pros shop. It looks like Man world instead of a funeral parlor. Let them meet where they want to.

3) Help men discover their spiritual gifts. Most Christian men don't know they have spiritual gifts, much less what they are or how to use them! God uniquely gifts each believer, but because many Christian pastors are scared to death about teaching on the gifts, men never find out what their gifts are. This results are men being put into church positions that they are not gifted to do. They get bored or frustrated, and they quit. If a man finds out what God has gifted him to do, it sets him free to be what God has called him to be.

Our Churches need to intentionally target men. When men are reached, women and children are reached as well. I have given you a few tips in this area, but I would love to speak with your Church or group on how to make your Men's Ministry more effective! Feel free to contact me at:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Helpful Hints to make your Wild Game Banquet an effective Evangelistic Event-by Chris Wells

"Chris Wells is a national Christian speaker and Chaplain for the BASS Elite Series. He has spoken at over 400 Wildgame Banquets".

Wildgame Banquets have been a very effective tool over the last several years in reaching people, especially men, who would not otherwise ever attend an ordinary Church service. I have had the privilege of speaking at hundreds of these events, and I would like to offer a few hints to help you as you plan yours. There are some common mistakes Churches make that can make or break your Banquet.

1) Make a decision on whether your Banquet is evangelistic or not. There is nothing wrong with doing a Game Banquet for your Church. However if you are trying to reach people who don't know Christ, then you are going to have to plan differently. Decide up front. Don't try to do both with one event!

2) Choose a Venue that is not at your Church. -Now before you go crazy, I want to say that I have been involved in some great WGB's that were done at Churches. However, there is a reason that guy you are trying to reach doesn't go to your Church. Typically people who don't go to Church are intimidated by stepping in your building. You will get more unchurched people to attend your event at a neutral venue. Some of the best WGB's I've seen have been in High schools, warehouses, civic centers, and even cow sheds! You don't have to be "in Church" to "have Church".

3) Try to avoid Friday and Saturdays- The reason for this is simple. Guys who hunt and fish, hunt and fish on the weekends! Thursday is the best day for your Banquet by far. Guys are thinking about hunting and fishing and a Thursday Wildgame Banquet breaks up their week without interfering with their time!

 4) Secure a Speaker that can relate to your audience, but can bring a Biblical message.- This is one of my main concerns. It seems Churches will sacrifice Biblical content for a Big name. I believe that true faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Find a speaker who is funny, burly, manly or whatever, but make sure that he can handle the Word of God. I once was with a famous Hunter at a Wild game Banquet. He told tons of funny hunting stories, and then said I love Jesus and you should too! The crowd went wild. Repentance from sin and faith in Christ were not mentioned. I have a list of great speakers that I recommend.


 5) Never allow people to serve themselves!- This may sound trivial, but it is the single greatest mistake I see. Always, Always, Always hand people their plate. If you don't the first person through the line will be finished eating 20 minutes before the last guy gets his food.

6) Start on time and finish on time!- From beginning to end your program needs to run smoothly and finish promptly. I have literally taken the microphone from a guy doing a turkey seminar. We gave him 15 minutes and at minute 17 we had to pull him. Nothing will kill your Banquets momentum for next year than not ending on time.

7) Use your response cards for your invitation and your door prizes.- Have your men hand them out after the invitation is given. That puts a positive peer pressure on the room. If you want a door prize you have to fill this card out. Assure folks that no one's decision will be announced out loud, but they will receive follow up information in the mail. Don't use those tickets with the numbers! Ever!

8) When it comes to door prizes go for "Quality" not "Quantity"- No one wants to win one of those Mesh trucker hats. You would rather have 3 great prizes than 60 not so greats.

9) Follow up on Commitments is Critical- Have a follow up plan in place! Don't leave guys hanging. Have your Men's Ministry ready to follow up with people who make decisions within the first 48 hours.

These are just a few tips on how to do a Wildgame Banquet well. I have many more that I would love to share with you or your Church.

Chris Wells is booking Wildgame Banquets, Men's Ministry Events, Revivals, and other speaking engagements for this Fall. For booking you can go to  or call him at 864-414-9453.