Sunday, March 07, 2010

Book Review of How to Build a Life-Changing Men's Ministry (Revised and Expanded) by Steve Sonderman

Ever look out on your congregation, see a bunch of women, and very few men? I have. And it is very common in churches throughout the country. Perhaps it is timely that one of the first books on ministry with men has been revised and expanded for a new release. Steve Sonderman is the author of this very thorough book and believes that effective ministy with and to men is essential for a healthy church. How to Build a Life-Changing Men's Ministry is everything you would expect from a men's ministry pioneer. This book is detailed, thorough, and filled with helpful hints discovered by a veteran in men's ministry.

The book begins with a careful explanation of why a men's ministry is important. Then, the author continues by helping the reader understand the world he is living in. The book continues by giving a detailed process and timeline of how to develop a ministry to men. One might expect this to be overly prescriptive. It is not. It clearly lays out several options that have worked at every step along the men's ministry journey, and shares the strengths of each of these approaches. Examples of administrative paperwork, checklists, and timelines fill the end of each chapter. Throughout the process of sharing how to develop a ministry to men, Sonderman uses the metaphor of developing a team like a football team for ministry.

Certainly I think Sonderman has a difficult job in trying to write THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON MEN'S MINISTRY, but he makes a good attempt. I read through several parts of the book and thought that they were excellent. I read through other parts, and it was clear that the author lives and works in the suburban megachurch bubble. The cultural analysis of our culture, and its relationship to men and masculenity is right on, as are many of his goals.

The only part of the book that I thought was rather dated was the Campus Crusade philosophy of creating the big splash event, and then building off the big event to form a smaller more solid core group. In my opinion, observation, and experience, this is a method that worked better 20 years ago than it does for most minsitries today.

Overall, if you are interesting in developing a better outreach to men in your church, I recommend this book as a valuable resource.

(This book provided by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for reviewing the book on this blog and on Amazon's web site).

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