By Rev. Dr. Sunny Farley

There is more to Men’s Ministry than breakfasts and building projects, according to leaders in the Texas Annual Conference who are doing their best to draw more men to men’s ministries.

Robert Wright, president of the conference’s United Methodist Men, and Jeff Springer, founder of the non-profit Suit Up Ministries, said there are so many advantages to growing strong Christian men’s groups.

Both men are Certified Men’s Ministry Specialists with the UMC, which means they are a resource for any conference church seeking to develop or grow a Men’s Ministry. Both men are also passionate about the cause of Men’s Ministry.

“A lot of times Men’s Ministry is sort of a forgotten ministry,” Wright said. “Men’s Ministry is usually on the backburner if indeed it is on the stove at all.”

At many churches, the Men’s Ministries are best known for either building or cooking, Springer said.

“That is not Men’s Ministry. That is part of Men’s Ministry, but the question we are starting to ask is: Where is the men’s discipleship in any event we do – even if it’s pancakes? Then, how can we collaborate and coordinate and put those things under a roof because men want to belong to a team,” he said.

The idea is to organize the team under the leadership of clergy and Men’s Ministers who will engage the men in ministry throughout the year. Ideally, the Men’s Ministers would be on staff at the church, Springer said.

Wright agreed that men want something impactful.

“Men want to belong and feel like they are doing something,” Wright said. “Men want to have a legacy – something that people will remember them by and by getting them in Men’s Ministries, men can go beyond just meeting but actively have an impact on the community.”

These impacts may be felt inside the church in working with youth and children, singing in the choir, meeting in small groups, Bible Studies, and fellowship opportunities and outside the church through community projects and evangelistic efforts to bring more men into the fold.

“We need to attract and serve,” Wright said. He also said Springer’s Suit Up Ministries is “an integrated program that shows promise” for growing Men’s Ministries.

Springer is working with several districts within the conference and hopes that one day every church in the conference will have vibrant Men’s Ministries that will then spark other conferences in the UMC to do the same. If you’re looking for ideas for your church, they may be able to help!

Robert Wright is a retired university lecturer who has been active with UMM at the Jurisdiction level as well as within the Annual Conference. He is President of the Winterfield UMC Men’s Ministry (in Longview), and serves as a Certified Men’s Ministry Specialist, a Certified Lay Servant, and a Certified Lead Like Jesus Facilitator. He can be reached at or (903) 889-2281.

Jeff Springer is a member at Wildwood UMC in Magnolia and the founder of Suit Up Ministries. He has been a public-school educator for 34 years and has served as a local pastor in the UMC. He can be reached at .

Additional information about Suit Up Ministries may be found at:

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