Wesleyan Building Brothers
The 1990s seemed positive for the men's movement, with hundreds of thousands filling stadiums for Christian events such as Promise Keepers. But a crisis was emerging. Men returned home from these events perceiving, consciously or unconsciously, that success required churches administering a series of programs and events for men, each outdoing the previous one, for fear that attendance plummet. This dependence on programs set men up for failure.
According to studies by the highly respected research organization The Barna Group, the percentage of church-going men involved in church life dropped, from 42% in 1991 to 28% by 1996. This well-documented crisis set the stage for Building Brothers to be launched that later morphed into a United Methodist version, Wesleyan Building Brothers (WBB) that was officially launched in in the Virginia Conference in January 2009 and is going strong today.
What is Wesleyan Building Brothers?
Wesleyan Building Brothers is NOT about doing men's ministry, but rather, it's about Renewal and Revitalization of the local church — through men — one of the four focus areas identified by the Council of Bishops as being most critical, and supporting the long-range strategic vision of the Virginia Conference. In this instance, men will be trained to assist in the renewal and revitalization of the local church through the Wesleyan Building Brothers Process.
Through the WBB Process?
Yes! The WBB Process is just that, a process and not a program, that helps local churches develop a leadership core of men who are pursuing God, becoming Spiritual Fathers, and capable of reproducing that pursuit in the lives of other men. The reproduction process includes creating a clear path that leads men from spiritual immaturity to spiritual fatherhood. This reproductive process develops leaders who become Spiritual Fathers, who then create a meaningful legacy, make an impact in their churches and communities, and experience true significance in their lives.
But Why WBB Now? Is There A Crisis In The Making?
There’s no better time than now because the crises are here! Read on …
Our Society is in crisis because . . .
Source: Blazing Grace
- Widespread destructive impact of broken families
- Staggering addiction to alcohol and illegal drugs, and criminal activity at all socioeconomic levels of our culture
- 47% of Christian families said pornography is a problem in their home
- $12 billion porn industry revenues in the US are larger than the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball combined
- Christianity is under assault on many fronts
The [Christian] Church is in crisis because . . .
Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, and Pastoral Care Inc.
- 90% drop in professions of faith in just four generations
- A Barna Research survey found that in 1991, 42% of men in the U.S. attended church, but by 1996, that number had dropped to 28%, revealing that nearly one-third of the men had left the church
- 3,500 people a day left the church last year
- 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year
#1 reason pastors leave the ministry – Church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastors believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change.
Families are in crisis because . . .
Sources: General Board of Discipleship – UMC, Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Census Bureau, and Alabama Policy Institute
- Men are absent from the home because of focus on career, death, addiction(s), divorce, incarceration, and abandonment
- Nearly 40% of children in the U.S. are born out-of-wedlock into a fatherless home
- 71% of all high-school dropouts come from homes without dads
- 63% of all youth suicides are from homes without a father
- The U.S. has entered the fourth generation of biblically illiterate people
Men are in crisis!
Sources: Barna Research, The Bridger Generation by Thom S. Ranier, and Spiritual Fathers – Restoring the Reproductive Church by Dan Schaffer
- Only 33% of men attend church
- Men are finding their identity outside of the church
- 95% of Christian men do not have close male friends
- The Church is not considered as a masculine (safe) place for men
- There is little expression of male identity within the church
- Men have a distorted image of God, they see Him in the pattern of their earthly fathers
What Can Be Done?
Questions like "Where are the men?" and "What are the barriers...?" have been bouncing around for years and deserve some answers. Or better yet, solutions!
Over the course of nearly two years since the Wesleyan Building Brothers Process was implemented in the Virginia Conference, we have found that WBB can help solve the problem of missing men.
The answers and solutions lie in the establishment of a clearly defined pathway within the local church to lead men from spiritual immaturity to spiritual fatherhood by developing leaders who can minister to others. In simple terms, it becomes a matter of helping men grow in Christ, so others will know Christ!
And many of the answers to the question “Where are the men?” and the solution to getting men back in the church pew alongside their families and friends and into their role as equal yoke fellows in church-wide fellowship, can be gained through participation in the Wesleyan Building Brothers Process.