We don’t have to tell you that men’s ministry is tough. On any given Sunday in America there are 13 million more adult women than men in attendance in our churches. Men don’t like to admit they are wrong or ask for help. To come into a relationship with Jesus we have to admit we are sinners (we are wrong) and that we need Jesus (help). So, creating events like a Wildgame Dinner is a great way to get men into the doors of the church, in a non-threatening environment and present them with the gospel. There are nearly 14 million hunters in the USA and using the common ground of the outdoors to reach those men is quickly becoming a very effective way to draw men into the church. However, this isn’t just about the man. When a man comes to faith in Christ the rest of the family follows 93% of the time.
Our Church Doesn’t Have A Mens Ministry Budget, How Can We Pull It Off?
I do realize that many churches don’t have much money set aside for men’s ministry. I do believe that this can be a huge outreach and you should figure out a way to make it happen.
You should want to try and keep the event free if possible but many churches do charge to come to the event. There are benefits to charging outside of the actual money coming to help cover costs. You sell tickets and you have an idea on how many to expect, you can cap the event based on space and food if needed. This is all based on where your church is along the lines of funds to put on this event.
We Have Never Done One, Where Do We Start?
We realize that many churches have never hosted such an event and have no idea where to start. I have spoken at over 200 such events and have seen them done well and I have seen them done very poorly. Here is what you need to pull it off:
Food: Don’t be scared by the name “Wildgame”. You can do several things here. One, ask men in the church to bring homemade wild game dishes, another great way to involve men in the church. You should also have other food available. Many churches will do chili, fried fish, or smoked meats. (Actually had several churches bring a whole smoked hog, people loved it. Apple in the mouth in all!). You want to make sure that you have plenty of food and fish and chili seem to go along way. Tea, water, and simple desserts keep all men happy, happy, happy!
Date: We recommend doing the event between January-March or September-October. This is right before and right after the hunting season. Many churches choose Saturday or Friday evenings. However, you need to look at your church, your area, and decide what works best for you.
Speaker: You can dream as big or as small as you want here. You want Phil Robertson? If you can afford him, do it! There are several outdoor TV personalities that speak at such events like myself. Jeff Danker of Major League Bowhunter, Jimmy Houston, Daniel McVay and Buddy Groom of Buckventures, Alex Rutledge of Bloodline TV, Jimmy Sites and many more (sorry if I left you off!) You don't have to have a TV guy by any means. Maybe it is someone in your church but you want someone who can clearly...clearly present the Gospel.
Promotion: Many of these events succeed and fail by the amount of effort put into it through promotion. Don't make it all for not! Start with the men in your church and work out. Get them on board and bringing buddies. Then hang up flyers at local gun shops, bow shops, ranges, sport stores, etc. Run ads in the paper, USE SOCIAL MEDIA!!! Get the word out and get those guys in the door!
Door Prizes: One of the best way to get guys in the door is by promoting the event and mentioning some amazing door prizes. Contact your local sporting good store, taxidermist, gun shop, bow shop, feed store, etc and ask for a tax deductible donation. Set aside some budget to also provide great prizes. Just an FYI...giving away guns means background checks and FFL transfers. To avoid embarrassment and the hassle we recommend giving away a muzzleloader as it doesn't require a background check or an FFL transfer.
Plan Well: Men have a tendency to miss details. You can't. Plan out the schedule and hold to it, respect the folks that comes time the best you can. Plan to have food prepared and served. For door prizes, have runners take prizes to folks, this process can drag on forever if you don't speed it up. Plan for men to make decisions and follow up to be done. If men come accept Christ make sure proper follow up is done! Don't just say, they stood up, filled out a card, or raised there hand, good enough! Make sure you have there information. (I recommend having a card you do the drawing from with contact info and at the bottom have a response area for follow up afterwards).
Pray: Last but for sure not least! There are so many lost men in your community that need Jesus, many of them love the outdoors. Pray that this event would appeal to them and that they would come and hear about Jesus. That is the end result. Bring men together to be challenged by the truth of the Gospel.
If you have any questions about Wildgame Dinners please don't hesitate to reach out to us!