boys ministry, youth ministry

Boys Ministry & Why Boys Sign Up Last

By Doug Franklin January 2, 2019

It’s getting harder and harder to get guys to sign up for anything. Whether it’s summer camp, a mission trip, ski trip, fall retreat, or a service project, boys just don’t respond to open sign-ups. While boys have changed over the years, our approach to boys ministry hasn’t. Do you have an engagement strategy for the guys in your youth ministry?

Apathy among boys runs rampant. They sit in the back of the room making stupid comments and acting like they couldn’t care less. Our diagnosis: they are going through a phase. We hope that if we just leave them alone, they’ll grow out of it. Well, they are not growing out of it.

We hope that if we just leave them alone, they’ll grow out of it. Well, they are not growing out of it.

We have spent so many years making sure our events and programs attract girls. We want them to feel safe, and we create events with them in mind. But by making the girls feel comfortable, has boys ministry taken a backseat? Do boys subconsciously think the events are not for them? Do they assume the trips won’t be fun?

Many of us think the event is the problem. If it were more fun or more adventurous, then boys would be excited to come. I don’t think that’s the problem. The biggest change we need to make is the ask.

Just like girls, guys sign up because of a relationship. More often than not, they won’t sign up for something just because it’s more exciting or more adventurous. They sign up because their friends are going too. They sign up because an adult who loves them and spends time with them asked them to come.

It’s time to replace the open sign-up with the personal ask sign-up. Place your guy students in relationships with adult men who will built strong relationships with them and challenge them out of apathy.

Challenge is the key to breaking apathy in boys ministry. Most boys won’t transform because you talked to them or preached at them. Boys don’t get out of their stupid zone unless someone shows them they don’t have what it takes. You see, boys stay in the stupid zone because they are comfortable and because they think they have arrived. You need to show them that it’s easy to sit in the back and make jokes, but it’s tough to sit in the front and love others. Boys will never teach this to each other; only a solid, God-fearing man can teach them this.

Develop a few strong, mature males at your church to take on the mission of transforming boys. They may have to go behind enemy lines to Stupidville to rescue these boys, but I guarantee the trip will be well worth it!

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More