360Man: Connecting Christian Men with Their Faith to Transform the World
When men discover and fulfill their biblical role as a man it energizes their relationships with God, their church, their family, and the world around them.What would it be like if a church was filled with men passionate about their relationship with God and reaching the world for Christ? Men who connected regularly with God, were encouragers of other men, sought to grow daily in Christ, and worshipped and honored Him openly?
Men like that would transform their church, their families, and the world around them.
And that’s what the Assemblies of God 360Man is all about.
“360Man is not a program, 360Man is a person,” explains Dan Kersten, AG Men’s Ministries communication director. “A 360Man lives out the principles of Acts 2:42-47 where Christ followers devoted themselves to God’s Word (the apostles’ teaching), the body of Christ (the Church), fellowship, and prayer while living generous and praise-filled lives. And, as a result, the Lord used the ministry of the apostles and the examples of these Christ followers to lead more people to Him.”
However, Kersten acknowledges, in today’s culture, ministry to men is extremely challenging. Pastors are unsure how to develop a sustainable ministry for men much less who would be a good (and willing) choice to lead a men’s group.
And the men of the church, Kersten reveals, despite craving friendships with other men, don’t participate often because they’re afraid — afraid of commitment, being bored, and perhaps most of all, being vulnerable.
“Men need rally cries, they need connections and places where they come together for a similar cause because we are wired as protectors, defenders, problem solvers, action takers,” says Rick Allen, national Men’s Ministries director. “And what better cause to take up and be united in than the cause of reaching the world for Christ?”
Any man can sign up to become part of the national 360Man movement by visiting www.360man.ag.org. Every 360Man who signs up agrees to three things: live as a disciple of Jesus, serve others with purpose, and invest $10 monthly to help reach other men.
The $10 monthly investment is used to fund local men’s ministry at the district/network level, and also help develop more discipleship resources nationally. Every 360Man receives a Challenge Coin to remind himself of his commitment and investment.
Since the 360Man model was developed, Allen says the national Men’s Ministries team is working with numerous ministry networks and districts to help them develop, grow, and sustain customized and effective ministries to men at the local level.
“We have three significant components to the national Men’s Ministries,” Allen says. “We have 360Disciple, led by Jimmy White, 360Equip, headed by Gordon Houston, and 360Go, which Dan Kersten oversees. The 360Man is part of all three of these. Every man who wants to grow spiritually, reach other men for Christ, and impact his world should be a 360Man.”
A resource treasure trove, 360Disciple offers nearly 400 free book and Bible studies for men specific to everyday life, such as parenting, sexuality, home life, worry, anger, discontentment, and many other topics that can be studied by an individual or group. These free resources are provided at the Men’s Ministries website and through the Men’s app, with additional resources being added regularly.
360Equip is focused on how to start a men’s ministry that’s built in such a way that it will last and be an ongoing benefit and blessing to the church.
“There are four types of men in the church,” Kersten says. “Casual, Average, Leader, and Producer. 360Equip helps move men ‘up the ladder’ ultimately to the place where leading people to Christ is part of their DNA.
“Our 360Equip director, Gordon Houston, will work directly with any local church, district, or network to develop, revitalize, and sustain a healthy ministry to men,” Allen says. “And this is a free service we offer from national Men’s Ministry!”
As director of 360Go, Kersten knows giving men the opportunity to experience missions can change their lives.
“One of the easiest ways to inspire men to live missional lives is to take them on missions trips — let them witness spiritual lostness, immerse them into an environment where their gifts and talents are used in ministry, and allow them the opportunity to hear from the Holy Spirit,” Kersten says. “Through 360Go, men come home spiritually stronger with a greater awareness of the needs of those around them — they’re better leaders in their families, more supportive of their pastors, and more missional in their world.”
Jon Marlow, who attends First Assembly of God in Carl Junction, Missouri, says that they now have seven to nine men who are 360Men — a significant number in a church that averages around 80 on Sunday mornings.
Noting the benefits of being able to access materials through the 360Man app, Marlow says that he has witnessed a lot of spiritual growth in himself as well as others.
“There’s a sense of belonging and a feeling like you’re making a difference,” Marlow says. “And I think we’ve come to realize just how much of an example we are to those around us.”
Marlow says there’s a statistic that has driven him to reach out to other men: “I read where if you reach the man of a household for Christ, it’s something like 93% of the time that household will follow. Leading men to Christ and encouraging them in their walk with Christ — it makes a real difference for the Kingdom!”
As Marlow also experienced, Mario Jones of Dixon Assembly of God in Missouri, says, initially, it was hard to get men involved in any type of ministry. However, as word of mouth has spread concerning what 360Man is all about, there’s been a noticeable shift.
“We average between 10 and 15 men who come to different events,” Jones says. “And I’ve definitely noticed a difference in church — guys willing to grow spiritually. The pastor has since started a discipleship group on Sunday nights, and we encourage the 360Men to go — they have and they’re inviting other men to join in . . . the hunger is there!”
Jones says he’s already excited about what next year holds for the men at the church.
“The fellowship part is just mind-blowing,” Jones says. “Guys are willing to show up and fellowship. I’m seeing men come out of their shells and loosen up — it’s like a brotherhood!”
Josh Scanlan who attends Northside Assembly of God in Crowley, Louisiana, recently returned from a 360Go missions trip to El Salvador led by Kersten.
The trip was a unique one for the men, as it involved them in children’s ministry — a ministry people often don’t associate with men.
“King’s Castle in El Salvador wanted men to come and minister to the families in the neighborhoods because it makes a huge statement to the people when men come to play with the kids and love them in a healthy way,” Kersten says. “(AG missionary) Terri Triplett told me teachers cried when they saw the men being so kind to the kids, as masculine figures in the children’s lives are too often brutal or not involved.”
“We partnered with local churches and then went house to house, inviting families to a program at the church where we helped put on a gospel presentation for children,” Scanlan says. “We conducted six presentations with dramas and songs; connected with 800 people; saw 85 individuals accept Christ as Savior; and 45 healings!”
Scanlan says that in addition to building closer relationships with the men from his church who also participated, the trip has reignited a passion in his heart for world missions and sharing the gospel.
“The trip also really showed me the benefit of being rooted in a community where you can open up and be yourself yet be held accountable and be spurred on to be more like Jesus,” Scanlan says. “Since being back, I’ve been intentional about personal ministry to other men — having intentional conversations with men about missions, being missional, and being discipled.”
Allen says Men’s Ministries is working closely with AG districts and networks to assist them in exploring the 360Man model.
“It takes time and, really, word of mouth, to get men involved,” Allen says, “but we’re finding that once a man commits to fulfilling God’s role for his life as a follower of Christ through 360Man, his life takes on a whole new purpose, perspective, and significance.”