Seven months ago I sat with a group of men at a men’s event in Sioux Falls and shared about God’s heart for the vulnerable and poor. We read scripture, discussed the meaning of some verses, shared our hearts in worship and committed to doing something about the brokenness in our community. In the room that evening were mechanics, accountants, contractors, farmers, coaches, graphic designers and entrepreneurs.
I challenged them to dream. What could this group together do for the kingdom of God? How could these talents and skills be used to love the vulnerable of Sioux Falls? Within a matter of a few weeks Men of Action was formed.
What is MOA? (Men of Action)
MOA is a group of men gathered to care for the broken and vulnerable of Sioux Falls. Motivated by Jeremiah 29:7, MOA aims to “seek the welfare of the city” God has given them. In a broken world there are always things to fix. While God is the ultimate physician his people are called to reflect him by serving, loving and caring for those in need. Whether it is through vehicle maintenance, gutter cleanup, painting, repair work or a moving crew MOA wants to share God’s love to those in need. As this ministry continues to evolve here are a few characteristics:
- MOA is congregation lead. This is not a program of a church but a reflection of a group of men in a church who desire to make a difference. This is unique in that it doesn’t come from the top down but the bottom up. Hopefully this model will be replicable at the church. As others dream of ministries that could impact the community they will be encouraged to come forward and share their ideas for congregational involvement.
- MOA mobilizes many who otherwise weren’t involved. We have found that some men just won’t come to a Bible study. But with a hammer or hedge clippers in hand they come alive. The goal in that is to create relationship among the men serving. If several guys meet and hit it off maybe it can turn into an accountability group of sorts. For men sometimes it takes alternative ways for getting them connected.
- MOA gets men involved in ways they aren’t naturally involved. At our first event there were men on a roof cleaning the gutters of an elderly women they didn’t know who was struggling with loneliness and isolation. Such a connection would never have been made on its own. But through MOA men are getting the opportunity to step outside of themselves for a few hours to selflessly be involved in the lives of someone vulnerable and in need of help. It seems obvious that Christians would have natural connections with those struggling but the reality is many of us don’t. We don’t often know who to serve and how to serve them. A simple connection like MOA can bridge that gap.
- MOA is an outreach that supports the already ongoing ministry of the church body. MOA received a phone call from a lady congregant a few months back requesting some assistance in a situation she was dealing with. Her ministry was towards a woman struggling with depression and anxiety. It was June and the woman with anxiety had not mowed her yard in over 6 weeks and was worried she would soon receive a notice from the city. MOA was mobilized and within a day had her yard, gutters, flower beds and trees cleaned up. Working alongside the men was the congregant and the recipient. In this case the ministry of the congregant was expanded and blessed through a group of men willing to help.
The needs that exist in our cities are abundant and the church can be a dynamic partner with the poor and vulnerable. Not only do we (the church) have an influx of skill and talent but we have the spirit of God within us. Our labor can be a labor of love expressed in obedient care and compassion for the needs of others.
It’s not perfect but it’s men in action for the building of the kingdom and the glory of God!
How has your church been mobilized in similar ways? We’d love to hear your thoughts!