Pastor Ron McKey
Being pastors is more than a career choice for Ron and Carol McKey; it is a calling burning deep inside. It drives them to stay creative and relevant in communicating the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in an ever-changing culture that needs to see, hear and feel the love of God.
With over 35 years experience pastoring children, youth, and adults, they have remained true to their purpose of reaching the entire family.
Ron communicates in a way that speaks to today’s culture, focusing on how to apply Christ’s teachings to our lives, so we can experience God’s incredible purpose each and every day.
Carol works closely with her husband to create and administrate the various ministries and events of Cornerstone Church in Oklahoma. Together, they are committed to pastoring a community.
To find out more about Ron’s ministry to men or to contact him, visit www.ronmckey.com.
I believe one of the most overlooked groups of people in many of our churches today is men. Men seem to be either overlooked or under-appreciated. Follow me on this. Almost every retail store caters to men in one way or another. They have designated space for men’s shoes, men’s clothes, men’s sports equipment, men’s shave products or men’s whatever. But when it comes to the church, we seem to have taken a one-size-fits-all approach.
Maybe one of the reasons we don’t see more men in our churches is because we haven’t really catered to them. They just don’t see our churches as being male friendly. According to recent data, only 1 in 6 men attend weekend services. We are not connecting with them. In fact, most times when we do address men in our churches, we are telling them what they are doing wrong or how they are neglecting their responsibilities. Who wants to be told on a regular basis that you are not doing a good job? I do not mean to pile on the negative narrative here, but there is one more thing I have noticed that we do tend to communicate: when a man begins to follow Christ, he has to give up those things that often define him as a man.
Christian men need to be celebrated and not castigated. In a word, they need affirmation. They need to know they can serve God and still be a man. They need to be reminded that they matter to God and they matter to the church.
In his book “Kingdom Man,” Dr. Tony Evans describes being a Christian man as “not having to leave behind any part of your manhood or to delete any part of your life.” He goes on to write, “men shouldn’t be dumbed down, sissified or encouraged to be un-manlike. But instead celebrated to be everything God has made him to be.”
Men not only need a space but also a tribe, a group of other men to which they can belong. Last year, according to the World Health Organization, over 800,000 people committed suicide worldwide. That is a frightening statistic. What is even more frightening is that 600,000 of those deaths were men. My point is that men often feel isolated and alone with nowhere to turn. According to “Men’s Ministry International,” most men past the age of 30 do not have friends. They have colleagues, work buddies, golf partners, or acquaintances, but not friends and certainly not other men in their lives to be a sounding board, a mentor or a friend.
I believe when churches begin to provide space, time, and ministry for men, we will see them return to our churches. Imagine how your church would look if men began to worship on Sunday morning. What if men began to be involved in church and did not show up just to please their wives? Men’s ministry creates an entry point for men to come into the church and provides an opportunity for them to get involved.
Just a few years ago I saw the need to cater to the men of my church; to create a space and a culture just for them; a place where they could play, worship, and connect. The return on this decision and investment has been simply amazing. We have seen growth both numerically and spiritually. We have seen our men influencing other men in our church and in our community, and we have felt the effects in our worship services. When you build a stronger man, you build a stronger church.
A study from Hartford Seminary found that the presence of involved men was statistically correlated with church growth, health and harmony. Meanwhile, a lack of male participation is strongly associated with congregational decline. (C. Kirk Hadaway, Facts on Growth)
I encourage you to invest in creating spaces for men. Invest in creating a culture for men. Put men on your radar and on your calendar. Schedule meetings, events, breakfasts, retreats, marriage seminars and include these in your budget. Reach for that untapped resource of men.
Investing in the men of your church will take money. It is an investment on which you will see a great return. My Pastor told me years ago this simple piece of advice – “You get what you preach for.” I would add to that, “you get what you reach for.” If you want a better church, you must build a better man. When you invest in men, you are investing in families, in community, in the marketplace, and in your church. I call this a WIN.