Zoom Revived our Church's Men's Ministry

A new lifeline for isolated men

M.M. O'Keefe

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"Get Real" on Zoom gave us a lifeline while in our COVID man caves (Photo: Canva).

COVID shoved the men of our church deeper into isolation caves, where we spiritually withered battling depression and temptation alone. We needed our brothers in the faith, but how could we connect when we could scarcely leave our dwellings?

The answer: Zoom + Jesus every Tuesday at 7 a.m.

100 straight weeks

The publication of this article marks the 100th consecutive Zoom gathering of men in our Northern Virginia Church, joined, as we have been surprised to discover, by men far beyond also starving for masculine connection. The results have been so positive that we have no plans to stop, even though we can meet in person now.

This article is the story of how one church leveraged Zoom to lift our spirits and renew our dormant men's ministry.

We called our gathering "Get Real" because we wanted a safe place where Christian men could be their authentic selves.

We typically draw 45 to 65 men. That may not sound like a lot, but numbers like that would be challenging to match if we met at our brick-and-mortar church near Washington, D.C. There is no way we could have done it 100 consecutive weeks.

With COVID finally subsiding, many but not all can attend our in-person church services. Zoom has expanded our reach by attracting regulars from as far away as Liberia, Costa Rica, and Taiwan. I have never seen so much geographical, racial, and age diversity during decades of participating in and often leading men's groups. We have Latinos, Hispanics, Asians, Africans, and African-Americans. Our ages range from 26 to 90.

Zoom is a new way to bring together disconnected men.

In the parable of the new wineskins, Jesus suggested that if you are going to minister to people for whom existing religious platforms and approaches aren't helpful, you need to develop new methods of getting the message out — so people can drink it in.

“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst…

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M.M. O'Keefe

I write about faith, fathering, sports, recovery and history — hoping to inspire you.