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Making disciples with Man Church

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communication Dakotas UMC

Man In Church

Photos courtesy of google images.

Churches everywhere are asking: Where are the men? That is not the case at Sunnycrest UMC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where all of the volunteers for Sunday School check-in are men.

Women comprise more than 60% of the adults in the typical worship service in America. The Barna Group reports it’s not just attendance where men trail women. Men are less likely to lead, volunteer, and give in the church. They pray less, share their faith less, and read the Bible less.

Each month, on the third Sunday, 48 men, ranging from 14-88 in age, gather for Man Church at Sunnycrest UMC. Man Church is a discipleship program designed to help males dig deeper into their faith.

“When I arrived at Sunnycrest, in 2017, there were zero small groups or programming for men,” Pastor Charlie Moore, serving Sunnycrest UMC said.

Moore Charlie 2016

Pastor Charlie Moore who serves Sioux Falls Sunnycrest. Dakotas Conference photo.

Moore reported there were many opportunities for women. Something was needed to get men involved at the same level or even more in-depth. “We needed something for men. We needed men to step up to be volunteers, help lead ministry, and get involved with their families beyond just attending church.”

So Pastor Charlie started a small group just for men in January 2017. The group met every week, to pray, study, and hold each other accountable. “We wrestled with tough questions and our faith together,” He said. “In May we ended with a celebration.”

Moore was invited by the Dakotas Conference to attend Basecamp with Rev. Mike Slaughter. Basecamp is specifically designed for “leaders of leaders” who are serious about Kingdom growth. Participants leave with a three-year strategic starter plan for scaling new ministry and mission heights and an enhanced understanding of the discipline required to get there. It was an opportunity to learn and develop a more intensive discipleship program.

This fall, Man Church grew to 48 participants. “The point is not to grow attendance,” Moore said. “It is to build disciples.” 

The group is now led by an outside facilitator with guest speakers. The men are reading the book Momentum for Life, reading scripture from the book of James in the Bible, participating in a daily devotional, journaling and attending a meeting once a month.

Prayer Group

“I have seen our church and the lives of people change,” said Pastor Charlie.

The congregation at Sunnycrest now has men in leadership in the areas of finance, Sunday school, and at events, you can find men volunteering. There is increased attendance at worship on Sunday. In 2018, 39 baptisms took place. 11 adults had never been baptized before.
The congregation is starting to rethink how they are doing everything. There are now more men than of the women who are leading.  The congregation is working on a more equal balance of men and women in leadership. “We have 18 small groups going on. We continue to grow in the depth of the groups. We want to make disciples,” said Pastor Charlie.


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000