What is FCM and how is it different from my church’s Men’s Ministry?
FCM is intended to be a platform to allow Christian men from various churches to connect and build meaningful relationships through sharing of time, prayer and resources. It does not replace your own local church’s men’s ministry.
Do we choose between FCM and my local church’s men’s ministry?
No. Any man can be a part of either or both of the ministries. Participation in one is not required to be a part of the other and vice-versa. FCM is coming alongside local international and Thai churches to create a network that increases opportunities for fellowship, activities, support and prayer.
What does it entails to join FCM?
FCM is intentioned to serve English speaking Christ-followers. The one requirement in order to join, is 100% agreement of the Apostles Creed, a foundational and non-negotiable statement of truths about Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Registration to receive updates and other communication is possible by going to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GsfowQKxiqPyCjIA1ZYTOGOXXBlXnRHihpqM8VlEL28/edit#responses
What are the expectations for participation?
Come with a willingness to connect and engage with other brothers, speaking truth and in love. All conversations are to be maintained confidential as trust is the currency of relationships so it is vitally important to always be building up.
Transparency and vulnerability is encouraged and it because with each individual. Share your journey about what God is doing in your life (whether it be at home, workplace, marriage, ministry etc).
Be comfortable to share what the Lord is asking you to come to Him in prayer?
Come prepared to share your testimony with new friends in a concise way (1) what were you like before accepting Christ as your Savior, 2) how did you come to faith in Jesus and 3) what has the Holy Spirit done in your life after becoming a follower of Jesus?
As we share our story with Christian brothers, we are practicing and building up our confidence to be able to share with pre-Christians in a meaningful and purposeful way.
Regardless of the size of our gatherings, it is my desire to facilitate discussions in small groups (3 men) as well as the entire group.
What meeting, what activities requires support and how?
FCM is not purposed to be the organizer of all meetings and activities that registered and interested men can be involved with. Over the next couple of months, I am planning for a couple of casual get-togethers (such as an evening gathering), and one physically active event (batting cage possibly) with sights set on a 3 day retreat for November 9-11, 2018 in Kanchanaburi.
As a network, it is the desire of FCM members to be able to share and invite others to opportunities that their local church is already providing, regardless of whether it is exclusively for men or everyone. For instance, ECB hosts the House of Prayer on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. Wouldn’t it be great to share this with others so that they can also join in? Or you may already have a group of guys that are regularly playing a game of soccer, or participate in a Bible study (such as Bible Study Fellowship BSF), a discipleship training course etc – sharing in what is available to the body of Christ.
Because FCM is an independent ministry, all participants are responsible to be for any costs for the participation of each event (if there is a cost). If you are burdened to assist in covering the cost for a brother on their behalf, whether or not you know them personally or not, please do let me know. I will share with the recipient that “this gift is from the Lord, through a brother” and thereby glorify God as the provider.
One of the best ways to support FCM is by sharing and encouraging other men (or their significant others) to join and participate. When reluctant men see those whom whom they trust come, it breaks down inhibitions and timidity in a natural and organic way.
To be clear, relationships that are built through FCM should continue to be nurtured outside and in-between our group gatherings. It is in our daily lives that our faith is needed, that challenges arise and prayer for wisdom is asked for, where temptation lurks and the support of a brother is needed, and when we stumble to stand alongside and point one another to Christ.
How much time do I need to invest?
It is my hope that we each intentionally invest in growing one or two relationship on a weekly basis whilst coming together in a large FCM facilitated gathering at least once a quarter.
Will there be a mode of “operation” how this group will function? Who will be responsible to draft it and who will take the responsibility and accountability to apply it?
FCM is not an organization or a company, but an organic ministry led by Sang Chanyaputhipong with the support of brothers in Christ. We are not currently in the position nor desire to formalize operational practices or policies that dictates its functioning.
Why is there a need to group together men’s ministry from other churches and what is the advantage? disadvantage?
Men’s ministry in most local churches are a challenge to start and even a greater challenge to maintain. This stems from the nature of men simultaneously needing to serve, provide, work to support themselves and their families. What often tends to happen is that their own growth and personal needs is excused and by default becomes the least important matter, whether it is spiritual, emotional or physical.
God values men, and it is important that we align ourselves with God’s perspective to value ourselves and relationships with other men.
For many small churches, a men’s focused ministry does not exist. Though some men are participants in a LIFE group or home/cell group, the mixed gender environment does not encourage men’s fellowship. In larger churches, though a men’s ministry may exist, there could still be low engagement and involvement with the reverse mindset that “it’s for those who need it, just not me” and being in such a gathering, is easy to be missed.
The potential of FCM is to come into the gaps and acknowledge the shared desire for meaningful men’s fellowship. The foundation for members to come together is not because they attend a particular church on Sunday, but rather that they are followers of Christ and is a member of the body of Christ, the Church.
FCM does not replace a local church’s men’s ministry but comes alongside to support it. And if the church does not yet have a men’s ministry, then this is an avenue that their men can gather together with other Christ-followers in fellowship.
Over the past number of retreats that I have had the privilege and joy to serve to organize for my home church ECB, there have been a steady number of participants who were not congregants, but had friends or family that attended. Because no such opportunities existed in their own church, coupled with a strong desire to build relationships with other men, we welcomed these brothers.
FCM is an evolution of this by reaching out and inviting others to join together for a men’s fellowship.
Is there a membership required or people can come as they want and go.
Registration is required to be a part of FCM through an online form. No membership fees are collected in order to participate.
Recognizing that FCM is an English language facilitated ministry, it is natural that most of the participants will be expatriates that work or serve in Thailand. Likewise, depending on the duration and terms of their contracts, it is expected that people will be joining throughout different seasons. It is my desire that relationships that are built here are continuously nurtured and fostered, wherever they transition to. Thai nations that are fluent in English will likely form a core team.
With so many social media platform to communicate, what would be FCM platform of communication with all other men, ministries and churches?
FCM will be utilize various media platforms to communicate. A Facebook page is currently being created where fellowship opportunities will be shared. Useful tools that men have shared that are beneficial to their personal growth in Christ-likeness will also be featured and shared. These may be books, Apps, online devotionals, websites or more.
Has prayer influenced and guided my decisions for the creation of FCM?
By faith, I believe that the Lord is calling me to create the Fellowship of Christian Men. The Lord had impressed this vision upon me over the past several months and numerous affirmations by many, is leading me to step out in obedience in response. Though there is a clear vision and mission that God has for FCM, I am praying for wisdom, partnerships, support and advocates to come alongside to serve with one another towards them.
Will there be prayer groups, emails, structure, fasting, etc.?
Emails will be the primary form of communication. To compliment this, we will also have a Facebook page in order to connect and share.
It is my desire to empower all participants to be obedient to the Lord’s direction as they join FCM. Indeed, some may be led to create prayer groups on LINE or Whatsapp – obey!
If the Lord is directing you to invite men into a time of fast – obey!
FCM is a team of brothers to seek to grow in Christ-likeness with one another and we can only do this together.
Can I pray for any of your needs as this comes together?
Thank you for your offer. I always welcome prayer of support and would invite you to pray with me for all Christian men that join FCM, men who are in your local church, and those whom God has placed in your lives, whether they are Christ-followers or not.
As we seek to glorify Christ in and through our lives, especially in community, we are threatening the kingdom of darkness, strongholds of bondage, sinful choices and lifestyles. Prayer is our weapon and it is vital that we seek to grow in our intimacy with God, receiving His power and grace to fight these spiritual battles.
Pray also for God-appointed relationships, meaningful conversations, laughter, a hunger to grow in Jesus-likeness, sensitivity to speak in truth and love, for wisdom and guidance in our daily walk, and faith that God is for us and in us.
Will there be accountability partners designated for each participant?
FCM will not be designating accountability partners for each participant. I trust that the Holy Spirit will direct and lead each of us to connect and bond with brothers whom God has purposed for standing alongside. To the extent of speaking and encouraging this truth is how far I will go.
Will there be opportunities for bible study?
FCM will not serve as a Bible study as there are many different options available, especially within your local church or para-church organizations like BSF.
Will there or can there be father and son(s) trip(s)/events?
Though nothing is planned yet, I would be willing to organize such a trip. This past February, I had taken a group of 10 fathers and 14 boys on a camping trip to Kaengkrachan for 3 days. This sort of trip can easily be coordinated as we would be sleeping in tents and not be a significant financial cost.
Local or regional missionary trips?
Living out our faith through acts of service is pleasing in God’s eyes. There are multiple ministry opportunities within your local church. I would encourage you to ask your home church and invite men from FCM to join you.