Paying it forward. It’s a phrase used to ask the recipient of a good deed to repay it to others instead of the original benefactor. It’s a phrase that Lutheran Hour Ministries is trying to instill in those men who take part in the Men’s NetWork Work Day.
Scheduled for Saturday, April 27, the work day is a one-day, nationwide event that allows men to come together to work collaboratively in their communities, neighborhoods and churches.
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach organization supporting churches worldwide. It produces Christian radio and television programming for broadcast as well as Internet and print communications.
Such Christ-centered efforts support individual believers and reach the unchurched in the United States and more than 30 countries. The Lutheran Hour, the ministry’s flagship radio program that first aired in 1930, can be heard weekly on more than 1,300 stations nationwide.
The Men’s NetWork is a byproduct of the ministry. It develops ministry resources directed specifically to men – those in the church already and those who may be interested in learning more about Jesus and His call to discipleship for all believers. The Men’s NetWork seeks to bring men together through projects that allow them to have fun and make a difference in the lives of other individuals or organizations.
Past projects or outings that have brought men together in such a way include an annual freshwater fishing tournament, a short-term foreign missions project and Operation Barnabas to aid military-related support groups.
Work Day project examples include community center assistance, (painting interiors, mending fences, roof repair); neighborhood beautification (planting trees, clearing trails, painting pavilions); and church member service (fixing cracked cement, clearing brush, building a deck). Men’s groups, or individuals, can assist with existing projects in their communities or take on new tasks.
Projects with the Salvation Army, community food pantries, local animal shelters, youth centers, soup kitchens or nursing homes that need manpower are ideal ways for men to get involved and provide a little sweat equity.
“The significance of the upcoming Men’s NetWork Work Day is about getting guys working together – mending a fence, building a playground, clearing a trail – and in the process making a difference in their communities, neighborhoods and churches,” LHM Senior Editor Paul Schreiber wrote in an email to The Layman. “It’s all about the great good that can be done when men put their minds and muscle together to help somebody else. It’s really as basic as that.”
Not only does LHM do outreach work in the United States, it also works on an international level, operating ministry centers and partnerships in 34 countries, from Paraguay to Cambodia. Those offices are operated by LHM staffers and local volunteers who conduct outreach work in the form of Biblical instruction workshops, educational events, music, drama, and prison and youth ministry.
The Men’s NetWork Work Day slated for April 27 is merely an extension of the ministry’s work, allowing men from all walks of life to come together with a common purpose: to pay it forward.
“The Men’s NetWork is bringing guys together in conversation and purpose,” Schreiber added. “It offers men creative and godly resources which, in turn, help them sharpen their Christian witness and empower the lives they live, according to the eternal hope they have in Christ Jesus.”
Since it started five years ago, the Men’s Network has more than 16,000 registered users from 4,000-plus Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations and includes members from more than 3,100 churches belonging to other denominations.
A Facebook page dedicated to Work Day projects will be available at www.facebook.com/lhmmen for participants to share their experiences, post their photos and tell their stories.
To register as an individual or group, visit the Men’s NetWork web site and click on the Work Day link on the right side of the screen. All those registering will receive a Men’s NetWork Work Day hat.