How to Start a Men's Group

Basic Principles for Success

"While larger social movements may raise consciousness about the need for renewal in society, it is the smaller social initiatives, usually developed by small groups in communities, that do much of the renewing".

Henry Minzberg, author of Rebalancing Society.

1. As far as possible, keep the group centred within the parish and made up of parishioners. Forming social and spiritual bonds are easier when you see each other regularly at Mass and at parish events. The parish will also benefit from your regular and committed presence.

2. Make sure the monthly social and spiritual activities are calendared on the same day each month e.g. Eucharistic Adoration every first Saturday of the month; drinks at a local pub every second Sunday. This ensures that interaction becomes habitual; it also encourages commitment to the group.

3. Don't be afraid to start small. Two men are enough to start a group; more will eventually join. Nonetheless, growth is important - growth in numbers, growth in knowledge and faith, growth in participation in the Sacraments and in parish life.

4. Actively invite other men. "Come and see" was a key phrase in Jesus' ministry; people respond to a personal invitation.

5. Make a clear distinction between activities that are primarily social and those that are mainly spiritual. The pub is for your relationship with one another and the church is for your relationship with God. However, a solid instructional programme like Bishop Baron's 'Catholicism', followed by drinks and discussion, is often a good way to bring men together.

6. Find a good spiritual director such as your parish priest or an experienced deacon. This will support your group's spiritual accountability in regularly attending the sacraments and Eucharistic Adoration, reading scripture and developing a strong prayer life.

7. Preferably avoid determining the nature of the group beyond the Four Foundations we recommend. The Catholic Church is universal and encompasses everyone. Men should be free to come and go, to participate or not, without any sense of coercion or the need to adhere to a specific code. A man can be a Knight of St Columba or a member of the Legion of Mary and still freely participate in his parish men's group - or vice versa. That said, all members must be open to accepting and putting into practice the teachings of the Catholic Church, in fidelity with the Pope and the Magisterium.


Get to know one another
  • Meet once a month for drinks
  • Plan an annual hike or camp
  • Attend a weekend retreat
  • Organise meals out, together with spouses


Get to know God
  • Meet once a month for prayer and bible study
  • Attend Eucharistic Adoration
  • Share and discuss good spiritual resources


Make it a habit
  • Commit to monthly meet-ups
  • Keep in touch with everyone (create a whatsapp group)
  • Invite other men to join

Articles on Men's Groups

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