Man Up: Church and the Necessary Man
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7
The church is in danger of losing its men. This is not a guess but rather, a fact. Men’s attendance in church has fallen at a greater rate than women’s over the past several decades. And, we aren’t just talking about coming to Sunday worship but also connection throughout the week.
There are a number of reasons why this happens but I think two stand out. First, many men look at the church as a feminizing agent, one that requires them to be docile, tender, and submissive while focusing on love.
This is a surprising turn of events considering our source.
Remember, our church started by a Man who raised the dead, fought with His religion’s earthly lords at every turn, made a whip to clean out his Father’s house, and bore the most awful death known to the ancient world. And, before that, he had been a stone mason and craftsman.
Remember, there weren’t many power tools in the Roman world. There were huge saws, big chunks of lumber and stone to move around, and lots and lots of sweat. Does this describe a submissive, tentative, docile man to you?
If we, as Christians, are to be more Christ-like, do we really think our current thoughts of the meek and mild One are true? No way! He fought. He argued. He protected. He fed. He led. He healed. He wept. He prayed. He taught. He stood fast.
God did not give us the Spirit to be timid but powerful, full of love and self-control. Just like Jesus.
Secondly, our culture does an incredibly poor job in building our boys into men. The school drop out rates, incarceration rates, college attendance, divorce rates, and unemployment rates are staggering and getting worse. If less than 40% of church attendees are men and less than 20% are a part of church during the week, how can we hope to raise our boys with manly examples of a Christ based life?
We have so many amazing women in the world who struggle to raise young men only with the help of a few teachers, coaches and clergy. The fathers of their children have abandoned their duty. Much like the lost sheep of Israel, this causes too many of our young men wander the landscape knowing neither who nor whose they are.
It is time for us to change this situation. By studying Christ, we will learn. By intentionally instructing our young men, we will improve. By prayerfully and practically working together, we will change the world for the better.
Let’s get started.