Where Are The Men - Part 2
Get Involved In The Right Thing
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth Matthew 25: 26-30 KJV.
I have been speaking on the subject of the absence of men in the church. Pharaoh figured out a long time ago (actually the devil likely told him) that to destroy the strength of a nation, kill the men. It stands to reason that this same strategy would work in the church as well. After all, we are a holy nation.
We made the point that many men won’t go to church, and of those that do go, they weren’t really involved. A look at statistics shows that a lack of church involvement is bad for men. There are more men in jail than women, more men die violently, more commit crimes or have crimes committed against them, more are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and more experience heart attacks and attempt suicide. In fact, the primary reason why insurance rates are higher for men is because it is a well known fact that men don’t live long.
If men want to avoid these bad things, they need to do but one thing. And that is to go to church and get involved. Men involved in church are happier with life. The solid stable marriages are more often church goers. Church involved men are better off financially and have a better outlook for the future.
It is clear to me that men need church, yet church programs continue to go on whether men are there or not. Men that are in church aren’t involved to the extent that the church mission is impacted. I believe that it is good for men to get involved in the right thing. Church is a right thing. It is also bad for men to get involved in the wrong thing.
The church has good success in programs, but their programs do very well without men. You see, women are better at talking, are more relational, more compassionate, and are basically good at the things that make the church program succeed. Men, on the other hand, do most of the criticizing and make folks mad. They tend to frown on preliminary and just do what needs to be done.
Whether church programs can succeed without men is not the main issue. The church needs men. There is a place for the gifts that men possess, but the church program is not set up for them. Church programs need someone with good verbal skills, a pleasant voice, relational, good with children, musical, can teach and cook. Women fit most of these roles but men don’t, because men aren’t soft.
Men are usually found fixing the building or on a committee. They stay away from these other jobs because they fear failing. So they end up with nothing to do. Even though men stand for excellence, progress, vision, performance, and are strategic thinkers, they may not fit this delicate church show. And so they get offended and just don’t show up. And the program rolls right on proving that men are unimportant anyway.
Men need to feel needed. They need to know that they are important. Many of the resources that we purchase in our outreaches are designed to minister to youth and children first, and then women. Men are the last. Even the resources that we have for the men are written to try and get them to do things to make it better for their wives and kids.
The biggest church outreaches are nursery, youth and Sunday school. In summer, it’s vacation bible school. So why wouldn’t a woman volunteer? Her children and grandchildren are her top priority. But the message that men get is that "church is for kids". It is the same with the many outreaches for women; these things are in place to help and encourage women, but the message men get is that "church is for women".
Jesus didn’t focus on kids first. He didn’t focus on women first either. His approach was men first. He loved women and children, and He blessed and welcomed them. He made it clear that women were equal to men, and in ways children were greatest in the kingdom. Women were among His most faithful followers, but they were not his focus.
Jesus focused on the men because by changing the men, He could change the world. We need to make the spiritual development of men a top priority.
Men can make things happen. They don’t mind "going for it all". This is the kind of energy that can make a church grow.
Men are natural risk takers. Even the little boys in my wife's daycare are not satisfied to just slide down the gym set. They like to tightrope across the top. One of the little guys fell one day and knocked a tooth out. We use more bandages and ointment on the guys because they like the danger zone.
Even the young boys in my neighborhood ride their bikes and carts down the highest hills. It is not unusual to see them at top speed on skate boards with no helmet. The number one killer of males 18 - 24 years old are car accidents. It’s not that cars aren’t safe, but they race and take other foolish risks. Insurance premiums are higher for this group because they have more accidents.
Jesus liked taking risks. In our scripture, Jesus criticized the servant who played it safe and buried his treasure. Jesus called him lazy and wicked. Get rid of this "play it safe" who won’t go out on a limb MSG.
Men like to improve on things. It doesn’t matter that what you have is working, they are thinking of ways to make it better. Godly men are more likely to bring their family to church and will bring the whole tithe. I read an interesting statistic that said when a mother comes to Christ, the family follows 17% of the time; but when a father comes to Christ, the family follows 93% of the time.
Christianity is not the dominant religion anymore. We are losing out to secularism and Islam. Islam’s growth over the past 30 years and be attributed to Black American men. They like the appeal of brotherhood and discipline. Many Muslims live their religion whereas Christians don’t. And when 93% of children following their father, they end up in other religions.
Christianity is not about Sunday school, pot luck dinners and car washes. A war is going on for the heart and soul of our nation. It is a war that we cannot afford to overlook. We need our men to get in the fight before it’s too late. They have what it takes to change things; it’s time to let them do what they alone can do.
By: Edmund Brown