Thursday, June 2, 2011

#1 in a (pre-fathers day) series on Men and Church.

When we were out in Colorado Springs for a family wedding last June, I overheard several young men talking about going to church with the specific purpose of finding “good” wives.  (In the same conversation they were pretty explicit that the same rules of “goodness” didn’t apply to their own behavior.) 
Recent articles have me watching for where our men folk tend to plug into church.  The steady stream in and out of Fellowship Hall under renovation suggests that anything having to do with deconstruction or power tools is popular.  But we also have a higher percentage of men than most small churches singing in choir and participating in committees.  So how are our guys’ experiences similar to or different from “averages.”
Why do or “don’t men go to church?”  asks blogger Doug Lawrence.  David Murrow in his book Why Men Hate Church suggests that many men see Christianity as being incongruous with their manhood. Maybe so, says Lawrence, “but the church is probably at least partially to blame for this. “ He says churches make 3 mistakes:
 1. We place a higher emphasis on children than fathers. 
2. We forget to celebrate and thank men as much as women.
3. We sing too much!
What do you (especially the men among us) think?
Does our church’s life make room for what helps you grow in Christ and find a place in community?  What does and what might?
Are you feeling neglected?  If so, what forms of encouragement do you find most meaningful?
Here’s what Lawrence goes on to say: (
(1)…churches that place a high priority on having fathers being highly active in their children’s programs appear (general observation in the field) to have larger numbers of men in their general church population. Says Christian researcher, George Barna, "Women are almost twice as likely as men" to teach Sunday school. What’s wrong with women teaching children? Nothing, but what are we doing to give permission to men to also be nurturers and be active role models for children?
(2)….In some ways we play into a feminine stereotype of being all soft and mushy on Mother’s Day, but find it difficult to affirm fathers with at least a modicum of sentimentality and encouragement. Even men need a little motivation toward their personal worthiness and leadership role in the home and church.
(3)—Men sing less than women in general, don’t mind singing if the keys of songs reflect the average range of their voices, don’t mind music that accompanies something a movie for example, hate standing for 20 minutes and singing—period.
       -Pastor "Eager to hear your thoughts" Karen
Coming soon #2 in the series, "Millard Fuller's Theology of the Hammer"

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