April 22, 2007

Where Have the Real Men Gone?

Posted in Christian Life, Family, Mission, My Personal Walk, Personal, Religion, The Church, Thoughts at 8:31 pm by Dan Barnett

 

I was given a book, several years ago, by a friend who owned a Christian book store. She had received some copies of a yet-to-be released book called “Passed Through Fire.” Though the author, in my opinion, was off on a lot of things, his main point was right on. Many men in churches across the country are flat out bored. The women are the passionate ones in ministry. The church as a whole has become feminized in a sense. I know there are exceptions, however this is the reality of most churches. Men are taught, if taught at all, to be nice and respectful among other things. These are important, but in focusing mainly on these things, they fail to step up into the rile they were created for. The men were given the leadership role by God. Men were also made the “tough” ones. What has happened is that we fail to do exactly what Christ told us to do in Matthew 28. We are not making disciples and teaching them to observe the things he has commanded us. Paul gives a direct order to pastors in 2 timothy when he says to teach the things you have learned from me to faithful so they may teach others. This isn’t done the way it should be anymore. If an elder takes men under his wing, a lot of the time he shows them a basic outline of their faith. He teaches them how to be peaceful. He teaches them some good attributes, but they are not empowered as the leaders they are called to be. This is a passion my pastor and I share. My vision in ministry is to focus on the boys in the ministry and mentor/disciple them. To take them along side me likened to an apprentice to see and not only hear how to be a man of God. Am I the best example? No. But when you are vulnerable to those you teach, amazing things happen. They gain a respect for you that they otherwise wouldn’t have. But in doing so I open them to finding younger boys or even peers to take alongside them under my watch and direction. This way they not only learn what God has called them to be, but they live it from a young age. We should be raising young men up through the church as empowered and equipped leaders of tomorrow. Instead we raise boys who follow rules and do what they are told without question. This isn’t a follower. It’s an employee. This is my answer to my previous post of what areas the church can do a better job. We need to train, equip, and empower men from a young age so that they are what Christ sees a man to be, and not the world.

I think women do a better job when Paul tells the older women to teach the younger. I think they have surpassed the men in the area of discipleship. They still have a long way to go as well. The older women in the church need to step up and show by example, in a non-judging and non-condemning

way, what a godly woman should be. This goes to modesty, purity, respect, etc. The women have stepped up, but pick and choose who they want to teach and the others are left to watch. We must choose who to teach, but if we are the only ones stepping up, there’s a problem.

 

Thoughts?????

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8 Comments »

  1. Beth said,

    Actually, I think that older women in the church do not do a good job on the area of “teaching the younger women”. The only time in my whole life (besdies my Mom of course) that an older woman in the church has come along side of me and offered to be a mentor or talk about spiritual things with me was when I was in High School youth group and it was one of my youth leaders. I think the women have failed in this area too. I think unless you have grown up in a church your whole life, you probably have been left out of this. I would love to learn from an older woman, hear her testimony, have her talk about marriage, her relationship with God. I think both men and women in the church need to step up and start teaching the younger generations. It’s crucial.

  2. Becki said,

    Yeah, ditto everything Beth said. I think it “appears” that women have done a better job at this because typically women are more relationship oriented. I always wished I had a mentor as well. I think that even women who have grown up in the church would benefit from a mentor, even if it is their own mom {you’re blessed in this Beth!}, but someone impartial would be great as well. I wonder if this doesn’t happen more because of feelings of inadequacy in the older women??? Our culture??

    Dan–I think your attitude about the fact that you are not perfect, but you are still willing to be vulnerable & follow Christ & be passionate about His Word is just what the church needs more of. Imagine what we could all do for the Kingdom if we would just cast our inadequacies aside & focus instead on the power that we have been given.

    I am interested in expanding on the idea of the church being feminized?? As in, men should be out there creating a ruckus for Christ?

    I have really enjoyed your conversations lately about the church. I think it is something many people can/will benefit from.

  3. Dan Barnett said,

    If you look at the families who attend the church. When one parent isn’t present at church but still in their family’s life, who is it? It’s the dad. When people are testifying to what God has done in their lives, who is it? It’s the women. Many men view the church and Christianity as real but shy away from opening up because it seems wimpy and sissy to. Many people look at Samson and see a renegade and a crazy disobedient man. The church needs more men like him who will become “more undignified…” as King David promised to become. Men are bored with what goes on at times. They naturally do not reach out. And, they are supressed at times when wives want them to step up. They feel they can’t. I know the women haven’t done a great job, but look at the church: Women’s luncheon, Women’s retreat, Women’s tea, Ladies Bible study, etc. Maybe once in a blue moon, do you get Men’s Bible study. Maybe more frequent are softball, fishing retreat(which usually doesn’t include much of God at all). We focus on telling men to be men, but have given a wrong picture of what that should be. Men should be the ones tearing down the pillars and raising the ruckus. Not the ones sitting back at snearing at the sermon and simply saying amen.

  4. Farmer said,

    Um… I would be very careful to say that the Church needs more men like Samson. Most view him as a “renegade and a crazy disobedient man” becuase he was one. His life was characterized by arrogance, immaturity, lust, and disobedience to name a few. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think we have enough men like that in today’s churches. God used Samson… but God used him inspite of who Samson was.

    What the church… what God needs are men who are humbly submited to His will. Men who are willing to step outside of themselves and reach out to the world around them. There needs to be men who are willing to sacrifice (though, is it really a sacrifice to do anything for God) their own agenda, their own time, their own wants, to live a life that reflects the role God has called them to.

  5. Farmer said,

    If I can add one thing, here is a Quote by E.M. Bounds. I think this is appropriate.

    “What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.”
    ~ E.M. Bounds~

  6. Beth said,

    You are absolutely right in saying that it is usually the women talking about what God has done or is doing in their lives or getting excited about an area of ministry. I just want to say though that even though it is true that women have all of these things such as women’s retreats, women’s tea, women’s luncheon, etc., don’t let these activities deceive you. Obviously you have never been to one of them (being a guy). My thoughts on them are it’s just a superficial gathering rather than this big spiritual revival type meeting. It’s a time to catch a break from stuff at home, to get together and talk…be social. Maybe it’s just because I have seen you and seen what is going on, but when is the last time an older women in the church has come up to me, asked me to go out one evening to discuss predestination or theology? Women just seem to shy away from either talking about this stuff or even having an interest in learning it all together. Women are busy raising children, taking care of husbands and homes, I totally get that, but we rarely make time to get together and learn and challenge eachother.

  7. Becki said,

    Again, mark me down for what Beth said ;>) That is why I never really went to those womens’ social events, because it was all about what clique I WASN’T in. That is why when I have been involved in ministries that tend toward the social side, I have resolved to {make it my secret ministry} to challenge people’s thinking & speak the truth & move things from the social to the spiritual. I even try to do this at “fun” events. If we are not spurring each other on towards spiritual excellence, then I might as well stay home ;>)

    All we can really do, is to BE what we want to see more of in the church, praying that this will inspire others to do {BE} the same.

    That said, I have a phone call to make….

  8. Dan Barnett said,

    My point in using Samson was that the church normally looks down on and shies away from the young men who seem wild and out of control. The church should find these guys and ask God to harness them under him and disciple them to be able to use their characteristics to do just as you said, get outside themselves and reach out.


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