Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Target Men?

Why should a church target men as a top priority?  Simple.  Because Jesus did.  Although Jesus ministered to people from all walks of life, He personally chose and focused most of His attention on a ragtag band of twelve men with laser intensity.

Jesus loved women and He loved children.  He welcomed them both.  He blessed women and blessed children.  He made it clear that they were equal in every way to men.  Women were among His most faithful followers and children were among His greatest joys.  Yet, He specifically targeted men – not to the exclusion of women and children – as a necessary element of the Church.

That’s the problem today:  men are in short supply.

Masculinity is assumed in Christianity and shoots through the whole New Testament like an electric charge:  Jesus’ bold confrontation with the Pharisees, Peter’s courageous leadership of the new sect, Paul’s aggressive missionary strategy, and so on.  Most of the first generation of Christians were martyred for their beliefs – hardly the temperament of the meek and mild.

That’s why the church needs men.  They bring an element to the Body of Christ that is intended to be present.  God made men the way they are because the church needs what they’ve got!

1.  Men’s Expansionist Outlook Promotes Church Health.  Women aren’t the only ones who make things happen.  Men do too.  A man’s masculine gifts may cause a congregation to be temporarily less nurturing and tender.  However, over the long term, men’s “go for it” spirit promotes church health.

2.  Men’s Orientation Toward Risk Promotes Church Health.  Men are hard-wired for risk taking.  The number one killer of fifteen to twenty-four year old males is accidents.  Men pay higher insurance premiums than women do.  Jesus made it clear that (sometimes) risk taking is necessary to please God.  In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-26), the master praises the two servants who invested their assets and produced more, but he curses the servant who played it safe.

3.  Men’s Concern with the Rules Promotes Church Health.  Women tend to exalt relationships over rules.  Men tend to exalt rules over relationships.  Of course, both are needed in the Body of Christ.  Furthermore, a case can be made from the Bible about the importance of both.  Without rules heresy creeps into the church.  Without rules morale breaks down in the church.  Without rules there is chaos and disorder of every conceivable kind.  Rules are needed to govern, to establish boundaries, and promote order; and it's something men bring to the table.

4.  Godly Men Attract Women.  Women are not drawn by male weakness.  The sallow-faced, thin-lipped so-called spiritual type of man may awaken a woman's the maternal instinct, stirring an emotion which is half regard, half pity, but will not awaken attraction.  Without masculine godly men, the majority of younger women will not be able to find Christian husbands and the church will lose them to the world.

5.  Men Bring their Families.  Here’s an oft-quoted statistic in men’s ministry circles:  when a mother comes to faith in Christ, the rest of her family follows 17% of the time.  But when a father comes to faith in Christ, the rest of the family follows 93% of the time.  Reach the mother, you get the kids.  Reach the father, you get the whole family.

If Christianity is to thrive, and if the family is to survive, the church must target men for evangelism and discipleship.  The stakes are too high and the consequences too great to ignore men.

Christianity isn’t merely a religion about going to Sunday School, dinner on the grounds, gospel sings, being nice, holding car washes, and sending our second-hand clothes off to Mexico – as good as those things might be.  This is a matter of life and death, heaven or hell.  Families hang in the balance.  Men hang in the balance.  Women hang in the balance.  Children hang in the balance.  And when men are not in the church, everything is out of balance!

Men have no idea how vital they are to the cause of Christ, or to their families.  Without men and their warrior spirit in the church, much is lost. Our job is to lift the veil of soft, under-bellied religion and call men to battle.  To do that, the church must recover its ancient, masculine voice.

Credits:  David Murrow, Why Men Hate Going to Church

No comments: