Church For Men

Apparently the modern evangelical church is unfriendly to men.

I am not making this up. David Murrow has a website and is selling a book about it. According to him, there are seven “proven principles for creating a man-friendly church” today.

Rick Warren in his “Pastor’s Toolbox” has included an article by the author to explain these principles. I won’t quote the rationale here (it’s copyrighted after all) but I would like to respond to them…

Principle one: Cultivate a healthy masculine spirit in your church.

Excuse me. How about a HUMAN spirit? Wait, no, that’s not good theology. How about the HOLY Spirit? Too simplistic? Too touchy-feely? Does this mean we are going to get more of the football analogies and wrestling match metaphors?

Principle two: Make men feel needed and wanted.

Yes. And women too. And children. And the poor and ill. The refugee. The disenfranchised.

Principle three: Present Christ’s masculine side.

It makes sense that Christ was made incarnate in a male gendered person for a male-dominated first-century world. We’ve come a long way, baby. Or maybe not.

Principle four: Avoid feminine terminology.

Apparently, according to Murrow, words such as “relationship” or “precious” are not words that a “typical man” would say. I am sure that the women they are married to would agree — but perhaps it is time to change this??

Principle five: Preach shorter sermons.

The ADD’ing of America” has hit both genders. I am not sure this is a “manly” problem. However, if Murrow means to stop preaching sermons that sound like you swallowed a Greek lexicon, or you have miscellaneous facts you learned in seminary and must squeeze them in or your brain will pop, I’m the first to yell AMEN!

Principle six: Become students of men.

Murrow feels that pastors spend their time making women volunteers “happy” and they don’t “understand” men. I can see the collective head-scratching of my fellow female church members on that one.

Principle seven: Create a culture of person-to-person challenge.

Murrow suggests that it should not be a pulpit-only challenge to personal growth in Jesus, but a one-on-one, iron-sharpening-iron mode. And this only works for men???
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Ugh. Now why is it that when books like this are published they are hailed as “ground-breaking” but if one were to be written from women’s perspective it is often referred to as “divisive” and “strident”???

I really do try to not sound like a crazed feminist, but when I read stuff like this, I either want to hurl something at my computer, or just hurl.

Jesus came, lived and died for ALL people. Men. Women. Slave. Free. Jew. Greek. Or was Paul just joking in Galatians 3?

There are issues in the church today that have nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, to do with gender, and much more to do with real, painful, human needs.

Things like single-parent households. Divorce. Infidelity. Addictions. Lifestyle choices. Music and cultural icons that should be challenged for being ungodly and unhealthy.

OK, so I’m an idealist. I’ll admit that. And I am “only” a student. Guilty again.

But somewhere, somehow, we in the Church need to stop pitting men and women against each other and start considering how to build up the Church together, and not compartmentalize it into special interest groups. It doesn’t matter who gets more attention. Or where they sit. Or who is in charge. It really doesn’t.

It does matter Who we are there to worship and serve. Somehow, I think we all tend to forget that. And books like Murrow’s are part of this “me-serve” mentality.

Rant mode off…

Deb

Jesus said: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

 

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