Friday, May 24, 2013

The Importance of Men

Jasper Speaks:


I have been an advocate of better men's ministry for a long time. Men are the God ordained leaders of their homes and the church. As the man goes, so often goes both of these institutions. There are some startling facts when we take this into consideration:

  • The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories. [1]
  • On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches. [2]
  • This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands. [3]
  • Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants. [4]
  • The majority of church employees are women (except for ordained clergy, who are overwhelmingly male). [5]
  • Over 70 percent of the boys who are being raised in church will abandon it during their teens and twenties. Many of these boys will never return. [6]
  • More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only one out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church. [7]
  • Churches overseas report gender gaps of up to 9 women for every adult man in attendance. [8]
  • Christian universities are becoming convents. The typical Christian college in the U.S. enrolls almost 2 women for every 1 man. [9]
  • Fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry. [10]
Those are disturbing facts. The truth is men have been taking a back seat for a long time. Women have taken on roles of leadership that most certainly should be filled by men for decades. Some would attribute this to men having the idea that church is for the weak. I have heard men say that they believe church is for women and children. Sometimes we have created that culture. Women's ministries thrive while we leave the men's ministry to nothing more than a quarterly breakfast. We don't challenge men to live their faith. We turn a blind eye as men compartmentalize their lives. We inadvertently have given the idea that faith is okay to own but not always practical in a man's way of life.
The upside to these statistics is that studies also show if you reach the man, 93% of the time his family will follow.[11] It is imperative that we do more to reach and disciple men. As a husband and a father, I understand the pressure of leading. I have failed at my responsibilities more times than I care to admit. As a pastor, I see the need to equip men to share their faith and help them grow in their Christian walk. If we are going to reach the world, we have to reach its men.
I believe it is time for the church to rise up and become more intentional in it's ministry to men. The church needs to divert money and resources to this area. My home church did this last year. It raised the men's ministry budget over 10 times what it had been in the past. We began a new group devoted to men's discipleship. We created fellowship opportunities. We are challenging our men to pursue their relationship with God all the time with all their strength. We still have a long way to go.
The world is a hard place for a man. The lure of sin is strong. Not a month goes by that I do not hear of a Christian man who is struggling with pornography, extra marital affairs, ethical issues and so much more. The church needs to turn our hearts toward men and help empower them to win the battles that they face. Many men are waiting for the opportunity to learn how to be more godly husbands and fathers. My prayer today is that the church would rise up and offer men a relevant, safe place to find what they need to be more like Christ. If the church can do that we will all grow stronger for the battle. 
[1] “U.S. Congregational Life Survey – Key Findings,” 29 October 2003, .

[2] This statistic comes from Barna’s figures on male/female worship attendance, overlayed upon the Census 2000 numbers for adult men and women in the U.S. population.

[3] I came up with this figure by taking the U.S. Census 2000 numbers for total married adults and overlaying Barna Research’s year 2000 percentages of male vs. female attendance at weekly worship services. The figures suggest at least 24.5 million married women attend church on a given weekend, but only 19 million married men attend. That’s 5.5 million more women, or 22.5%. The actual number may be even higher, because married people attend church in much greater numbers than singles.

[4] Barna Research Online, “Women are the Backbone of Christian Congregations in America,” 6 March 2000, www.barna.org

[5] Ibid.

[6] “LifeWay Research Uncovers Reasons 18 to 22 Year Olds Drop Out of Church,” PowerPoint presentation accompanying study, available at the LifeWay Web site,http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0,1703,A=165949&M=200906,00.html, accessed 12 September 2007

.[7] Barna, “Women are the Backbone of Christian Congregations in America.”

[8] Church for Men http://churchformen.com/men-and-church/where-are-the-men/

[9] Camerin Courtney, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Christianity Today, Single Minded. View athttp://www.christianitytoday.com/singles/newsletter/mind40630.html

.[10] Based on a show of hands at the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries meeting in 2005. The consensus in the room among hundreds of men’s ministry experts was that less than 10% of congregations had any ongoing ministry to men. Compare this to the 110% of churches that offer women’s and children’s ministries.

[11] Studies conducted by the In His Grip Organization http://www.inhisgripgolf.com/pages.asp?pageid=97167, 2012.
Many of these statistics were found at http://churchformen.com/men-and-church/where-are-the-men/