WHY THERE ARE NO MEN IN YOUR CONGREGATION – PART 1
In the beginning God created a man, Adam. Throughout the Old Testament men reigned as patriarchs, judges, prophets, and kings. Then Jesus came to Earth as a man and recruited 12 other men as his disciples to walk with Him and to carry on His work after He was gone. The Holy Spirit breathed the accounts, letters, and poems of men into what would be known as The Holy Bible. The work of the church today is still conducted by men just as it was in the first century.
Today, The Church is often cited by feminists as being a troublesome symbol of the patriarchy and male power. While attending these same churches you will see men behind the pulpit doing the work…. but hardly any men in the audience.
In 2016 the average attendance of churches, of all denominations, in the United States was 61% women to 39% men. One may think that this is because women are more religious than men. According to the Pew Research Center, while Christian men participate to a lesser extent in every area of their faith, the commitment of Muslim men and women to their religion are nearly identical. Muslim men are three times more likely to attend services than women. Muslim men and women pray at almost exactly the same rate, and both are just as likely to say their religion is important to them.
So, it isn’t true that men are less interested in religion than women. Then why does the faith that was forged by a carpenter and some fishermen no longer have appeal to men in the religious world today? And how can the Church get that appeal back?
The decline of manliness in America is a discussion for another day. However, the effect of it bleeds into the Church. Men respect masculine preachers and teachers. Boys need heroes to emulate. Men are attracted to men who are like our God, nurturing and patient but also strong and powerful. A study in 1990 found that the average minister has less testosterone than men in other careers. (National Library of Medicine pubmed/2283592) When more “feminine” men fill the role of leaders, then other men think the pulpit is for someone unlike them and seek other careers. This leads to sons seeing their fathers not participate in the work of the Church and follow in their footsteps.
To be continued: