Welcome to the Big Picture Podcast, I’m Joel Fieri and I’m back to hopefully bring come clarity and keep the conversation going about what’s happening today in the Church and greater society.
And, I’m not alone this week. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dave Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church and host of the Church for Men podcast, along with e2 media network’s own Jefferson Drexler, to discuss the “Feminization of Today’s Church”. With so many people today hesitant to stand up and say there is something tragically wrong with the course most churches are heading toward, the three of us tackle some tough issues head on… like men are prone to do. So, without further ado, here’s part one of our roundtable discussion…
Jefferson asks, When we talk about the equipping and engaging our church, there seems to be a missing a component of men just not stepping up. What is it that we need to do these days Dave?
Dave told is a lot of people are calling men back to church, but what we really need to do is bring our churches back to men by re-emphasizing masculine spirituality
Which least us to today where Christianity is the only world religion with a gender gap of at least 20%. In fact in America, the average Christian church consists of 60% women. Shares a quote, “The modern church is an army of women with a few male generals.”
According to studies, not only do men need Jesus, but churches need men because when a church has engaged, growing men, the church will grow. The dying churches are 70% female.
I share ten years ago, I was sitting in a church service, listening to a woman lead passionate love songs to Jesus & I couldn’t do it. I asked myself, Was it me? Am I the problem? That’s when I was led to Dave’s book, Why Men Hate Going to Church Men are looking for a win, to slay a dragon, but mostly what we see is a “get along” atmosphere. The more feminized the church gets, the less the Average Joe feels like there is a place for them.
Jefferson asks us, What about the David model of worship? It was a bit feminine, how to we deal with that example.
Dave quickly responds, If you’re going to really follow David’s model, you need to strip your clothes. This is the problem of taking one person’s experience and saying this is the prescription for everyone. If you look at worship in the Old Testament, worship was led by priests. There were a wide variety of personality types. You had what I call “Peters, James and John”, which are action people, thinking people and emotive people in worship. Today in the modern world we have only one and that’s John. All of our worship leaders are artist. That would make them more right brain, more that expressive type person. We don’t have builders; very few of our worship leaders have anything other than that artist’s sentiment. So they’re leading in a direction that is easier for women than men.So this leads to a phenomenon called Praise Skippers, these are guys who show up 20 minutes late every week because they don’t want to sing love songs to Jesus. Now, we can condemn these guys and tell them they need to get to worshipping God, or we can ask the tough question of “Why are so few men worshipping?”
Jefferson asks, But if John is the worship leader, wouldn’t that mean that James and Peter are the administrative and teaching pastors? Therefore, Peter and James are allowing John to take that front-and-center role. So, doesn’t the responsibility lie on the shoulders of James and Peter for not doing their job?
Dave responds, think about what we do on most Sunday mornings: we listen to a speaker, we sing songs… we do what I call the “Four S’s”: sing, sermon, sacrament, and socializing. Women are generally better at all those things. We don’t model typical masculine behaviors. We’ve created the ideal environment for a certain type of person to come to church and the majority of the people who fit the profile that we have set up are female. It’s just a numbers game.
I share that we expect men to have emotions that women approve of or follow the female pattern. My father was a person who was very “in touch with his emotions” and you didn’t want to be around him when he was. So, we need to be careful what we wish for when we wish men would get more in touch with their emotions. A lot of times these emotions are anger, or the desire to right injustice, or to combat a problem.
And most pastors are primarily interested in everyone in their church getting along.
But there are a lot of problems in the church today that are being swept under the rug, under the guise of “Let’s keep all the relationships in the Church safe”.
Dave said, all you have to do is look at the mainline churches to see what happens when pastors do this. For 30 years, they refused to deal with the topic of gay ordination and gay marriage, until finally the whole thing just exploded and the men have departed.The Episcopal church is down 23% in the last ten years and they will be completely gone in 2050.
I close it out by sharing the single thing most often sacrificed in all this is TRUTH – what is right and what is wrong.
But truth hurts people’s feelings.
Thanks for listening to the Big Picture Podcast. Dave, Jefferson and I will continue our discussion over the next several weeks regarding the problems and possible solutions facing today’s Church.
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