A while back the large church I attend hosted a men’s Bible study on a Saturday morning. There were maybe 80 or 90 men in attendance. The man I sat next to said that his wife is in charge of women’s ministry at the church. He mentioned that if the same advertising and planning had gone into a women’s Bible study as into this men’s study, there would be a thousand women attending. My church is not alone. According to churchformen.com: Women comprise 60 percent of the adults in the typical worship service in America and volunteer ranks are heavily female. Men are less likely to lead, volunteer, and give in the church. They pray less, share their faith less, and read the Bible less.
According to Ligonier.org, women tend to be more active in the church than men. Pastors have a harder time getting men involved in the church’s work than women. In addition, single women often lament that they seem to vastly outnumber the single men in their congregations, and if only one parent in a family attends with children – it’s almost always the mother.
I work at a Christian university, and I have noticed over the years that fewer and fewer men are enrolling as first-time, full-time freshmen. This trend seems to be industry-wide according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse. For the 2020-21 academic year, women made up an all-time high of 59.5 percent of college students, while men trailed at 40.5 percent.
So where are the men?
Are they joining the military in record numbers? Apparently not. According to the January 25, 2022 Federal News Network, the military across all branches of service are struggling to recruit. The Army, for the first time, started offering a $50,000 enlistment bonus to new recruits in certain positions.
Are men working as skilled tradesmen in record numbers? Apparently not. According to September 21, 2021 Staffing Industry Analysts, skilled trades still face a worsening labor shortage. More than three-quarters of tradespeople (77 percent) viewed hiring as a problem that has worsened over the last year.
Are they working in increasing numbers in manufacturing jobs, such as forklifts operators, machine operators, shipping and receiving, loaders, etc.? Not really. According to a March 2022 PeopleReady report, the manufacturing sector could have a shortage of 2.1 million skilled jobs by 2030. Almost 40 percent of manufacturing executives say that attracting new workers is their top priority in 2022.
Maybe men are working in increasing numbers in traditionally male occupations such as law enforcement, airline pilots or long-haul truck drivers? Again, it looks like no. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, law enforcement agencies across the United States are struggling to recruit and hire police officers. In January 2022, Flying Magazine began a six-part series about the “dire shortage” of commercial and corporate pilots in the U.S. And according to the Journal of Commerce, it is increasingly difficult to hire truck drivers and the situation is getting worse.
So again I ask, where are the men?
It is well documented that far too many American children are growing up in single-parent households. Typically, the phrase “single-parent” is nearly synonymous with “single-mother.” According to the Pew Research Center, among solo parents the vast majority (81 percent) are mothers; only 19 percent are fathers. Where are the fathers?
If men are not involved in church, enrolling in college, volunteering for military service, in the skilled trades or manufacturing, law enforcement, aviation or trucking – what are they doing? If they are not at home, raising and mentoring their children, where are they? Well, I don’t really know. Playing video games? Down at the tavern? Living in mom’s basement and playing fantasy sports with other men? Likely research could be done as to where the men are, but what does it matter? They are NOT doing what they are supposed to be doing in increasing numbers.
There are many problems and troubles in society today, and perhaps many of them are caused at the root by the abdication of men? Engagement in all major aspects of society by women is welcome, needed and effective – from the nuclear family to the church, military, politics, law enforcement and corporate America. Women are vital in all aspects of life, but they are increasingly alone.
Men need to step up. Men need to be present and accounted for. Men, be involved in your family, your church, your community and your society. Improve yourselves, educate yourselves, involve yourselves and stop being absent. Children need fathers, youth leagues need coaches, churches need healthy growth and Bible teachers and America needs balance. Males are 49.48 percent of the U.S. population. Let’s make sure that 49.48 percent of men show up in all aspects of the rich fabric of our society.
Dan Cohrs joined Colorado Christian University in January 2010. As Executive Vice President, Cohrs oversees all of the University’s financial and business operations in addition to the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Prior to coming to CCU, Cohrs was an officer and CFO of several public, private, and nonprofit organizations. He has also served as a Denver partner in a national CPA firm specializing in real estate, banking, governmental, and nonprofit auditing. Cohrs holds an active CPA certificate in Colorado and a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Accounting from Oklahoma Christian University. Cohrs is a member of Mission Hills Church in Littleton, Colorado. He and his wife, Tomasita, have four children and nine grandchildren.