Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lack of Men in Church. Why?

I've been in church all my life and the one thing that has puzzled me the most is the lack of men in church. It does not matter whether it is Baptist, AME, COGIC, CME, or Non-denominational, it is still the same, a shortage of men in the church.

Women have always been the anchor of the church. Women have carried the torch for as long as I can remember. My mother was an anchor in the church we grew up in. My grandfather was the pastor and it seemed my mother did it all. She was an usher, sang in the choir, helped with communion, just to name a few of the many hats she wore. I praise God for strong women in the church.

However, it is time for a change. It is time for men to take their rightful place as leaders in the church. Then I ask, why is there a shortage of men joining the church? Why aren't more men dedicating there lives to Jesus Christ? Why aren't there more men helping to advance the kingdom?

I feel many men have a discernment for pastors. They can discern whether or not the pastor is genuine. Men are more likely to take their time studying the pastors behavior patterns before committing to a local church. Women will hear God speak and oftentime move immediately. Men oftentimes struggle with authority and submitting to other men, especially pastors in authority. Men want to know whether or not a pastor is real and sincere before they serve in ministry.

Even though God has blessed Voices of Faith with numerous men in the church, the global church still suffers due to a lack of men.

Please share your opinion concerning this global issue in the church.


At February 12, 2008 at 5:24 PM , Anonymous Levels said...

Bishop what an interesting topic and often discussed in my family. My husband was very active and faithful in ministry until one day he said enough. The breaking point for him centered around two areas 1)The average man does not want to spend (what he feels) an entire day in church. Being considered a leader removed his ability to choose 2)Although we heard the same sermon my excitement was much different because unbeknowing to me, I was throwing another man in his face. Example: Instead of saying how powerful the Word of God was and expounding from there, my initial conversation was Bishop said this and Bishop said that. Can I say I am much wiser and my husband has slowly returned to ministry.

At February 13, 2008 at 12:51 PM , Blogger Michaelangelo said...

I feel that men have lost their true focus and calling in life. In the past, men knew their rightful places in the home and within the community. A “good man”, always put his family’s needs before his own and would take the lead role within the church, but because of man’s own selfishness and lack of concern for others they just don't want to give their time, energy, or money to others, especially to the church.

At February 14, 2008 at 12:56 PM , Blogger POVERTY or PROSPERITY YOU CHOOSE said...

Bishop I believe men allowed the women to influence there decision making that God asked them to do. By allowing this to happen it has forced the home to shift because now the men had to do what the women is desiring to keep a happy home instead of what God has asked them to do. Therfore, it has caused many problems in the home and the men do not have the time and commentment to the church because of the demand and the commentment they face at home.

At February 14, 2008 at 4:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great question!

I believe that men tend to shy away from church, in part, because of the feminization of church. Think about the current picture of church. We lift our hands, cry, shout, worship or express ourselves in so many ways, but how often do men use those expressions to convey their feelings? How about when you think about servitude? Whether we like it or not, for a long time society has dictated that the role of a woman is to serve, while men are taught to assume the role of the “Alpha Male” and dominate, so naturally when it comes to church, and you’re told to be a servant and submit to another man, it might lend one to immediately think of a feminine positioning. Again these are just my thoughts and theories. Great question though. I’m very interested in seeing some of the other responses.

Min. Nikki Washington

At February 14, 2008 at 10:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

An intriguing discussion; When men need spiritual sustenance,often they go to the wilderness, the workplace, the garage, or the keg bar. They watch their heroes in the stadium or on the plasma;they plunge into a novel or sneak off to a movie.

People utimately come to their own crossroad such as the tax collector in the Bible ; that their life is better with Christ than without; often rather than not this occurs when men are much older and have experienced some of life's tragedies;church is one of the last places men look for God.

More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to place a lasting value in going to church every Sunday.

The answers to impact society are within the frame of the question.

At February 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe there is a lack of men in the church because they are not being spoken to. The messages going forth from pulpits these days really do not address the basic needs of men. Men want to and need to feel like leaders. Men want to feel as though they have decision-making power and can influence change. Of late, the society we live in and even in the homes, men's "natural" right to live out these roles have been stripped. You have talk show hosts, actresses, politicians, and even preachers telling the world that a woman doesn't need a man to survive, a woman doesn't need a man to raise a child, and a woman doesn't need a man to be complete. GOD never intended for man or woman to be alone. Yet, the value of men has been subjected to a trivial status. You want men to come back to church? Teach them that they have value and worth in their homes, on their jobs, and in their communities. Then, you'll see a renaissance take place in the church.
Pastor Murkison

At February 15, 2008 at 12:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bishop this has been such an intriguing and insightful discussion and all I can say is that Pastor Murkinson really spoke the truth. I am what most would consider a newlywed but I am learning that my husband needs for me to allow him to make decisions without my input all the time. We as women today tend to think we have all the answers and because we work there is no need to cater to our family becasue we are too tired. We need to really get back in order(and that does not mean control) it means back into a true unity with our savior and with our spouses. If we continue to strip a man down emotionally and financially in his own home then we remove the foundation that our ancestors built and the message that we are sending to our children. Men want change, and they want to grow close to God, but they need guidance and revelation to know that they are still needed and respected in their home, on their job, and in the community! These are my thought as a wife.

At February 19, 2008 at 10:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am a newlywed, and what I have learned is most women in the household are the spiritual leaders of their household. I find this to be true in many households. The key to getting men back into the church is a consistent, yet delicate push from the wife to get your husband back in church. Women need to find a way to relate to their men that will motivate them to come to church, instead of turn them in the opposite direction. Learn what your spouse is interested in and try to relate that to God. It's all about sparking interest, and making your man feel comfortable in their own skin.

At February 22, 2008 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve seriously pondered this question, and I really believe that one of the many reasons why men are less involved in the church is because they are unwilling to commit. They don’t think it’s very masculine to do so. Although I think Pastor Murkison made some valid points, I also believe that men in general must dig deep and find the determination to take and stand in their rightful place. Believe it or not, society has marginalized marriage and family as a whole. Most women who are raising children alone (whether married or single) are not doing so because they want to; they have no choice. I need my husband, and I want him to be the spiritual leader in our home. But what am I to do if he chooses not to? Should I feel defeated? Feel as though I can’t raise my children or that I’m not going to survive? Stop attending church? Absolutely not!

Through continued outreach efforts, hopefully more men will become actively involved in church.

At February 26, 2008 at 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that there are not more men in the church because they are not ready to put God first. Church as we call it, is only an organized gathering of believers to give praise and glory to God. The true church is each individual believer. As true believers of Christ, we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves with other believers. Men have to be willing put God first. Matt.6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;”. If men would seek the Lord first, then they would start coming to the place where they can receive answers to their questions about God. If men would put God first, more men would be at churches seeking to learn more about Him.

Deacon Wade Mitchell

At February 28, 2008 at 6:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the real reason started with Adam. Man had fellowship with God and broke it. Man hid from God and is still uncomfortable in His presence because of sin. The devil knows if he can take out the men then he has a better chance of taking out the family,community, State,and so on. There is a Spiritual blockage; Tricks, Deceptions,lies,perversion are only a few of many ways the enemy attacks us all. "For though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh". (2 Cor.10:3-5) WE MUST PRAY for THE MEN, pray that their spiritual eyes will be opened and there Hearts and minds receptive of Gods love.

Min. R Scott

At March 17, 2008 at 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bishop, I must say that all of the comments have merit. There is an additional reason that hasn't been discussed at length for the lack of men in the church. You actually mention it and I would like to expound a little on the concept. In order for a man to submit to the leadership of another man, he has to respect that man. Period.

Take for example, sports. If a coach does not have the respect of his players, either through being a former player or coach with a winning record, that coach is going to have problems leading that team and the coach will be fired or lose players.

Another example, the military. Now this is a different example, because the respect is an "institutional" respect. It is required if you are to be a member of the military. If you are in the army, you will respect and salute your superiors or you will no longer be in the army.

One final example is one's job. If a man does not respect his manager one of two things will happen. He will stay on the job, because he has no other choice in jobs (hence a form of "institutional respect"), and resent the manager on a daily basis. Or he will seek other employment. If the man respects his manager, he will excel in his work in an effort to please the manager and learn from him.

Church on the other hand, is 100% voluntary (to grown men anyway). If a man lacks respect for the pastor, he will not hear the word of GOD from the pastor. If the man does not hear from GOD, he is not moved to join the church or to become very involved. Of course there are obviouse exceptions with those who have been grounded in GOD and are mature Christians. These men will work in the church regardless of the leader. But trust me, they will be drawn to another church if there is a better leader in place.

When men identify with and respect another man, he wants to be around him. He wants to hear what he has to say. Pastors that can't get through to the average man will not be successful in drawing men to their congregation.

I praise GOD for you, as you have managed to cause many men to be comfortable with you so that they can hear "what thus says the LORD" and be moved to join our church and become involved.

Dwight Cromartie

At March 19, 2008 at 7:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that morales have changed in todays society and young men aren't being spoken to, as our parents spoke to us. They are given to many choices. They are sometimes given the title of the man if there is not a male figure in the household. And too, even when there is a male figure in the house, other things are more important ei.. Sports is a big part because they want superstars in the house.If the fathers don't attend church and participate, the children learn by example, who would they learn from. Mothers can only do so much. Help us out!!

At March 20, 2008 at 3:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bishop, the devil has set his sight on total extinction of mankind (that's "man" and his "kind") from the very beginning of time. He knows that without the male species, we are unable to procreate. The lack of men in the church is a generational curse that has been passed down for centuries. Most men don't even know how to live based on sound biblical instruction because they never had an example of what a God fearing man looks like. Not physical appearance but Godly behavior and actions. It's time to break that curse.

At May 20, 2008 at 8:01 AM , Blogger Stilllearning said...

Bishop and others, some things that are complex have simple answers.I believe your question can be answered in 2 words: Shame and Pride. Some men are shameful to confess and praise in front of other women. They don't want others thinking "Dag, what did he do in his life-I thought he had it together!" Even if no one in the congregation is thinking of them in that manner. Some men, thinking enthusiatically praising god in public is too "feminine". They don't want to be riduculed or thought in that manner- their pride makes them hold back their true emotions. They will praise and worship, but they will do it in the privacy of their own "safe place" ..away from eyes. While these thoughts are sad to believe, i believe it is true. Once they feel "safe", they participate more -as in the case of the ever growing # of men at Voices. Bishop Hawkins and Elder Debbie are so inviting, encouraging and non-judgemental, the men feel safe.

At May 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is an awesome topic. I currently have a brother who does not attend church. His biggest problem is with those in ministry and often the idea that quite a few churches seem to focus on the pastor and their family instead of the Lord , the parishners, and community. Sadly, having served in ministry for years and growing up in the church his view is not entirely false. Lots of activities and even our worship experiences can sometimes be extemely feminised. I agree with you Bishop men often want a real genuine man leading the way .

At May 29, 2008 at 2:26 PM , Blogger Mecca said...

I happen to participate on a dating blog and the topic comes up often. The men's sentiment is that they simply rather follow their own belief system whether is bible based or not. They feel as if they don't have to follow a man because he is merely a man as he is himself so, why not follow their own ideology.


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