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  • christopherrk7

From the archive: Men & Church

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

This article was first written and published in Sorted Men's Magazine in April 2022 before the author moved to his current church (Urban Crofters) and set up it's men's ministry.

For those of us with faith, I have a confession to make: I’m struggling with Church life.

Unfortunately, I am not alone. The data shows us that men are leaving the church at an alarming rate. In fact, in 2014, a UK church data expert named Peter Brierley famously said that if trends continue at their current rate, men will have all but disappeared from the Church by 2028.

The reality is this apocalyptic projection won’t come true – but we need to do something to stop the exodus, and quickly.

This starts by being honest about the problem. The average western church defines good Christian men as being ‘nice guys’. We ask our men to be the ‘socks and sandals’ type; meek, mild-mannered, well-read, nice men who won’t say “boo” to a goose.

Yes, we should be kind, gentle, patient, and loving, but God intended us to be more. So much more.

We were created in his image to be strong, courageous, powerful warriors that put it all on the line for justice and those we are trusted to love and protect. We were called to be what the late Martin Luther King advocated, namely men with tender hearts and calloused hands.

Today, the Church can still enable this by simply working with what God has already put inside of us.

We men love to fix things and tackle problems such as human rights abuses (like genocides and illegal wars), the global human trafficking problem, the ever-increasing homelessness and poverty situation, the male violence against women issue, and the rising numbers of children growing up without their dads.

The bigger the crisis, the better we become. This is what makes us come alive and helps us to build lifelong, deep relationships. With people and God.

So, here’s my idea: let’s offer an alternative to the weekday community group experience.

You are never going to get the best out of men by sticking them in groups to sit and talk about life over tea and cake. Offer a task force option, where men (and women) are able to go after those local and global problems that grieve the heart of God. Leaders will find it easier to create disciples. Men will re-engage. God will move. Darkness will be overcome and the secular world will see that the Church is a force for good again.

It’s time for the Church to stop churning out good boys. Instead, it needs to develop great men.

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