Home / Guest posts / A perspective on men in church

A perspective on men in church

photo-1421809313281-48f03fa45e9f

This post will be a little different to my previous articles because I’ll be commenting on the potentially controversial topic of man’s place in society. I’ve been reflecting on my own journey as a Christian man, and my interactions with society and Church. I realised that while I have many idealistic notions of life, such as hopes for a stable career, healthy spiritual growth, stable marriage; these goals require effort and more sacrifice that I cannot comprehend nor afford at the present.

As a single man, I find that the gifts and strength of men in society and even the Church are not always being fostered toward a healthy state, but rather to a mindset that is static or impossible to achieve due to the expectations of these circles of society. At the present, I am discerning whether as a man to commit to a lifelong service to God in the Church as a single man or to consider marriage and grow in that area.

One thing I realise is a general consensus amongst society and my unchurched friends is that marriage is considered to be a tie-down or contract that signs your life away. The repudiation of marriage, even happy marriage, as a failed institution or a dream that can never be achieved is commonplace amongst lots of men, which is why many choose not to marry and lean toward avoiding commitments.

Couple this with divorce rates; I am not surprised that even though I am a Christian who agrees that marriage is a good thing, I am hesitant to pursue marriage due to negative perceptions and examples around me. The ideas of marriage – that a man can find fulfilment through it and that it reflects Christ and the Church in a sanctifying way, is shadowed by the potential problems of feminisation of the institution that degrades a man’s positive role in the marriage. I think this is why society laughs and mocks at married men through its media or TV shows.

In my experience, churches aren’t doing enough to foster a good environment for the growth of men. Now this is not to say that all churches fail in bringing up godly and masculine men who can achieve great things, but the trending atmosphere of churches is that men are now just bystanders whilst their wives and girlfriends pour their hearts out in contributing to the congregation. There is a continual trend of men leaving church that I have witnessed; the church is generally no longer a place where men can foster their strengths of working and being.

Compare this to the early church, medieval church, even the colonial church; men found a place of adventure, edification, robust theology, and an overall drive for the pursuit of God and His kingdom. What instead has happened in the present day is that we see churches capitulating on moral doctrine, churches becoming excessively democratic, and church activities that leave out physical challenge & things that challenge the male psyche.

A recent example of doctrinal change is that a few English clergywomen were pushing for God’s pronoun to be “She” instead of “He”. Here the idea that it is a man’s world in all aspects is repeated even in church, but in reality, it is God’s.

Personally, I have found that some of my male friends or male family members, who are interested in Christianity, never fully integrate or commit to baptise and be part of the community due to the absence of progressive advancement of themselves. Christian men are called to follow Christ and be transformed, yet often, we end up sitting in a suburban church week after week with little progress. The men who are already in the Church are either too busy with ministry or generally aren’t involved very much.

If this is the case, then why would men want anything to do with an institution such as marriage or the Church when the pursuit of careers or hobbies are far more attractive? How can the Church regain the hearts of men so that faith is not a weakness or crutch, but the rock of our lives as Christ intended?

 

This guest post was written by Jack Liang, a Commerce & Arts student at Macquarie University.

Related Posts

The Holy Family Our families are a key part of our lives that is very intimate and personal; the bond that is shared between family members is one that is very sa...
Recovering Chivalry I recently sat down with a few friends to discuss what it means for a Christian man to be manly. We had mixed opinions on what it exactly Christia...
Top