While attending a Salvation Army Men’s Camp at Paradise Valley in Kentucky I was given the book, Why Men Hate Going To Church by David Murrow. The book gives some interesting insights into contemporary church.
David asks the question: “What if Christianity’s primary delivery system, the local church, is perfectly designed to give us the results we’re getting? What if church is built to reach women, children, and elderly folks?” He goes on to say: “Men don’t hate God or Christ or the Bible or Christianity. They hate a system that makes them feel unneeded.”
Is our contemporary preaching and our religious system ineffective?
–“Too many preachers and teachers still communicate like it was 1875. They assume people are absorbing what they say. Reality check: the vast majority of Christian teaching today returns void.” –David Murrow
–Experience a fresh way of doing church, where instead of a 1-man sermon, everyday people, as prompted by the living Jesus, proclaim what they have seen and heard God do in their lives.
***Every Sunday morning @ 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee, 37207.
“Churches need men because men are natural risk takers–and they bring that orientation into the church. Congregations that do not take risks atrophy.” –David Murrow
–At The Salvation Army Berry Street we take risks every Sunday morning. We open the meeting up and allow anybody present to share what the Spirit puts on their heart. And every Sunday, the living Jesus guides the sharing and makes it flow together into an amazing demonstration of His Presence and power!
Reading David Murrow’s book made me think about how much more effective the military is at training soldiers than the church is a training warriors for Christ.
A military trains its soldiers by:
1) Some lecture; 2) Lots of drilling (getting soldiers involved in actions and practice); 3) Lots of war games (actively acting out combat situations).
Church trains its “soldiers” by:
1) Almost all lecture; 2) No drilling; 3) No spiritual war games.
–Which is more effective?
I think it’s a flawed comparison to highlight the strength of the military against the weakness of the Church. They are two distinct organizations with different purposes and different tools. One is in the business of saving lives, the other souls. Men are, by and large, in charge of the church. They make the rules and laid the foundation down for people to respond. Some of the problem is that we have tradition handed down to us without explanation; an example is that flowers in the church have a symbolic purpose, however because people have not been taught what that is, they see commercials from ProFlowers and assume that they’re just there because ladies like to look at them, and if ladies like them then they must not belong at church. Another problem is that there’s an assumption that Christians understand the hard teachings and any ‘lite’ or ‘beginners’ or ‘seekers’ version of it’s teachings are ‘feminized’ and ‘less than’ it would be otherwise in the same way that ‘Coke’ is real and ‘Diet Coke’ is ‘feminized’ … the problem is that there’s an entire generation that has fled the church and doesn’t understand these hard teachings because they weren’t indoctrinated into them. It’s the same problem with music – people who weren’t raised in Christianity don’t necessarily like hymns, but contemporary praise songs has the same bad reputation. My final thought is that the idea of treating all men the same is just as much a disservice – some men are hunters, some men are fishers, some men are into sports, some men are into cooking, some men are into cars, and some men are into any combination of these things – but to invite them all to a weekend camp-out or a car-show won’t win over everybody. Christianity has to learn that we can’t please everybody all the time, but we can please some people some of the time. There are men that do go to church even now, they’re the sort that find some elements of it beneficial for them. Switching to an ‘adventure / cowboy / what have you’ method to gain back the other men will only lose them.
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