Written by cycleguy on January 20th, 2014

Sunday night our church fellowship invited the community to see the movie “The Cross and the Towers.” We were to have shown part of it when the church met at the Tivoli Theater in November, but the equipment malfunctioned. As a result of our gracious attitude and response (the Tivoli’s words not mine), the management offered us free use of the theater to show the movie in its entirety. We had about 60-70 in attendance, some from the community.  I was pleased.

But I also had tears in my eyes.  Reliving the events of 9/11 and the actions of so many unsung heroes got a hold of my tear ducts again.  I was moved by the courage of the chaplains, firemen, policemen, rescue personnel, and so many others.  I found this poem that pretty much says it all:


God, give us men! A time like this demands

Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who can stand before a demagogue

And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog

In public duty and in private thinking;

For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,

Their large professions and their little deeds,

Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,

Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

The late Alexander Solzhenitsyn is quoted as saying,

Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?

There can be no doubt there is a lack of courage exhibited in our day. This is especially true in the church as well. Men have abdicated the task of teaching and leading to the women. We have heard complaints for years about church being for “women and children,” but have seen plenty of men not be willing to step into the battle.

Am I exaggerating?  What is your church doing to enlist men?  If you are a man, do you take an active part?  If you are a woman, do you encourage your man to be involved? What do you think?

This is also not saying women are unimportant.  They are essential to the ongoing ministry of the church also.


30 Comments so far ↓

  1. the Old Adam says:

    We try and take every opportunity to share the gospel with anyone who has ears to hear it. Men, women, and children.

    Every now and then…someone will hear it and come to faith.

    It’s rare…but it happens.

    We have some men and women in our congregation for many, many years and when you talk to them about the gospel, they don’t exhibit a right understanding.

    But we’re glad they come back. maybe the Spirit of God will grab a hold of them one of these days.

  2. We have a group of men that meet on Saturday mornings for mission work. They split wood to give to people who need it during the winter or they repair homes. It’s pretty cool.

  3. Jeff says:

    I am not sure there is a lack of male courage in the US. I think when it is tested, as on 9/11, a lot of men and women will pass the test.
    I think physical courage hasn’t waned much. I do think moral courage may have declined however. I see this as a confounding desire to conform. Conformity I think may be the opposite of courage.
    I of course don’t think going to church is an act of courage.
    A lot of women I know make better teachers and leaders than the men they are with. I don’t assume that men should be in charge. I think the one with the most ability should be in charge. Many religions appear to be under the misconception that men always make better leaders. I believe that is because most religions are man (male)-made.

    • cycleguy says:

      I do agree about the moral courage decline jeff. That is actually what I really wanted to address. I’m going to address the women comment in Daniel’s post.

  4. Daniel says:

    I am still uncertain how to approach this subject. I have never believed that women cannot do anything and everything in the church that men can do, and oftentimes better. I am aware of the words of the Bible, but I struggle with what to make of them.

    • cycleguy says:

      I was afraid this would be the perception after I wrote this and had to cut it short due to space. It sounds like I am discounting women’s involvement in the church. I am not. In fact, and in truth, without women I suspect many churches would have closed. They held things together. I do think there are certain roles given, but I take very seriously the importance they play in the workings of the church. Oh…I certainly don’t have all the answers.

      • Daniel says:

        I have come across a number of folks whom I trust that hold to the belief that only men should be pastors. This is the issue that I was struggling with, not women in the church serving as greeters, or in the daycare area, or as refreshment servers, or behind the scenes support of one sort or another.

        • cycleguy says:

          I have to admit to leaning toward the “not” answer to that question. I am not hard and fast (yet) but tend to be somewhat “closed.” I need to continue studying.

  5. Dan Erickson says:

    We have a monthly men’s breakfast and we just started an Apostle Build Habitat project.

  6. Kari Scare says:

    Up until a year or so ago, I would definitely say that our men were not taking too active of a role in our church. Well, not unless their wives forced them to, which means the role they took was not all that inspiring. In the past couple of years, a core group of men have started to meet regularly to encourage one another to be leaders in their families and in the church. No major change has yet taken place, but I can definitely see small things happening, and I know those will lead to make a huge difference over time.

    • cycleguy says:

      You are right Kari. Unless the men decide to take an active role no amount of coercion will make it any better. Glad to hear your church is seeing some men taking part.

    • Hutch says:

      This is awesome Kari. When men gather to encourage one, great things are about to happen. It starts with relationship with each other. Then we begin to find out that we all struggle with the pretty much the same issues. Once we get there, the blessings start (ideas, service, fellowship) begin to flow.

      • Kari Scare says:

        There is a lot of joy watching this process happen too, Hutch. Relationship is everything… that is a study focus of mine right now. Thanks for the encouraging word!

  7. Lyn Smith says:

    Bill, this is so good! Even though I totally believe that women are equally gifted and called to serve and lead, as a woman I can say that we love seeing men thrive in their God-given leadership roles. We want our guys to step up and be confident in the Lord. We all benefit when men of courage and conviction lead.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Lyn. It means a lot to hear a woman’s take on the leadership crisis many churches face. i do agree with you about the equal giftedness, but it is time for men to step up.

  8. floyd says:

    I’m guilty as far as church goes. But not when it comes to standing up for Truth. That I won’t lay down or keep silent for, regardless.

    I fear the modern church has painted Christian men as sissies instead of what they were and are, men called by God and made strong enough to carry His word.

  9. There are plenty of men who don’t see the need for church or God or anything to do with Him, but the statistics are there to show that children who go to church with their father stay in church later. Obviously church attendance is not the goal, but staying connected to God and a church community is a powerful influence on kids’ lives. We have to preach and teach the real Gospel of sacrifice, courage, and true faith. It’s not being a nice person, it’s something infinitely greater in scope and purpose. Stirring thoughts for sure, Bill. Thanks.

    • cycleguy says:

      You state one of the direct reasons why it is essential men be men and step up and take responsibility. I have a real life example I could point you to. Glad I stirred your thoughts Jason.

  10. Starting a men’s group in March, but I know many of those guys are involved outside the church in ministering to those in need. Can’t wait to see what we can do together!

  11. Karen says:

    Yes! We need our men to be men. And we ladies need to let them, no, help them be men.(I believe that is part of our God-given role as a ‘help-meet’) When a group of men from my church went to the “Act Like Men” conference, I wrote a note to one to share with those in his party and spoke to one of the very young men about the importance of men stepping back up into their role as men. Then I prayed all weekend for them all.

  12. I don’t really know what our church is specifically doing to enlist men, but it seems to be working. We have a lot of good men in leadership positions, although I don’t know if the number is where it should be.

  13. David Rupert says:

    I really love “Rise Up O Men of God” — the old version AND especially the Phil Keaggy amped up version.

    I pitched an idea to leadership at church because I see so many men on the sidelines. I called it “Mighty Men” after David’s crew in the OT.

    One week we would have a large assembly with an area speaker teach us (with food of course)

    Week two we would have a service project (go fix a widow’s home. Repair a school, etc.)

    week three we would have a small group, broken down into age/interests.

    Week four we would have a recereation gathering (darts, pool, bowling)

    That way, a man could jump on at any place in his life — and jump off until next month. But make a few friends and he might just come back the next week.

    Well, it didnt go well because they believe all men will just go to mixed-small groups. They don’t. Some guys want to fix stuff. Some want to hang out with guys. Some need Anonymity. It’s a tough demographic but reachable.