Monday, 22 March 2010

On being a bloke IV

I have recieved some kind comments from those who have read this piffle, and who recognise the difficulties that I do in fitting in to a church that is largely composed of all other types and brands of people, and not us. There is something of the 'sheep and goats' to it - but us fellas feel a little like the only goat in an entire field, nay county, of sheep. This is problematic both for us, and how we fit in, and for those called to cater for needs of all people. 

It is fair to say, and accurate, that the majority of churches are largely devoid of fellas - certainly if we broaden that to males between 20 and 50. This is not a universal state of affairs by any means, but almost a mathematical certainty in those churches of a more sacramental 'bent'. This is a worry - it was a worry to me as a member of the laity, and no less a worry now that I am ordained. Sadly, being male (while utterly out of our control) brings with it the reverse stigma in a lot of ways that women have had to contend with for generations. Those of us who are 'pro-women', rejoice in the equalised 'voice' that is emerging, but we geezers ponder a factor that is perhaps less visible. It is almost a factor for immediate apology being a proud bloke in a church. I have never in my life sought to limit the ministry of any person, male or female, but neither can or will I be sorry for being man. It's a tension that is hard to resolve. For me to stand up and be a proud fella puts me in danger of accusation (or so it feels). Being proud of who I am does not make me sexist - but I do fear for how my generation of gentleman feels - especially those of us at 'our end' where the 'anti' camp is at its most vociferous. Some have assumed, quite wrongly, that because I and another of my closest friends is carflick, that we are by default anti-women. Nope, not us ....

So, what to do - how do I live as a proud man in a church that doesn't cater for us. I am speaking as one who does the catering too - what to do, indeed! I would go so far as to say that modern day non-charismatic non-Alpha (yes, there are two or three humans who are 'not interested' [please stop sending me unsolicited propaganda]) church life is about as interesting to the typical geezer as the BNP tick-box is to most voters. It just isn't. Sorry! But what to do. I want to cater for all people, not just the well-populated 50+ female band, love them as I do. I know God loves us, but I haven't worked out how I can help build a church where we feel that we have a place.

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