There have been rumblings on this blog about being a man in the church, and how tough it is at times. This may come as some surprise to those of you won over by the notion that 'discriminating-Church' is a male dominated domain. Yes, it might be male led, but it is a long way from male dominated. Church life, on the ground, is a very matriarchal enterprise believe it or not, and us men are rarer than a rare-beast's Welsh rare bits.
Last weekend I indulged myself with a whine about it all, and quite rightly, someone made the challenge about how I would attend to the shortage of men in our church life. I am going to meet that challenge over a number of posts.
As it is all the rage to articulate cogent thought in terms of mnemonic acronyms, I am opting to make DISCIPLES of men in the church. Apart from the original concern as offered above, I have been grumpy about an offering on this subject that will make its appearance some time in February. For clarity, I think it is a worthy course of work, tackling a tough issue up-front and I wish it every success. I am grumpy because of its labels ('un-churched' and 'de-churched' are pejorative in the extreme and evoke terms like 'unwashed' and 'deloused' - to me) and also because I offered to help with it a long time ago, and am still waiting for the call! Anyway - these are my motivation for writing.
So, regard this as the contents page to this thread - I will work with it for a few days.
D - dropping labels, differences, distinctions, difficulties
I - involvement and how
S - spiritual dimension of men, stalking targets
C - community and committing, church and children
I - individuals and image
P - pub and places, problem, what problem? poor-selling of salvation
L - listening for the right reasons
E - enablement, enthusing, exceptions
S - settling down, seeing it through
Naturally, other things will emerge that do not fit my neat pattern here. I will wang them in somewhere, don't you worry. Chief among them would be 'trying too hard', and it is that facet of such efforts mentioned above that I worry about. That is for later. I think that this area of thinking is sparsely populated, and this will, of course, be only my perspective. It will be a perspective born of some difficult facts hidden in my past, a long time in a job that I didn't love so the bills could be paid, a work history in retail and a business skill-set, normal and healthy male appetites and weaknesses, having a young family and caring for their needs, and a simple love for God (not to mention lumpy testicles, being the at dead centre of the target age bracket for target-heathen-geezers, oh, and being male). I believe that this all qualifies me to write on subject. So I will.