Consider how the church tends to function. We emphasize sharing with each other in our small groups. We sing worship songs that often sound like top-40 love songs: “hold me close to you,” “Oh Lord, you’re beautiful”. We emphasize having a relationship with a man named Jesus. Whenever there is a picture of Jesus, he even looks feminine (long hair, thin boned, no beard); it’s hard to imagine that Jesus attacking the Temple and the religious leaders with a whip. Men follow other men, they do not “have a relationship” with other men. They would never dare to call another man “beautiful,” or ask him to “hold me close”; how can a man worship with lyrics like that? Why would a non-Christian waste time at a service like that?
Additionally, the church culture actively discourages some of the things which motivate men: risk, change, quest for quality, constant challenge. Seeking high-quality worship by suggesting that off-pitch Mary might be better suited elsewhere is likely to raise concern about not being sensitive to her, as she’s worshipping with her heart. Pastors suggesting such programs that take a risk for the kingdom are likely to be met with concern that it might be too confrontational,or too unsafe. Giving a sermon that challenges people to follow Christ is likely to be perceived as too confrontational. A couple women at one church objected that the youth men’s ministry was going on a paintball outing (not really “Christian,” and it emphasized violence), so they did something safe like study 1 Timothy instead. Pastors are on much safer ground planning a nurturing children’s ministry.
The solution is not to throw out the feminine values, because we do need nurture, community, safety. We do need to know God personally. Murrow’s suggestion is to bring back masculine values. Realize that men need to be challenged, so make sure there are things to challenge them. Give them risk, give them responsibility. Expect men to lead. In fact, Murrow suggests that male leadership is essential, otherwise feminine traits will dominate and all the men will leave. (Although he does not mention it, Paul does mention this expectation in several of his letters) But, the women will have to help the men out, and let the men lead like men. Although this will probably not look like what they were expecting, as it will probably be challenging and a little less safe, he gives a number of examples of where churches that did this found that, in addition to more men, more women also came.
Murrow generally cites many compelling statistics and has a lot of sources, with John Eldridge and George Barna figuring prominently. Sometimes, however, his assertions about male tendencies seem a little questionable. For example, he says that the culture of learning in the church reflects a femine tendency; men apparently don’t learn through books. Since academia has been dominated by men throughout its long history, I find this hard to believe. However, this reviewer found the large majority of the assertions to be true in his life.
As a long-time male Christian, this reviewer found this revelation illuminating, and it explained many of the difficulties I have had with worship services and loving God—I was trying to love God like a woman would, but I am a man. Instead of trying to worship God with love songs, worshipping God in the wild outdoors is likely to be far more successful. Instead of trying to feel “in love” with Jesus, simply following Jesus as a leader seems much more natural. It validated my frustration with not feeling challenged by the church, with not having an avenue to risk failure or be attracted to success.
This is an intruiging book. Murrow suggests that Christian values, Christian culture, and Christian service largely reflect feminine values, leading to a lack of men. He gives a very comprehensive description of male traits. He is a little lighter on solutions, which are largely considering the needs of men in addition to the needs of women. However, there are many suggestions that can be drawn; simply look at all the things he identifies as turning off men and consider how to change that. This book challenges how I think church should look like. As a man, it both freed me to stop trying to squelch the male traits, and it challenged me to fully embody the male traits. I recommend it for church leaders, women who wish their husbands would go to church, and anyone looking to understand more about how men follow God.
I found this book to be challenging, illuminating, and freeing. I think Murrow has a lot of insight. However, it sometimes feels like a brain dump—lots of thoughts scattered all over the place. There is some structure, but I think the book would benefit from some judicious removal of material. Also, I think that Murrow needs to identify the difference between the traits that modern American men have (anti-scholasticism, for example) and men in general. I doubt this book will be around in 100 years simply because it reads more like strongly suggestive ideas than lucidly explained principles. Of course, I hope that it will not be necessary to save this book 100 years from now because I hope the church will learn to embody masculine values as well as feminine values by then.
- W. Edwards Deming: “Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you are getting.” (p. vii) So if the church is chronically missing men, it must be because it is designed to miss men.
- Chapter 1: Men Have a Religion: Masculinity
- The average congregation is 60% women (p. 5) Many times the pastor is the only male practising his faith. Only 35% of men in the U.S. claim to attend church weekly (p. 7)
- It isn’t that men are more susceptible to sin (women are, too), or less interested in religion (only Christianity has a shortage of men).
- Chapter 2: Why Judy’s Husband Hates Going to Church
- “Almost everything about today’s church—its teaching style, its ministries, the way people are expected to behave, even today’s popular images of Jesus—is designed to meet the needs and expectations of a largely female audience. Church is sweet and sentimental, nurturing and nice. Women thrive in this environment. In modern parlance, women are the target audience of today’s church. (p. 14)
- Women value relationships; men value risk, reward, acocmplishment, heroic sacrifice, action and adventure. Today’s churches emphasize relationships; few have men’s values.
- “This is why Greg hates to go to church. He finds it boring and irrelevant because he doesn’t see his values modeled there. He finds church dull for the same reason he finds chick flicks dull: neither one reflects his masculine heart. Greg has no desire to fall in love with a wonderful man, even one named Jesus.” (p. 16)
- Chapter 3: Men Aren’t the Only Ones Missing From Church
- Church appeals to the security oriented (safety, stability, harmony, predictability, protection, comfort, nurture, duty, support, preservation) but not to the challenge oriented (risk, change, conflict, variety, adventure, competition, daring, pleasure, independence, expansion). So the people who are challenge oriented (men and young adults) are less likely to be at church than the security oriented (women, older adults).
- There are security-oriented guys, “That’s why you find so many nice, safe, predictable guys in church.” (p. 20)
- To attract men, you need to be dangerous (live by faith). “When it’s dangerous to be a Christian, men are more likely to count themselves in.” (p. 21)
- Chapter 4: The Masculine Spirit and the Feminine Spirit
- Which sets of values best characterize a true Christ follower:
- A: Competence, power, efficiency, achievement, skills, proving oneself, results, accomplishment, objects, technology, goal oriented, self-sufficiency, success, competition.
- B: Love, communication, beauty, relationships, support, help, nurturing, feelings, sharing, relating, harmony, community, loving cooperation, personal expression
- The author showed this list to men, women, Christians, non-Christians, and 95+% chose B; these lists are from chapter 1 of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and reflect masculine and feminine values. (p. 23-4)
- It’s hard for men to succeed in having women’s values.
- Chapter 5: Adjusting the Thermostat
- Six possible settings of congregational ethos: conformity, control, ceremony, comfort, challenge, confrontation”
- The first three are unhealthy. Comfort and confrontation are good in small doses. Challenge is Jesus’ default method.
- “Christ confronted the religious, and He comforted the needy. But He challenged everyone else.” (p. 29)
- Challenge needs to come not just from the pastor, but from the laity: we need to be spurring one another on. We need discipleship: “leading people to maturity in Christ” (p. 33)
- “Today’s evangelical church has discarded the discipleship model in favor of an academic model.” (p. 34)
- Chapter 6: Men: Who Needs ‘Em?
- Typical church job board: nursery, toddlers, child care, elder care, soup kitchen, women’s ministry, elementary teacher, youth group teacher, adult teacher, women’s circle, prayer ministry, SG facilitator, hospital visitation, support groups, flowers, coffee, weddings, funerals, showers, potlucks, usher, committe work, buildings and grounds, financial, choir, pianist.
- Men are ill-suited for most of these roles
- “Not to be needed is slow death for a man.” (John Gray, quoted on p. 40)
- Churches tend to focus on children, on the theory that it’s easier to come to Christ young. “Instead of trying to reach adults with the gospel, today’s church has adopted what I call the McDonald’s approach: reach the children in order to reach the parents. ... The McDonald’s approach feels right to a woman because it lavishes ministry resources on her top priority: her children and grandchildren.” (p. 41)
- 200 years ago, children were not the focus of church; adults were.
- If the church is mostly about children, then men will see the church as for their kids but not for them.
- “Perhaps we’ve done such a good job of linking church with childhood that teens, wanting to be grown-up, toss Christianity into the same dumpster as LEGOs and Barbie dolls. ... I believe much apostasy could be avoided if only young people saw their fathers following Jesus. As the father goes, so goes the family.” (p. 42)
- Jesus focused on men. “Women were among His most faithful followers; children were among His greatest joys. But Jesus did not focus His ministry on women and children. Nor did he command us to.” (p. 43)
- Men’s natural abilities and inclinations are gifts to the church.
- Men want to change the world. Men want to take risks for God. Men’s concern for rules over relationships can help prevent apostasy. Men’s desire to improve brings innovation. Men bring strength. And they bring their families: if the father becomes a Christian, the rest of the family almost always (93%) becomes Christians. (p. 47)
- Chapter 7: The Gap of Presence
- Over 50% of congregations have 12+% more women than men, in all denominations. Non-denominational only had 25% of congregations with 12+% more women.
- The lack of men exists not just in the U.S., but everywhere in the world.
- “Men see their values emphasized in big churches. These congregations speak the language of risk, productivity, and growth. They become known in the community. Big churches measure effectiveness, celebrate achievement, and are constantly launching new projects and initiatives.” (p. 58)
- “Men don’t follow programs, they follow men.” (p. 59)
- Chapter 8: The Gap of Participation
- Women are far more likely to ask for discipleship, read the Bible, be involved in church, etc.
- The women’s section of Christian bookstores is much larger than the men’s section
- Christian radio is targeted to women: K-Love targets an 35 year old mother with 2 kids, a minivan, mortgage, who is very busy driving her kids everywhere.
- Chapter 9: The Gap of Personality
- Dr. Mels Carbonnel discovered that 85% of the Christians he tested have passive personalities, compared to 62% of Americans. Many of these were church leaders!
- Passive leaders have a lot of activity, but no direction or compelling vision; men want to be part of something effective, so they go elsewhere
- The church tends to attract the soft men. In fact, many male homosexuals go to church: “the church is one of the few institutions in society where there is no pressure to act like a man. In fact, men are encouraged not to.” (p. 73)
- Three kinds of missing men: risk takers, fun-lovers, and “dangerous men” (ex-cons, Harley-riders, construction workers, welders, etc.)
- Chapter 10: What Biology Teaches Us About Men
- Men have more testosterone, which encourages risk, independence, aggressiveness. Also makes it difficult to sit still for long periods of time (e.g. Sunday School or sermons)
- Women have more serotonin, so they are more self-controlled. But this can let them have relationships that on the surface are ok but are not ok underneath
- Men have a larger amygdala, which produces a subconcious fight-or-flight response; men may not be able to control their dislike of church if it was caused by a strong negative influence.
- Men have less links in-between their hemispheres, so less verbal, less reading than women.
- Chapter 11: What the Social Sciences Teach Us About Men
- Mentoring is important for boys, because at some point they want to distance themselves from their feminine, motherly environment, and will not do it will unless there is someone to mentor them.
- Men do not want to regress back to being a momma’s boy; if the church has a feminine association, it is likely they will leave it when they leave their mother.
- Men are project oriented: they need something with a goal, then achieve it, then relax and celebrate. (So fuzzy, long-term commitments don’t work so well)
- Men are outdoor oriented: more likely to encounter God in the woods than indoors
- Men want a fight: we are indeed fighting a battle with God.
- Chapter 12: Men Seek Greatness
- “... men, who are created in God’s image, aspire to do great things, just as God does.” (p. 99)
- Men are always fantasizing about becoming great: it’s in movies, games, sports.
- Men also want to be recognized as being great.
- Church is not a place to be great; it’s about worship, being inspired, community, helping others, but it does not appear to be about greatness.
- It is not a sin to want to be great. Mark 10:43: “If you want to be great...” assumes that you might want to be. The rest tells you how: be a servant.
- “But the possibility of greatness must be set before men, for a certain kind of man will not follow without it.” (p. 101) This kind of man is the aggressive type, which is missing from the church.
- Greatness is not glory; greatness is simply reflecting God’s glory well.
- Chapter 13: The Pursuit of Manhood: His Greatest Quest
- Masculinity (courage, self-sacrificing, bravery) must be practiced
- Men have a need to prove their masculinity. So if church feels feminine, men will feel withdrawals against their masculinity bank when they go to church (making them unlikely to do it)
- Women have no need to prove their feminity. Women can be manly (which has a sort of rebellious feel), but men cannot be womanly.
- Chapter 14: Men Are Afraid ... Very Afraid
- “According to Sam Keen, ‘Men’s fears focus around loss of ...[sic] independence and women’s around the loss of significant relationships. We [men][sic] most fear engulfment, anything that threatens to rob us of our power and control. Women most fear abandonment, isolation, loss of love.’” (p. 115)
- Men fear incompetence. But women are better at doing church.
- Other fears: fear of singing in public; fear that the Christian lifestyle is vapid, like Ned Flanders; that Christianity requires the lack of thought; that Heaven is boring
- Husbands may feel jealous of Jesus (she’s in love with another man named Jesus)
- The bride of Christ is the collective church, not individual believers
- If women are imaging themselves the husband of Christ, there is no possible way that their real husband can measure up
- Chapter 15: The Church is Out of Touch
- The church hasn’t really changed since 1870: we still have similar hymns, dress, program of worship, sermons
- Churches don’t really embrace the new ways of doing things. Men love technology, btw.
- Men want excellence and quality; but often the worship is amateurish, the buildings in need of repair.
- It may not be the most relationally comfortable thing to do, but maybe the person who can’t sing shouldn’t be on the worship team.
- Churches with high-quality services are more likely to have members invite people, because they know that the service will be good.
- The sermons aren’t working: only 12% remember the message, and only 11% of women and 5% of men say that sermons are their main source of knowledge about God.
- Chapter 16: Check Your Manhood at the Door
- The images of Jesus make him look more like a woman than a man
- We use lots of feminine terms/ideas in church: sharing, relationships, support, nurturing, community. Words like “precious,” “tender”.
- We refer to “saved” and “lost” (men hate to be lost). But Jesus only said “saved” twice; usually he called people to “follow” him.
- We ask people to share. Would a man say, “Blade, would you please share with us how you jacked that Mercedes?” (p. 136)
- We sometimes say “family of God” instead of “kingdom of God”. Men are motivated by a kingdom, serving a leader.
- “Personal relationship with Jesus”. Jesus never said that.
- We are also encouraged to have a “passionate” relationship with Jesus, and to have “intimacy with God”. The Bible always uses “passionate” and “intimacy” in the context of sex or lust.
- “When a man loves another man, he uses terms such as admire, look up to, and respect. Men do not speak of passionate, intimate, or even personal
relationships ith their leaders or male friends. Can you imagine
a couple of bikers having this conversation?
BIKER 1: Hey, Spike, let’s go for a ride in the desert so we can develop a passionate relationship.
BIKER 2: Sure, Rocco. I’d like to enjoy some intimacy with you.” (p. 137)
- Use words like “friendship”, “partnership” with God, to “follow” him or “walk” with him.
- "Relationship is not a term men use in conversation, except when describing a male-female couple. ... Instead of encouraging men to have a personal relationship with Jesus, encourage them to walk with Christ. Invite them to partner with Jesus in changing the world. Challenge them to build the kingdom of God. Now you’re talking a language men can understand.” (p. 138)
music has accelerated this trend [of worship song appropriate for women
and children]. Not only are the lyrics of many of these songs
quite romantic, but they have the same breathless feel as top forty
‘Hold me close, let your love surround me. Bring me near, draw me to your side.’
‘I’m desperate for you, I’m lost without you.’
‘Let me words be few. Jesus I am so in love with you.’
‘You’re altogether lovely ... altogether wonderful to me.’
‘Oh Lord, you’re beautiful. Your face is all I seek.’
‘You are beautiful, my sweet, sweet song.’
Think of the mental gymnastics that must take place inside a man’s subconscious mind as he sings lyrics like these. He’s trying to express his love to Jesus, a man who lives today, using words no man would dare to say to another, set to music that sounds like the love songs his wife listens to in the car. (By the way, men never call each other beautiful, lovely, or wonderful.) [Paragraph start] I think this is why women generally enjoy praise music more than men do. Lyrically and stylistically, praise music resonates with a woman’s heart. Men can and do enjoy praise music, but it’s an acquired taste.” (p. 139-140)
- “Men’s ministry so often falters for this simple reason: it’s actually women’s ministry for men. ... So the men’s retreat features singing, hugging, hand holding [e.g. during prayer], and weeping. Men sit in circles and listen, read, or share.” (p. 140)
- “Men are just as emotional as women; they just express themselves differently. So if a church welcomes feminine displays of emotion such as crying, hugging, and hald holding, it’s time to welcome masculine displays such as applause, shouts, fist pumping, and high-fives. I’m serious. Men should be allowed to express their love for God in truly masculine ways as long as it is done in good order.” (p. 141)
- “I believe that [the high ratio of women to men in prayer and share times] is a reflection of a woman’s need to talk about her problems, and a man’s reluctance to do so”. (p. 142) Recommendation: one-on-one praying.
- “Feminine holiness is the norm in Christianity”
- We don’t let men act like men. “‘Aggression is the key to the masculine soul, ... take that away from a man and what you have left is passivity.’” (p. 144, Quoting John Eldridge, Wild at Heart)
- But if men are aggressive, there is a huge backlash because feelings get hurt.
- Chapter 17: Leadership and the Masculine Spirit
- We tend to expect our pastors to minister to us directly. As a result, they have no time to get vision, to lead.
- Leadership and teaching gifts are rarely found in one person; consider a leading and a teaching pastor.
- “Seminaries teach people to teach. Corporations teach people to lead.” (p. 155) Consider hiring someone from the corporate world who is devoted to God.
- Develop lay leaders.
- Put men in leadership positions when possible. “The fact is, women will follow a man, but few men will follow a woman unless forced.” (p. 157)
- Men need vision
- Men need purpose. “Two women will go out to lunch without an agenda, but two men won’t.” (p. 159)
- Have high expectations of people. Men, in particular, like to rise to a challenge.
- Men want to produce fruit. (“If you want to demoralize a man, give him a pointless task.” p. 164) However, we never get rid of programs that don’t work (due to hurting someone’s feelings), so we end up doing to much to actually do the things that work.
- “Churches now judge success by the standards of a family reunion: How many people came, and did everyone get along? A big, happy crowd equals [the crop that Jesus promised]. The more meeting, gathering, and loving that take place, the more abundant the crop. This is another way the modern church reflects the feminine heart—the people gathered, formed the body of Christ, and loved each other. This outcome is unlikely to electrify men. But churches that reach men have a different standard. Barna reports, ‘At growing churches, a program was deemed successful according to how many changed lives resulted from the outreach. This differs from the experience of stagnant churches, where a program is usually evaluated according to how many people are involved.’” (p. 165)
- Chapter 18: Pastors and the Masculine Spirit
- Men need strong leadership. Unfortunately, strong leadership means change and bruised egos. So we need to accept change and hurt feelings and let the pastor actually lead boldly.
- Pastor’s should act strong and resolute (to attract men), know where they are going, have conviction, be real (ditch the robes and the preacher-speak; it looks like a performance).
- Chapter 19: Teaching and the Masculine Spirit
- Men learn through personal discovery, hands-on experience, object lessons.
- Structuring your message around an object lesson is particularly effective, and is something Jesus did.
- Men need dialogue, a chance to argue, to question.
- Men need forthrightness, challenge, the unexpected, and stories of men who served God courageously.
- Answer the questions men are asking (hint: relationships don’t figure very highly. Nor does eternal life, doctrine, or politics). The top 10 from Gorsuch and Schaffer:
- What is true manliness?
- What is success? The real bottom line of life?
- How do I deal with guilt feelings?
- What is male sexuality? Is purity possible for the modern man?
- How can we nurture family life?
- What is Christian leadership? How is it developed?
- What are the basic disciplines of the Christian man?
- What ministry skills need to be developed? How?
- What is biblical business conduct?
- What is integrity? How is it developed? (p. 181)
are to worship as men are to sex. Women love to worship anywhere,
anytime, and with anyone. Often it’s a woman’s greatest release. Women are more likely than men to say worship is the top priority
of the church and are more likely to experience God
during worship. [Barna, 2000] I know women who attend their
home church Sunday morning, but sneak off for a liason with another
congregation that afternoon or evening. When it comes to worsihp,
women just can’t get enough.
Meanwhile, men are to worship as women are to sex. Most guys have to be in the mood to really enjoy worship. A man can surrender himself fully in worship only when he feels secure and is with people he loves and trusts. A man is less likely to worship in a church where he knows no one. Men tend to find a church they like and stay faithful to it. If they break up with a church, they are devastated and may never seek out another one.
What’s a worship leader to do? ... Douglas Wilson suggests, ‘In a scriptural worship service, both masculine and feminine elements will be present, but the masculine will be dominant, in the position of leadership. When the feminine element leads or dominates, the result is that those men who are masculine are encouraged to stay away.’” (p. 184)
- “John Eldridge says, ‘Softness cannot be the predominant quality of the worship, or the worship leader.’” (p. 189)
- Worship ideas:
- worship in ways other than singing (study to Bible to find these, also Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas)
- choose songs in the male range
- pick talented leaders: men are turned off by amateurism
- avoid Jesus-my-boyfriend songs at men’s events
- take men outdoors; men feel closer to God outside
- Don’t make rooms feel feminine. “Honestly, how do we expect men to connect with a masculine God in a space that feels so feminine?” (p. 190)
- “Dan Schaffer say, ‘Women equate closeness with safety. Men equate personal space with safety.’” (p. 190) So when praying for a man, don’t have a bunch of people lay hands on him. It would be better for people to seat themselves a little ways away and have people come up and place a hand on him one at a time.
- Women tend to have a “velvet veto” over programs that they don’t like, which they may use to inadvertantly drive out the masculine spirit.
- Ex. One guy wanted to take the new men’s ministry for a paintball outing, but a couple women objected to the violence and that it wasn’t Christian. So they ended up at church studying 1 Timothy. “... Another men’s ministry is neutered.” (p. 195)
- “Women do a lot of planning in the church, so naturally, they tend to plan based on their own needs and expectations. They ask questions like these: ‘Are we being sensitive enough? Caring enough? Will everyone feel loved and affirmed?’ Rarely do women consider men’s needs when planning: ‘Is it challenging enough? Is it visual enough? Are there opportunities to stand up and move around?’” (p. 195)
- Let your husband pick the church (then it will be his thing)
- Be less religious and saintly. “Sam Keen observes, ‘It’s a lot easier to be a saint than to live with one.’ If you are strictly religious but the men in your life are not, you may actually make Christianity more attractive by lightening up a bit. Ask God or a friend for ideas on how you might be less religious and more real.” (p. 196)
- Don’t volunteer for a ministry that’s lacking people if God has not called you to it. If it’s important to men, they will volunteer, but they won’t bother if they know a woman will always step in.
- Let men instruct the family spiritually they way they naturally do it. (This probably won’t be in neat gatherings, with devotional books and bedtime prayers, but probably in impromptu object lessons)
- Give up your fantasy about what Christ will do for your husband. (If only he were Christian, he wouldn’t ——). “Christ did not die so you could have the perfect boss, son, or husband. Christianity is not God’s plan to remake men so your life can be more pleasant.” (p. 201)
- In fact, “What if Christ turns Him [sic] into a wild man instead of a gentle man? Maybe you’re thinking, But that’s not what I want. I don’t want a religious fanatic! I just want someone to sit next to me in church. I just want my son to straighten up and fly right. I just want my boss to say a kind word to me now and then. If this is what you want, try Prozac. Christianity was never intended as the antidote to masculinity.
- Consider instead, God calling you to an adventure.
- Many of the ministries in the church do not need men’s gifts. Create some that do. Figure out what men’s gifts are and encourage them to do that.
- Let men do some of the ministry; it’s not the pastor’s job to minister, it’s the pastor’s job to train the church to be ministers.
- “Give men a path to walk or a ladder to climb.” (p. 205) Make it clear where they are going, let them gain skill and responsibility.
- Give men BHAGs; capture their imaginations. Give men risk. Give men adventure.
- Have men do servant evangelism. “Traditional approaches to evangelism leave many men cold. Most men don’t want to go door-to-door selling Jesus.” (p. 207)
- Charge men money. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but if it costs nothing, it has no value. “But if a man pays nothing, he’ll think it’s worth nothing.” (p. 209)
- Make sure men are being discipled.
- “One more time: what’s our [the Church] goal? To make disciples! But our current model—teaching people and setting them to work in the church—is not getting the job done. Men need meaningful work and genuine discipleship.” (p. 211)
- Men need to learn by example.
- Powerhouse Christian Center (Katy, TX) was designed to reach men and has been extraordinarily successful. It has no committees; it has a hierarchy of fathers: the pastor fathers 12 men, who then father 12 men, etc.
- Some characteristics of fathers:
- Ongoing relationships. The spiritual fathers at Powerhouse let their “children” know they can call on them the rest of their life.
- Fathers teach by example
- Fathers teach how to deal with feelings and life transitions.
- They discipline
- They tell their kids that the scraped knee is no big deal and go back out and play. (Perhaps the epidemic of self-absorption in the church is due to having no fathers to tell us “your problem isn’t a big deal; stop crying over it” when appropriate.
- Teach us what our role as a man is.
- Prepares boys to be fathers.
- We need to have a platoon that will make sure we are left behind, and for whom we will make sure they don’t get left behind.
- Understand male relationships
- Men don’t communicate face-to-face like women, they communicate while doing something.
- The deepest relationships are formed by suffering together; in the crucible.
- Give men time to develop relationships with each other; it doesn’t happen in 20 minutes like with women.
- Men’s relationship with God looks like following a leader. The question is not “is this man a Christian,” but “is this man following Christ today?”