Now I have to admit this is one of my pet peeves. It amazes me how often single women are stepping up to do the tough things for the kingdom of God while single men are astonishingly absent. This challenge crosses denominational lines and is to be found anywhere within the Western Christian environment. It has been our observation over the last decade or two that for every 1 single man on the mission field there are seven single women! As we noted in another article it is as if single men are praying, “Lord here am I, send my sister.”
This has reached epidemic proportions as men today are, seemingly, not tough enough to go to the tough places. While women are prepared to go as “sheep among wolves,” it seems to me believing men want to remain as “sheep among sheep.”
What has brought us to this global challenge?
Let’s focus on our issue men; why are we not showing up? Why are there scores of women prepared to go to the tough places and do the tough things while we stay home? Dare I suggest the location of this unscriptural behavior lies within the broader Body of Christ itself? While women are quietly serving all the way from Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the earth-men stay-at-home. Why? In the West men have two models, vocationally, to choose from. Vocation, position, power, and salary packets are important to us men. Our male role models are in pulpits and in classrooms. Yet those without any access to Christ dwell in the deserts, the famines, and the war zones of the earth. Conversely, Christian men in the West are increasingly white-collar while those without Christ are tough blue-collar or no collar men.
Years ago in China I was privileged to stay among three church planting movements. If I were to ask the young men inside those movements what they wanted to be when they grew up, they would quickly answer, “We want to be evangelists and church planters.” While central to the New Testament, these roles for men are virtually nonexistent in most of our churches and seminaries in the West. We train men to be pastors, shepherds of sheep. Shepherds seldom put their sheep at risk, even for the sake of the kingdom of God! I was reminded of this as I read an article the other day. In this article, a major league baseball player talks about how he avoided Christianity as he felt it was soft and for sissies. Yet he found Jesus to be tough, willing and able to die on a cross – Jesus was a “beast,” a real man. Read the article for yourself.
Where are the men? Are we tough enough to serve in the tough places? Are we able to be a beast for Jesus?