For a time men seemed to listen to women trying to tell us what it was to be male, and we learned to cry and tolerate watching Lifetime movies because doing so sometimes got us laid, but it wasn't authentic transformation. It's certainly true that if a man goes through therapy he emerges much more in touch with his own feelings as well as with a better idea of what others are feeling and experiencing. That doesn't mean they are going to give up a weekend of ice fishing to sing "All Creatures of Our God and King!" Still, there are those men who are already in church, and it's not because they are all cuckold, mincing, spineless excuses for real men who have allowed themselves to be dominated by their overbearing wives.
I confess I am not much of a macho man. I'm not really into pickup trucks or NASCAR (once those boys realize they are driving really fast but going nowhere that sport will be dead in the water). I used to fish with my Dad but haven't since our relationship imploded and I rejected everything about him, and I have never hunted. I don't consider freezing my ass off to be fun, so you won't find me squatting over a hole in the ice inside a shelter filled with other drunken men. I realize that wrestling isn't real and that cage fighting is an all too real event that brutalizes human beings in the name of entertainment and I won't have anything to do with either. I drink beer and love football, so I am
Here's my question: what makes us think that the willingness to worship God in a sanctuary is the defining mark of a Christian? If God is who we say God is, that God doesn't have ego needs and doesn't need us kissing his Divine buttocks in the sanctuary. I have heard the assertion that human beings need to worship, but the eighty percent of America that has walked away from institutional religion seems to tell a different story. So how are we to get the Sam Elliotts of the world to reconnect with church? We give them something to do, and give them a pass on the whole hand holding sanctuary business.
We have young men in this country in spades who need mentoring, and they are in all parts of towm. They need to ride in a pickup truck, go fishing, go to the ball game, learn to spit and swear, squat in a shelter on
|Crocheted Jump Suit|
Then, best of all, a couple of times a year we invite them to the church for a pig roast during a sporting event. We even let them do a lot of the work - together with their new, younger friends. We tell the rest of the church to stay away if they will be offended and bring some food if they can hang. We make it clear that this isn't going to be a goody two shoes gathering but instead a gathering of real people with nobody to impress. They can join the Altar Guild if they want to hang with goody two shoes. We do all of this without any strings attached because we want to see our communities and our young people transformed. We make it clear we are not trying to lure the men into worship, committee work, or any other nonsense - because they are already doing the real work of the church.
I don't think the church has the guts to do anything remotely resembling this, and it's really sad.
If you're like me and are a man who doesn't especially want to - or can't - stomp through the woods, it's