I was recently gifted a book and was asked to read it and give my opinion and thoughts. The book is by Darrin Patrick and it's called The Dude's Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the book when I saw that the Foreward was by one of the Duck Dynasty guys. I was wrong though. The book was very, very good. In fact, I would argue that every man in my church needs to read it.
That being said, the book got me thinking, "Where have all the men gone?" I will be honest with you. The majority of those who are serving and leading in the church are ladies. At least that's what I am observing. As a student pastor, I have several ladies who volunteer with me, but to get a man is like pulling teeth. It's very hard to do. This is a problem.
God designed men to lead their families. He also designed men to lead His family. When men don't do that, women step up. Praise God that they do because nothing would get done if we were sitting waiting for men. Our problem, however, is that there are no men teaching boys how to grow up and be godly men. What are boys observing? Ladies stepping up. This needs to change.
I recently wrote a blog about discipleship. If men aren't discipling boys then what does that mean for the future of the church? Where are the men who will lead people, love people, serve people, and stand up valiantly for their faith? Where are the men who are teaching boys to love a girl in a way that honors God and His daughter? Where are the men who are teaching boys how to love the children they will one day have? Where are the men who are showing boys that Christ is worth everything, even their lives?
Without men stepping up to teach boys how to be men then we are left with boys. The church needs men to fight for her, lead her, and sacrifice for her. Don't get me wrong, we have some amazing and godly men who are preaching, doing podcasts, and writing books. We can and should learn from them, but that is not a replacement for discipleship that does life together.
Paul tells the Corinthian church, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1). Our churches should be filled with men who are saying this to younger men. We should strive to be men worth imitating because our lives are so wrapped up in following Jesus. We should be the type of men who love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. We should love our children in shepherding their hearts toward Christ and teaching them to observe all that God has commanded us. We should love the church by serving her and defending her.
We should be men who are seeking to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We should be seeking to know God by spending time with Him in reading and prayer every day. We should be seeking to know Him more deeply by reading books that wrestle with hard things concerning theology. We should be passionate worshippers because He is worthy and did not even hold us His own Son back from us. We should be men who love others so much that share with them the good news of the gospel.
Where have all the men gone? Where are those who will show boys how to grow up to be strong men of the faith? If you are a young man and you happen upon one of these men, I would advise you to follow him, ask good questions, and learn all you can. These men are scarce, but I pray that if we work hard, God will refill His church.