In The Atlantic Community
Welcome to another week! Spring has definitely arrived in the Atlantic community. It’s much earlier than usual. My daffodils, pussy willow tree, forsythia, and hyacinths bloomed a month early. I’m expecting my quince, lilacs, and flowering crab trees to bloom this month. I guess a mild winter produces an early spring. My daffodils are prettier this year than they have been in several years. Blue birds and robins arrived a couple weeks ago, too. Spring has sprung.
I hope you had a happy Easter and that you were able to attend church. My home church, Fallowfield United Methodist, was packed. Men I haven’t seen in church since Advent or Christmas Eve 2014 were there.
I think male leadership is a sign of strong churches. I pray daily for several men who’ve fallen out of regular church attendance. It’s hard for me to understand why they quit coming. Did someone say something hurtful to them? Do they not like the worship style? Do they have to work on Sundays? Or do they prioritize something else?
I see three main obstacles to male church attendance: leisure, work, and apathy. My definition of Sunday leisure includes sleeping in, golfing, and watching sports on TV.
Working on Sundays is challenging. Many people have to work on Sundays. I get it. But if you have the ability to request Sunday mornings off, couldn’t you use this as an opportunity to show your boss that Jesus comes first in your life?
Then there’s apathy. This boils my blood. So many men and boys who were raised in church quit coming once they graduate from high school. They just quit. Why? How can their hearts be so hardened as to not pay respect to Jesus after he gave his life for them? How can they make excuses?
I have families on my prayer list whose matriarchs faithfully attend church. I never see them happier than when their men come to church with them. One of these ladies even asks her family to attend church as a birthday present. Isn’t that sad? I don’t know how her family can disrespect her and be so unwilling to attend church.
Jesus chose 12 men as his disciples, his messengers. He chose these men, even though Judas Iscariot would betray him, knowing that they were the ones who would spread his message once he died and rose from the grave. He wanted male leaders.
But Jesus loved and respected women. Women followed him and financially supported his ministry. Women showed him honor and stood at the foot of the cross. Women brought spices to the tomb. He appeared first to Mary Magdalene. Women served as deaconesses in the early church. I’m not suggesting women shouldn’t be active in churches. No way. But the point stands – Jesus chose men to lead.
Sometimes it takes a major health scare or tragedy to lead men back to God. This always saddens me. I hate to think it takes a brush with death to remind them that God is in control. But I believe God uses whatever measures necessary to get our attention.
I hope you will join me in praying men will come back to church and assume leadership roles. They are capable, especially if they were raised in the faith.
Have a wonderful week. Blessings!