With a gender gap in today’s church world, what will the church look like in 30 years? Oh, you may say that it doesn’t matter because you may not be around. But if we stand by and do nothing, many congregations will die over the next three decades.
Research has discovered, the bigger your man shortage, the more likely your church is in decline. Years ago, Pastor Jack Hayford coined the phrase, “As go the men so goes the church.” Men matter! Statistics are very discouraging. It is estimated that only 10% of churches in America have an effective Men’s Ministries.
What’s the answer? We have good programs and resources to assist pastors and local churches in equipping and discipling men. According to a study from Hartford Seminary, gender-balanced congregations are three times as likely to be growing as female-dominated churches. So, the answer may not rest in more programs, rather in church leadership addressing how to man-up the church and give men a challenge to return and become involved in ministry.
David Murrow, author of “Why Men Hate Going to Church” writes that the presence of enthusiastic male worshipers is statistically associated with congregational growth, congregational health, church unity, increased giving, and retention of young men and women.
Yes, men matter and the church cannot afford to stand by idle and unresponsive. “As go the men, so goes the church.”
Bill Terry is the National Director for Men’s Ministries and the Assistant Director for Discipleship Ministries. Bill resides in Oklahoma City with his lovely wife Rita, where they will celebrate 44 years of marriage in 2015. He is the proud head of an extended family that includes two sons Gregory and Rodney, daughters-in-law Holly and Brec, granddaughters Grace, Annie, Emily and Elena and grandson Adam Gregory.