The Spiritual Effect of Poor Male Leadership

Here is a cycle that has contributed to the stunting of men’s maturity in Christ:

Poor or lacking male leadership leads to fewer and less effective men’s ministry leads to women’s models of growth and discipleship being the only option leads to men not being interested in spiritual growth leads to poor or lacking male leadership.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Mens-group_1880_hg.jpg

In my post last week on how groups of men can grow spiritually, I presented a snapshot of a men’s small group that was in high contrast to how women bond and build community with one another. As I stated last week, women prefer sharing, touch, compliments, and emotional intensity. Men prefer humor, challenges, activity, deep purpose, and marks of progress.

As men become less and less a part of church life and leadership, the only model for spiritual growth is the female model of maturity in group settings. The men who are left and searching for a way to Grow Up but are not as interested in the female way and so dismiss small groups or studies as something that is not for them.

There is nothing wrong with the way that groups of women Grow Up but that model can’t be the only option.

Men, there is a way to Grow Up as individuals and in groups. I am willing to try out some of these ideas. Let me know if you are interested.

photo credit: wikimedia commons

Do Women Take To Spiritual Things More Than Men?

This weekend, I will be leading a men’s retreat consisting of about 7 guys. I began thinking about how men approach spiritual matters and whether or not women approach the spiritual life more easily than men? Here are some of my observations:

Women:

enjoy talking more than men (making sharing fears, doubts, and struggles easier)

are usually more emotional (the deep spiritual experiences may be felt more profoundly by women)

may be more compassionate (the needs of others may be much more important to them than men)

are more communal (being together with other like-minded individuals, usually other women, is important to women)

On the surface it looks like these characteristics would make spiritual formation and growth more of a women’s activity rather than men. Men prefer action and going and doing which sometimes results in skipping the spiritual aspects of the faith. So what is the balance, in the spiritual life, that men provide that creates a more well-rounded communal spiritual environment. I think it is wisdom. As I think about the women in the Bible I think of big hearts and big love. When I think about the men of the Bible, at least the good ones, I think about big wisdom and the ability to speak with inspiration from God. I am not trying to make exclusive designations here, I am just making general observations. For a family or a church to be a spiritually mature organization, it needs both the heartfelt countenance of women and the reserved, big picture wisdom of men.

Just because I am a male doesn’t make me more wise than my wife but I believe that God has created men with a proclivity towards wisdom that doesn’t come as easily for women. Just as women are more capable, sometimes, at compassion, love, and service, men posses traits and the make up to be wise and thoughtful in a profound way.¬†Wisdom is as much a spiritual quality as compassion or love. It involves using non-physical parts of our selves such as thoughts, ideas, choices, and the will. Wisdom may be one of the most neglected aspects of the Bible. Wisdom takes up not just paragraphs of the Bible but whole books of the Bible.

Maybe if churches would talk about wisdom growth rather than spiritual growth they may have more success in attracting men to things like a men’s retreat. What do you think? Are men’s and women’s spiritual lives the same?