I was asked to write an article for the Americus Times-Recorder, an article that will go in their quarterly faith and values section. This is the third article we have written for the ATR’s Faith & Values. We try to spotlight a certain ministry. I choose to write this article to spotlight our men’s fraternity. The article is a brief written version of the sermon I did called “Don’t Be a Sissy,” a message about men and the church.
The sermon is here: http://cornerstoneamericus.com/sermons/dont-be-a-sissy/
The article is here:
No Place for a Sissy
by Pastor Derek Vreeland
Over the years, church has been known as a woman’s thing. For most men, going to church is like accompanying their wives to the woman’s department of their favorite clothing store. Here honey, hold my purse while I check out the dresses on the clearance rack. When a typical man walks into a typical church he feels just as uncomfortable. Men need a challenge. They need an adventure, a shot at greatness. They need competition, a band of brothers and a champion to follow. Yet when they walk into a typical church, they do not see those values. They do not see masculine values in the life of the church. They see the flowers, the pews, the quaint musicians sitting piously behind out-of-date instruments. They are told to sit (or stand) quietly and be nice. No wonder many men have felt that church was a place for children, women and sissies.
The statistics prove this general consensus. According to David Morrow in Why Men Hate Going to Church, 65% of men in the US do not go to church. 60% of churchgoers are women. 75% of Christian products are purchased by women and 63% of Christian radio listeners are women. In every statistical category, women are more likely to attend church functions, serve, and lead in the local church. Why is this? According to Morrow, 95% of pastors in America are men, yet men, particularly single men in their twenties, are abandoning the local church. They are leaving in part because church has been tagged as a place for sissies.
As I look at the church, I can see why this is happening. For one, we as church leaders have been guilty of proclaiming a sissy Jesus. Have you seen the portrait of Jesus that hangs in many churches? You know, the one that depicts Jesus with glowing skin, high cheek bones, and flowing, glistening hair. He looks lovingly towards heaven with a sparkle in his eyes. If you look close enough, you will see that the image does not even look like a man. It looks like a girl with a beard! The Jesus revealed in the Scripture was a carpenter. He worked a blue collar job with his dad during his twenties before beginning an itinerate preaching ministry. He worked with his hands, swinging a hammer and working a saw. This Jesus was not soft. He endured more physical torture than any ten average men could stand. This Jesus is returning with a tattoo on his thigh and a sword in his mouth. He is no sissy. He is a real man.
At Cornerstone Church, we want to join God’s work in producing good men, strong men, men of character and courage, men like Jesus. In order to do foster this work, we have launched Men’s Fraternity, a ministry that facilitates and teaches men how to live lives of authentic manhood as modeled by Jesus and directed by the Scripture. Our Men’s Fraternity is lead by Robert Bunch. He says, “Surprisingly in the United States today, most men cannot tell you what a man is, what he does that is different or important. In Men’s Fraternity we craft that vision of manhood along with how a man relates to God, to his wife and children, and in the workplace. ”
Men gather together at 7:30 am on Sunday mornings at Cornerstone Church for coffee and large group teaching. Then the guys split into small groups to talk and challenge one another. Men’s Fraternity is a nation-wide ministry that started in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was created by Robert Lewis, pastor of Fellowship Bible Church and author of Raising Modern Day Knights.
My challenge to the men in our church is simple— Don’t be a sissy! Join the fraternity! For more information on Men’s Fraternity go to www.cornerstoneamericus.com or call 229-924-7409.