One of my goals when I first became a senior pastor in 2004 was to have a church that attracted men. My problem was I had no idea how to do that. In youth ministry, I learned that if you have a lot of girls the boys will naturally show up. Probably not the best strategy for growing a youth ministry, but it was a reality. In 2005 I stumbled across a book that helped shape my pastoral ministry for the next dozen years. The book is Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. The author speaks of the feminizing of the American church. He states,
“Men are drawn to risk, challenge and adventure. But these things are discouraged in the local church. Instead, most congregations offer a safe, nurturing community – an oasis of stability and predictability. Studies show that women and seniors gravitate toward these things.”
He goes on to say, “Although our official mission is one of adventure, the actual mission of most congregations is making people feel comfortable and safe – especially longtime members.” I read those words and it stung back then and they still sting today. This issue of the Tribune is focused on characteristics of a spiritually healthy man and the importance and challenge of having a healthy men’s ministry.
This issue of the Tribune also marks some significant changes to our ministry. Although July/August has been a combined issue for years, moving forward our norm will be bi-monthly issue. This was addressed at the May Fellowship meeting to help balance the budget. (See page 23 for more information.) This is also our first issue without the assistance of Karri Joy Perry. Karri has been an invaluable asset to our office for the past fifteen years and she has been a help to me as I have transitioned to this new role. Her fingerprints are all over our ministry. She will definitely be missed. I ask that you pray for the Communication Office as we attempt to do more communicating with even fewer people.
On the page immediately to your left is our ad for the upcoming BBFI national meeting in Owasso, OK. I have met with Linzy Slayden several times as he is preparing for this meeting and I can assure you that you that no stone will be left unturned and you will walk away challenged, encouraged and inspired. Yes, there are other options for pastoral conferences you can attend, but this is the one you will not want to miss.
As always, if there is ever anything I can do for you, please let me know.