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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Christian Vision for Men - countering romanticisation and feminisation of church? (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Christian Vision for Men - countering romanticisation and feminisation of church?
Penny S
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Reported on the BBC R4 programme PM. PM 20.35 minutes in.

Apparently men need churches without doilies and flowers, but with nerf guns and bantz, because that's what men are like.

I didn't hear much religion in this piece, of any sort.

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Martin60
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It's for old men who go anyway.

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Love wins

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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I'm helping out at an all day Men's event this Sat. It's organised by the local RC church, but I join in. We've done a few - a good few fellas come, 60-80 maybe. Most are the more committed, charismatic members of their local congregations, and some travel a fair way.

We've shown films followed by discussion, had speakers on various subjects, done group bible study, this time they're looking at the heritage of the RC church (the Mass, Mary, Saints) which will be interesting for me and the other few prods who sometimes come.

People find them encouraging, I think - me included. Men talk more when their wives aren't there (and that's a generalisation which holds for these middle-aged and older mainly family men).

These 'men's days' accompany a monthly men's bible study which has a small and committed membership. I also lead a group of male ex-offenders in a music group, which works better now that it just so happens not to be mixed. I think there's a time for the sexes to be together, but a time apart is good too.

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Martin60
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Oh it's religious all right.

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SvitlanaV2
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Research shows that there are consistently more women than men in congregations - despite the patriarchal oppression that we claim to be endemic in the church.

Obviously, church culture tends to develop around the kinds of people who are already there (which of course refers to personality types, age, socioeconomic range, etc. as much as the ratio of men to women), and if everyone's happy with how things are, then raising this issue would be inconvenient or even troublesome.

But I can understand why some church leaders in some churches would be exasperated by the under-representation of men. The gospel is supposed to be for everyone, after all.

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Brenda Clough
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You don't think that they are worried that church will become like nursing, or being a waiter, or schoolteaching, or handling a sewing machine, or knitting stockings -- the 'pink-collar' industries. Once something is taken over by women it's inherently less respected and therefore less powerful. You can pay them less! A clear case -against- the female clergy could be made this way.

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Og, King of Bashan

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I can see some good and some potential (in my view) bad coming out of this.

I was reading an article about how men tend to lose friends as they grow older. Encouraging relationships between men is a good thing, if you want to avoid that.

On the other hand, some men's ministries in this country tend to embrace a view of masculinity that is, in my view, problematic. The Promise Keepers, for instance, as I understand them, preach the idea from Proverbs that your wife and children's happiness is a direct reflection of your own godliness and righteousness. If your daughter starts getting into trouble at school, it doesn't mean that you should ask her about what is going on and try to figure out what she is going through, it means that you need to consider how you have failed as a dad.

Encouraging men to develop social bonds in church seems like a fine idea. I'd just be very weary of any "man-focused" teaching that might embrace some of the more patriarchal elements from the Bible.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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I think I'd withdraw if any kind of 'men ought to be like x' stuff came up in any of what I do. But even a group of very disparate men relate differently when it's just men - as I would imagine is true for women, too. I see making time for this as an enjoyable part of life's richness, not as a problem.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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Pomona
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Christianity was originally a religion mostly for women and slaves and others with less power. As Christianity became politically powerful that changed, but I think it could be said that it is simply reversing that process. As Christianity wields less social power in the West, it holds less appeal for men. Groups like CVM who tell churches that they're too feminine because they have bad coffee and children's drawings up (because women just LOVE bad coffee, and it's good for men to not value children in church /s) miss the point.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Martin60
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I enjoyed the bloky sessions I went to. But that's all. I was in tension with the magical claims, the apologetics, "blokes givin' it a go fer Jesus" but there were often intelligent, amusing presentations. The web content less so. There was no overt paternalism, patriarchy. The grey and white and pink haired yearning for a golden age is there. I deliberately asked once what were we doing for our gay kids, that generated frowns.

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Love wins

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Apparently men need churches without doilies and flowers, but with nerf guns and bantz, because that's what men are like.

Sounds like a something of a generalisation to me.

Gender stereotyping doesn't get top table position in the Gospels,(apart from the fact of women being socially disadvantaged at that time), and hasn't been my experience in 16 years of church life. It is not the characteristic of the Holy Spirit and His/Her method of working.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Barnabas62
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Although things have changed a fair bit in my life, I'm still not convinced that many men really 'get' emotional intelligence. That's something I've learned a lot about from women. Maybe that's why I find men-only church meetings uncomfortable. Perhaps they scratch some folks' itches but they don't scratch mine.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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mousethief

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It's been a while since we've had this thread.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Christianity was originally a religion mostly for women and slaves and others with less power. As Christianity became politically powerful that changed, but I think it could be said that it is simply reversing that process. As Christianity wields less social power in the West, it holds less appeal for men. Groups like CVM who tell churches that they're too feminine because they have bad coffee and children's drawings up (because women just LOVE bad coffee, and it's good for men to not value children in church /s) miss the point.

This.

Look, if the men in church want to get together and drink good coffee/ complain about their wives/ bang drums/ play nerf guns or whatever rings their bell, fine. But I am so so tired of all this whining and moaning about the "feminization" of the church-- an institution where women still struggle to be given any voice or leadership capacity.

I wrote more but had to delete it because it was just to hellish.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Penny S
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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Christianity was originally a religion mostly for women and slaves and others with less power. As Christianity became politically powerful that changed, but I think it could be said that it is simply reversing that process. As Christianity wields less social power in the West, it holds less appeal for men. Groups like CVM who tell churches that they're too feminine because they have bad coffee and children's drawings up (because women just LOVE bad coffee, and it's good for men to not value children in church /s) miss the point.

I did wonder what the simple changes that could be made to make churches more attractive to men they suggested on the web site might be - not having children's drawings up? Now just how does that fit with Jesus' reaction to the disciples trying to keep children away?
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Snags
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My limited impression of CVM (which is far from new)is that it's just an outreach aimed at men. It's not in opposition to anything particularly, or a rebuff to "feminisation", it’s just an attempt to plug a relatively clearly acknowledged demographic blip.

Personally it leaves me cold because it tends to a lot of male stereotyping AFAICT and is very "traditional" in that regard. Not a great fit for someone who has always preferred to knock around with women and men who are not "Yay! Sports!" all the time. However, I've got friends who have been to their events and benefitted greatly. Said friends are very much not knuckle dragging mysoginists.

I’m sure CVM is far from perfect (what isn't?), and it certainly won't suit all men (and may suit some women) but I don't think it's entirely fair to lump it with the kind of loopy Men's Rights approach to church. Unless it has,changed dramatically.

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ExclamationMark
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Some of the things CVM does is very good - helping men to be better Fathers for example.

A fair bit panders to stereotypes - camping in muddy fields with beer and BBQ's (appeals to the inner caveman ugh!); an unhealthy focus on sport (it's ok but some men don't live for the "footy"); cars (the Christian version of top gear ugh again).

The appeal seems to have shifted in some ways to supporting the more macho stuff. It's pretty hilarious for those of us who have worked in manual jobs seeing these new men think they're reinventing something.

Like many things it's a matter of balance. You wont find me at a CVM "gathering" but nor would you find me stopping others going. Much nicer than the seemingly short lived promise keepers.

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fletcher christian

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My experience is that when the church attempts to appeal to men it usually follows one or two routes. It is either cringe inducing and excruciatingly embarrassing or it is so ridiculously stereotyped as to be insulting to just about everyone. Amazingly, the church has a regular ability to combine both experiences.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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ThunderBunk

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My revolutionary proposal would be that churches should welcome the expression all aspects of our humanity: in their culture, if not their buildings/worship. It is my firm belief that they would then be much more attractive places for all to be. Admittedly this might mean alienating some of their traditional constituency who come to church in search of the self-righteous buzz which comes from condemning as large a swathe of their fellow human beings to hell as may be achieved without condemning any of those they identify with to the same fate.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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chris stiles
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I think there is a certain amount in what Pomona says above - when the church was a powerful institution there was a certain attraction to that in and of itself (though I think the degree to which this corrected the skewing of sexes is exaggerated).

Men can tend to cut themselves off and/or find the kind of socialisation-first approaches of many church activities to be a bit heavy going. But otoh I don't think it's all that difficult to create a 'mens' group - start off with an activity and relationships naturally form.

The problem in certain evangelical circles is that every activity has to be 'for' something. Which only really succeeds in either exceptional cases, or where the church itself has some kind of natural sense of mission (church plants as an example, or churches which are separatist in some way).

If one avoids the temptation to make everything artificially directed towards something emotional and spiritual it's not hard to build community.

Years ago I was involved in a forum - long since defunct - that was organised around some musical activities. At some point someone organised an meetup - as a kind of show and tell activity - this snowballed into annual meetups, regional meetups, and people who lived locally to each other just getting together and spending time chewing the fat. The original forum has mutated and migrated across platforms, people have come and gone, but a central core of people (mostly men) have stayed in contact with each other and grown increasingly close (and people have shared life across births, weddings, divorces, bereavements etc).

I think the problem is that many 'activities for men' organised by in churches tend to try and load things the other way - and that rarely works (except in the cases noted above).

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:


A fair bit panders to stereotypes - camping in muddy fields with beer and BBQ's (appeals to the inner caveman ugh!); an unhealthy focus on sport (it's ok but some men don't live for the "footy"); cars (the Christian version of top gear ugh again).

Indeed, of those three, the first could be OK as long as it doesn't involve just sitting in the mud eating and drinking (boring!) and the latter two would have me running for the hills. Sports and cars bores are the very worst types of bores because both of them seem to assume everyone else shares their obsession. At least if I try to engage you in conversation about the relative merits of different Star Trek series I will be open to the possibility you couldn't give a shit. No such luck with the football bore.

I have never watched Top Gear. The very concept is a massive turnoff for me.

[ 17. March 2017, 10:24: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Penny S
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The word feminisation was bandied around during the piece - or it wouldn't have occurred to me.
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Matt Black

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I've been to a couple of CVM events and am going to another one next Saturday and, in 'feel', they're kind of an extension of the traditional pie-and-a-pint typical men's church group social ie: a bit blokey but not consciously anti-feminine (although we all hate Jesus-is-my-boyfriend lyrics), a bit of chat about football but also Sci-Fi/ Fantasy (which, like Karl, is more my cup of tea) depending on who's there, with a bolt-on talk, which is either a God-slot on how to connect with God better or be better fathers/ sons/ brothers/ husbands/partners (eg: talks about porn addiction), or something on men's health (eg: erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer or alcoholism). I tend to like it although it can be a bit hit and miss.

[ETA- I think it meets a need, not just spiritual but also social - wasn't there a story in the media a few weeks ago about how men need this sort of thing to bond?]

[ 17. March 2017, 11:03: Message edited by: Matt Black ]

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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BabyWombat
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This has me wondering: what would be so wrong for any congregation to come together and talk about the church experience? What we like, what we need, how we can be community together even though different. Men and women, those with children, those without , younger people and older, gay, straight and transgender. Yes, it would take some good facilitation to avoid getting into thinking that there must be resolution of difference vs. living with differences. But isn’t living together in Christ our calling, so that we may serve the world in Christ’s name? We hear that we are the Body -- so then, how do our various limbs, tendons and sinews learn to coordinate so we can walk together in faith?

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Ethne Alba
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Some of the blokes from a couple of churches around here clear off for a weekend once a year and.....we don't hear anything about it, beyond that they had a good time!

+ the information-giving in church notices is usually brilliant, if only because of their rules:

1) No one has to do anything that they don't want to.
2) Don't mess it up for anyone else.

It is noticeable that when the blokes all come back there is a lot of joking around and recollections of having' a laugh. Whilst the women obligingly roll their eyes a bit...

Interestingly, in our place there are advertised women's groups....but nothing (advertised anyway) for the men. Is this because there's still an assumption that men go out to work and women stay at home....?

Actually the men Do do stuff, ISTM that it's just less talked about.
.
.

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Ethne Alba
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And Baby Wombat.....i think that your idea have value....certainly it would for some churches....

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Martin60
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In really miss my village church mates. I was the token raving liberal and we all got on great. Impossible in my city church.

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Love wins

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Ethne Alba
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Interestingly.....CVM has nothing in our city.

Is this a village/ town... V ...city thing?

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Our only business is to love and to delight ourselves in God.
Brother Lawrence

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Martin60
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Aye. It only works for small congregations.

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Love wins

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Ethne Alba:

Interestingly, in our place there are advertised women's groups....but nothing (advertised anyway) for the men. Is this because there's still an assumption that men go out to work and women stay at home....?

Actually the men Do do stuff, ISTM that it's just less talked about.
.
.

Not at all - the Baptist Church ten minutes walk from us does Pints of View at the local for the men, the three CofE churches have monthly men's activities ranging from Curry Evenings to Pub Quiz Nights, and the Catholic Church has a Curry and Film Night for the blokes in the parish hall twice a year.

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Leorning Cniht
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Our place has Bible Study for men (at 6am!), Bible Study for women (daytime and evening), social activities for men, social activities for women, and various activities for youth and children.

It completely sucks at having activities for "people". It tried having a "family night" for a while, but it turns out that what they meant by that was "shove the kids one one room with a movie while the parents have a Bible study in another room". That's not what I call a family activity.

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Martin60
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No wonder Islam's the fastest growing religion.

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Love wins

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
Christianity was originally a religion mostly for women and slaves and others with less power. As Christianity became politically powerful that changed, but I think it could be said that it is simply reversing that process. As Christianity wields less social power in the West, it holds less appeal for men.

However, it might be argued that working class men in particular are less in demand in today's Britain than their womenfolk. If they have no factories to work in, have fewer soft skills for jobs in customer services, and are often towards the back of the queue in educational achievement should we treat them as a privileged, powerful group?

Bearing that in mind, ISTM that attempts to make church attractive to men are often attempts to appeal to particular kinds of men. Not usually the most powerful (although they may be attracted by other means.) Not necessarily the educated, bookish, high-minded men who are already in many mainstream pulpits (or posting on the Ship!).

If we realise that it's not really about all men everywhere then there's no need to complain about stereotying or division, etc. It's merely an attempt to reach out to a particular demographic, something that all churches do from time to time.

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Lyda*Rose

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Ethna Albe:
quote:
Some of the blokes from a couple of churches around here clear off for a weekend once a year and.....we don't hear anything about it, beyond that they had a good time!

+ the information-giving in church notices is usually brilliant, if only because of their rules:

1) No one has to do anything that they don't want to.
2) Don't mess it up for anyone else.

It is noticeable that when the blokes all come back there is a lot of joking around and recollections of having' a laugh. Whilst the women obligingly roll their eyes a bit...

This kind of approach is what I've been thinking. Don't ask deep/stereotypical/ponderous questions about What Do Men Want? But get a bunch of guys at church to get together and let them decide what they feel like doing and applaud them when they do it. And if it worked out let them do it again with variations until they think up something else they like better.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Ricardus
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If it is true that women are generally more emotionally focused than men (a big if), it seems to me relevant that a lot of churches' theology is, um, rather emotional.

Not in the shallow sense of children's pictures and flowers, but in the more fundamental sense that repentance becomes equated with feeling sorry, and believing in your hear becomes equated with feeling convinced that Jesus is Lord.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
If it is true that women are generally more emotionally focused than men (a big if), it seems to me relevant that a lot of churches' theology is, um, rather emotional.

Not in the shallow sense of children's pictures and flowers, but in the more fundamental sense that repentance becomes equated with feeling sorry, and believing in your hear becomes equated with feeling convinced that Jesus is Lord.

Mind you there's a world of difference between feeling sorry and actually being sorry (with a commitment to change and/or reparation). Too much of church focuses on the former yet repentance is not truly complete without the latter.
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Aravis
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The church I've been in for the last ten years has more women than men, but it isn't consistent across age groups and it's not at all the split you would necessarily expect. Under 18s are predominantly female. 18-60s are a fairly even mix of men and women. Over 60s are predominantly female.
The vicar and curate are both female. Evidently this doesn't put off young and middle aged men.
The older men (it's not a particularly well off area) tend to die sooner than their wives, or not be well enough to go out, which is the main reason why there aren't many. I don't know why there are few boys. It's probably something to do with Sunday School but I don't know what.
The men are more likely to make specific comments about what they think makes a good sermon and they appreciate it if they've heard one. I preach about once a month and they're good at giving clear feedback afterwards.

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Martin60
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Why would a boy choose to come to church? Any late Gen Xer through Z?

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Love wins

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Stetson
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Martin wrote:

quote:
Why would a boy choose to come to church? Any late Gen Xer through Z?

Well, I was born in 1968. After a childhood of NOT enjoying church, I got into attending mass on my own when I was in my late teens/early twenties.

Why? Well, I guess because I was religious, and I wanted to have the religious experience that goes along with attending mass. I'm not really seeing any big mystery there.

I will say that I liked attending mass on my own rather than with my family. It gave me a sense of social and religious independence, of coming into my own, spiritually speaking. I suspect that more(though maybe not a LOT more) kids could be convinced to attend church if it wasn't presented to them as one more coerced family outting.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
Mind you there's a world of difference between feeling sorry and actually being sorry (with a commitment to change and/or reparation). Too much of church focuses on the former yet repentance is not truly complete without the latter.

Irrespective of sex, that gets a [Overused]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Our place has Bible Study for men (at 6am!) .

What sort of constituency are they aiming for there? Masochistic larks?

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Martin60
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KLB [Smile]

@Stetson, thanks, you're a rule proving exception as you implicitly acknowledge.

As am I via a different route.

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Love wins

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Our place has Bible Study for men (at 6am!) .

What sort of constituency are they aiming for there? Masochistic larks?
Yes, I think so. In these parts, it's common to leave for work between 6:30 and 7:00, so they're aiming to attract people before work. There's no chance at all that I'm going to be awake and functional at that time of day.

Schools also start early - because the buses are shared between elementary, middle, and high schools, the starts are staggered: the local high school day runs from 7:30 to 2:30 (I find that insane) so there are school buses collecting kids before 7:00.

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Huia
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There's a Blokes group at the church I attend. I don't really know what they do. From time to time various new blokes have come to the church via the group pop up and join the congregation.

One topic I have been told has been useful for the group members has been men's health and I think there has been quite a of of mutual support given in this area.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Apparently men need churches without doilies and flowers,

It can be an age rather than a gender issue.

I remember a battle in one church where the younger women kept hiding artificial flowers, doilies, and those weird, unstable carved wooden pedestals found only in churches, with vases perched on top of them, but the older women kept finding and replacing them.

quote:
but with nerf guns and bantz, because that's what men are like.
My son and grand-son used to go to an a father-son weekend run by their church in which teams had to erect buildings using the scrap timber provided (no power tools, only hand tools) which were judged (on size primarily, no doubt, if I can risk a gender stereotype)) and then burned down on the last night.

It didn't appeal to me, and I questioned the waste of material and manpower which might have been used more usefully (eg fixing the house of some poor person in the congregation), but it was very popular.

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Gramps49
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My denomination has a man camp the first part of May at a former forest service camp in the Wilderness of North Central Idaho. Three days, starting on Friday and lasting until Sunday pm. I have gone twice but will miss it this year because of family commitments.

We do a lot of things up there. Some Bible Study, some worship, a lot of good food. Saturday is pretty open. You can fly fish; carve something with a chainsaw (I carved a bear the first year); ride down a mountain trail with a mountain bike, even shoot guns--about the only time I shoot anymore.

It is supposed to be pan-Lutheran, but it seems that last year a conservative group was heading the camp. It really got too Trumpian for my taste. I ended up expressing my concerns to the Director of the ministry. Can't say I got a satisfactory answer back.

Maybe it is good I am staying away this year.

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OddJob
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Quote from Aravis
The church I've been in for the last ten years has more women than men, but it isn't consistent across age groups and it's not at all the split you would necessarily expect. Under 18s are predominantly female. 18-60s are a fairly even mix of men and women. Over 60s are predominantly female.
The vicar and curate are both female. Evidently this doesn't put off young and middle aged men.
The older men (it's not a particularly well off area) tend to die sooner than their wives, or not be well enough to go out, which is the main reason why there aren't many. I don't know why there are few boys. It's probably something to do with Sunday School but I don't know what.
The men are more likely to make specific comments about what they think makes a good sermon and they appreciate it if they've heard one. I preach about once a month and they're good at giving clear feedback afterwards.


That matches my experience. The male/female ratio varies across age groups. In 35 years’ membership of evangelical(ish) churches I’ve observed more men than women in the first decade of adult life, especially amongst single people. From late twenties up to about 40 it tends to be 50/50, then the proportion of males steadily declines.

The imbalance amongst young adults seems less pronounced now than a generation ago, now that more women attend university (are there any non-graduate practising Christians under 50?)

Reports from more liberal churches suggest a greater proportion of women in all age groups, And for black majority churches the imbalance is even greater.

I wonder how far a gender imbalance can go in a Christian group before it becomes a vicious circle, making the minority gender feel so uncomfortable that they won’t attend? I’ve seen it happen for both genders, and would put the critical ratio at about 70/30.

As others have said, the biggest mistake in men’s groups is to assume that men are a homogeneous group who all love sport and curry.

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
Reported on the BBC R4 programme PM. PM 20.35 minutes in.

Apparently men need churches without doilies and flowers.....


I better tell the head of our flower guild this. He'll be devastated.

There is a Men's Fellowship at this church, too. Pretty well attended. I don't think it's explicitly religious, though it is a church group. More about inviting interesting speakers on various topics. But it seems popular.

There seems to be quite a strong thing amongst many of the men here for good male friendships. It seems to be a good church for that. Same for the women, too. But those are informal, or naturally forming friendships, not 'groups'. Organizationally, there are two exclusively female groups, to the men's one; a Women's Guild and a Women's Institute. But the WI isn't a church group. And it has to be said, that many women don't want to belong to either of these groups.

The most popular church organizations are the ramblers and the bowls - both mixed.

I'm another one who doesn't understand this 'feminisation' thing that seems to provoke some delicate types to reach for the smelling salts. Maybe I just don't go to 'feminine' churches, or lead 'feminine' worship, whatever that would be?!

I have a feeling, too, that for some people 'feminisation' is just a lazy and derogatory descriptor for a service where maybe there was one more woman leading the worship than they were comfortable with. Or - horror of horrors - most or all of the principal leaders were phallically challenged! The only time it ever occurs to me how strange this still is to some folks is when someone makes a comment about 'girl power' because I was celebrating communion and our female reader preached.

Poor Julian of Norwich. You can just imagine the rolled eyes when she started banging on about all that girly 'Jesus our mother' stuff!
[Roll Eyes]

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by OddJob:


As others have said, the biggest mistake in men’s groups is to assume that men are a homogeneous group who all love sport and curry.

Perhaps the assumption is that Christian men with more refined or arty tastes will simply join the non-gendered church groups (assuming that suitable groups already exist in the church).

But as I implied above, I think the appeal to 'sport and curry' men is more of an attempt to reach working class men rather than men in general. In some areas, or among particular cultural groups, such a focus would be justified, IMO.

Football appears to be a powerful marker of English, blokey ordinariness. I know of a Methodist minister who manages to get his love of a particular football team in every sermon he preaches. I've often wondered why he bothers, but I think it's his way of telling us that he's a 'normal' chap, that he's not an ivory tower intellectual. Or maybe he's just obsessed!

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simontoad
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A Koala Stamp to Exclamation Mark for putting the idea of a Christian version of Top Gear in my head. It's got me thinking about who might be invited to drive a lap in a reasonably priced car. I have an image of some purple cloth sticking out the bottom of the driver's door as the Ford Fiesta zooms by.

The closest I've been to a Church in the last year is this place and joining a Father Ted appreciation group on Facebook. Oh, did you hear that Facebook has launched a new Fake News initiative called Facefacts?

What stops me going to church locally is that I work on weekends and often oversleep, missing not only the 9am Anglican service in my town, but also the 10am service in the next town. The Anglicans don't do a weekday service and the Catholics do one on Wednesday that doesn't suit.

I went to the Anglican mens group once and it was OK, but you know. I'm not very social, and when I am I usually over-share. I also like going to St Francis in central Melbourne when I go drinking with my mate. They have three services a day, and frankly that is what's needed from my perspective, not some attempt to pander to the latest fashion in church layout. That has never worked in Australia, not once.

Good Church for me involves checking that there's the usual number of cars at the Church, guaranteeing nothing freaky like a baptism, going to mass, eating the bread and drinking the wine and saying "Gidday George", "Hey Frank", "Nice to see you Chris", "Oh, hi mate." Then, at the very end "Nice sermon Nigella" and running to the car.

I'm not an Anglo-Catholic by the way. I'm a Catholic Anglican. I'm there because they do a good mass AND include women.

[ 19. March 2017, 22:47: Message edited by: simontoad ]

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The opinions expressed above are transitory emotional responses and do not necessarily reflect the considered views of the author.

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