Friday, March 03, 2006

Where Have All the Men Gone?

That is the question John is asking about the Church. The discussion over at his site is quite good and worthy of a look. My take?

When I was working at a department store in college, I talked with an unchurched coworker who asked me about why clergy are required to be male. We talked and I basically said that (1) it's in the Bible and (2) every other part of the church is dominated by women. While service projects and church government may have heavy male influence, most of the day to day activity of the church (like all the children's activities) occupies a more traditionally feminine role. She thought about it and said that this was very true, that quite often male clergy were figureheads over an organization populated mostly by women. I think with many denominations going to female clergy, men are going to feel very very left out in many of the nation's churches because we won't be represented at all in the organizational structure.

The other issue which hasn't been mentioned is divorce. The divorce rate in America is relatively constant across Christian religious lines and is currently sitting at around 50%. Child custody is overwhelmingly given to women, not men. So men are essentially being left out of the picture in 50% of the nation's families. American religion is about the family. I think this is bound to have serious repercussions on how men are involved with the church.

No comments: