For all its obsession with the world’s “leadership” hype, the church’s traditionally male leaders nevertheless suspect a creeping “masculinity crisis” in the church. While one could consider a crisis of this sort a reflection of leadership – (ahem) – today’s leaders seem to have taken one of two approaches: blame women for coming to church more often and in greater numbers than men (feminization), or develop programs and strategies designed to appeal to more… manly men.
Okay, I just re-read that paragraph and wanted to laugh. Good grief – we’re talking about church here. It really shouldn’t be that hard.
What got me thinking about this was a recent blog post, “How NOT to Respond to the Church’s ‘Masculinity Crisis.'” The author articulately addresses Pastor Mark Driscoll’s opinion that “Sixty percent of Christians are chicks, and the forty percent that are dudes are still sort of chicks.” Driscoll states he cannot worship a guy he “could beat up.” Which to me says more about him than it does about Jesus.
And that reminded me of something my friend T.W. (Tech Wizard) at my previous church said, when I asked him about “feminization” versus male leadership. He said:
“It’s because the church leaders have gotten caught up in marketing. And marketing is mostly geared towards women. And most of them don’t know how to lead – really lead – MEN.”
Really, Driscoll is just marketing a butched-up Jesus, one that appeals to “ultimate fighters” and WWF fans. Or, as Rachel said in the link above, a Jesus that’s easier to follow. That won’t fix the perceived “masculinity” conundrum in the church. Because the real problem is our desire for our church to be popular. Great leadership has become equated with great numbers, and slanting the message to target wider audiences has simply created a Jesus that’s easier to follow. And that’s not leadership.