The church should be a safe haven where men can be themselves without any fear of being judged. This statement holds true for anyone who considers themselves part of the church community. As a representation of the body of Christ, the church should be a place of unconditional love and acceptance, where people can be their true selves and not have to deal with the social structures and politics that are prevalent in the outside world.
The deep desire to be known and loved unconditionally is inherent in all of us. Although only God can fulfill this longing completely, Christians are expected to be the embodiment of Christ’s love and compassion towards others. By doing so, we can offer a glimpse of His glory to those around us.
Unfortunately, many men feel the need to put on a facade when they come to church. They feel compelled to conceal their struggles, doubts, and fears or pretend that they have everything under control. This can result in a sense of disconnection and isolation, which is contrary to the church’s purpose.
As leaders in the church, we have a responsibility to foster a welcoming environment where men can be themselves without any reservations. This involves creating spaces where men can share their stories, doubts, and struggles openly. We must lead by example, modeling vulnerability and openness, which encourages others to follow suit.
Most importantly, we should remember WE ARE the “church”. Are we not? The sooner we discard the idea of “going to church” and replace with “we are the church”, our perspective changes. We don’t go “to” the Body of Christ. We ARE the Body of Christ. This challenges us to be the Body of act like the Body. Which in turn challenges us to submit to the Head of the Body and get close to Him.
One effective way to create such a men’s spaces is by initiating men’s groups in our churches. These groups can provide a great platform for men to connect and establish authentic relationships with others. Additionally, these groups can be an opportunity for men to delve into their faith and apply it to their everyday lives. However, we must ensure that these groups do not only focus on theological discussions but also offer an opportunity for men to share their real-life experiences.
Moreover, we can provide resources to encourage men to reflect on their lives and engage in meaningful conversations. Hill Cities uses a curriculum which I created for all the groups to draw from. It not only follows Scripture, but also challenges men with basic questions from life. By creating opportunities for men to open up and connect, we can bridge the gap between their true selves and the persona they present at church.
If we want to create a genuinely welcoming environment for men in our churches, we need to establish a men’s ministry that prioritizes discipleship. This means creating opportunities for men to grow in their faith, develop relationships, and serve others. In doing so, we can foster a culture that values men, connects them to others, and empowers them to be themselves.
The church should be a place where men can feel safe and comfortable to be their authentic selves. As leaders and members of the church, we have a responsibility to establish an environment that is authentic, welcoming, and prioritizes discipleship. By doing so, we can reflect Christ’s love and compassion and establish a community that truly embodies the body of Christ.
Are you part of such a church? Do you see yourself as BEING the church?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.