More Men than Women at Wellspring: Why is that?
Statistics on Men in the Church
Some of you may know that I like statistics. I have studied them in college and I have always been very interested in sociology type stats. (I know it’s a bit weird.) So I pay attention to things from a statistical viewpoint. The fact that since the inception of Wellspring, even when it was only a prayer meeting in our house, we were significantly more men than women was strange to me because that is off the charts not statistically normal. As we grew the statistical margin of difference grew between genders which, hello, is even more rare. Now I know that some of you have responded to my comments about the large number of men and have mentioned that you also have noticed that more women are usually in other churches but for the most part people are just like ‘oh’. ‘Hmm’. and don’t really think much of it. But I am going round and round wondering why and I think that I actually have the answer. Before I lay out my hypothesis I would like you to read these current facts about men in church. All Christian churches are included in these summaries:
From the Typical United States Congregations
1.)The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.
2.)On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
3.)This Sunday almost 25 percent of married, churchgoing women will worship without their husbands.
4.) Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants[!]
5.)The majority of church employees are women (except for ordained clergy, who are overwhelmingly male).
6.) Over 70 percent of the boys who are being raised in church will abandon it during their teens and twenties. Many of these boys will never return.
7.) More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only one out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.
8.)Churches overseas report gender gaps of up to 9 women for every adult man in attendance.
9.) Fewer than 10% of U.S. churches are able to establish or maintain a vibrant men’s ministry.
Ok with those stats in mind do you see how unusual Wellspring at the Cross is? Last night, on a holiday, mid week, according to currant American Christian Church stats, we should be at the least 70 to 80% more women than men. But if our final counter was correct last night and we had 5 women and 18 men the difference is …. (the math of stats is hard for dyslexics so can one of my brainy friends insert the number here?) Huge. Now again my question, why?
I can sum up my final assessment with one word: Authority.
Men Can Tell When Authority is Being Mishandled
Wellspring is a church built on the Word of God, springing from a prophecy to recalibrate the church to the headship of who? A Pastor? One guy at the top of it all who surrounds himself with other guys that he can control to do his bidding? Nope. Christ. Christ as the Head. Christ as the High Priest. Christ as the foundation and corner stone. Not one guys way~ but His way.
So as a group we looked to the Word of God about authority and leadership structure and we kept running into Ephesians 4.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
What are those five giftings, leadership rolls, for if not to lead and equip the church?
The Lord spoke to us about building a leadership based on those five callings, as they would be given by Christ, and not some one picking the guys they like and think they can work with. What we heard from the Lord was very clear that one leader would not trump the others but would work in tandem under the headship of Christ who would be the actual leader.
Five Fold Leadership in the Church is Rare
Now let me tell you after over 30 years in ministry I can say that I have not seen it. Not even once. I heard it talked about thousands of times but never saw anyone let a fivefold leadership happen. And here we were, God asking us to let Him build and design Wellspring that way. Needless to say we are very new at understanding just how that works. But one thing we do understand and have fought for, even lost two Pastors for, is that no one dominates and pushes an idea through that the others do not agree is biblical nor is being directed by the Lord. What that has created is an environment where all of the Body of Christ becomes paramount to be functioning in their gifts all working together in this synergy of the Holy Spirit moving us along.
Miracles have happened.
But that’s not my point.
My point is that not one guy is walking around in charge of the entire enchilada. Is enchilada the right word there? The entire church. I think that men especially can tell when they are being marginalized or controlled by the misuse of someone’s authority and they don’t like it. Women don’t mind as much because they sort of adapt to it at home. But men can tell. And most of them will not put up with it. At Wellspring men and women, old and young, beautiful and strange looking all have the worth of being a vessel of the Holy Spirit so each one becomes so important. And that seems to be something that men can really work with. We are seeking God to stir up people’s gifts and then equipping those gifts the best we are able all while keeping safe this vulnerable headship from folks who seem to be stuck in the citadel way of doing church. That being the ones who have been taught to build structure, man’s way that can be controlled by the guy at the top.
Men flourish in their ministry if their leadership and they themselves are willing to allow Christ to be the head. And they know it. And they like it. And they see worth in that and so they attend.
That’s why I think we have more men every service and that’s why I think they come to Wednesday Evening prayer in mass and that’s what I think God is doing in the Church these days. He is making a way; He is building up the Highway, so that the King of Glory can come in. That can only be done under His Headship.