by Andy Constable
One of the biggest problems in schemes across Scotland is the breakdown of male leadership. We have many young men without role models. We have lots of men living off the state to provide for their income instead of working. We have many men being bossed around by their girlfriends/partners. We have many young men hooked on street and prescription drugs. Further, while we rarely struggle to get women to look at the Bible and attend church it’s far harder to get a man along to a Sunday service. There is a real apathy among many males in schemes. I remember watching the riots last year and seeing the amount of young men who were leading the charge. They were reckless with little motivation but to smash up places. There needs to be a revival of gospel truths amongst these men.
The problem is that the outlook isn’t that much better in the church. In Darrin Patrick’s book, ‘Church Planter’ a researcher says that in 1975 the amount of 25 year olds getting married was 69% and the amount of 30 year olds was 85%. Fast forward to the year 2000 and those figures have gone down to 33% and 58% respectively. Men are extending their teenage years, getting married later and living with their parents for longer. Boys aren’t growing up into men. The phenomenon is being called ‘adult-lescence’. The prolonging of teenager years into later life. Many men play computer games and watch films more than they read their Bibles. They struggle with pornography. They struggle to communicate with their wives. They struggle to lead their wives. They are teenagers in adult form.
Watch the very interesting video below:
If we want to see the spiritual transformation of schemes in the next couple of generations, then the men in our churches need to be discipled and challenged. The men in our churches need to model what Biblical manhood looks like. The men in our churches need discipline. They need to battle with laziness and sexual immorality. They need to have vision and purpose. They need to command the respect of their wives and learn to communicate well. I think there are lots to be said about this subject and so I want to take the next couple of weeks to discuss some issues including laziness, pornography, vision and treasuring God’s Word.
But let me first and foremost lay down a challenge that Jesus gives us in Mark 8:35: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” The discipleship of men doesn’t start by calling men to be all macho and manly. It doesn’t start with a call to watch football and drink beer. It starts with a call for men to deny themselves. The call is to distance ourselves as far as we can from our old lives. It means picking up our crosses and counting Christ to be the greatest treasure of our lives. The lack of biblical male leadership is fundamentally a gospel problem. More men need to be fire for their saviour. More men need to see the glory of the cross. More men need to see the problem of sin and see that there is no other place to receive forgiveness but in Christ alone. If more men were captured by the gospel then we would see laziness plummet. We would see men leading their wives. We would see men taking God’s Word seriously. We would see men with vision for the future. The gospel changes everything.
We need to pray for a revival of gospel truths amongst men in the church. And we must pray for the unconverted men on the schemes. Pray that they would think about coming to church. Pray that there would be some spiritual thirst amongst them. Pray that their eyes would be opened to the truth of the gospel and that they would see the wonder of Christ. Pray that when they come through our doors they would meet some real men.