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Our Responsibility To The Local Church | Be Strong

What is man’s responsibility in the Church? Gathering in the local Church body is vital to our spiritual growth. Men are commanded to do more than just make sure their kids are at Sunday school. You are representing Christ to your wives, children, and your co-workers. In this breakout, Jeremy Wilson walks through 3 things we can learn from Jesus and his ministry. 

Jesus taught the men who started the church. He was always where he was supposed to be, and he served others at the cost of himself. Let’s follow his example and be active members in our local churches.

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My name is Jeremy Wilson. I work at Snowbird, I’ve been here for about two years now, and I moved up here with my wife from Columbia, South Carolina when our son was newborn, and I work in food service. I’m the food service manager. So thanks. Appreciate looking out. We’re eating good man, I haven’t been in there all weekend. Those ladies are working hard to get us some good food, so I’m thankful for ’em, they’re killing it. But I’ve got a PowerPoint, if you were just in Zack’s breakout. He had a really cool looking PowerPoint, if I tried to make one, it would’ve looked like a six-year-old made… In fact, a six-year-old probably would do better. So shout out to Donavan ’cause I like scrambled up there, I’m like, Oh yeah, can you help me like maybe get some information up there, so mine won’t be as detailed, but it’ll have some stuff on there, I’ll try to be cool like him. So all that being said, I’mma go ahead and pray, and then we’ll get started.

Father, thank you for today, thank you for all the good things we’re learning this weekend, Lord, I pray that you would encourage us, challenge us, and remind us that we’re made new in Christ. God I pray that the things I say, would be encouraging and challenging, and that all of it would be driven from Scripture. We pray all these things in Jesus name. Amen.

Alright, so obviously, you look at the schedule, you know you’re here to talk about our responsibility to the local church, particularly as men, ’cause this is a men’s conference. And so what I’m not gonna be doing today is looking at the importance of the local church, Spencer Davis did a break out couple of years ago where he walked through that, he actually answered one basic question, and that’s, if I’ve got Jesus, why do I need the church. And he answered that. And so today, I’m running off the expectation that either you’ve listened to that break out, which maybe you have maybe you haven’t or you agree with me in the very least to say that gathering in the local church is important and it’s critical as a believer that you’re doing that and you’re owning up to that, whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s important to be in the local church. What I’m gonna be doing instead is looking at it from the men’s point of view, and also one thing to say, not to mention, Hebrews in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 24 through 25 says,

“And let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

So again, point made, the local church is important, so now that we know the local church is important, what does that mean for us? And so today, we’re gonna first look at some statistics, these statistics are pretty disparaging when you compare men’s involvement, particularly in America in the church, versus women’s involvement in America in the church. And then we’re gonna try to look at the reasons why that’s the case. Why are those statistics so significant, so intense and indifferent. And we’re gonna look at what some people say, Some speculation of maybe some historical movements of what people are said throughout all of history or even now, and then we’re also gonna try to look at what Scripture says about it, and then we’re gonna try to look at some application through the life of Jesus.

But really, before we get into all that, I wanna take a moment, ’cause again, when I put out these statistics, it’s convicting, convicting to me hopefully it’s convicting to some of you guys, and I’m gonna be working at this same… Looking at how we need to step up as men, but before I even get to that, I do wanna highlight and I do wanna recognize that most likely, most of you guys in here, are men who have been faithfully serving your church. And you’re on the front lines, and you’re laying it out there, you may be pastors, you may not, but nonetheless, most likely, the reason you’re here this weekend is to be built up encouraged, so that you can go back and do ministry in your local church and preach the Gospel to the people you live around and build up your communities and lead your families. And I wanna say thank you and keep doing that, don’t give up if you’re tired, I hope this is an encouragement in that, and I hope it drives you to drive other men to do the same thing.

And also, I’m gonna be addressing some men, maybe you go to church and you’re there consistently, you’re there three out of four Sundays of the month, and maybe that’s about it though. As you go and you sit in a seat and you listen to the preacher, sometimes you have something to say about it, sometimes you don’t. Maybe you go to church and you’re a Christian, and you say you’re a Christian, and you say you submit to Jesus, and that’s evident in some ways, or maybe you just do it because it’s good to have the kids in church. That’s what you’re supposed to do it, you want your children to grow up in church. It’d be good for our kids to be in the church. And I hope that this what we talk about today, makes you step up to another level beyond that, ’cause as men in the church we’re called to more than just making sure our kids are in the church.

That’s bare minimum, very low, and maybe your a guy sitting in one of these seats that doesn’t even know Jesus, and you’re hear by happenstance, ’cause someone invited you, ’cause they said, “Man, last time I was here, they had potatoes that were the size of my head, and the food’s good.” Or, “Man, that three man swing it gives me a heart attack every time, but I love to go down that.” Or even maybe you were invited and you came because you wanted to hear what good Biblical exposition looks like. You wanna know what that looks like? And you don’t know Jesus, and I hope that through this week and what we’re gonna learn about the new man. What we’re gonna hear today, I hope it challenges you, and I hope at the end of the weekend, you fall on your knees before Jesus, if you’re that guy. But I want you guys to hear me say like for those who for all of those that I’m addressing all of you guys, and I hope it’s encouraging and challenging.

So let’s take a look at some of these statistics. We’re gonna be going through them one by one pretty quickly, and the kind of the beginning of the sentences says women are blank… Or excuse me, women are more likely to blank, so let’s start with the first one. Women are 57% more likely to participate in an adult Sunday school. And so here’s the deal with the Sunday school, this is in here, just ’cause it’s probably one of the higher statistics, I’m not saying that the mark of participating in a local church is being in a Sunday school. My church doesn’t even have a Sunday school, we meet, we gather, we hear the Word preached, we hang out, we do communion, we have some baptisms every now and then.

But there is no Sunday school, so that’s not the standard of going to church, that just shows if a church offers that they’re 57% more likely to go than men. Women are 56% more likely to hold a leadership position at a church, and that’s not including the role of pastor or elder, that’s probably more of your ministry type positions, like Ministry Team positions where it’s a hospitality team or a coffee team, or children’s ministry or things like that. And I would maybe consider the women who do feel the need to try to seek out an elder like role in the church. Perhaps they wouldn’t feel the need to do that or wouldn’t feel the pressure to do that if there were more men who would step up into that. And that might be going too far, being too aggressive with that, but I think there’s something to give there.

And on that note, men should be leading ministry teams, right? Like that should be a normal thing. Men should be at the greeting tent, it’s not just a job for women to welcome people to your church, it’s not just a job for women to teach the children, it’s good for them too, but they need to see a man doing that, that should be an expectation of men. And not every man’s gonna be an elder and lead a church in that way, but should not every man seek to have the qualifications of elder in their life that are listed out in Scripture. Women are 54% more likely to participate in a small group, guys, I love small group ministry, I was just talking to some guys about it earlier, at lunch, small group ministry, in my opinion is the blood of the church, it’s the veins of the church, it’s how we reach out to people with the Gospel, it’s how we serve the community. Your elders and pastors can only do so much if you come to church once a week, and that’s it, and so the hope and the expectation is that we would be a part of small groups. So we can build a community, build a church community, get into our communities and consistently preach the Gospel, and women are 54% more likely to participate in a small group.

They’re 46% more likely to disciple others. They’re 39% more likely to have a devotional time or quiet time. 33% more likely to volunteer or serve in the church, 29% more likely to share their faith with others, 23% more likely to tithe, and 16% more likely to pray. So why? Why is this the case? What is seemingly driving men away from the church, or at least being involved in the church? Some people say that it’s simply the way that men and women are built, that the women are more religiously inclined than men, which statistically, that’s true across the world, given across all major world religions, women are 13% more likely than men to say that religion is very important to them. However, 13%, when you compare it to 57, 56, 54, 39, 33 even down to 16, that’s still less than all those. So there’s something different in Christianity, ’cause this is particular to American Christianity, Western Christianity, so there’s something more than just women are more spiritual than men.

And in fact, that 13% is only there when you average in Christianity with all other major world religions, across all the other ones, Buddhism, Hindu, Islam, orthodox Jew, all those, when you mix ’em together, it’s about 50 50, and I do wanna say, take a moment and say, You know if someone says, Yeah, even Islam is doing better than us there are more men in the church. Well, in their churches, in their synagogues, I would say cautiously, it makes sense that men are more likely to be in their gatherings because that’s a religion that appeals to the darkest natures of men, you treat women poorly, you can have as many wives as you want and when you get to heaven, what do you have coming? For you, more women. So that makes sense. So that’s a statistical outlier, but even taking that into consideration, Christianity is the true statistical outlier when it comes to that. So again, we go back to the question, why? ’cause if it’s not. It’s just women versus men, that’s just how we are. What is it?

You guys ever heard of a guy named Brett McKay? Anyone or the, that’s a fun website, you can go on there and pick up pamphlets on how to punch a bear in the face and how to exercise with a Mace and other more important things than that, but it’s a cool website. I ran into his stuff, ’cause I like listening to podcasts and he’s got a good podcast. I have way too much grass to mow, it takes me like hours upon hours to get it all mowed and I try to redeem that time, especially in the summer when we’re as busy as we can be here, so I try to pop in a podcast and listen to it at least until my son Lee, he’s two and a half years old, so you know I got another like six to eight months before I can get him on the zero turn and then he’ll be good and he’ll take that for me, one can dream. I do like mowing, I do get the opportunity to listen to podcasts, and that’s how I came across him, and he actually, on that website, he had an article that he started, this is years ago, he started this article to actually look at this.

And I was wondering if that guy was a believer or not, when I would read some of this stuff and it looked like the very least he was writing this article from a Christian perspective, trying to ask why, why is there this disparaging statistics between men’s involvement in the church and women’s involvement in the church. And so he ended up turning that article into a book, and it observes this movement that took place in the late 1800s, early 1900s, both in the UK and America, and it was a movement called muscular Christianity. Anyone ever heard of that? So muscular Christianity, it’s exactly as it sounds, it’s a bunch of dudes trying to like redeem the manliness in Christianity, which yeah, that’s a good move. An example of a man that was in that kind of movement was a guy named Teddy Roosevelt, we’ve all heard of Teddy Roosevelt, right? Dude If you’re gonna have a manly man in your manly man movement. He’s a good one. That dude when he was going for re-election and one of his campaign speeches, you probably heard the story, if you know anything about Teddy Roosevelt, the jugger was getting ready to go give a speech and someone comes out, I shoot him right in the chest, and he had his notes like tucked away in that pocket, and so it hit his notes but he still got shot from as close as me to you, and he’s like, Alright, shake it off.

And he goes back up and he looks at the crowd, shake it off. Shake off a bullet. He goes back up and says, Ladies and gentleman, I don’t know if you realized, but I was just shot. And then he goes on to give an 84 minute speech, doesn’t even cut it short, so good manly man to have in your manly man movement. But what they were doing, he was actually born into that movement, his dad was a Presbyterian minister and taught him about the values of this movement and what this movement was trying to address was the weak man in the weak Jesus of the time, that’s how they kinda voiced it. And that’s how they summarized it, and they said that the man was a product of the industrial revolution, men starting to leave the home, go to the office, or men going to work in a factory that often would operate on Sunday, so they didn’t go to church either. And so there was this different kind of man who didn’t care about the spirituality of his household, he cared more about work.

And then the people ending up at church were women, children and older men who were told to work in those settings. And so then clergymen ministers started to target and market towards women so that they would hopefully reach their husbands, and they said that’s what produced the weak Jesus in the church or the weak view of Jesus in the church. Is the characteristics that ministers would Highlight of Jesus were a lot more of his seemingly feminine characteristics. And in Brett McKay’s book, he makes a claim throughout much of history, males in order to be considered men, had made a delineating difference between the two, had to excel in what he called the three P’s of manhood, protection, provision and procreation, in order to be considered a man, which I agree, that’s good, and those are good things to excel in.

He said, physical strength was valued, courage and battlefield prowess had always been central to masculinity and showing self-reliance and willingness to embrace conflict, proved yourself as a man. And so what Brett does from this point, is he said, for much of the last 130 years even, or however long it had been as he was looking in muscular Christianity, that those things were not being highlighted in the church as good proper things to care about. And so then he says that in muscular Christianity says, as a result, men didn’t care about going to church as much, they didn’t want to, because they didn’t feel like they related to Jesus as much, it wouldn’t necessarily say that he’s wrong.

There’s a guy named David Murrow, he’s an author of the book Why Men Hate Going to Church, he would administer a quiz or like a just a question response, there’s gonna be a table up on the screen in just a second. And he’d give this out, he gave this out to like over a 1000 people table, there it is. And on the left side and the right side, you can all obviously tell those are very different characteristics, and over 90% of the people who looked at this table, when asked: Which of these columns most represent Jesus? Over 90% of the people would choose the right hand side. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a lot of characteristics. All of those characteristics I could… Most of those characteristics I can see describing Jesus, and ton of ’em on the left side too.

What’s interesting is that table he took directly from the book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and the right side describes the characteristics of women, and the left side describes the characteristics of men. So yeah, culturally people are getting a picture of a more feminine side of Jesus. And you know, if I were to give a response to anyone who might say that Christianity or Jesus is inherently feminine, I would call them to stories to look at Jesus as a carpenter, as the wild desert man who rolled up in the temple and flipped tables over and started whipping people in the back of the legs. Or as the man as Zack said earlier, wasn’t afraid to look at another group of men in public and say, You’re a brute of vipers and insult them, or the man who was beaten and slaughtered and died manlier than we ever will, or even point them to the men of Christianity. In Hebrews chapter 11, verses 32 through 38, it says.

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah of David and Samuel on the prophets- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated- of whom the world was not worthy- wondering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and in caves of the earth.” – Hebrews 11:32-38

Those guys live lives that most of us won’t. Some of us will live some of that, but most of us are gonna have pretty plush lives. It’s a pretty manly group of guys. And I could stand up here all afternoon. There’d be plenty of time, maybe not plenty of time. I probably would fill up too much time to talk about all of the different reasons that men don’t go to church or maybe they don’t like church. Again, that book was called Why Men Hate Church by David Murrow. And it had some good resources in it, but I felt like all it was doing was just saying all the reasons why men hate the church and not saying what’s the root reason why. And I’m not gonna be so arrogant to say that I have a solution that no one’s ever thought of here, as I try to encourage you guys, I don’t, I’m sure people have thought of this. But I do wanna highlight the fact that this is not a new problem. It happened in the 1800 and the 1900, happening in the 1700. It’s been happening for over a 1000 years. People have been saying, where are the men in the church?

And they’ve been looking at the weak man trying to figure out what is going on. And these issues, the passivity of man has been happening from the very beginning. Beginning it started in Genesis three with Adam in the garden. He wasn’t leading his wife. He allowed her to be deceived by the serpent. It says, so when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes and that the tree was desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. And she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate. Her husband who was with her. He was right there. This isn’t new, you guys know this story. It continued in Genesis 12 when Abraham, when he was still Abram, he had just received a promise from God, the first time he received a promise from God, and he feared his life. And so he risked his wife because he didn’t want to die. It says in Genesis 12, verse 11 through 13,

“When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, ‘I know that you are a woman, beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife,’ and then they’ll kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life might be spared for your sake.– Genesis 12:11-13

Isaac learned from his father, did the exact same thing with his wife, with the men of Guar. He repeated, It’s crazy when you look at these two passages of Scripture, it’s practically the same passage. It was Abraham then to Isaac. It said in Genesis 26:7, “When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, ‘She is my sister,’ for he feared to say, ‘My wife,’ thinking, ‘lest the men of this place should kill me because of Rebekah, because she was attractive in appearance.” Jacob and Genesis 29 through 30, married two women, slept with four and played a life of favoritism. I think it’s… When I was younger and I would read those passages of Scripture, I’d be like, man that’s really weird that like just, there’s no addressing that this guy’s essentially sleeping around and he’s married multiple women. Like isn’t there an issue here? And later I learned, the Bible just shows the men as they were in their worst, he is a hero of the faith. Yes, but he did some terrible things.

And his son Judah, after being a part of selling his own brother into slavery, abandon his daughter-in-law, Tamar, this is a dark chapter of Scripture guides. This is a dark section of Scripture. Abandon his daughter-in-law, Tamar, after her husband’s, his sons were struck down by God for being evil, and he said, “hang tight in your father’s house as a widow, I’ll come back for you and marry you to my son.” And then he left her and he didn’t do what he said he was gonna do. And it drove Tamar, Tamar’s in the wrong here too. But Judah is the one who should have been leading this. It drove Tamar to dress herself as a prostitute. And Judah was not where he was supposed to be when he should have been there and went and slept with her. And she did that so that she would be provided for. Generations later, David, this is… Brody I think mentioned this story this morning. David wasn’t where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there. And he stayed behind in the time of war, saw Bathsheba took her, killed her husband.

He failed his God and his people. And there’s just a… You could see story after story after story of the passivity of men. And it’s not like I can stand up here and say I haven’t been passive either. So many times I have. But in redemptive history, finally we come to a man, we reach Jesus. John 18:37. And here for just a minute, I’m gonna read it a lot of Scripture. So hang in with me. It’ll be on the board. John chapter 18 verse 37.

Then Pilate said to him, ‘So, you are a king?’ Jesus answered. ‘You say that I’m a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I’ve come into the world- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’ After he had said this, he went back outside of the Jews and told them, ‘I find no guilt in him. But you have accustom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release you the king of the Jews? They cried out again, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber. Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him saying, ‘Hail king of the Jews!’ and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, ‘See, I am bringing them out to you so that you may know I find no guilt in him.’ So Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, and Pilate said to him, ‘Behold the man.'” -John 18:37-19:4

Just reading the passage right there, it doesn’t necessarily give us a whole lot of window into maybe the tone that Pilate was saying that in, people a lot smarter than me say that it’s a sarcastic tone. It’s a tone of derision towards Jesus. Behold the man.What Pilate didn’t know is that he was making much more of a significant statement in that moment. Pilate was introducing the quintessential human being, the absolute man, the perfect man. Before all of these people that wanted to kill him, Jesus did what no other man, this is what we’ve been talking about all weekend. Rob talked about it this morning. Jesus did what no other man in history nor in the future could ever do. Because of our being separated from God, our creator provided a mediator by sending his son, taking a human nature. The son of God became incarnate as the man Jesus Christ, our savior, who’s both truly and fully God and truly and fully man. He’s the perfect man. Hebrews, here’s, I’m gonna read more Scripture. Hebrews chapter two, verse 16 through 18 says,

“For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” -Romans 2:16-18

He lived the exact blueprint of how a man should live. And this last long stretch of Scripture, I’ll read, Rob, read some of this this morning, Romans chapter five verse twelve.

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all had sinned- for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was the type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in the life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, so that, by one man’s obedience, the many will be made righteous. Now the law came into increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 5:12-16

Why do I read all that? I’m trying to get the picture of the absolute man and what he did. I just read all of it. But like Rob and Brody both said this morning, he made, if you were in Christ, you were made new in a new creation. What does any of that have to do with men in the local church? We look to Jesus as our example and what can be a little funky here but shouldn’t give us much problem is Jesus wasn’t actually in the local church, but he did teach the men who started the first church, and who wrote half the Bible.

He inspired all those Scriptures. We have a lot to learn from his life. But let’s take a look at three particular points about Jesus and his life, so we can glean how that applies to us in the local church. Alright, point one, Jesus was always where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there. And so again, we know we’re supposed to be in the church. We’ve established that for like 12 seconds, so you guys are experts on it, I am too. Here we go. We know where we’re supposed to be when we’re supposed to be there. In Luke two verses 41 through 52, Jesus stayed in the temple, he’s 12 years old, stayed in the temple, he’s led by the holy spirit to remain there, so that Scriptures would be fulfilled. And he looked at his parents and he said, did you not know that I must be in my father’s house?

In John chapter four, Jesus made an intentional step. If it were me, it makes sense if you’re going from Israel to Galilee, you just go straight through Samaria, for a Jew, you go around ’cause we don’t like Samaritans, we don’t associate with them. It was very intentional in John four when Jesus said, I got go through Samaria because we’re going to Galilee. That wasn’t an accident. His disciples thinking, what the heck are you doing? But he did that so that he would meet the woman at the well. He knew by the urging of the Holy Spirit, he knew where he was supposed to be and he went there. And then Jesus knew what was gonna happen in the garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26. He recognized where he was going. He was going straight to his death, and he recognized I have to go there so I will be there, because it’s expected of me by my father. Same thing for us. We set the bar low standard, first thing at least be there. And I think a lot of us are doing that. Jesus served others at the cost of himself. Philippians 2: 5-8 says,

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:5-8

Several things happened here. Jesus is God, He started in the highest form. He didn’t count that as something to be held tied onto. He emptied himself and he became a man. And when he became a man, he became servants of men.He humbled himself further and knew he was the perfect man and didn’t strut about as the perfect man. And his entire life was a life of obedience, and it finally ended in the worst death. We don’t want to just attend church because we should be there. We wanna serve the church and give of our time. I said it earlier, we need men in every area of the church. I was just talking to a guy about this right before this, I think right before the first breakout. And how he said in his church, there’s not a youth pastor, so there’s a lady who had to step into it. And I hear that and think, where’s the guy that’s gonna step into that role? What is he doing? It’s awesome that she’s stepping up, but where’s the man who’s supposed to step into that role and lead and preach and teach and disciple. We got serve the church, children’s ministry, youth ministry, all that. It’s not just for women. Children need to see men teaching too.

And last, Jesus did not abandon his bride. He told his people all throughout redemptive history, I will return for you. And he walked with them throughout all of redemptive history. He didn’t abandon them. Martin Luther said, “Every Christian is called to be Christ to his neighbor.” The only Christ many people in this world will ever meet is you, and you represent Christ to your neighbor. But we also represent Christ to our wives. If you’re married, you represent Christ to your wife. And there’s this Christian psychologist that after working with so many women that feel this sense of abandonment, the question that essentially, he summarized the questions that they’re asking, he said, where is Christ on Sunday morning? If we’re called to be Christ to our wives and we’re called to be Christ to our neighbors, where’s Christ in the church? He’s there but he wants to do it through us.

Ephesians five, verse 22 through 23. It describes much of the church as the bride of Christ, not much, excuse me, the church as the bride of Christ and the husbands are to be Christ to their wives. And that we’re to love our wives as their own bodies. Don’t abandon your families to figure out what it looks like to be in the local church. Don’t just bring your families because they should be there, but show them how to serve in the local church. And furthermore, there are families in our churches that don’t have fathers, the widows and the orphans or those who have been proverbially widowed and orphaned whose fathers have walked out on them and husbands have walked out on them. Be Christ to them too. And if you’re a single man, you’re not excluded from this. Zach said it earlier, excellently in his breakout, don’t waste your singleness. Paul was a single man. He didn’t waste it. The Lord used that. And if you’re single for a time, don’t waste it. One of the demographics as we look across the church on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, whenever in whatever involvement, there are not a lot of single men. It’s a rare thing to see a group of single men in a church.

All this being said, we’ve been made new, we’re different. And those men that I mentioned that I kind of, several of those men that I pushed into earlier in the Scriptures, they’re also mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11, as those who had faith in Jesus. Have faith in Jesus and look to Jesus. We can’t do these things ourselves. We look to Jesus as the new man. And because he has made us new, we can. When I was studying for this breakout and trying to see all the reasons why men aren’t in the church, and all the reasons why men hate the church or don’t want to be a part of the church or aren’t serving in the church or aren’t active in the church, I realized again all of that that I’m saying is I feel like we’re not looking to Jesus. My call for all of us is to not use statistics, a style of preaching that we like, the church demographic that we’re in, the area, the location of the church as excuses for passivity. And at the end of the day, consider Jesus. And I’m gonna read this first and then we’re gonna be done. Considered Him who endured from sinner such hostility against himself so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Again, Thank you men who are serving the church and I call all of us to continue to do that.

May 9, 2023

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