Catering for men in Africa
Bob Roberts recently asked a question on his blog: What does a masculine church look like? He was asking this question because it seems that churches are not really focussed on men, and, as he correctly says: “Just having men in leadership roles doesn’t guarantee that at all.”
Up to now there has been 14 comments on this post (two from myself). In my first response I wrote: “This is arguably our biggest need in Swaziland (as probably in most of Africa) – if we can really reach the men and present Christ as an answer to them, I believe that Africa will change. But most churches have 90% (or more) women and children and church is seen as a feminine thing – for those who are not strong enough to care for themselves.”
In the rest of the comments nothing was said about this problem in Africa. If Africa is seen (as many do believe) as the place where the new revival is going to start and from where the world will be reached, then this problem will have to be acknowledged and addressed. After some further comments on the topic, I wrote the following: “The last three responses may be true in a Western culture but is not necessarily true in an African culture where, to be a Christian, has definite implication for one’s beliefs in cultural practices. We’re not speaking about church attendance only. We’re also speaking about a new life in Christ which means having to break with certain things of the past – and for most men the price seems to be too high to pay.”
Once again: No response.
In the Western world people are struggling to find ways to make church more attractive for men through the way of worship, the type of messages brought to them, the people (eg sports heroes) used in the church. In Africa the problem is hugely different. How do you convince men that they will be better off if they leave their old life and start a new life in obedience to Christ?
As far as I know this is a universal problem all over Africa. Where men come to true repentance, the family often follows them. But if men are not willing to dedicate their lives fully to God, the church in Africa will remain something for women and children.