I will be writing a series of blog posts on "Why Men Hate Going to Church". This series is meant to provide insight into things in the Church that men despise (or secretly love but will not admit it) and how we can move forward as God's people.
The pastor is the primary communicator in the church. He (or she) guides the church in whichever direction he so pleases. I know many pastors who have moved out of the way and allowed Jesus to run their churches. Sadly, I also know many pastors who treat the church like their social club and if you question them....you are kicked out like a leper! There are reasons why this stuff goes on.
We are fallen creatures. We are looking to be rescued and we need a Hero. Have you ever taken notice of all of the superhero movies being produced these days? We are seeking out something bigger than ourselves. The cute little house with the white picket fence. The perfect church. And as we get involved in church....we often seek out tons of friends in that church. However, we have no close friends outside of the church and we do not know our neighbor who resides beside us.
The cute house will need repairs. The perfect church does not exist because there are people in it. And we all need friends. Real friends.....not just Facebook friends.
Pulpit idols have distorted our views on Jesus. Because we have allowed this. Our church boards and denominations have allowed this. ALL OF US are at fault.
Pulpit idolatry begins when we are worshipping the pastor more than Jesus. This can easily happen. The pastor preaches a few good messages. He dresses cool. He might even sip Starbucks on stage. Wow, he is so cool. And he is purely relational. Which attracts many women to his church (Note: women are relational; men are doers). And since the pastor is relational; he also hits the feelings of his congregation when he preaches.
Nothing wrong with this but here is where he loses alot of men.........
Men are doers. We like to get stuff done. Sitting in church and thinking about our feelings is not how we roll. Men do best in one on one friendships/relationships as we do stuff. Whether it is moving furniture, doing yardwork, or tackling a project at church......that is where we connect. Yes, ladies, we do talk. We are relational too. We just like to get outside the church walls to do so.
Another reason men have issues with pulpit idols is it reminds us of other leaders in our life. Some men hate their bosses. Other men grew up with a demanding father figure or no father at all. Or maybe we drank some bad Kool Aid from people in the past who gave us crappy spiritual advice. (Example: "Just pray it away!")
Spiritual abuse is real too. This is woven into pulpit idols. There is nothing wrong with liking your leaders at church--but is it over the top? Do you ask yourself what would Pastor (name) say about this OR what does Jesus say about this?
Here are some ways to identify pulpit idols....
1. They never share the pulpit. This means they rarely take off and they are the only voice from the pulpit. Pray for other leaders to rise up at church.
2. The whole leadership team at church is their family. There is a difference between being called and keeping it comfy and "all in the family". Ask Jesus, is this a healthy church?
3. The pastor cannot take advice or questions. This is easy. Talk to your pastor after the sermon or during the week. Ask him questions. Don't be cruel but bring real concerns to him.
4. The pastor can't be found at church (or anywhere) else during the week. If your church can never find the pastor at church, or doing counseling, or something.....he has developed a rock-star mentality. Perform on Sundays only.
Men are seeking out leaders in the church who will take action. We are tired of passive leaders who are more devoted to a denomination than to Jesus. We are tired of people pleading for our donations while it is wasted on stupid stuff.
As men, we must also be willing to try spiritual things. Have discussions with others over a beer or cup of coffee. Be engaged. Take action. Hold others accountable. Have ourselves held accountable.
The church should look different year after year. And that will be discussed in my next blog post.