Taken from www.buildingbrothers.org:


The Crisis Point...

In Our Culture

George Rekers, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, says, “Research shows that children without fathers have lower academic performance, more cognitive and intellectual deficits, increased adjustment problems, and higher risks for psychosexual development problems. Children from homes in which one or both parents are missing or frequently absent have higher rates of delinquent behavior, suicide, and homicide, along with poor academic performance.”

According to a publication Getting Men Involved: The Newsletter of the Bay Area Male Involvement Network, Spring 1997:

At the Fathers Manifesto site: “More than half of the juveniles executed around the world were executed in the U.S., which has less than 5% of the world’s population.”

Families

The quality of the early father-child relationship is linked to the son’s and daughter’s later adjustment in adolescence and adulthood.

Gallup Poll on Fathering (1996)—The most significant family or social problem facing America is the physical absence of the father from the home.

Individuals

Father’s impact on adult life— Only 26% of men feel confident that they could talk freely with their fathers. Only 33% of adult men can say with assurance that they feel at peace with their fathers.

Confusion—When young men and women have absentee fathers, they are confused about why fathers are important and what fathers can do. They then look to their peers for the answers to life, but their peers know no more than they do.

Churches

The Bridger Generation, written by Thom S. Rainer, is a recent book that takes a look back over the past 50 years in the Christian community. He states these sobering numbers:

Generation


Builders (1910 -1946)
Boomers (1946 - 1964)
Busters (1965 - 1976)
Bridgers (1977 - 1994)

% Making Profession of Faith


65%
35%
15%
4%

We have to ask, what in the world has happened to the church? These numbers clearly show that we have lost our ability to reproduce in the next generation a strong commitment to Christ and to reach the culture for Him.

Now add on to that the current statistics that show that we are keeping less than 6% of the people who grow up in the church. This means that only 5 out of 100 young adults will stay connected to their church body.

Now let’s complete the picture. We are only winning 4% of the current generation for Christ and keeping less than 6% of those who grow up in the church. This is not only sobering, it is distressing. If we continue at this rate, it’s likely that within the next 10 years we will be at a place similar to where the church is in Europe.

We can parallel that drop with the involvement of men in the church. During the height of the men’s movement, when we all felt that God was going to start a grass roots movement throughout the whole country, we failed to see what was really happening. George Barna states:

Percentages of Men in the Church


1991

 

42%

1996

 

28%

On the surface you might say that it’s only a 14% loss, but you have to look at the whole picture—over 25% of the men attending church in America in 1991 had left by 1996.

Are men in the body of Christ prepared to answer the crisis?

To answer this important question we must first examine an underlying question: Is the building of men into godly, biblical leaders, who can reproduce a passion for Christ in others, foundational for the church?

I believe most of us would agree with a strong yes. But when asked if this is being carried out in our churches, the answer would be no.

Why is this so? Is it that the preparation and training of leaders is not seen as a priority or perhaps even necessary?

We believe that you can set the pillars of the church, those incontrovertible essentials that have to be there, on four distinct building blocks.

When a man, woman or child is the first to come to faith, how often does the family follow?


Father

 

93%

Mother

 

35%

Child

 

17%

How can the church build its men to meet the crisis?

In order to be reproducers, church leaders must actively involve and encourage their men in the passionate pursuit of God and effectively train them to reproduce that pursuit in others. These leaders must invest themselves into the building of the men in their church, and incorporating the principles we explain below is the best way to start.

Christ is the model for discipleship. His model is one of reproduction (relationship), not production (programs). That is, He modeled His message and lived it out through relationships. It is, therefore, essential to establish a core group of leaders who are willing to commit to the personal pursuit of God, build relationships, exemplify unity, and model mutual submission before they call other men to do the same (John 17:14-18). Only after personally entering into that pursuit, can leaders effectively and authentically disciple other men.

Christ’s leadership model was the model of servant leadership. Servant leadership is characterized by leaders living a repentant lifestyle, that enables them to build unity and trust while creating a safe environment for men. They do not control, manipulate, or self serve.

To truly build its men, the church must create a safe environment for men. Typically, churches reflect a feminine context that is uninviting to men. Therefore, the men are unable to address and work through the real barriers that they face in pursuing God.

Men must see a clear, practical pathway for the pursuit of God. The process must be visible, definable, joinable, and reproducible in other men. The pathway must be initiated, modeled, and nurtured by the influencing male servant-leaders of the church. Men must be invited into the process of moving from spiritual immaturity to spiritual maturity and leadership in such a way that they can see a clear pathway for transformation.

How will the Building Brothers process help?

We believe there is one vital question that must be asked, Is there a pathway in our local churches to produce godly men? The development of this pathway is what we are about at Building Brothers. For the church to survive, it is of the utmost importance to have a seamless pathway for godly leadership to be developed.

At the start of this pathway (which is broken up into a four-phase process) we must have church leadership becoming core groups that are pursuing God and modeling to the men of the church what God wants them to become. This is what we feel has been missing in the church. We want to suggest that if leaders don’t sense that the building of men is foundational to the church, and they don’t build the core, then there won’t be a continuation of the reproduction cycle.

Farther along in the process, we help men understand their potential and overcome the barriers keeping them from pursuing God as well as help them find their giftedness and give that giftedness back to God. These two points are primarily where were most men’s ministries in this country are focused. However, we cannot sustain any momentum without first establishing a clear pathway for development and a core leadership group.

On a five-year cycle we have seen churches initiate efforts to help men become godly men, but ultimately the impact fades away with time. While their efforts can have a temporary positive effect, it is not sustainable.
Our point is that there needs to be a sustained process of developing biblical leadership. The process needs to be more than just the development of a fixed core of one generation of leaders. These leaders must be willing to participate in identifying the next generation of leaders and bringing them into the same process.

Without the continuing cycle of building up a new generation of biblical leaders, we will find a small group of godly leaders—with little or no lasting legacy for the generation to follow.

What does this mean? Is there a place in your church where men can gain ongoing, biblical leadership development? Is there a visible pathway, strategy, or process to do this right now?

Remove the barriers that prevent men from pursuing God

  1. Produce a servant-leadership model within the church leadership
  2. Establish a clear pathway where men can enter into the passionate pursuit of God
  3. Develop men who are actively pursuing God and reproducing that pursuit in others
  4. Establish an ongoing reproductive process producing servant leaders within the church

Taken from www.buildingbrothers.org.