By Yvonne Sam
I have been conducting some ongoing observations, which I will share, but with a warning that my manner of communication may be construed as being somewhat direct. However, understanding is requested, for I am just being honest and keeping things real.
Today, in the majority of Black churches, there is a marked absence of Black men. In a determined effort to ascertain the reason behind the brothers displaying social treason, I broached the topic with a few males. Do not attempt the messenger to shoot, for the message bears the truth.
Submitted herein are their views, explaining their absence in the pews:
Pastors, who knowingly put males with aberrant sexual behavior in visible leadership roles in the church. On Sundays you can see the choir director or minister of music, who seems to walk a bit too lightly in his shoes, standing before the congregation.
Pastors reading this, the question is asked, “where are your leadership skills?” Some of you even have the effrontery to put them in charge of the youth ministry. What kind of example is being transmitted to the youths in your midst, whose souls you are supposed to be watching over? Surely you know that effeminacy breeds effeminacy. Little wonder that we so often read or hear about gay adult male predators in the church molesting little boys.
To further set the record straight, please understand that no real man will come to your church if it is populated by a bunch of wimps and sissies! And pastor, if your church is attended by too many men with devious behavior perhaps you need to ask the question why, or better still, take a closer look at that and get a little more honest with yourself.
From what I read about Jesus, he surrounded himself with manly men. They were gruff fishermen, dock workers, carpenters, tax collectors, revolutionaries. They were men who weren’t afraid to draw the sword and commence to cutting off ears when the time called for it. These are the kinds of men who were attracted to the ministry of Jesus; and he to them. So why such a dramatic change for us today? Men, especially young men, need discipline not hugs and emotions.
Question to be answered is: What do the military, sports coaches, prison and even the Black Muslims all have in common?
Answer: They all know what it takes to discipline our sons and turn them into men. They know how to take young men, who the world says are hopeless thugs and the scum of the earth, and turn them into unified productive members of a community. You would never see a drill sergeant embracing a new recruit and telling him things like “Son, do you know how much you are loved?” One is more apt to hear things like: “Move over there and give me 100 push-ups”!
And you know what is ironic, by the time the drill sergeant has finished training the new recruit, the young man will willingly charge a bunker filled with hostiles, bullets flying in his face and even give up his life for his newfound military family.
When one visit churches nowadays, it is evident that the focus of most pastors and their ministry is on young, single, Black women with children. By young I mean early 20’s to mid-40’s. Most of the preaching is designed to appeal to the females’ sensibilities. “Are you hurting, and feel like you need Jesus to wrap his arms around you?” Too many feel good, gummy-bear messages designed to make people feel good. Sorry but messages like these only turn men away from Jesus.
Men want to be taught. Appeal to our sense of logic and level-headed thinking. Do not play a bunch of happy music and expect the men present to dance their way down to the altar. The only men that you will see are the ones in the skinny jeans and tight tee-shirts.
When was the last time, barring Father’s Day, that you heard the pastor preach a pro-masculine message? Please do not think too hard, lest a blood vessel should pop. Too many pastors are too busy preaching messages, geared to please their majority female audiences. They have become teachers of those with itching ears, preaching false hope of positivity, and all will be fine as long as you pay your tithes’, instead of giving those very same women the stark truth that they are so desperately in need of.
What is needed today is good, solid, Biblically-based teaching. Teach the people how to discipline their lives by the teachings of Jesus Christ. Stop making Jesus appear as some easy pushover, and show him to be the strong masculine figure that he truly is.
Men need discipline and are not in need of soft music playing on the organ, while the pastor makes an emotional appeal for folks to “Come to Jesus”. Some men may walk the aisle and come forward but only solid instruction and discipline will keep them in church after that one prayer at the altar. They needs to be taught how to discipline their lives by a new world view and new principles.
Sad to say, but the manner in which some churches conduct their styles of ministry that will never happen. Hence the reason why churches are filled with women and kids. Let’s keep it 100: Today’s churches have become maniacal about money.
I recently watched a minister on television spend 30 minutes convincing people that Jesus had a house. Who gives a cookie crisp? Nevertheless, it was an attempt to convince people to focus on the idea of giving money to the minister to get money back from God.
Please understand that when you start saying things like sowing your seed, a financial harvest, money cometh and other such popular phrases, they immediately push away smart, rational-thinking men. They immediately feel they smell a scam, and it was the punchline that they were waiting for.
Pastors, you are not getting any man’s money without first getting his heart. The best way to get a man’s heart is to be the kind of leader he will willingly follow. Then if you ask for 10% of his income to finance church projects, he’ll have no problem doing so. And you’ll never get his heart if you focus too much on his wallet.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is Vice-president of the Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.