Galatians 3:28 ESV There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I have had a sticky note on my desk to write about this subject for a few weeks now, so I am finally getting to it. Let me start off with this: I don’t like the typical men’s/women’s ministries in local churches. And you already know that I am going to tell you why!
Let’s start with men’s ministry. The approach always calls for the men and perhaps the teen boys, to gather together in some setting. It might be a Bible study or it might be quite a large audience in a conference or retreat. It often will involve using a book or video series by some noted Christian “man for men.” The model man who tells the rest how to be men.
Now, I can tell you what goes on at such meetings very typically. The leader works in comments, if not out and out teachings, about women. The idea, chuckle, chuckle, is that there is secret knowledge men need to know about women, else the women are going to manipulate and control them. That kind of thing. As I say, it enters the picture of men’s ministry gatherings either overtly or covertly, formally or informally. The emphasis is upon how different men and women are and men in particular need to be on guard. Look what Eve did to poor Adam, you know.
Now, here is the surprising thing. When it comes to women’s ministry meetings, what do you suppose you find? Is the subject typically, “now ladies, here is how you can get what you want from you man”? Nope. The normal subject matter has to do with affirming what the men are being taught!! Weird, huh? Here is what a man needs. It is your job to see that he has it. Your role is to see that your husband succeeds in what he does and the way you do that is to be quiet and tend to his every need.
As is always the case, you will find some truth blended into all this mixture, but it most all goes horribly wrong because it is twisted and tweaked. How does it go wrong? It treats men as if they are the ones who really count to God and women as if they only count by working in the background to further the man’s mission.
I don’t need to tell you what all of this is going to do when an abuser gets hold of it.
Let me end by saying how this men and women ministry thing should be handled. Do away with it. Address men and women and youth and children in largely the same way. Teach them God’s Word. Give them the gospel. Get them together – ALL together rather than separating them – and teach them the great truths of Christ.
Sticky note marked “done.”