Despite the fact that men outnumbered women in the Greco-Roman world, women, especially widows, joined the early church in droves. In the second century, the pagan Celsus criticized Christianity, saying it was a religion for “the foolish, dishonorable, and stupid...and only slaves, women, and little children.”
Records show that in 253, the Roman church included over 1500 widows, and by the fourth century, the church in Antioch included 3,000 widows and virgins. Women have been a part of Christ’s ministry and Christ’s church from the very beginning. We aren’t going anywhere, and the suggestion that our presence is no longer wanted or needed in the Church is insulting and contrary to the gospel.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be actively seeking out men and encouraging them to exercise their gifts in a church setting.
So, a couple of questions for you:
1. How can we encourage men to participate and take ownership in the Church WITHOUT belittling women or relegating their roles?
2. Much has been written about the “prolonged adolescence” of men in America. How can pastors/teachers/counselors call men to responsibility, again WITHOUT belittling women or creating a one-size-fits-all mold for masculinity?
Do you know of any pastors/churches who are doing these things well? Please share!
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