*Christian men like the idea of being ‘men of integrity’. It isn’t overly religious and it represents a character trait of which they can visibly serve as an ambassador.
Integrity is defined by Webster as: ‘firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values’.
The problem with integrity is that most Christian men are NOT firmly adhering to a code of especially moral or artistic values. This leads to a key insight that begins to explain why leaders like George Barna and Rick Warren refer to men as the sleeping giant of the church.
*Christian men hate hypocrisy more than they like integrity. (Read this again!)
Hypocrisy is defined by Webster as: ‘a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion’.
Integrity is attractive to men but hypocrisy is repulsive. No man wants to be labeled as a hypocrite and will take measured steps to make sure he does not put himself into a hypocritical position. It is important to note that this has a profound influence on ministry to men and through men.
*Christian men will intentionally stay on the sidelines if they believe that engaging in ministry represents a false assumption of their true integrity. Men are sensitive to the clear disconnect between their inner life and a life that represents the Lord Jesus Christ in church, at home and especially in the marketplace.
What is the number one reason for this disconnect? It is a lack of sexual integrity. Men in our churches are struggling with sexual temptation. Statistics tell us that half the men in church intentionally look at pornography on a regular basis. Most of these men have repeatedly tried to stop this habit and have failed. Most of them will not stop at viewing pornography but will continue into further degradation.
These men understand that their ‘secret lives’ disqualify them from being an ambassador for Jesus. They may be attracted to integrity but they will not put themselves in the position of being a hypocrite. These men will stay on the sidelines. These are the men that leaders often refer to as the sleeping giant.
How do we awaken this sleeping giant? The only alternative is to help them move away from habits that they cannot break. These men are sexually addicted. Please note that 99% of these men would never consider themselves a sex addict – but that is what they are. The local church can and must become a place where Christian men can find healing and discover what freedom in Christ really means. When this happens – the giant will awaken! Until it does – it will continue to sleep.