Theology of Men’s Ministry – Understanding the Differences Between Men and Women
We all know that men and women are different.
We have read the book and some of us could write our own book!
How are men and women different – and how are they the same? These are issues that impact society and influence the way we minister to men in the context of the local church. What are the roles of men and women in the church, in the home and in the wider society?
I have become increasingly convinced the last twelve years that our lack of solid theological conviction in this area has hindered our effectiveness in ministry to men and through men.
Every church has ‘Adult Ministry’, but very few have an effective ‘Men’s Ministry’.
Can we really lump everyone together and minister to them the same way? More importantly – does our theology allow us to do that? What does the Bible teach about biblical manhood?
Below are several key affirmations that came from a group of evangelical leaders who met in Danvers, Massachusetts in December of 1987. If you would like a copy of the “Danvers Statement” then please request it at no charge at: firstname.lastname@example.org Our office will send it to you.
The Danvers Statement was first published by CBMW in Wheaton, IL in November of 1988. Below are printed some of the key affirmations from this statement with the permission of CBMW. Take some time to think through these affirmations and to study the biblical text from which they were taken. How are your theological convictions driving the ministry to men in your local church?
1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18).
2. Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Gen 2:18, 21-24; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).
3. Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Gen 2:16-18, 21-24, 3:1-13; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9).
4. The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Gen 3:1-7, 12, 16).
In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife’s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility. In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.
5. The Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women (Gen 1:26-27, 2:18; Gal 3:28). Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community (Gen 2:18; Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; 1 Tim 2:11-15).
6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.
In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership (Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7). In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15).
7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission-domestic, religious, or civil-ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Dan 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29; 1 Pet 3:1-2).
8. In both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries (1 Tim 2:11-15, 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9). Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God’s will.
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