But local communities don’t want to lose the bases. They depend on these posts to buoy their local economies, provide jobs and enhance prestige. The moment the list was announced, governors and senators rushed to the microphones, pledging to “save our bases.”
But there’s a core truth that’s being lost here. The military exists for one purpose: to defend America against hostile enemies. It does not exist to provide jobs or prestige to localities. But these towns (and their supporters) seem to have forgotten that.
Our churches fall into a similar mindset. We forget our purpose: to make disciples of Jesus. The only valid measure of success is this: are people becoming more like Him?
However, in today’s church we measure success by the standards of a family reunion: how many people came and did everyone get along? Oh, we’re doing lots of good things. We comfort people. We provide worship services that help folks connect with God. We provide caring ministries. We provide teaching from God’s word and forums for personal expression. Nothing wrong with any of this.
But are we really fulfilling our purpose with men? Are men becoming more like Jesus through the ministry of the local church? Too often, the answer is no. In thousands of churches across the globe, men are going to church, but are not becoming more like the Master. Not even a little.
It’s time to recognize that our current model of church is not getting the job done for men. Less than 40% of the adults in our worship services male, and majority of men who do attend are not becoming more like Jesus. More than 70% of the boys who grow up in our church system abandon it by the time they’re 20. We’re putting a lot of sweat into a system that’s not working. We should be on our knees, asking God two questions: “How do we reach men?” and “How can we change our church system to make that happen?”
I want to leave you with a threefold challenge. One, will you recommit yourself to the primary goal of the church: making disciples? Two, will you make changes to your church system, in order to make it more relevant to men and boys? And three, are you willing to slaughter some sacred cows to make it happen?