Saturday, July 28, 2007

Faith+Values: Outdoors ministry literally makes fishers of men

Faith+Values: Outdoors ministry literally makes fishers of men:
"Ed Trainer has a unique ministry. The 51-year-old Christian serves his Lord by taking men and boys out fishing on the waters of British Columbia, where he lives, as well as Alaska and beyond.

Trainer said his ministry, International Fishing Ministries, grew out of his passion for fishing, his frustration with traditional worship and statistics suggesting most church pews are populated by women.

'Church is too boring for men,' says Trainer. 'For men, I think the great outdoors can be a cathedral. Men open up when they're out on the water. It's a place they can share their fears, problems and vulnerability.'..."
One could do a lot worse than emulate the fishermen who followed Jesus (but never quite gave up their former lives).

The "feminization" of the Church is a phenomenon that has been observed of many years, and has been the subject of much discussion and debate. The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity by Leon Podles as well as Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow are available on and are among many books that respond to this situation.

A couple things that come to my mind after reading this article: This may be the bait (heh) that draws men closer, but is there a strategy for changing the environment in the congregations that have failed to reach men? And is this going to lead to yet more fragmentation of the Church?

The article mentions at least one congregation for men only (not associated with this fishing ministry), and that seems a little out of line with what the Church should be.

The fellowship in a congregation can be one of its greatest strengths, thus it is important that such things as this fishing ministry be followed up but strong encouragement to find a community of believers with which to worship, fellowship, and serve God.

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