When I look at the leadership at my age group, I just kind of sigh. It’s not pretty.
I am not sure if it’s just the churches I go to, but it seems women play big roles.
I have a lot of young women becoming small group leaders and being in charge of ministries at church and I don’t think they are there yet. I am not against female being in charge but I see a trend where a lot more women are in leadership roles than men. I see another problem where some of them are not really mature enough, not there yet, to take these leadership roles. Putting them there gives them a false idea about how ready they are.
I can see several logical reasons why women are taking more leadership roles at church. Men, especially young professional men, are more focused on their work/career than serving at church. Traditionally, a man proves his worth with his earnings and career.
I find that women are more industrious when it comes to serving at church. They are also more obedient to church leadership. Men are more independent. They are more pone to having their own ideas and going their own ways. There is also the difference that women are more social beings than men in general and are better at organizing events and fostering relationships.
I find that young women are in a lot of ways, more mature than young men their age these days. It is especially true in Hong Kong and it seems that many young women at church are more educated than the young men at church. I think it has to do with the education system in Hong Kong and also I wonder if the church is failing to attracts more young professional men. Women are more organized, reliable than men in general. Women are also more sensitive and and have better sense of what other needs (more nurturing) and what people are thinking. They can have blindsides too (everyone has) but women seem to be better at being civil, not offending others, keeping a nice outward appearance and keeping it to themselves. Men are often more opinionated.
But I am not sure if that’s more of the problem of young men at church these days who seem to act a lot like big, old boys. We have a term now, “kidult.” It is used to describe adults who still act like kids, think and behave like kids. I have part of that in me too and it can be unleashed at the right moment. Young women are more controlled. It makes women look more matured.
We all know that girls mature earlier. They can concentrate for longer, sit for longer, more sensible than guys and in early high school, usually perform better than boys academically. Guys catch up late high school and in college/university level. It takes longer for men to develop.
Yet, I also see how church is not attracting the mature men. I am not seeing a lot of mature young men serving at church. It’s hard to find any exceptional and intelligent godly young men. There are many smart men out there but they are not at church. They are working hard somewhere. And I can understand that to a logical, practical and successful, goal and success orientated men, church is a bad investment of their time.
Being who they are, they can go to church, go to service, listen to sermon, go to Sunday school even but that’s kind of all they need. They don’t want to be getting too involved in church because it is time consuming, difficult and complicated. At their work place or company, they can be very effective, church is a different place. It’s not boss say this and we all follow.
At my old church, we do have an exceptional, intelligent, charismatic Christian leader at church. He was a decaon and an active member of church and a good friend of the pastor. However, one day, a missionary and his old friend asked if he would take over his missionary organization. He said yes. And he’s doing great work but the church needed someone like him so much, yet he himself knows that he will be a more effective person leading a Christian organization than going through all the mess and personalities at church. It’s tough at church because you have deal with a lot of personalities who don’t really have to follow the leadership. There was also the complicated relationship web, it takes a lot of work and convincing to advance.
Despite the overwhelmingly female domination at the lower leadership level, all in all, the senior leadership in church is more half and half with slightly more men and women. It seems to me that men, in general, takes longer to mature. But men usually has one thing that women lack. Men, those in leadership, have grander visions. Women often seem to be more detail-orientated.
Women are great at tackling numerous things, logistics all at once. Women in Hong Kong generally are less pronouncing. Men are more willing and are more pronounce about confronting issues and addressing issues or problems.
In all this, I can see God’s design in the characteristics of men and women.
However, I am still worried about Christian men. There just seems to be a void, especially in Hong Kong. I don’t think it is as bad overseas from my experience.
I think it has a lot to do with the education system, culture and the work environment here. And I must say that women with the communication skills and better social sense have the advantage in the 21st century over the men in this fast-changing economy/society.
With the high cost of living and housing in Hong Kong, men has tremendous pressure to provide and they would put more time and energy to advance their career than be involved in church because church does take time, energy, sweat, heart and the whole nine yard.
Hong Kong education is a one-size-fit-all system that gives the slight advantage to girls because it is not activity-based. It doesn’t encourage and take account into the stronger motor skills and other areas which boys are more developed in than girls. Girls are naturally better at presentation, speaking and communication which guys are naturally not as good at (wiring of our brains shows that).
I find it vital that church develop godly, determined, mature male leadership. But because of the lack of men in church, I see the difficulties as well. There aren’t much male mentors and leaders to help the younger men in church.
I find that the girls get a lot more attention at church. There are more older women to provide advices and mentorship. The female mentors are also especially concerned with finding mates for these young women because there is a biological watch.
I actually find it troubling that mentors are too concerned with hooking up young church going women than building up young men at church. Many young Christian men are underdeveloped and underguided. They are just wandering on their own with little instructions whereas girls are better at sharing their feelings, getting the help they needed. They are more resourceful. Young men are more likely to find their own solutions on their own and by themselves.
Of course there is always the social context. Hong Kong is a busy place with the longest working hours on the planet. The older men who probably have greater responsibility at their work find it hard to spare time to mentor and men are generally less open.
I see the classic Chinese men at church who are quiet, nice and industrious. They don’t really talk. The more open, talking one are usually more immature. It is hard to find well-rounded men.
We need to grow them really.