1. Secularization and Men in the Church
October 29, 2021 Series: Men's Ministry: Keeping the Fortress and Taking the Frontier
The Rev. Dr. Cary Larson
Men's Ministry: Keeping the Fortress and Taking the Frontier.
Assistant Presiding Pastor of The AALC
In the 2015 summer edition of the Evangel, our Presiding Pastor wrote, “… we may think of the congregations of The AALC as fortresses of safety in a post-Christian frontier. Each congregational outpost is carefully positioned as a haven of safety, providing the protection of God’s Word and the sustenance of His Holy Sacraments. Also, each congregational fort is an outpost from which God’s people are sent forth with His commission of Kingdom expansion and Gospel proclamation into a wilderness culture of immorality and unbelief.”
"Each congregation is an outpost in the wilderness. Each congregational fortress provides the spiritual protection of God’s Holy Word and the spiritual nourishment of His Holy Sacraments. From the safety of the Presence of God and the fellowship of the saints, we are sent forth on a journey. Some are sent to foreign countries; others are sent into their own communities. Each one of us, inspired by His Spirit and equipped with His Word, is sent on a mission into the wilderness for the sake of Our King and the expansion of His Kingdom.”
We will look addressing the retention of men in time of the church. However, before we begin we will operate within five basic biblical assumptions. First, the Doctrine of Justification is, in fact, the chief doctrine of the entire Christian teachings, and it is the key to addressing the retention of all people in the church and pecifically boys and men. Second, Ecclesiastes 1:9 states explicitly that “there is nothing new under the sun.” So, it would be extremely foolish to expect the Holy Spirit to do a new thing outside of God’s infallible and inerrant Word. Third, God has promised that His Word will not return to Him void or empty but will accomplish that which He intends (Is 55:11) and His Word is eternal (Mark 13:31). Fourth, The Church of Jesus Christ shall prevail, regardless of the environment or enemies that surround her, until the coming of her Bridegroom (Matt 16:17-19). Finally, the writer of Hebrews so adeptly states that Jesus Christ alone is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8). He alone is constant; thus, we must fix our eyes upon Jesus Christ in all our endeavors. With these assumptions in mind, I present this work for the edification of Christ’s beloved bride, His church.
- My presentation is in three parts:
First, we will address the secularization of the American society that has been going on since the precolonial times. In the context of men’s ministry, we will look at possible negative influences of the participation of boys and men in the church. In reaction to secularization, the church historically exercised revival to draw men and boys back to the church and I will show how this is a gross error that in the end is not sustainable.
- Our second session will focus on the vocation of fatherhood and the impact of fathers upon the spiritual lives of their family.
- Our final session will be about how do we as the church properly equip boys and men to live out their faith.