(Photo: Lloyd Stephens)
A Michigan church recently began offering worship services geared toward bringing more men into the congregation and helping with the everyday issues they may face.
"If men make the unselfish decision to fulfill their obligation to their wives and children, many problems like the fatherless epidemic simply go away," Mikie Bartee, who is Connection Church's pastor of development and leads Man Church, told The Christian Post. "We believe many of the problems facing America today are solvable problems … It's not a religious problem or a socioeconomic problem, it's a man problem."
Connection Church of Canton held its first "Man Church" service last Thursday. Bartee told CP that the opening service was "awesome," with nearly 90 men in attendance.
"The service is simple. It is stripped down. It consists of 30 minutes of teaching and 45 minutes of Table Talk where guys openly discuss the lesson they just heard and issues facing men today," said Bartee. "Also, men receive their marching orders for upcoming events. For example, on St. Patrick's Day, we are setting up tents at bars and providing free rides."
"Homes without a father are ever increasing. Researchers say this is an epidemic in America. Oprah Winfrey called the kids of these homes Fatherless Sons and Daddyless Daughters in her life class just a few months ago," reads a press release on the event. "Connection Church of Canton, Michigan is stepping into this fight by launching a new church for men only. Man Church is a weekly gathering of men who get together to discuss man-issues and receive their marching orders for the week."
Across the country, several churches are holding events and gatherings meant to address what many social commentators see as a dearth of important male involvement in American culture.
In March 2012, Immanuel Bible Church of Springfield, Va., held an event on biblical manhood titled "Iron Sharpens Iron."
The featured speaker at that conference was "Courageous" co-writer and co-director Stephen Kendrick, who spoke about the importance of fathers and good male role models before approximately 1,000 attendees.
Earlier this month, the Men's Ministry at Shady Grove Wesleyan Church of Colfax, N.C., hosted the "Triad Area Wide Men's Summit."
With "being a man of God, no excuses" as their theme, the Summit featured notable personalities, including former NFL player Johnny Evans of the Cleveland Browns, former WWE pro-wrestler and current evangelist Nikita Koloff, and retired U.S. Army general W.G. "Jerry" Boykin.
When asked by CP as to how men should act in American society, Bartee said it was a tough question, but it was important for "Christ-following men" to be aware of their "God-given abilities."
"God created us as protectors and providers. He placed men in that role from the very beginning," said Bartee.