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There's a heroism in this—one that appeals to the male mind more than the female, I think.But today we shy away from metaphors of warfare and struggle.All important offices were preferentially reserved for single men.I wonder if that wasn't due to a shrewd appreciation of how important it is to "make the men feel useful." Certainly Jesus was sufficiently revolutionary that he could have selected six women and six men as his disciples.I also agree that churches are predominantly family-centric, and that single women function more easily in that world than men.

That won't happen by accident; it needs to be done purposefully.I have mixed feelings myself, but I suspect women will be reluctant to give up their new influence, even if it comes at the cost of a gender gap. Well, the natural problem the church has is that it's a cooperative, relationship-valuing community. That's why the entire modern approach to outreach—reducing barriers—is making the problem worse.Women are, on balance, cooperative and relationship-valuing people. Most men actually want higher barriers to membership—a fence to jump over is a good challenge that can't go unanswered!Popular theology (what you'll pick up in the devotional section of a Christian bookstore) just doesn't seem as deep as physics, philosophy, or political science. That's where you're loosing the educated men who ought to be rising leaders in the church.

Parachurch groups such as Inter Varsity are probably doing a little better than the church itself at this point, and hopefully some of their influence will eventually migrate over.

But I think there was an important appreciation that men are harder to bring into a social network.