Men, March Madness is upon us. I have to admit that I am “pumped” again this year. I have been for years. I personally am going with Ohio State. So what is it about March Madness that grabs men. I suppose it is the competition of so many great teams. It is the thrill of following the underdog. We know it only last for three weeks. We can keep the “fever” for that amount of time. I guess it is just the excitement of so much action.
Why do men get so excited about March Madness, while expressing so little excitement in church. I guess I have changed my tune over the years. I used to make the comparison and then get after the men to get with “the church program.” Now I think, maybe the church is simply a hard place for men to get excited in because the flavor is established by the presence of so many women compared to so few men. We are outnumbered and feel out of place. The culture of the normal church, especially in worship, is geared for a more gentle, subdued expression. You can’t talk loud or gesture as men do with other men. We have to “cool” it, because we are with women, who relate a lot easier to what is going on in church
Maybe the church needs to change, in order to reach more of the men. I think we need to stop judging a man’s commitment to Christ by how excited he gets during a worship service on Sunday morning. I have to confess that I have been guilty of doing such a thing. Remember men are less emotive than women, even at sporting events. Maybe we need the kind of excitement that comes with telling the story of good and evil and the battle that we are in as we follow Christ. Maybe men need to be challenged to get into a life and death conflict between good and evil.
Maybe we need to ask men to “step it up” and give the best they have for the team. That would be their family, church, and community. Men can identify with that kind of excitement and challenge. Why is it that we like good cowboy movies and war movies, where there is always the battle between good and evil. Men like to feel they are on a team with a good cause. Maybe that is why March Madness gets into our blood. We identity with those young men and team effort they give with such dedication to win.
This is what the cause of Christ should be like. As a group of men we give ourselves to our famlies, church and community so that people come to know the love of God in a personal way. So I’m not going to get after men anymore for going a little mad during March Madness. But I am going to say to them, there is something much more challenging to be involved with today. It is a group of men who want to follow Jesus. They form a “band of brothers” who work as a team. They are “wildmen” in the sense that they responded to a passion and desire that has been placed within them by the Holy Spirit. This passion energizes them to give the best effort they possible can for the “King of Kings.”