Has the Christian Men’s Movement Made Any Difference?
15,000,000 New Men Have Become Christians
Some question whether the sixteen year old Christian men’s movement has made any difference.
The argument goes something like this: “Since the same percentage of people claim to be born again today as then, the Christian men’s movement has failed.” That’s a fair concern. It is true that the percentage of people who are born again has remained steady at about 40 percent.1 However, the number of born again people is dynamic and not static.
Has the contemporary Christian men’s movement made any difference? Consider these two points:
1. There are an estimated 14,597,000 more men 15 years of age and older today who are born again than there were at the beginning of the Christian men’s movement 16 years ago:
- The population of men 15 years of age and older has increased from 93,703,000 in 1990 to 111,797,000 in 2006, an increase of 18,094,000 men.2 Forty percent of the “increased” male population equals an estimated 7,237,600 new born again men over the last 16 years.
- Approximately 18,400,000 men 15 years of age and older have died in the last 16 years. Those men have been replaced by new men coming of age. Forty percent of the “replacement” male population equals an estimated 7,360,000 new born again men.3
- 7,237,600 plus 7,360,000 equals 14,597,600 men. It is true that many of these men became born again before the age of 15. We can speculate, however, that many of these younger men were evangelized for Christ by fathers, coaches, and pastors engaged in the Christian men’s movement themselves.
2. We can’t know the full impact of the movement unless we could find out how it would have turned out had there been no movement. For example, who would say Billy Graham’s ministry didn’t make any difference because Western culture declined during his tenure? One can only wonder how much further society would have declined if Billy Graham had not spoken up. In the same way, the impact of the Christian men’s movement could only be fully determined if we could compare what is to what would have been. And of course, that can’t be known. However, I believe we can conjecture we are better off.
In summary, the contemporary Christian men’s movement has made a huge difference—nearly 15,000,000 men are now born again that were not at the beginning of the movement (circa 1990). That’s near 1,000,000 men per year! We are definitely making spiritual progress among men. The movement is robust.
Pat Morley, Ph.D.
1 Barna Research Group, retrieved online November 10, 2006 at http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topic&TopicID=8
2 Male population 15 years of age and older in 1990 was 93,703,000 ( http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/nat-agesex.txt, retrieved November 13, 2006).
Male population 15 years of age and older in 2006 was 111,797,000 ( http://www.census.gov/population/projections/nation/summary/np-t3-c.txt, retrieved November 13, 2006).
40% of 93,703,000 = 37,481,200
40% of 111,797,000 = 44,718,800
3 Table No. 130 of the 1997 Statistical Abstract of the United States indicated that 1,150,442 men 15 years of age and older died in 1994. For this study 1,150,000 is used as the annual estimated death rate. These numbers are consistent with annual death statistics found at http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/tables/06s0099.xlw, retrieved November 13, 2006.