Childrenswork’s survey into men’s involvement in children’s ministry gave us some surprising results. The survey was a follow-up to the feature on men in children’s work in our August issue.
The survey was mainly completed by men and the majority of work being done by those who completed it was church-based work for eight to eleven year-olds. Almost 25 per cent of those who responded indicated that at least half of their children’s work team were male. However, the survey also showed that the main motivation for men’s involvement was to create a ‘less riskaverse culture’, and that men are put off getting involved in children’s ministry after discouragement from women.
Childrenswork co-editor and children’s ministry adviser for the Diocese of London, Sam Donoghue, said: ‘I think anyone who is involved in children’s ministry will be rather surprised by these results as they paint a picture that doesn’t seem to chime with the experience of many of us. During the course of my work for the Diocese of London I have visited a lot of churches and, apart from a couple of exceptions, it is highly unlikely that I would meet more than one or two male children’s workers in any church.
Just for an example, in all the training we have run for children’s workers this term, I have trained three men among around the hundred we’ve trained thus far. The survey results are obviously cause for a little more optimism about the numbers of men working in our groups but I fear it is more likely to be a quirk based on those who do have more male leaders being more likely to fill in the survey as they feel strongly about the subject.’
75% of respondents said under 25% of their team was men
2/3 believe children’s ministry has a feminine emphasis
37% believed that there aren’t more men in children’s work because they’re discouraged by women