It has been almost two full years since I put up a post about how our International Mission Board's Journeyman program, the two to three year overseas program for single college graduates aged 21-26 is completely dominated by females. My humble 2012 post:
Young, male, restless conservative SBC seminarians: SNIVELING WIMPS
The irreverent phrase that not-so-gently stepped on the little twinkies of our young, single, male seminarians was, "SNIVELING WIMPS." How impolite, and impolitic of Plodder to call the few, the called, the proud, the chest thumping, set-the-world-on-fire young male Southern Baptist seminarians 'sniveling wimps'. Why do that?
Here's why: You can't get these guys to go overseas and serve the Lord in some of the more difficult places where the Gospel is needed the most...but you can get girls to do it. In 2012 fully two-thirds of Journeymen were FEMALES, not males, making that program the most inappropriately named program in the entire SBC.
The IMB, best I can tell, stopped reporting gender statistics for this program.
The 'sniveling wimps' article was, I think, my most viewed piece, mainly because Danny Akin tweeted it. He agreed with me on this if not on a lot of stuff.
Here's a recent comment I received. I've tweaked it a bit. The commenter was and is anonymous.
I'm a girl about to start my journeyman term. And let's just say out of the 30 or 40 single people being trained (a figure that includes journey people, apprentice, and career appointments) there are five single guys
....it is WAY harder for girls to go overseas single than guys...and WAY harder for single girls to come back from overseas...still single.
The places in the world that need the gospel NEED male witnesses. Desperately....and so many things single women can't do in so many other cultures, especially in some parts of the world where the need for the Gospel is greatest.
The excuse of the single males is that there are other things to consider...those men...clearly don't follow Jesus in a way that puts trust or faith in Him.
Hey, single guys! Yeah, you Biblical He-Manhood and Subservient-Womanhood types. Here a bit of womanhood that should make you ashamed of yourself. You want patriarchy? Try being a real male and being open to serving in places as hard as this girl. Even if you do, you will have it easier than her because of the male-dominated cultures in these places. Nobody cares how well you conjugate greek verbs and how glorously expound the scriptures. Evidently, you haven't expounded The Great Commission sufficiently for you to believe it yourself.
So, what's Plodder's personal mission for David Platt? There are two parts to it.
1. Lend your voice to addressing the issue of young males wimping out of Journeyman service. These guys think you walk on water, Mr. Radical. Give 'em both barrels on this and see what happens.
2. You must be aware by now that some among these hundreds of single girls who answer God's call and serve in difficult places have not been adequately taken care of. What I mean here is that in my limited exposure to a number of 'Journeygirls', several were plopped overseas in a foreign culture and after a short while were isolated, left to live alone, with a support structure and system in place that some judge to be inadequate. This is risky, and irresponsible. The IMB is dodging bullets here. This is also unacceptable. One of the presumptions Southern Baptists have about our wonderful International Board is that we have vast resources and are diligent about taking care of our people. I believe that to be true in general. I'm pointing out a crack in the airframe here. It can be easily fixed.
I have confidence in you to lead in such a way that these are addressed. You are in my prayers.
As for my SBC colleagues who are young, male, restless, sniveling wimps...step up, brethren. We can't all be megapastors superstars and seminary profs.
[And, if the anonymous Journeygirl would email me at email@example.com, my wife and I would consider it a honor to pray for you as you go.]