Perhaps there is a more polite way to describe our bright, highly committed, single Southern Baptist young men but I humbly offer 'sniveling wimps' as one possibility of an apt description in the light of a startling statistic:
Two-thirds of the personnel who serve in the International Mission Board's Journeyman program are females.
Let's see. Southern Baptist churches give over $300 million to our International Board to reach the world for Christ. An important and significant part of their mission force is a two year program for single college graduates and married couples without children. The IMB describes it thusly:
For the past 40+ years, more than 5,500 adventurous young college graduates have served all around the world as Journeyman missionaries. These Southern Baptist, twenty-something, single or married with no children college graduates wanted to do something more after graduation than just jump into a secular career ... they wanted to be on mission with God.Apparently, far fewer of our finest male college grads are very adventurous. Two-thirds of those serving in the Journeyman program are females.
It gets worse.
Many of the priority locations for these personnel are in countries where males are culturally dominant and females highly restricted. So, God must have willing males to bridge this cultural divide? No doubt God does. Apparently, just not among Southern Baptists. It's the "willing males" who are deficient in the SBC not God.
Hey! You! Yeah, you. Young, restless, single, educated, reformed or not reformed. You! We will pay your way. We will give you a salary. We will train you. We will help you learn a language. We will stand behind you with vast resources. All you have to do is to be willing to go.
Oh, you're busy on the warm and nurturing campus among encouraging friends and erudite professors. OK.
Most of us, and few others, are aware that Southern Baptists are mainly responsible for The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is probably unfair, but the CBMW makes news primarily in the area of pronouncing what females cannot do in ministry positions or reacting to such things.
There are things to be explored here but I would recommend that the CBMW refocus at least some of their energy on Biblical Manhood and relax on the Womanhood business. Perhaps they could get funding to supply spiritual testosterone to the young, restless, educated males in the SBC so that they would step up to the task of The Great Commission somewhere other than church saturated Ft. Worth, Texas, reformed hotbed Louisville, Kentucky and elsewhere.
Perhaps our young, single, male seminarians, white hot for Christ, would lay aside plumbing the depths of supralapsarianism or the joys of the hypostatic union long enough to offer themselves to the Lord for service in some place where the name of Christ is seldom heard.
I ask: Is God calling only females to these places overseas? Surely not. If He were, it would be the Almighty's joke on Southern Baptists who disallow females as Senior Pastors but use them for the more significant service overseas.
Surely, a young man entering the SBC pastoral ministry where he will likely serve single-staff, mostly rural churches for his career and where he will be dealing with a people group who are Gospel-saturated could at least consider that God may call him to one of the many people groups elsewhere virtually without the Gospel.
And shouldn't every complementarian enthusiast, those who may be sitting behind a desk or standing behind a comfortable pulpit pontificating about women in ministry, begin by apologizing to every woman who has answered the call of God and has or is serving in these places where men were needed but who were unwilling to answer the call?
At the very least the IMB should rename the Journeyman program to the Journeywoman program or just the Journey program.
Lottie Moon, could you send us some more strident and pointed letters from the foreign fields...and address them to the young men of the SBC.
Addendum: The IMB does not release gender statistics for their mission personnel but I have heard SBC leaders address this issue of the female-dominated Journeyman force. Danny Akin in particular, I understand, minces no words with the young men at Southeastern seminary. I have also heard SBC presidents on the same subject.
As always, I welcome some more informed SBCer persuading me that a nomenclature other than "sniveling wimps" would be more appropriate.