Nik Ripkin notes that in the most needy and risky places on earth women field activists outnumber men by seven to one. He thinks he knows why.
The model of success presented to men in gospel service is the megachurch pastor.
If men who yearn for that are dumb enough to get to one of the most challenging places to serve, they don’t stay long. Soon they figure out that they’re on the wrong ladder to get to their goal. Attrition is high.
Ripken notes it’s different with women. They were never offered the role of a Hybels or a Driscoll—never allowed access to that ladder.
So, they choose to serve. It sounds like the closing to Mark’s Gospel. Jesus had spent years urging his followers to understand that whoever wants to be great must be a servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of everyone. Even he—Messiah—did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his very life as a ransom for everyone.
But right up to the end the guys he discipled jockeyed for recognized leadership positions. In Mark, even after he repeatedly tells them to stop seeking status but rather to seek servitude, James and John made their bold move for recognition.
But at the very end we hear about brave women—the only ones this is said about, who consistently served him and others—witnessing his death and burial.
How much are we listening to him as he teaches those who crowd closely around him asking—“What did you mean by that?”
Or how much do we imitate most people rushing by out in the street because we’ve got more important things to think about?
May we be sound brave servers of our Risen Teacher, focused on the most important things.