Why do men turn to online influencers instead of the church? One reason is that evangelicals promote a vision of masculinity that is so bleak and unappealing it turns men off. They sum this up under the heading “servant leadership”
Properly defined I believe servant leadership is important and something we should all aspire to. But evangelicals use it as a term of art that ends up defining a man’s mission is life as catering to the needs and desires of his wife and kids.
They use a highly curated set of Bible passages and example like Jesus washing the disciples feet, while avoiding the many other examples that show other aspects of what it means to be a man or a leader.
Evangelical servant leadership is a form of radical kenosis in which a man much empty himself of all of his own desires, ambitions, mission goals, etc. in order to serve his wife. One high profile pastor all but says men are never allowed to do anything for themselves.
The evangelical view of the husband echoes the view of God in "moralist therapeutic deism" in which he is a sort of "Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist."
In evangelical teaching, a man has no legitimate claims of his own he can assert, no legitimate desires or aspirations he can hold, no mission in the world to undertake.
Suffice it to say, the people promoting this approach to manhood don’t give off much evidence of living this way themselves.
We definitely need servant leadership. But the way they define it isn’t right. Correcting these faulty teachings on gender is one of the church’s major to-do’s in the today’s negative world.
Newsletter version of his podcast: https://www.aaronrenn.com/p/servant-leadership