Louise is at Radiant 09, the national women's conference, this weekend. She'd be the first to admit that it's not really "her thing" so as a wind up before she left I read to her the pre-conference blurb that describes it as "3 days of heaven by the sea" including a pamper room and a fashion show. How different from the men's conference I was at last weekend which had the strap line "Stand Up and Fight!" (to which all are encouraged to respond with a macho "Huuuuhhhh!") No pamper room for us men - just sport and a fleet of fast cars to play with.
Don't get me wrong I think gender-specific stuff like these conferences is really important and I'd be the first to say that the biggest flag wavers for Radiant 09 should be the men (certainly any husband worth his salt should massively encourage his wife to go anywhere where she can be renewed in her faith and passion for Jesus....what else does Ephesians 5:25-29 mean.....). But it does highlight the obvious, yet often ignored fact, that generally speaking, your average man and your average women are different and need to be reached in different ways.
I can't help thinking that given the fact that the Church generally communicates in a way that is attractive to women (which is strange since it's run by men....maybe it's the long dresses some of them wear....) and that it is haemorrhaging men at a shocking rate then maybe, just maybe, we need to be less apologetic about intentionally doing the stuff that will get connect with blokes.