A Mosque Visit Today


Went to the Mosque today with our group. Our guide was Ahmed Bahm, spokesman for the Gloucester Muslim Association, who has written a number of articles, including a piece in tomorrows newspaper – the one year anniversary of the bombing in London, July 7th, 2005. Ahmed was very courteous and spent a good hour explaining Islam and answering our questions, and giving us a tour through the Mosque – the ablution area for bathing was the most interesting.

Many of our group (twice as many females as males . . . thus all the veils) will be living in Muslim countries very shortly and it was good to find out as much as we could. And i have to ask the question again . . . when it comes to giving up careers and home-country for the gospel and the global plans of God . . where are all the men? And puuuleeeeeeze will people stop saying the missional church is male dominated because i keep looking and i see what i see and i see what they write and the two don’t add up.

btw – I have conveniently cropped this self-taken phone-camera image so that you don’t see how far my hair has receded. If only they had head-coverings for men . . .

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Hutch says:

    Why did you tag this post Puppy? 🙂
    [tsk – ooopps. puppy is the default tag from ecto – i guess i typed in moslem or something but didnt finalise it. its deleted now. thanks]

  • Kevin Rains says:

    just checking in with my blog father. Hope you are well. Wish I was with you in that photo… I love mosques…

  • josh says:

    I was going to say because I got a flickr picture that popped up in my RSS and then I get a cropped picture popping up in the post a few minutes later.
    Have no fear. I’m only 25 and I’m losing my hair. Imagine my shock after having a shag-do for 6 years and then taking it back and realizing that there was nothing there. disheartening to say the least.
    but even samson did a few good things once he lost his hair.

  • Makeesha says:

    I think I could postulate about why there are so many women in missions and servant ministry but that’s probably a post for another day 😉
    Looks like you’re having fun. 🙂

  • Bald Man says:

    Now, now. There’s nothing wrong with losing one’s hair.

  • Alan Cross says:

    I don’t know, Andrew. You look fairly Bondlike in that photo. It looks like you are some type of secret agent doing undercover work in the Middle East. Very impressive.

  • Gabi says:

    Nothing else, only the “sink”?!? I thought you’d get some more emergent stuff out of it. I definitely enjoyed our mosque-time in Istanbul, maybe we should start thick-carpet home gatherings with lovely artwork. Anyway, they say you look more commendable, respectable if your age starts to show… not sure that’s a comfort, but the old-school guys might relate to you easier 😉 always look at the… 😀

  • joeturner says:

    I’m off to Israel-Palestine next week, and am thinking through some ideas about our family mission in Muslim countries.

  • Tank says:

    I would love to be able to sit down in a mosque with a group of muslim people and learn more about their faith from their own mouths. We should all seek to learn about other faiths from the very people that follow those faiths more often. btw-very nice cropping work.

  • Nate Williams says:

    Andrew I have been reading your blog for a year and I really enjoy what you have to say. I was asking the same question about men the other day. I was teaching about the cross and in the Gospels Jesus is dead on the cross and there are a whole bunch of women and the only man is John (Joseph and Nicodemus showing up later). The women did not let their fear keep them from being with their Lord. In most cultures it seems like women are the first on board with Jesus and men are reluctant. Does church or missions seem feminine?

  • Matybigfro says:

    Maybe there are so few men out on the mission field because they are to busy at home writting book’s about being missional and emergent/ing and the way things should be and complainging that there’s too many of them in leadership in the church
    because all the women have got bored listending to old middle class white men complaing that despite having all the money and all the power they still don’t feel they have got church right, and so they decide to go and have some fun riding on God’s back like lucy and susan and the Great Lion of Narnia

  • Bob says:

    My folks are at Penhurst right now, working at a retreat for missionaries. Most, if not all, of them will be single women at the conference. They’ve done quite a few of these, and that is often the case.

  • “when it comes to giving up careers and home-country for the gospel and the global plans of God . . where are all the men? And puuuleeeeeeze will people stop saying the missional church is male dominated”
    The point that I’ve made is that the emerging church is male dominated. Missionary movements have long tended to have the opposite problem – which it to be female dominated – not a surprise. Most of the rest of us see a sizeable difference between “missional” and “emerging”. If you think the two are the same, then maybe you could clarify your definition, but most of us don’t consider the two even on the same plane. Meanwhile, you might consider getting hard evidence to back up your point. My friends at the Christians for Biblical Equality table at Cornerstone were pretty adament that there weren’t enough female voices in the emerging conversation, despite all the talk. Even as a complementarian I would agree with their assessment. So, stop your whining.

  • hi michael
    not whining – actually, its a great opportunity for men. I have just spent a week with some wonderful young Christian single women who are on their way to Asia and Africa – and they also are wondering where the men are.
    as for emerging and missional being on the same plane, i have already made it quite clear – type “emerging-missional” into google and read it
    or go to the blog post on emerging-missional
    as for female vs male, i was just talking with my wife and she feels that in the visible, traditional style emerging church system, the male voice is heard and promoted more than the female
    but in the less visible majority of the emerging missional movement, [and i have seen this movement in about 30 countries] the wives and single woman are often the majority – but find themselves doing the things that dont bring them recogntion or glory – and are not as concerned by these things
    maybe those things dont mean as much to them.
    hard facts: heres one
    80% of the one million church planting evangelists in China – many of whom, btw, are teenagers – are female.

  • If it’s convenient for you Kiwis and Aussies to conflate ’emerging’ and ‘missional’ then more power to you. Most of the missionaries of the younger generation that I know (quite a few) do not see the two in that context. As a result, the women in particular complain about the lack of male representation in international mission work. If the two were the same, then their observation wouldn’t make any sense. The two cultures are very different – the missionary mindset versus the emerging culture – so artifically joining them through semantics only achieves confusion. In other words, emerging continues to be dominated by male angst, while the real mission work is being done by other people in other places and in other cultures.

  • Makeesha says:

    I don’t think “missionary” and “missional” are the same Michael. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you completely as to where your confusion lies. It’s not just a thing of semantics.
    I actually think that there are more female missionaries because throughout the history of the church, the mission field was the one place women were allowed to “shine” in the area of their giftings of leadership since they couldn’t use their leaderhsip gifts in their own churches..and that continues because churches continue to hold women back inside the church – saying “you can only go this far…but hey, if you want to go suffer for Christ in another country, all the power to you”. I am personally flummoxed by that attitude and am grateful that I don’t have to make the choice of fighting to use my gifts in my own church or go to another country to use them.
    I also think women have become exceptionally good at roles that men won’t do because of societal gender bias.

  • Makeesha says:

    Andrew – I actually think you’re spot on, women don’t generally care as much about doing things that don’t bring recognition. I’m not sure if this is a nature or nurture thing however. I think that in “the West”, men have been conditioned to judge themselves by the money they make and/or the notoriety they gain from what they do whereas women don’t have that societl “pressure”. I think perhaps we should encourage both men AND women in the church to fully use their gifts regardless of the attention they get and allow them to feel fully whole in doing whatever it is they set their hand to do as long as it is honorable to God (in or out of the church setting)

  • David says:

    Finished a great book last month “Why Men Hate Going to Church” by David Murrow. This book deeply impacted and challedged me. It is designed with American cultural in mind, however with wisdom is clearly applicable across the board. In essence (how do you condence a book into a paragaph?) it centres on how mans relate and enjoy mascline behavior and modern evengical church has become extremely feminie. It explains a whole bunch of stuff that I see today. Can’t comment about China & emerget… Maybe there is more going on. Highly reccomend the book maybe this can help with the question.

  • Heather says:

    It is hard as a female at the emergent conversation to really be taken seriously. Men tend to not make room for women to join the table, and women tend to not like to force themselves forward without invitation.
    I am really excited to hear that your community is planning to forage into muslim territory en masse – I think it is a beautiful phenomenon when communities decide to go into all the world TOGETHER, instead of just one or two people here or there having to leave their community aside for a vision of Christ’s worldwide glory! My own community here in Pennsylvania is in the formative stages of praying about corporate sending.

  • Dear brother of our Lord Jesus,
    There is a missionary couple at my school who focus their parental hospitality toward units from our college’s male dorms, specifically because there are so few men becoming missionaries. Just wanted to echo and affirm your sentiments from another quarter.
    God’s peace in the Spirit,
    brother Scott

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