The Role of Testosterone in Church Planting (part 2 of 2)

The Role of Testosterone in Church Planting (part 1 of 2)

Testosterone

Yes, calling is important.  God specifically grabs the heart of specific men and points them toward starting new churches.  Paul is a great example:

That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him,
"Come over to Macedonia and help us!"  So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that
God was calling us
to preach the Good News there.   (Acts 16:9-10, NLT)

There is a spiritual pull to start a church from scratch.

But I want to point out a second factor: the biological pull.  God wires all men with a drug-like hormone that is one of the strongest drivers of behavior the world has ever known.  A minute drop of this potent substance, adminstered over a brief period of time, empowers the smallest and weakest male monkeys to become more aggressive in a group.  Testosterone is what fuels boys to become men in a transformation mirroring Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk.

The release of testosterone contributes to the intoxicating feeling a man feels of power and invincibility.  Its why teenage guys do stupid things: the rush of chemicals in the bloodstream inspire them to win at all costs.

According to new studies by Frank Farley, Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, some men have higher levels of this hormone than others.  Men with "testosterone plus" (T+) score high creatively, typically break new ground, challenge authority, and love to make the rules.  Sounds like today's church planters, doesn't it?

This is where I think science and faith collide: God gives a larger dose of testosterone to some men.  And time and again, I've seen the Lord use a biological pull in concert with a spiritual push to start a new church.  This isn't random chance but divine providence.  God plans and creates:

For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
   I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
    My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. (Psalm 139:13-15, NIV)

God gives some men more testosterone than others.  For example, I am a T+ guy.  God made me this way.  He saw fit to make me very driven to start new things from scratch.  T+ is the biological factor of a spiritual pioneer.  When you combine God's calling with God's wiring, you get Kingdom expansion.  It's just how God has wired many in our generation.   

And it helps explain the DNA of a church planter: there's a scientific factor in assessing potential church planters.

Tomorrow we'll talk about the role of testosterone in the Holy Hangover.