Why Men Hate Going To Church

Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men.

Why Men Hate Going To Church by David Murrow addressed some new thoughts and critical issues regarding impacting men through a local church.  Murrow retells stories and uses a number of examples to illustrate that worship, terminology, “look and feel”, and ministry opportunities tend to be created and operated from an effeminate perspective.

Murrow, a television writer and producer, asks and effectively answers the question: “What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away?” Just 35% of American men say they attend church weekly, he reports, and women make up more than 60% of the typical congregation on a given Sunday.

Murrow contends that the church: caters to women, children and the elderly by creating a safe, predictable environment. This alienates anyone fond of risk taking, including young men and women, but men are affected most.

He suggests the five top reasons why men hate going to church:

  1. Men believe that church-going is not acceptable manly behavior. It’s for women, weirdos and wimps. This is why even church-going men hide their faith from their friends and associates. They are not ashamed of Christ; they are ashamed of being perceived as unmanly.
  2. Men feel like church is a waste of their time. The ROI (Return on Investment) just isn’t there.
  3. Christian culture has slowly feminized over time, driving masculine men out.
  4. In the church power flows to men who are verbal, sensitive, musical or studious (i.e. pastors and music leaders). If a man lacks these gifts, he may feel like he has nothing to offer.
  5. There are more women than men who are verbal, sensitive, musical or studious. Therefore, we find more women in church. It’s a simple numbers game.

In order to reach men, Murrow suggests churches must:

  • “Adjust the thermostat” to embrace the masculine spirit:
  • Let men lead; give them tasks;
  • Encourage pastors to show strength and teach men through object lessons;
  • Provide men with opportunities to discover truth for themselves.

Here are some thoughts that came to mind as I read this book:

  • Men want to be warriors and kings, as well as lovers and servants.  Too often we focus on the “tender” stuff, instead of the “tough.
  • Men want to make an impact and make a difference.  If the contribution doesn’t help, why do it?
  • Men want to be given a challenge and entrusted with it.  Every man admires someone who has “overcome all odds” at the expense of their own safety.  Is that what Jesus did?
  • Men like to “get’er done!”  Give them a project and let them finish it.  Men’s commitments need to be specific, goal oriented, and result oriented.
  • Men appreciate quality.
  • Men are competitive.  Competition is a strong motivator.
  • Men need a victory dance.  We need to celebrate what we accomplish.  We start . . . we finish . . . we celebrate . . . and then we retell the story of what we started, what we finished and what we celebrated.  Seasoned warriors tell stories of great victories to younger warriors . . . they tell of honor, tradition and pride . . . not about how they felt!
  • Men don’t want to sit around a table or in a circle and “share”.  That’s just too “sensitive”.  Men build teams and relationships by working “shoulder to shoulder”, “side by side”.  Give them an opportunity to work together on a project, go on a mission trip or build something.  Give us stuff to do instead of a seminar to attend.
  • Singing songs with effeminate language and images directed towards God can be difficult for men who are coming to church for the first time.  Phrases like, “You are beautiful,” “draw me close,” and “I want to kiss your face,” can cause some uneasiness when singing them to and about another man . . . even if He is the Son of God.
  • Men want to raise sons who understand what it is to be a man!

Murrow gives us some good thoughts concerning the problem, but there aren’t too many solutions.

Is this a valid problem? You bet.  It may take more than just a few accountability groups or men’s conferences to fix it.  It may take a shift in the value we place on men and how we communicate it.

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