Why Men Hate Going to Church
As the one in charge of helping plan our church’s outreach and discipleship program, I have been very interested in anything related to why people attend church—or better yet, why they do not. That’s part of the reason that I read Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches From Growing, and it’s also the reason why this book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, was so appealing.
You see, being an adult male that has grown up in and around churches my entire life, as well as being able to witness five or six different church bodies up close, I have been well aware of how much our church is lacking in men with vision and passion to get things accomplished. Do the headcount in any of these church bodies and you will find that there are easily more men than women.
David Murrow’s book is laid out quite plainly—first making you aware of the problem that exists in the church (that men are present in fewer numbers), goes through a little bit of history to show what has happened, explains why he believes that men have left the church, and then gives a few creative suggestions for making church a more man-friendly place.
The biggest problem I have with these types of books is that they totally equate numbers of bodies present in the church with growth. Though the author consistently states that you do not have to change your doctrine in order to attract men, I find that a lot of his examples and things that he wants you to look at are ideas from mega churches that may not exalt God the way that a doctrinal statement states that you should.
That being the case, much of what he says struck a chord with me:
- Ministries were generated around women’s strength’s in a self-fulfilling prophecy: More women were staying, we create women’s ministries, more women stay. Men leave.
- The Jesus of the Gospel is different than the Jesus from many church pulpits. When Jesus called the twelve, He challenged them, giving no option. He promised rewards. He actively told some people that they could not follow Him. His verbiage was less about “have a relationship with Me” and more “follow Me!” and “I will teach you to fish men.”
- Often the ministries that we try to create for men are simply women’s ministries with male attendees—then we wonder why it doesn’t work. Men need challenge, and having a Bible Study wasn’t the way that even Christ worked—men were doing something.
While some of the book dwells on things that I think are small (whether or not men have trouble “having a relationship” with another Man—Jesus), a lot of it gave me the chance to look at what we do from a different perspective. For that reason I am thankful for reading this book.
Let me challenge you: pick up this book, take a chance to see what is has to say, and if you find the Spirit moving with what is included, and that it’s Biblical, apply it to your own church or share it with your pastor. You may find that it helps generate ideas that will lead to growth in your church as well.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson (via Booksneeze) for giving me this review copy in exchange for my review.