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Thread: Book Plunge: Why Men Hate Going To Church

  1. #1
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Book Plunge: Why Men Hate Going To Church

    Is Christianity failing to reach men?

    The link can be found here.

    ----

    What do I think of David Murrow's book published by Thomas Nelson? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    I'm someone active in ministry and I strive to live a holy life before Jesus, but honestly, church can seem like just doing my duty often. I sit there and I hear the same thing I've heard over and over and think about what's on TV when I get home or a game I'd like to play. I could often easily go with skipping all the music and going straight to the sermon, but then when we get to the sermon, it can be just as boring for me.

    If David Murrow is right, and I think he is, I'm not alone. Men don't really care for church. Christianity is the only major world religion that has a shortage of men in it. Why is it that we don't care for church? Is it we don't really believe in God or we don't really care about Jesus?

    Murrow contends that one of the most important things in the mind of a man is to be a man. A man does not generally want to do anything feminine. If there was something like that, he would only care if he knew he was connected with other men with a similar interest. Being one of the guys is of great importance to a man.

    This is also something that is not just shut off. Men are constantly trying to prove themselves and show what they are made of. Challenges are taken very seriously in the world of a man. The problem is that church often doesn't fit into that. Church has become very feminized.*

    Please understand. Murrow is in no way saying the Gospel is feminine. He is also not saying we make any change whatsoever in the content of the Gospel. How we present the Gospel and what we emphasize of the Gospel is often what really needs to be changed.*

    Consider what I said earlier. Men hear the same things repeatedly in a church service. What are they usually about? Relationships. It's not that men are opposed to relationships. We have plenty of them. It's that men don't really define themselves by their relationships. You won't have two guys out hiding in some trees in the woods hunting deer and one of them says, "Hey man. I think we need to sit down sometime and talk about our relationship." (And especially not since the other man likely has a loaded gun.)

    Many churches become all about the family of God, which is true, but not about the Kingdom of God, which is more outwardly focused. Men who tend to be aggressive want to go out and do things. We don't just want to be internally focused.*

    The music is often also not really pleasing to a man. Much of the music relies on an emotional high of sorts and are really songs sung to Jesus that could be sung to your boyfriend as well. Many CCM stations play songs to reach women.*

    We also have a problem when we present gentle Jesus meek and mild. Jesus was certainly the Lamb of God, but He was also the Lion of Judah. Look at the pictures of Jesus on many covers of Bibles and in Christian bookstores. This Jesus often looks like a wimp to men. Men don't want to follow a wimp.

    This doesn't mean either that we chase out the women. Not at all. Women need to be in church and when men start going, women start going more as well. Statistically, if you want to reach the average family for Jesus, focus on the father. There is even research that one of the leading factors in keeping a teenager of either sex from apostasizing is if their Dad takes his Christianity seriously.

    If you're looking at this and thinking it's about the patriarchy or something like that, then you are missing the point. If anything, you're giving men the picture that to be true Christians, they should cease being men. It's not going to work to reach them.

    Instead, make church a place that lets men be men. The book even ends with Murrow asking a group of pastors how many of their churches had more men than women. Only one pastor raised their hand. Not only that, that pastor had nail polish on her hand.*

    This was a woman who had read Murrow's book and took it seriously. She took out feminine decor in the church and removed a lot of songs and got others like "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and "Onward Christian Soldiers" and allowed days for guys to even wear sports jerseys to church. She started preaching sermons about guy topics including a series on "God loves sex." Result? Her church grew among men and women both.*

    Murrow's book is the kind of book I wish I could put in the hands of every pastor in the country. It's a book I thoroughly enjoyed and when I had to interrupt my reading of it, I was always looking forward to getting back into it. It is one of the most important books I think I have read and I highly recommend it.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  2. #2
    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Is Christianity failing to reach men?

    The link can be found here.

    ----

    What do I think of David Murrow's book published by Thomas Nelson? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
    Speaking charitably, I find most of what follows to be a load of crap.


    I'm someone active in ministry and I strive to live a holy life before Jesus, but honestly, church can seem like just doing my duty often. I sit there and I hear the same thing I've heard over and over and think about what's on TV when I get home or a game I'd like to play. I could often easily go with skipping all the music and going straight to the sermon, but then when we get to the sermon, it can be just as boring for me.

    If David Murrow is right, and I think he is, I'm not alone. Men don't really care for church. Christianity is the only major world religion that has a shortage of men in it. Why is it that we don't care for church? Is it we don't really believe in God or we don't really care about Jesus?
    I don't care for a church that has little to no Psa. 149-150 style music.

    I don't care for a church that has little to no evidence of 1 Cor. 12-14 activity.

    I don't care for a church that does have such activity, but polluted with "Name it and Claim it" or "Prosperity" preaching.

    I don't care for a church where there is ONLY "preaching" or ONLY "teaching."

    I don't care for a church where the teaching is bland and superficial.

    I don't care for a church that has "holiness" standards that amount to an imposition of law.

    I don't care for a church that either insists on patriarchal leadership, or else some kind of social justice / affirmative action that insists on women in leadership regardless of qualifications.


    Murrow contends that one of the most important things in the mind of a man is to be a man. A man does not generally want to do anything feminine. If there was something like that, he would only care if he knew he was connected with other men with a similar interest. Being one of the guys is of great importance to a man.

    This is also something that is not just shut off. Men are constantly trying to prove themselves and show what they are made of. Challenges are taken very seriously in the world of a man. The problem is that church often doesn't fit into that. Church has become very feminized.*
    I generally scoff at the term, "toxic masculinity," but this at least verges on that.

    Please understand. Murrow is in no way saying the Gospel is feminine. He is also not saying we make any change whatsoever in the content of the Gospel. How we present the Gospel and what we emphasize of the Gospel is often what really needs to be changed.*

    Consider what I said earlier. Men hear the same things repeatedly in a church service. What are they usually about? Relationships. It's not that men are opposed to relationships. We have plenty of them. It's that men don't really define themselves by their relationships. You won't have two guys out hiding in some trees in the woods hunting deer and one of them says, "Hey man. I think we need to sit down sometime and talk about our relationship." (And especially not since the other man likely has a loaded gun.)

    Many churches become all about the family of God, which is true, but not about the Kingdom of God, which is more outwardly focused. Men who tend to be aggressive want to go out and do things. We don't just want to be internally focused.*
    I don't at all fit this stereotype, and never have. And I know plenty of women who fit this mold quite well.


    The music is often also not really pleasing to a man. Much of the music relies on an emotional high of sorts and are really songs sung to Jesus that could be sung to your boyfriend as well. Many CCM stations play songs to reach women.*
    I don't care for an abundance of the soapy "I love You, Jesus" songs, but we do well to remember that even we men are part of the BRIDE of Christ.

    We also have a problem when we present gentle Jesus meek and mild. Jesus was certainly the Lamb of God, but He was also the Lion of Judah. Look at the pictures of Jesus on many covers of Bibles and in Christian bookstores. This Jesus often looks like a wimp to men. Men don't want to follow a wimp.
    It bothers me just as much that He often looks joyless and insipid.

    This doesn't mean either that we chase out the women. Not at all. Women need to be in church and when men start going, women start going more as well. Statistically, if you want to reach the average family for Jesus, focus on the father. There is even research that one of the leading factors in keeping a teenager of either sex from apostasizing is if their Dad takes his Christianity seriously.

    If you're looking at this and thinking it's about the patriarchy or something like that, then you are missing the point. If anything, you're giving men the picture that to be true Christians, they should cease being men. It's not going to work to reach them.

    Instead, make church a place that lets men be men. The book even ends with Murrow asking a group of pastors how many of their churches had more men than women. Only one pastor raised their hand. Not only that, that pastor had nail polish on her hand.*

    This was a woman who had read Murrow's book and took it seriously. She took out feminine decor in the church...
    What the flip is "feminine" decor? I've never ever been to a church festooned with lace and flowers and pink cushions.

    ... and removed a lot of songs and got others like "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and "Onward Christian Soldiers"
    I like a lot of Petra Praise songs.

    ... and allowed days for guys to even wear sports jerseys to church.
    "Allowed"? Parishioners should be encouraged to feel comfortable wearing anything clean and neat, and not overly ostentatious, at every service.

    She started preaching sermons about guy topics including a series on "God loves sex." Result? Her church grew among men and women both.*
    I don't know why that would be considered a "guy topic." That's silly.

    Murrow's book is the kind of book I wish I could put in the hands of every pastor in the country. It's a book I thoroughly enjoyed and when I had to interrupt my reading of it, I was always looking forward to getting back into it. It is one of the most important books I think I have read and I highly recommend it.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    Whatever.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

  3. #3
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    This is largely a Protestant (and I suspect mostly limited to America and its church plants) problem. One of my friends was just telling me on Sunday that he used to be embarrassed to ask his friends to church because it was too women-oriented. He thought maybe that was just him, but then he found the Orthodox Church, where he's quite happy to invite his friends. Jesus is often reduced to a friend with an over-emphasis on the "Bride of Christ" motif (many praise & worship songs - but not all, to be sure - are uncomfortably close to love songs for guys).
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Is it just me or did you post this same thing a week or so ago?
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    Professor Cerebrum123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Is it just me or did you post this same thing a week or so ago?
    I think he has some mansplainin' to do.



  6. #6
    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    I have never been uncomfortable in church, but Alaska . . .
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    tWebber TheWall's Avatar
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    I feel more at home here and hearing Christians speak.

  8. #8
    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Is it just me or did you post this same thing a week or so ago?
    Partly, mixed with some other stuff.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

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