Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow
David Murrow’s updated book asks the same question as the first edition with even more vigor, why are our churches predominantly female? The answers that he proposes are, in many cases, self-evident to any churchman that cares to look. Walk through the church building, look at the dominant programs, review the bible studies and prayer meetings and you see all of the things that turn men off to becoming a part of the church. That is, if we truly want to see these things.
As much as we would like men to hear Jesus’ words two thousand years later and follow him without reservation, the reality is far different. By and large, church programs trend toward the cerebral and relational, two things that men find contrary to their nature. This doesn’t mean that men cannot identify with study, prayer, relationship building; they can but they naturally are attracted to them in less touch-feely ways that our sisters in the faith.
Why Men Hate Going to Church is far more than analysis, Murrow’s short chapters also contain answers. Not in the sense of enumerated steps to be followed to invite the men streaming back into the church but in answers broad enough that an intuitive pastor can apply them to their particular church setting. Most helpful in these is his chapter about Getting the Big Story Right. This was one of the things that Promise Keepers did without fail during their heyday. They placed men in the battle, showing them their place and their mission under Christ their leader. It inspired them in ways that the most well thought out sermon often cannot because it is designed to inspire or challenge men and women simultaneously.
Challenge them, limit hand holding and praying out loud when there is a chance that they will not look good. Small steps but big dividends.
I’m grateful to Thomas Nelson who provided this book for review.