Less than 40% of church attendants at a typical worship service are men.
Men are the world’s largest unchurched people group, according to Church for Men, founded by David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church. He argues that worship services today are typically built around feminine values, with worship songs that are sweet and sentimental and sermons that emphasize home, marriage and family. Men need more masculine imagery and more opportunities to use their unique skills. They have their own language, culture and needs. Murrow says that, rather than having a separate men’s ministry, churches need to integrate everything they do with a masculine spirit. Here are some of the suggestions Church for Men makes, based on their research:
- Have special worship services with a theme targeted at men, such as “Great Outdoors Sunday,” so men feel at home and not uncomfortable on cushiony pews with fresh flowers everywhere and quilted banners hanging around the church.
- Shorter is better when reaching men. Sunday worship services should always be wrapped up in one hour or less.
- Worship songs should have lyrics that men can relate to. While hymnals are full of anthems for men, today’s praise songs sound more like love songs. Men prefer upbeat music and songs that do not repeat over and over.
- Services need to be relevant to the world in which men live if they are to change the perception that church is boring or irrelevant.
Churches that have more men active in the church (60% or more) are more likely to be growing.
“Here’s the wonderful truth about women,” argues Church for Men. “They are comfortable with guy things.” And with 1 out of 5 married women worshiping on Sundays without their husbands, most women would gladly try something new in order to attract their husbands, sons and fathers to church.
(from Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, 6/8/07)