Why Do Men Hate Church?

April 12, 2005 by

Why Men Hate Going To Church48 million women attend church every week while only 35 million men do. That’s a gender imbalance of 13 million people, and a reason why churches need to become man-friendly–according to David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going To Church.

“[Murrow] concluded that today’s church culture favors, even expects, participation in intimate, nurturing behavior such as singing, hand-holding, sitting in circles and sharing feelings. Many men feel uncomfortable in such an environment and choose not to go.” (Washington Post)

Murrow offers seven principles to becoming a man-friendly church, or you can dive into his Church for Men web site.

(Quite frankly, all I can think of when I hear the term “man-friendly” is Kelso from That 70s Show saying, “I’m what you call ‘man-pretty.'” I never watch the show but the local station carrying the reruns always plays that line in their promo commercials.)

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Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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55 Responses to “Why Do Men Hate Church?”

  • Ryan Hartsock
    April 12, 2005

    I browsed through his bullet points and they are very insightful. It is as if the masculine of Christianity has all but become extinct…partially due to the church and its lack of understanding of the male and partially because men in our culture often close themselves off from being “available” in all senses of the word.
    It definitely pricked my curiousity.


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  • Tim Bednar
    April 12, 2005

    I have wondered about this, here is a “beta” syllogism posted for your amusement without having read the book or the links posted above…
    1. Senior Pastors have adopted the pastor as CEO, hierarchical, top-down model of running a church, this means ONE man gets to call ALL the shots. And if he doesn’t make a decision its only because he decided to delegate it which means that it isn’t really important.
    2. Senior Pastors also have “spiritual authority”, this means they get to make all the rules–what is holy, what is not. They get to define what a good marriage is or what a good father is and most importantly what a good man is (which ironically is a lot like the senior pastor).
    3. Most successful senior pastors have “sex appeal” (don’t deny it, it’s true), because of looks but also because of the power #1 and #2 afford them. In comparison, many wives/women see their husbands/men as inadequate “spiritual”.
    4. Most senior pastors appear “more spiritual” than other men because that is their full time job and they also benefit from #1 and #2. They can hold hands, sing and hug without damaging their masculinity because they benefit from 1, 2 and 3.
    Thus, most men don’t like the way the deck is stacked against them. They are used to a “pecking order” because that’s what they deal with everyday at work (not saying women don’t but this about men so bug off).
    Essentially, to “fit in” we men need to take a back seat to the senior pastor. And most of us think the senior pastor is an idiot who if he had a real job, wouldn’t amount to much.
    We don’t get to define what is spiritual, we know this, so over time we just stop trying.
    For you consideration…


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  • cryptblade
    April 12, 2005

    Tim seems like a man who has a problem with church and all the problems listed point to problems NOT in the church or senior pastor, but in the man, in men like Tim. Is it the pastor’s fault that he has “sex appeal”? A real man would be perfectly comfortable with himself. A real man of God knows his appeal is the Christ he shows to others. And a real woman of God would be attracted to a man of God. If a woman measures the sex appeal of other men to the senior pastor STAY AWAY from her. She does not have Godly values and does not know what it means to be in a Christian, Godly relationship with a man of God.
    Points #1 & #2 – why should the senior pastor NOT be like a CEO with asst. pastors & ministers as officers? The job of a senior pastor is to LEAD his church, lead his flock. If not a CEO then WHAT? The Bible’s hierarchy of leadership is quite laid out. Bishops head the top then it trickles down to elders and deacons. Reverends are not Biblical titles or positions. But each position has an overwhelming fixation – according to Scripture – on service – so the pastor’s leadership should be a service to the church. And no pastor makes the rules for spiritual authority. All authority comes from God and all teachings should come from God. If the pastor is making rules up, then the pastor was not called to preach, teach, or lead, and should be removed. Period. No pastor defines what a good marriage is. No pastor defines what a good father is. All must be Biblically based or else this is not a pastor but someone who put himself in that position and like Paul said, the church needs to expel this immoral brother.
    #4 – Romans 8 – ALL have sinned and fall short. No pastor is perfect nor “more spiritual”. That the appearance of greater spiritually offends men like Tim is their own problem, not the pastors. If you are offended by something, then the offense is in you. If you never drank and some one called you drunk, you would not be offended because it’s not even remotely true. But if you are offended at senior pastors and their “position”, then it reveals you have some problems:
    #1 – you have a problem with authority
    #2 – you have a problem with submitting to authority
    #3 – you have a self-esteem problem
    #4 – you have a jealousy problem
    #1 & #2 – Men tend to think of themselves as leaders and Christian men particularly like to Bible-thump their way to justify this thinking. But instead, what they do is twist it into thinking once they are in a church they should automatically be lifted to some level on par with the pastor. THAT is not Biblical. Elisha had to submit to Elijah until Elijah was taken up to Heaven before Elisha could move into his ministry. Elisha submitted to Elijah’s leadership. If you find yourself threatened by the CEO & spiritual authority of the senior pastor, then YOU have the problem, not the pastor. YOU are unwilling to submit to the pastor because YOU want to EXALT yourself. The devil did the same thing to God and he was expelled. Jesus also said the meek shall inherit the earth. The Bible says if you receive a prophet, you will receive a prophet’s reward. And the Bible also says that God places authority figures over us – so submit. This all ties in together that when you recognize your pastor as a God-placed authority over you, a prophet of God to submit to, in your submission with a cheerful heart, God moves.
    #3 – No one man nor any woman can make you feel less than you see yourself if you know yourself. Think about it: if you know you bench press 225lbs 15 times but you weigh 175lbs, no matter how many people try to put you down, you know you can prove them wrong. Similarly, if a pastor seems more appealing to women or seems to make you feel less of yourself, then the problem is in you – not the pastor; because if you knew yourself, you would not be threatened by mere appearance.
    #4 – lastly, if men like Tim has the audacity to think men “have the deck stacked against them”, then the last problem is jealousy. Tim said, “Essentially, to “fit in” we men need to take a back seat to the senior pastor. And most of us think the senior pastor is an idiot who if he had a real job, wouldn’t amount to much.” – well then the problem is in you and men like you. That’s YOUR PROBLEM not the pastors. If you think so little of the pastor, you are jealous of his exalted status over you and you think you deserve the same for some reason. If you think so little of your pastor then you think, for some crazy reason, that you are just as fit to spiritually lead which is not true because the Bible clearly states there are hierarchical positions of authority. If you think so little of your pastor, then when why do you feel so negatively about your pastor unless you are jealous?
    As I said before, yes men in the church have to “take a back seat” tot he senior pastor because HE’S THE SENIOR PASTOR AND NOT YOU! If you were in truth, that great, then there would be no need for church. But your views prove that a pastor is needed to lead people properly. If you were serious about your walk with God – reread your post and match it up with the Bible and see how Biblical your views are. I know I’m right.
    If you dont have any of this mindset, as I wrote above, then you need to start evaluating whether or not you are actually saved. Because once you are saved, you are put off of the old and put on the new. One of the first things is your mind and heart changes and looks for the God in everything. If something material and trivial as a male senior pastor prevents you from going to church and hearing the Word, then you may not be saved at all – because nothing from God would stop you from being with God, worshipping God or otherwise – but the devil always aims to stop you in your walk.


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  • Joel Parsons
    April 13, 2005

    Churches don’t have to be female dominated. My church is the opposite, in my age group particularly, we have seen a situation where when I was 15 / 16, there would have been twice as many girls my age around as guys – five years later there are slightly more guys left than girls, and the girls who are left are marginally committed, as opposed to guys who are mostly doing long hours serving in different ministries. Within our youth ministry today, we are struggling with the fact that senior high youth (ages 15 – 18) attracts large numbers of girls (as it did when I was in senior high) but we have more than two male leaders for every girl leader at our age bracket.


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  • Tim Bednar
    April 13, 2005

    So, nothing I said is remotely true. The whole problem is me and how I’m rebelleous. That is exactly what I’m talking about, typically when men talk about power in the church they are just told that they are unspiritual, rebellious. That is why we shut up and just stop going…
    ** FYI: You’ll also note that I’m being a little hyperbolic, but I do think there is some truth in there.


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  • Robin Bailey
    April 13, 2005

    cryptblade, what good could possibly come of your “I’m right and Tim you’re wrong” diatribe? Tim I appreciated your points to think about, I think they all have some validity and are worth at the very least examining if they are evident in our church.
    I am a pastor and there was nothing better for a member of my church to know that I am not perfect and I readily admit that. I had one member at another church come to me after a message and tell me it was the first time that he felt that you could be a struggling sinner and still go to church. Too often we as pastors set up an ideal that is unattainable for the masses and instead of helping people that are struggling towards holiness, we demand that they be there immediately or pretend.
    Let’s take a look at your points from a different perspective than cryptblade.
    #1 CEO mentality – Christ is the head of the church not the pastor obviously. Let’s take a look at Christ’s leadership, humble, servant based, not very CEO if you ask me. Yes the Sr. Pastor is to provide leadership but not top down, ruling type leadership. True humility, not false humility draws people to Christ because it is the anti-thesis of what we’ve always been taught through the idea of looking out for #1!
    #2 I do believe Sr. Pastors have Spiritual Authority and thus have to be very careful in the way in which they use this authority. For some bizarre reason this is how God chose to present Himself to His world, all of it not just the church. I believe Tim may have experienced some abuse of this authority especially in the area of expectations of how one’s life is supposed to look.
    #3 Thanks for the compliment to my sex appeal! It is fact that many pastors fall out of ministry precisely because of sexual misconduct and a lack of boundaries in relationship. The moment any pastor forgets this they have become susceptible to a very real lure in the position they are in. Should men in the congregation be fearful of this, no, but they should offer to be accountability partners so that pastors can be honest about the temptations they face.
    #4 Absolutely true, I get paid to pray, read scripture, talk openly about faith and thus appear to be far more spiritual. My job is to equip the entire body of Christ to be able to do the same. It is much easier to do this if I let my guard down and admit that sometimes okay a lot of times I pray because it’s the right thing to do, not because I choose to, truth be told I’m not always real “close” with God.
    Finally, I loved your honesty of the view that many church members have of pastors not being able to do a real job. Trust me cryptblade, this is especially true for Youth Pastors or at least in the churches that I have served in, in that role.
    One last thing, (I know I already said finally, but hey I’m a pastor and this feels like a sermon), sorry to cryptblade for the judgmentalism with which I read your response to Tim. I’ve got to get better at this 17% less judgmental thing!
    p.s. Chris we’re hoping to have t-shirts printed up in the next month or so, what was your size again?


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  • Kevin J Jones
    April 13, 2005

    I hate that singing has become associated almost entirely with the feminine or effeminate. Look at the classic movie “How Green Was My Valley.” It depicts all these very masculine Welshmen singing on their way home from the coal mines, and in church, and in the bathtub.
    Part of the problem is that contemporary songs seem to be written for either women or high-voiced men. One of the male music leaders at my parish has a particularly nasal, airy, and, yes, effeminate voice. As a baritone who tries to sing along with classically-trained male vocalists, I simply can’t bring myself to follow this man’s lead.
    It could be a culture thing too. The only deep-voiced men in pop music I can recall are Elvis and Johnny Cash. Sadly, the ubiquity of boy bands and metrosexual vocalists sets the tone for peoples’ musical expectations.


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  • Jaylynne
    April 13, 2005

    I attend a confessional Lutheran church that adheres to traditional liturgy and Scriptural church polity (women cannot be ordained, cannot serve as elders, cannot serve as president or vice president of the congregation). Pastors and (male) elders lead our weekly Bible classes. Guess what? No lack of manly young and middle-aged men in our congregation!


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  • Will S.
    April 13, 2005

    I attend a confessional Reformed church, and with only a few words changed, can cut and paste what Jaylynne just said, above, as it applies to my church, too:
    I attend a confessional Reformed church that adheres to traditional liturgy and Scriptural church polity (women cannot be ordained, cannot serve as elders, cannot serve as president or vice president of the congregation). (Male) elders lead our weekly Bible classes. Guess what? No lack of manly young and middle-aged men in our congregation!


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  • Will S.
    April 13, 2005

    (actually, I should have not copied the “president” bit, since we don’t have that, but otherwise, traditional Reformed and traditional Lutheran churches have a lot in common with each other, and are quite different from “evangelical”, “born-again” churches…)


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  • kevin
    April 14, 2005

    I think Jaylynne makes a good point. Women have rarely had a large role in church leadership, and now that women are getting more opportunities, perhaps some men are sore about it. That’s pure speculation, but it’s funny to worry so much about the plight of men in church, when women have probably had a much tougher go of it over the years.
    Personally, this whole discussion is pretty interesting. My church has started a men’s group geared at simply getting guys together and talking. I’ve been trying to go, and the one time I went it was amazing–all we did was go around the room and introduce ourselves, and just hearing each guy’s story was powerful.
    I’m not an incredibly masculine man by society’s standards, but I don’t know if I understand the whole rationale for men skipping out on church. I certainly see more women coming to church without their husbands than husbands coming without their wives (my mom did it for 20 years), but I still see a lot of men involved. Maybe society’s idea of masculinity is just stupid.


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  • blogan
    April 14, 2005

    Canadian podcasting macho church

    Ever have a few days when everything seems related? Call it convergence.
    While cruising by my regular blogs yesterday, I noticed that Church Martketing Sucks asks why men don’t like church. Short answer? It’s not macho.
    According to David Mur…


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  • Delainah
    December 8, 2005

    I completely disagree with the “feminizing of the church”. Women are offered NOTHING but servitude and inferiority so I’m amazed that women even bother with religion to begin with. I sure don’t. Why men don’t go? Maybe they find as boring, pointless and unfulfilling as I do. As we move forward, not only will you see less men going to church but less and less women and children as well.


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  • scott Mcculloch
    April 1, 2006

    I know for me, I get bored of sitting in church week after week of no use. The body is suppose to work as a body. Where are all the other parts, they are kept shut up, all you hear usually is one man a pastor, or the teacher, or many claim they are both. Where is the rest of the body. The pastor above all Idea is not right. There are lots of gifts that are not used at all, that should be used, I for one don’t want to be like one man that thinks he has all the answers. I want to be like Jesus. The way to that is to be like a body. 1 Co 12:28
    And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
    Why not let others talk?-1 Co 14:26
    How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm , has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
    We are not a body now days we have just a body part up there week after week.
    Let God control things, not a control freak.
    1 Co 12:4-8
    There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
    Be the body of Christ, not the pastor,use teachers, the other gifts. God does not put all His gifts into one man in the body, use the other men, maybe they will come back.


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  • Halalisani
    April 17, 2006

    All of us must pray for the salvation of all souls(including men). Tim becareful one day you may ask why God is God alone.


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  • bob jessop
    May 6, 2006

    fewer men go to church because fewer men are so stupid as to believe in such nonsense… you may find this inappropriate, but it’s true. you might as well worship santa clause, it’s just as ridiculous.


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  • Rebekah
    May 23, 2006

    I would have to agree with Bob Jessop. Fewer men go to church because fewer believe. More men have the benefit of seeing the fruits of their labor and tend to believe in the tangible. I.E. I make things happen, not some big booming voice from the sky. Only recently have women been able to enjoy the independence and power that comes from making your own way in the world. I’ll bet you’ll see fewer women attending church over the next couple of decades. I’m not saying there’s no higher power, but I don’t believe whatsoever in any religion written by primitive men some 2000+ years ago.


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  • Brad
    August 28, 2006

    Well, cool! It looks like we have some non-believers weighing in. Though it seems like a rather odd place to begin, welcome to here!
    The feminisation of church is a deep issue that I’ve only recently started to think about. Church is all very touchy-feely, lots of talk of the friendship and humility of Christ (think about all the superficial popular worship songs), and very little talk of the His holiness and omnipotent power (much more evident in hymns — while I’m not exactly a hymn advocate, their intentions and meanings are generally deeper).
    But I’m not willing to sacrifice the improvements we’ve made in recent years in empowering women, just so I can feel like a “manly man”. I hope you realise how that sounds, intentionally or not.


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  • Brad
    August 28, 2006

    In a brief perusal, I think the author misses his own point. I followed the above link, and saw this video bit about “How to pray with a guy withour freaking him out”. He uses cutesy made-up terms like “prayer mushroom” (cluster of guys laying on hands), and “prayer wrecks” (two people start praying at once). Yikes! Witty affectations are certain to put more distance between men and the church, not less.
    Are we that far gone? Maybe this whole thing is far worse than I imagined…


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  • Frank Meyer
    October 7, 2006

    The focus on “leadership” in cryptblade’s (what a handle!) rant against Tim is amusing, but predictable. Pastor-teachers are given to the church to “equip the saints for works of service”, and are benchmarked by the signs of success laid out for them in Ephesians 4:11-16.
    Senior pastor as CEO? Let me out of here. Senior pastor as icon of the Good Shepherd, commited to facilitating the fruitful ministries of the saints in his flock? Tell me where this flock meets! I want to be there.


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  • John Fall
    October 30, 2006

    Men Hate Church
    Because
    Church Hates Men.


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  • Bill G
    October 31, 2006

    I’ve felt more spiritual in nature, or at a men’s meeting/drumming than in a church. And it’s a shame, because men have the same need for spirituality. I don’t know why churches can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong.


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  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


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  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


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  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


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  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


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  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


     | Permalink
  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


     | Permalink
  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


     | Permalink
  • henry Staggs
    December 9, 2006

    I think men hate church becuase they know that something is wrong with it and they can not quite place their fingers on it.
    The Church on the corner, with its bells and preachers has nothing at all to do with the bible, nor does it really allow true growth for men to be leaders.
    Rather is a man made and man exhalted structure, designed to platform the teachings of men and collect money.
    Nothing and I repeat nothing about our modern church is even close to anything biblical.
    And I think men know this, they just can not get their finger on it.
    True church is the man and his family loving one another.


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  • Ben West
    January 26, 2007

    I’m a 47 year old nevermarried male who gave up his Baptist membership 17 years ago. I have a good idea that pastors really don’t care if men attend church or not, they just want our MONEY. I finally realized that churches operate on money and politics just like any large corporation. The following relationship applies:
    men skipping church equals money lost.
    Ben West
    Ben West


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  • guitardad
    February 5, 2007

    This is a great discussion, and it’s doubly great that it continues. Many have made valid points, but consider:
    – Jesus was never a CEO, and the Bible does NOT dictate a bishop, pastor, flock model.
    – The New Covenant was made between us and God, nobody in between, except Jesus. It is Christ that mediates our relationship with God. Jesus is our teacher, not a trained-up preacher man.
    – Church CAN be irrelevant to men. It shouldn’t be, but it is. The Pastor/CEO intermediary model just contributes to this. All of us, but particularly men, are treated as lemmings. Just follow, shut up, and keep tithing. The CEO will handle the rest. Sound familiar? It’s the same model as our most corrupt corporations. Church as Enron?
    – The symbolism in mainline churches is decidedly female. For too long, most churches have completely ignored the subliminal messages they send out in their practices. Take a hard look at this in your own church – observe like a newcomer, and see what your church is silently screaming.
    – Churches only grow when they take risks. Men take risks, women don’t. (OK,OK, very stereotypical, but like all stereotypes, there’s some truth there)
    I’m a re-active United Methodist (out after High School, back after career, marriage, kids). I have an active spiritual life, but it’s really no thanks to the organized church. Our churches must change or die, so they will change. The only question is how far down will they go before the bleeding stops?


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  • JTro
    March 30, 2007

    Couple of quick points.
    First men don’t go to church both because they are flawed and because the church is flawed.
    Many of us harbor rebelliousness in our hearts which makes church difficult. I admit I struggle with this.
    On the other hand there are a couple of major problems I notice that keep men out of churches. I do feel that the professionalization of church which includes the CEO Snr. pastor has alot to do with this. Men in general like be part of doing something. The professionalized church gives them no satisfying opportunity to do so. They can volunteer in a ministry under a paid professional who takes care of worship or youth ministries or outreach or preaching but they are made to feel that the real church work should be left to the professionals.
    Which means that church is for getting closer to God and spiritual development. That is not very appealing nor is it very biblical.
    Yes we are meant to fast and pray and meditate on the word but we are also called to be active in our Christianity.
    The Church can’t be successful unless it gives its memeber opportunity to do the work that we are called to.


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  • Scott
    April 6, 2007

    I’ll tell you why I hate church. I hate church because I am told that every desire I have to be successful is wrong. I walk away from church every week feeling like I have sinned for wanting to take care of my family. I understand that it is important to be humble and meek, but at the same time, I want to have a job that supports my family.


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  • Scott
    April 6, 2007

    Furthermore,I have found that all the men that I know from church are just bored nice guys who can’t stand up for themselves. I find myself falling into this same lifestyle and it concerns me greatly.


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  • Scott
    April 6, 2007

    I don’t want to be a bored nice guy. Jesus sure wasn’t a push-over, and I don’t want to be on either


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  • Scott
    April 6, 2007

    I am tired of being told what to do with no logically explanation for why something is a “sin.” “Don’t drink, it is a sin.” “Don’t listen to certain music, it is a sin.” That’s all fina and dandy, but if listening to Tool is so wrong then tell me why. If having an occasional beer is a sin, then tell me why. Don’t just say that it is. Prove it!


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  • Scott
    April 6, 2007

    Meant to say logical, not logically.


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  • Mr Bob
    June 18, 2007

    Wow what a great conversation we have going here. I am not a pastor, but have been in “church leadership” for about 20 years and Murrow’s book changed my life and answered hundreds of questions I had deep in my soul.
    As one of the commentors said, I could never put my finger on what was wrong, but now I see it everywhere and have much more hope for the church. My experience has been primarily non-denominational evangelical, and Baptist. I also worked for PK for about 5 years, but even they at that time didn’t say anything quite like Murrow says it.
    A lot of the naysayers here need to just read the book because every one of your objections is handled quite nicely there. The problem isn’t that Church leadership is feminine, it that the church services and serving opportunities are set up to cater to women and not men.
    Men’s gifts are suppressed. We haven’t done it on purpose, and men don’t complain about it, they just stay home and don’t know why…and feel guilty. And men who might wander in, don’t’ like it and don’t’ know why either.
    Men who do go to church, many go for the wrong reasons (to make their wives happy) rather than to follow and serve a Savior who is exciting and vibrant to follow. When they try to exercise their gifts they get shunned for rocking the boat by all those that want the status quo to remain that way.
    I highly recommend just reading the book, it will explain a lot as to why Muslim’s have no trouble getting young men into their false and misleading religion but Young men leave Christianity when they leave home.
    And to the young man who left the note about Churches all having rules he doesn’t want to follow, I think you need to meet Jesus, he changes you from the inside out, not from the outside in. I don’t follow a list of rules like that, never have, I let him give me the desires He wants me to have and take away the desire things that are not helpful to me. Sounds like you have had bad experiences with churches that focus on outward appearances…..this is a counterfeit to a real “relationship” with God.


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  • Keith
    September 4, 2007

    I think a couple great points have been raised: 1) Our idea of “pastor as CEO” is flawed and evidence of culture affecting theology. 1 Peter 5:3. The “CEO” is Christ as head. The Pastor concept is probably better reflected in the reformed tradition of leadership of elders. Pastors are not to “rule over” the flock but lead by example as Christ Himself did 2) Men need a mission and the mission of the church, its purpose, isn’t fellowship but the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20) of making disciples of all people, even to the end of the earth. Men, like myself, want a mission and focus- not just songs, fellowship, and pot-lucks. Fellowship is great and Biblical, but the mission of the church needs to be the primary focus. You cant’ get more “manly” than that in my view. What a mission, what challenge, what reward, what danger!


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  • SUSAN LOMEN
    September 27, 2007

    Well all i can say is that the bible was written for the male and the female. The fact is that men are Not getting taught from the pulpit as to how a man should be before Christ to be the Head of the family, (Read about covering ) If He truly knew his role he would definately take it seriously. The pastors of today are afraid of telling the man as to how it is to be because most of the time the wife is telling them what to do which is unscriptural and i believe they are afraid that if they say too much that the man will leave and therefore the pastor won’t have the means of $$$$ dollars coming in.
    It’s time to stand up to the pastor s and tell them as a church member to preach the gospel as it is and stop being so wishy washy, the bible says that you are to be HOT or Cold and NOT Lukewarm otherwise he will spew you out of his mouth.
    Like i said the bible was written for the woman and the man, not just for the woman to obey, about time men were men and women were women, Godly that is.


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  • MJ
    October 16, 2007

    When attending chuch, I genuinely feel like I am always wrong and always the bad guy. At work I am respected and I show mutual respect for everyone around me. My ideas are valid and I have impact. However, once I walk into church, I am seen as wrong, as a sinner, as impatient. It may be impossible to change this with all the old ladies and others for whom church is central to their entire social existence.
    Also, even though I attended church regularly, the most impacting things in my life occurred away from church. I met my wife outside of church and I was given a chance to start work after a very tough recession 15 years ago by people who didn’t go to church. Within church, I was seen a too picky with respect to the kind of women I wanted (good natured and not fat), and not one person within the church ever helped me in my job search. As a result, my loyalities are owed to those outside. Ironic.


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  • Topchessplayer
    October 25, 2007

    Perhaps men are put off attending church because they believe that the church is only after their money.Furthermore, they may have been scandalized by the greed and behaviour of well known televangelists that are household names in the US.Men are by nature more suspicious than women and so will pick up on things that they perceive as inconsistent,illogical or as a threat.


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  • Topchessplayer
    October 25, 2007

    Perhaps one of the reasons men stay away from church is because the believe that the church is after their money.They may have also been scandalized by the conduct of televangelists that are household names in the US.Men are by nature more suspicious than women and if they perceive anything that is illogical,inconsistent or a threat then they will stay away.


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  • Loren
    December 7, 2007

    Is it possible that it is these men who hate church that are hearing the Spirit of God and not the senior pastor? After all, pastors have a “kingdom” to build and a system to defend. When people feel that something is wrong, usually something is. Is the church we have today and the church Jesus promised to build the same thing?


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  • anon
    August 24, 2008

    Church Man Joe
    My name is Joe – that you should know
    if you went to the weekend show.
    The show called church, where we get fed
    spiritual stuff, all Spirit led.
    I go to church most every week,
    appeasing God so He won’t freak.
    If I don’t go, there’s Hell to pay,
    not just from God, but guilt will stay.
    Others will judge and reject me
    because of my complacency.
    But I do go, am never late,
    making it when they pass the plate.
    Giving to church — a gift to God,
    Give ten percent — I smile and nod.
    Give ten percent, the O.T. states.
    We’re in the New, but it’s church rates.
    Man I hope that makes God happy,
    because I’m in debt and all nappy.
    But pastor said I would get blessed
    above and beyond, it’s my best.
    Now it’s time for me to sing.
    My songs to God sound amazing.
    I raise my arms, antenna sticks,
    all to get my spiritual fix.
    This song sounds like brainwashing chant;
    Wish it would end — it’s like he can’t!
    The worship guy is in a loop,
    Now the song is soundin’ like poop!
    Stand up, sit down, leader will say,
    I don’t know why, but I obey.
    I just lost an hour of my life.
    Time to preach, n’ cut like a knife.
    Pastor is mad, yellin’ at all
    for all their sins, and Adam’s fall.
    Man, I feel real sick and dirty,
    Maybe I’ll pray to feel purty.
    I close my eyes and fold my hands.
    And if I don’t? Can’t take that chance.
    God might see my poor church manners,
    For posture certainly matters.
    Even my clothes God is judging,
    Gotta dress up, for He is watching.
    OK, now it is time to pray.
    I bow my head while I say,
    “Dear God, it is not about me.
    This day for You, I hope You see.
    I went through all this church this day,
    just so that you would get Your way.
    I listened real good and got fed
    by the pastor, who’s Spirit led.
    God I’m so glad I got to learn,
    I even feel my conscience burn.”
    I think I’m better now this day,
    compared to those who, in bed, lay.
    While I drove my righteous self home,
    I realized that I’m all alone.


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  • heidi fapp
    August 27, 2008

    Well, I am a women going through the very opposite. The men don’t want to do shit. The Pastor say no to me wanting to do anything. I totally agree with Ryan Hartsock 100% I have seen this many times in a church wake up men!


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  • Mr VanHuizen
    September 28, 2008

    There is something to be said about women falling for false religions (non-Christian from a Christian perspective) in greater numbers too. More men are non-religious. I think part of the blame can be pinned on the large number of single mother families, boys need male Christian role models who set an example to them. Is it any wonder that many atheists were bought up in fatherless houses? I mean how can one believe in a father almighty if his own father let him down….


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  • Lilith
    December 22, 2008

    “many atheists were brought up in fatherless houses?”
    BULL HOCKEY. Name your source. Most atheists I know were brought up in religious environments which drove them to atheism. I, myself come from an intact 2 parent household; both parents very religious – my father a deacon, my mother a typically pointless church cookie baker. And yet these dedicated religious people managed to raise three major atheists. Part of the reason was the manly man southern baptist church we were brought up in and the other was the bible itself. We all had to move far away to escape their moaning, gnashing of teeth and conversion attempts.
    People don’t go to church because they’re smarter than they were years ago. I think the truely decent people in this world are the ones that aren’t driven to good works by belief in a man in the sky. They simply do good works because it’s the right thing to do.


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  • Tom Chappell
    March 9, 2009

    Having been a pastor for the better part of the last twenty years, in the salvation army and the united methodist church, I have been fortunate to have been influenced by strong leaders both men and women. I have found the biggest temptation as a pastor is ego. If we can nip this in the but, alot of the other issues described above are far easier to correct. So , I guess I am speaking to pastors when I say regardless of gender, age, or race, put others above yourself, for more on this read Eugene Peterson’s stuff on pastoral formation, and don’t give up guys for revival is coming, and you will know that it is here when men start coming back to church, I am sure this greeting will give away my lack of hipness, here’s another tip: KEEP IT REAL!


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  • Benji J K
    April 9, 2009

    Wow… So much insight from this topic. I myself am 29 years old and serving/learning as a youth pastor, and I do admit that I have so much to learn, and I’m learning from both the opinions and thoughts of christians and non christians alike, from those that do go to church and those that don’t, and it all shows me that its us, the churches that need to learn.
    I am not saying that churches turn into a system that simply pleases people and follows their every whim and fancy. I am completely against seeker friendly churches cos in almost all cases, they end up compromising and like someone pointed out above, the message becomes wishy washy and they’re too scared to upset anyone. But we do have a lot to learn from the way Jesus taught and led by example. Unlike cryptblade’s comments, yes Jesus did know the entire word of God, the entire truth, and yet used it gently and with humility rather than force it on people. He didn’t go around accusing men of being wrong constantly, instead He simply taught the word of God with love. Jesus’ example never describes a CEO leader, rather He set the example of a servant and even washed His disciple’s feet – something that’s very hard for modern day church leaders to understand. Your role is not to establish yourself as a pastor or a leader, your job is to uplift and uphold, men, women and children alike. I am learning this myself too, and this is much more effective than simply standing on a pulpit and preaching. I have served under leaders who are so effective at giving out instructions and instituting programs in the churches for people to follow (and I hate that), and also under church pastors who rolled up their sleeves, and came out to work with us digging the ground for a whole day with shovels and spades to build a church. Jesus didn’t show up on a horse/donkey (Lexus/Mercedes), instead He walked with His discples everywhere (that’s a leader I can grow to love).
    Men were created to be warriors – strong and courageous, leaders, and not people to be constantly told to submit submit submit. God fearing men already understand authority. They were created to stand guard (physically and spiritually) in their homes and churches; where a man is passive, the devil has a foothold. Yes they do have to understand the flow of authority, they also do have to understand the Word of God and learn humility so that their actions and desires don’t go outside the will of God. They do have to understand that a better leader is always a better servant.
    I’ve seen parents (men) today that are so passive they can barely tell their kids what’s right and wrong, what they can or can’t do anymore. What’s happened? Don’t you know that’s what the devil wants? He wants men to be passive and submissive to the wrong extent so that then he can do what he wants. The authority that God gave to men is being taken away slowly. Fathers can no longer spank their kids or risk going to jail because discipline is now in all cases misconstrued as abuse. People don’t discern between fathers who are abusing and those that are simply trying to be good parents.
    Its true, in Moslem culture, men are revered and respected and due authority is given to them and look at the power of those men; unfortunately misguided.
    I’m watching the news right now and men have become so effiminate to the point where the gay community is significantly growing and where are the men who stand up to be strong fathers and voice out against this? Where are the men who set up strong examples in their homes and can boldly say that this is wrong?
    Men have become passive today and its a battle that the churches should fight and avoid, instead enriching men, strengthening them not suppressing them, and upholding and uplifting them. We don’t want to be have a scenario of Adam and Eve where he sat doing nothing while Satan tempted Eve. If Adam was paying attention, he could’ve prevented it….


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  • Wes
    October 24, 2009

    I think the problem is that we’re too busy looking at people’s gender instead of at God.
    So we make Men’s Ministries, Women’s Ministries, Teen Ministries, Singles Ministries, Couples Ministries, Senior Ministries.
    Coming soon to a Church near you: Vegan Ministries for those who abhor eating meat, Electronic Ministries for those who dislike reading books, Classic Ministries for those who can’t stand contemporary, Modern Ministries for those who think that classic is too stuffy, and Lite Ministries who think that Church is just too long and boring.
    When will God’s people understand that Church is about our relationship with God and His relationship with us? When will we start serving Him and stop asking God to serve us?


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  • AK
    October 28, 2009

    There’s an awful lot of speculating and an awful lot of hating going on here. How sad. I’m new on this site, but if all the comments are this negative and contrary, remind me not read them anymore. This is a real downer!


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  • Jon
    January 21, 2010

    I’ve been faithfully going to church for many years. I am a church leader, here in the UK. However, with a congregation of 40 we only have 5 men and of these men I have nothing in common with them apart from our christian beliefs. I know thats important but I’m beginning to lose it.
    I attend, I listen to a man (normally) preach ( a good message) and sing some songs.
    After the service I stand and force myself to talk to people, do the right thing, but realy have nothing in common.
    I leave church in a bad mood. My kids don’t want to attend as there are only 4 other kids their age, and I’m probably not a good example as church makes me feel like its all a waste of time.
    However, when I don’t attend, the difference is remarkable. I’m relaxed, in a good mood, and have a great day, the kids are happier and all without church.
    What can I say, as a church leader!!
    Church holds no relevance for me at present.
    Am I in a bad place?
    Yes, but I don’t think I’m all to blame like some would say. I think church also is responsible for the way I feel.


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  • Shari
    March 10, 2010

    I’m so saddened by some of the comments here. Church is not the place where you will grow spiritually. Your face in the Bible on a daily basis and your knees on the floor in prayer is where you will find a Holy God.
    Church is the place where you go to share with other believers and be encouraged in your faith. If you’re not in God’s word daily and on your knees in prayer, you won’t find this fellowship anywhere.


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