But men want to worship. Really. Here are seven practical ideas that can help you usher men into the presence of God:
1. Worship in non-musical ways. Tell a great story from battle. Show a video clip from a men’s picture to set up the worship of God. Have everyone take their keys out of their pockets and offer them to the Lord, as a symbol of giving Him everything. Worship is more than just singing!
2. Choose songs with masculine lyrics. Our hymnals are treasure chests of masculine expression: A Mighty Fortress, Onward Christian Soldiers, Rise Up O Men of God. But today it’s mainly love songs to Jesus. Please: balance these love songs with some real red meat. Mine the hymnal, or choose a modern song with a masculine feel such as In Christ Alone or God of Wonders.
3. Choose songs that are upbeat and fun to sing. This is what guys like. The slow, dreamy songs don’t turn the key for most guys.
4. Cut the worship-speak. Worship pastors are notorious for cranking out a lot of religious talk, such as “Isn’t God Awesome!” and “This is the day which the Lord has made, hallelujah!” Real men don’t talk like that. My rule of thumb: imagine yourself leading a group of cynical construction workers. Make sure your worship-speak would sound right to these guys.
5. Give men a destination in worship. What if you began your worship set like this: We’re going to take a big hill today in worship: the sin of pride. As we sing, you’re not just singing words, you’re pulling pride up by the roots. Let the lyrics of these songs melt your proud heart, and ask the Lord to humble you…” Now, if you set up a worship like that, men know what they’re out to accomplish. The worship set is no longer a seemingly random collection of songs. Instead, it’s a battle plan.
6. If you’re looking to hire a worship pastor, consider a non-musician. Hire a person with a gift for creative communication. Let him gather musicians. I know this sounds crazy, but I believe that the definition of worship will be greatly expanded in the coming century as the church recovers more of what it means to give glory to the King.
7. And finally, the big one: Keep songs short and non-repetitive! I know this goes against everything they say at Hillsong and the Passion Movement, but the men will love you for it!
I join the Psalmist in proclaiming, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.” I challenge worship leaders to help men connect with their maker.