In the U.S. churches run about 61 percent female. In Nicaragua, 70 percent is typical. In some congregations, it’s 80 percent.
“While the congregation is left in the dark under dim lights, stage lights place the focus on the gifted worship leader — who has in-ear monitors and who sings songs in a key that best fits him or her. The worship leader can’t hear the congregation or see the congregation and they don’t even know that the congregation is not even singing…”
David Murrow has just released a brand new DVD to accompany his bestselling book, Why Men Hate Going to Church.
This new DVD is packed with new content, new surprises and new laughs!
As I travel the country, nothing I say creates more controversy than this: men would benefit from shorter, simpler sermons. In my Go for the Guys Sunday Action Plan, I advocate a one-point sermon, ten minutes in length, built around an object lesson.
Other punishments have not deterred tardiness, double parking and littering among officers, but acting chief Pongpat Chayaphan believes the armbands will do the trick. “After this policy came out, the police are scared,” he said. “It will be very embarrassing to walk around with Hello Kitty on your arm.”
What’s so bad about a pink armband? This seemingly benign corrective strikes a double-whammy at the heart of manhood. Every man fears being perceived as feminine (pink) and childish (hello Kitty).
Sadly, churchgoing has become a pink armband for many men. It’s a sign of weakness, childishness and femininity.
John is daily steeped in the feminine teapot of modern Anglicanism. After he read my book he felt inspired to write a guest column for the Church for Men newsletter and Web site. I’ve reprinted it here. Enjoy:
When I arrived in 2000, the congregation was warm, faithful — and elderly. Obviously something would have to be done, and soon, if there was to be a worshipping community in ten years’ time. By the grace of God, and with a few changes, we managed to draw in some new faces, particularly families with children, so that despite the losses through deaths, our numbers went up. But here was the problem: although the mums and kids were attending regularly, the dads were not. I’d had contact with the dads. In one case the dad had been the reason why his family started coming to church. But we were not keeping the dads, hence David’s book.
What I got from it, however, was more than an insight on my problem. Rather, it was one of those ‘Oh my goodness!’ experiences, like noticing your fly has been open all the time you’ve been giving a public speech. As I read, I realized that the problem is not just with our congregation — it is with our entire denomination, and indeed with our culture.
Many would agree the Praise and Worship Movement (PWM) has breathed new life into the church. But even the healthiest movements have unexpected consequences. I believe PNW is having the unintended result of feminizing the worship experience – and making it harder for men to connect with God in church.
Men are not spiritually lazy, as some have suggested. Men want to serve God. The problem is the modern church does not need men’s gifts, or holds them in contempt, equating them with sin.
Churches and universities are having trouble attracting men for the same reason: both are in the business of dispensing precious knowledge in a classroom setting. Today, fewer men are in the market for this type of experience, which they find boring and irrelevant to their lives.
Kyle and Bonnie have been married almost twenty years. Kyle hates going to church. Bonnie loves it. This has caused tension in their marriage, as she subtly prays, preaches and prods Kyle toward religion, and he steadfastly resists.?? But Kyle “does Bonnie a favor” and attends church three times a year: Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day. He’s one of millions of men who attend only on these holidays.
Bonnie looks forward to these occasions, and each time prays earnestly that God will touch his heart. But nothing ever happens. Kyle feels as out of place as a ham sandwich at a Bar Mitzvah.
Why are holiday services, which draw huge numbers of irreligious men, so ineffective at engaging them? I believe that holiday services are, by their very nature, poorly suited for men. They tend to hide the church’s greater mission under a mountain of religious tradition and ceremony. Holiday services also give men a skewed perspective on what the gospel is all about.