Fifty ways to make your church more appealing to men

In September 2011 I released a revised version of my first book, Why Men Hate Going to Church. I boiled down some of the book’s main recommendations into a checklist. FIFTY WAYS TO MAKE YOUR CHURCH MORE APPEALING TO MEN: Front door experience: Maintain your buildings and grounds Put men in the parking lot to…

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Why Men Watch 3-Hour Football Games, but Fall Asleep During a 45-Minute Sermon

Football GameAs I write this, the world is gripped with sports fever. Here in North America big-league hockey and basketball have just crowned new champions. The rest of the planet is focused on the World Cup, where the best soccer teams are battling it out for football supremacy.

Men are the primary audience for these sporting matches. So if men can sit through a 3 hour-long hockey game, why is it so hard for men to focus for a 45-minute sermon?

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The Men’s Huddle

Men's HuddleSecond Chance Church in Peoria, Illinois, a church that publicly and unashamedly targets men, is growing. Pastor Mark Doebler concludes his worship services with something he calls The Men’s Huddle. At the end every service, “Coach Mark” calls the men forward for that week’s game plan. Here’s what Coach Mark has to say about the huddle:

“I must be honest…there are times that you have an idea and you know immediately in your heart that you just have to run with it.  The huddle was not one of those ideas!  I had a strong suspicion that it might just come off as cheesy, or hokey….I don’t care for either.  But, in the spirit of an entrepreneur, I decided to give it a try.

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Putting Away Childish Things

LegosSome of you will be taking your children to college in the next few weeks. While you’re in the dorms, you might notice a difference in how girls and boys decorate their rooms.

Stop your snickering. This is a serious subject.

In a young woman’s room it’s not uncommon to find various keepsakes of her childhood, including stuffed animals, baby pictures and dolls. Go to a boy’s room and a different portrait emerges: it’s as if his childhood never existed. There’s nary a Lego, Tonka truck or Mutant Ninja Turtle to be seen. Instead the walls are plastered with the images of sports heroes, curvaceous models and alcoholic beverages.

Why the difference?

Psychologically speaking, young men have an intense need to separate themselves from childhood. Women, on the other hand, celebrate their childhoods for a lifetime. No shame accrues to a woman who revels in her youth, but in our society men are supposed to strain toward manhood. I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it’s the way things are and have been for centuries. Remember the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Young men are still eager to do this.

So we have another reason men avoid Christianity: there is a strong psychological link between church and childhood. Women, who are free to enjoy the delights of their youth, attend church without shame. But men are wary of an institution that has strong ties to their formative years.

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