At Church for Men, we often receive e-mails like this one:
Hello, we’re moving to __________(name of new city) and we’d like to find a church that understands men. Can you recommend one?
Someday, Church for Men will put into place a certification and training process. Sort of a “Good man-keeping” seal of approval. You’ll be able to enter your Zip Code into a web page and “voila!” You’ll have a list of man-friendly churches at your fingertips.
In the meantime, you’ll have to do a little more legwork. But it’s not hard to find a man-friendly church – if you know what you’re looking for. Here are the twelve marks of a man-friendly church, based on the latest research.
Before we begin, please note: there are many different kinds of men. No single model of church will appeal to them all. But you’re more likely to find enthusiastic men in churches that conform to the following twelve characteristics:
1. Men prefer large churches
2. Men prefer nondenominational churches
3. Men prefer adherence to scripture
4. Men gravitate toward a young, multiracial crowd
5. Men prefer churches that are themselves young (recently founded)
6. Men look for energized men
7. Men like manly pastors who project a healthy masculinity
8. Men are drawn to quality, but not excessive showy-ness
9. Men like “come as you are” churches
10. Men like modern technology
11. Men like churches that aren’t afraid to have a few laughs
12. Men like churches that have a clear, unique vision and mission
I expound on all twelve of these characteristics in my book How Women Help Men Find God.
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So is this the secret? Just find a church with these man-friendly characteristics and you won’t be able to keep men away?
Of course not. It all depends on God. If the Holy Spirit is at work the pastor can preach in a pink tutu and men will come. But the research is clear: the more a church aligns with these characteristics, the more likely you are to find fervent men in its pews (or more likely, in its stackable chairs). Practical considerations like these—in concert with God’s Spirit—make a church more attractive to men.