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.
A recently released study seems to have blown a hole in one of the central premises of my book: that women are more verbal than men, which makes gals more comfortable in our wordy churches.
As 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?
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.
Have you noticed how many church programs are built around a school paradigm? We offer adult classes, seminars, Sunday school, Bible Studies, etc. The centerpiece of our worship is a lecture (sermon) from an educated person with a seminary degree. Christianity has become an educational pursuit. The path to Christ now leads through a classroom.