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Why Men Hate Going to Church Paperback – October 31, 2011
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About the Author
David Murrow is an award-winning television producer and writer based in Alaska, most recently working for Sarah Palin. A best-selling author, he is also director of Church for Men, an organization that helps churches connect with men and boys. David and his wife, Gina, have three children.
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This book should be read by anyone who has ever felt unconfortable singing "Jesus is my boyfriend" (You know the songs) or holding hands for awkwardly long periods of time with the guy next to you.
But this book doesn't just whine, it also provides a plan for getting men interested in the church again: make them do guy stuff.
We need guy-friendly churches. Men don't feel comfortable in church & this book tells you how that happened - starting, I believe, as early as 700 AD (coincidentally, around the same time Islam was growing in influence). It shows what happened when male attendance waned, compared to when it waxed & churches had a balance of both men & women. it shows how life improves for a family in a guy-friendly environment, & gives ideas on how to do that no matter how small the congregation, or how old. Guy friendly churches also appeal to younger people, reversing the greying of the church.
I'm not sure your men will read this book, ladies - but if you do, they might not have to. Say a prayer, read the book, keep it handy, & share it with other women in your church, & the pastor, & see what happens if you make your church guy-friendly. It has already worked in those mega-churches, but it's working for smaller congregations as well.
PS - Ladies, if you're a tomboy type like me, & have always enjoyed things that are considered male-friendly, you might have found that you weren't always comfortable in church yourself. If so, you will find this book doubly enlightening.
As the title states, this is not a how book, it is a why book. And most times the why is much more important than the how.
Murrow offers practical suggestions to help churches analyze and rework their structures to better fit the needs of men. One example is to promote short-term projects that impact the community rather than maintaining programs that only sustain an organization. Another is for churches to promote activities that include a touch of friendly competition, fun, and recognition.
At times Murrow's solutions were a little simplistic. For example, he claimed that men only need simple one-point sermons. While sermons should not be boring they do not have to be simple to hold men's attention. In fact the idea of stretching men intellectually fits in better with Murrow's appeal to challenge men than his advice to use simple one-point sermons.
I recommend this book to anyone in church leadership who wants help in evaluating its structures and traditions for elements that repel men. Taking Murrow's advice will create a more healthy church for both its men and women.
With this book, Murrow is trying to do something about it. There's room for a lot of disagreement about his assertions, conclusions, and recommendations. I like a lot of what he says in the book, while disagreeing with some of it. But he has done something important in just providing a starting point for a discussion that needs to happen in most mainline congregations.
The Sunday after finishing the book, I walked around my church building looking for signs of a "feminized" facility. There were a couple things that could be red flags, but for the most part our building is neutral in appearance rather than feminine or masculine. The worship service likewise had a couple of elements that I felt were slanted more towards women than men - but not overwhelmingly so. Perhaps for those reasons, the attendance I counted - 56% female, 44% male - was not as sharply divided as the 61%-39% national average cited in the book. Still, it's enough of a gap that it should not be ignored by my congregation's leaders. Yet they are ignoring it. Our membership is declining, and we're wondering why. This book might provide at least some of the answers.
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Christian men need to “man up” and walk into what God has for them!