Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Men and Church

Is much of today's "church" geared towards women, and alienating men? Some articles and quotes for discussion...

A few posts from the Church for Men website:

    Some of the latest worship songs border on the erotic... When I saw the phrases “moving to the rhythm” and “spread wide” I just about fainted. Lyrics like these leave little doubt: today’s praise music targets love-starved women. (Gals buy about 75% of the praise and worship CDs) I don't know any man who follows Christ for his "intoxicating fragrance."
I'm so used to today's "praise songs" that I barely notice this anymore. But in contemporary praise music, the tone of Christ as our "lover" rather than our "leader" is pretty obvious when you compare it to the masculine hymns of old. (And yes, I just made myself sound like an old fuddy-duddy... I actually generally prefer newer upbeat praise songs to old hymns, but I understand the point of the author.)

Also see the great article, "Why Men Flock to Islam."

    Islam’s unbending moral code, its five strict pillars and even its reputation for ferocity are attractive to men at a gut level. A man thinks, “Here is a faith that’s going to hold me to a higher standard. Men are dying for this.” Furthermore, Islam appeals to the kind of man who is repulsed by the soft, accepting and relational faith pushed in many churches today.
If you don't have time to read the article, the author talks a bit about how our churches might be able to "deliver" for men without oppressing women in the process. And some might find number one interesting:

    1. A clear mission for every church. Most church mission statements are rambling and non-specific. Men are drawn to clarity and brevity. If they’re going to give up their weekend, they want to know why.
There is a serious gender gap in our churches... The statistics show that churches are comprised of 61% women and 39% men. And a lot of the men that DO attend, do so because their wives tell them to. They are unaffected.

Jesus was a magnet to men. What is it about modern churchianity Christianity that is driving men away?


soebeck said...

I can't believe I forgot all about the meeting last night. I suck.

Tony Myles said...

I've heard this mentioned before, and I agree. But I like the words you chose - "lover" versus "leader" - because both are biblical and both are needed.

Anonymous said...

i could not agree more that Soebeck sucks....
good stuff - how about a men's outreach - lots of steak on a grill in the parking lot, bring your own beer and fishing in our church pond
just an idea

Anonymous said...

hey you guys ought to read the interchange on my blog in the comments on A Cut Above?
it is interesting i think

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you guys really want to be many you should meet in a pub instead of Starbucks. :)

Seriously, though - you all should check out the very excellent book "Why Men Hate Going to Church."

As a person who has been a worship leader and now teaching in that area, I wholeheartedly agree about the feminization of worship music. And the comments about why Islam appeals to men are really insightful. I think PK used to appeal to men, but it's a shame it has fallen by the wayside. There is another men's movement growing called "The Samson Society."

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I should have "manly" instead of "many" in the above post. Gee, try to make a joke and I can't even spell it right.

Anonymous said...

we would be many too....haha

Anonymous said...

Joe B said:
Am I a broken record or what? I think the foundational problem is in our iteration of the gospel, that "you must accept Jesus into your heart and have a relationship with him." The actual gospel that Jesus preached specifies the nature of that relationship: "Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is here." The gospel of an internalized faith of feelings is the culprit, in my view. And you know, a hundred times I've heard it said that Jesus spent all his time getting intimately relational with "the hurting" -- but it ain't in the bible! Only with a few of the disciples do we see evidence of that reklational intimacy, and it is not about their feelings. I'm not saying that Jesus doesn't care, only that te gospel that brings salvation isn't merely about a "personal" relationship. Rather, Jesus is the King of the Cosmos, and we are each to personally proclaim him as such, and join as his heirs in his agenda. Word.