Murrow says that men like challenge and taking risks, but Christians have made church a place of nurturing and building relationships. Interesting. I wonder what others think about this.
What's your observation? Why do fewer men go to church than women?
Murrow says that there are three gender gaps in the church: the gap of presence, the gap of participation, and the gap of personality.
The Gap of Presence: He says that in the USA, 61% of the church attendees are women, but only 39% are men. This trend is also found in other nations around the world. Interestingly, nondenominational churches had the smallest gap, while the biggest gap was found in Episcopal Churches.
The Gap of Participation: He says that women are 57% more likely to participate in Sunday School, and 33% more likely to volunteer for a church than men. Christian book sales are 75% to women, and the Christian radio audience is 63% female.
The Gap of Personality: He says that while 62% of the general population has a passive personality, 85% of Christians have passive personalities. There are greater numbers of artistic and homosexual men in church than the general population, but lower numbers of what he calls "risk takers, fun lovers and dangerous men."
NOTE: I posted this same question on my blog at mychurch.org, and it has received over 2,000 reads and over 100 comments. Check it out and read the discussion. I posted it here.
UPDATE AFTER 100 COMMENTS: Now that this blog has had over 100 comments (on mychurch.org) and nearly 2,000 reads in just over a week, I thought it would be helpful to do an analysis of trends in the comments (below). As I read between the lines of what people are saying, here are the top reasons they are giving for why many men hate going to church:
1) Failure to let men lead. This may be controversial, but it was the most-often mentioned reason below, both from men and women who commented. Many blamed women who would not let men be leaders in church, others, especially men, blamed the men for not taking their leadership role.
2) Overemphasis on relationships. Women are social beings and love relationships; men not so much. It is interesting that this was the most common answer given by women who shared why their husbands did not come, but it was also mentioned by several men. Telling men they need a "personal relationship" with Jesus and "fall in love with Jesus" does not appeal to men.
3) Overemphasis on sensitivity. "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild" and "sharing what's on your heart" makes a man feel like he is stripped of his masculinity.
4) Not enough action. Men want to be active, they don't want to just sit and listen to a long sermon. They want to do things.
5) Men lack spirituality. Several commenters, mostly men, seeme to blame men for lacking spirituality.
6) Need a challenge. This answer came almost exclusively from men. Several men mentioned that men need to be challenged.
7) Music is too feminine. This was another answer given by men themselves. They feel that too many songs are about "loving Jesus" in ways that are very feminine and the lyrics are words men would never say to another man.
So what do you think? You can comment here, on go over to mychurch.org and find the blog and join the conversation over there.