On March 28, 2009, I posted a blog at MyChurch.org about a book I was reading, Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. I never dreamed that the post would generate over 4,300 reads and 177 comments in less than a month. I even got the cartoon you see here, thanks to Steve Waldrip of Horn Lake, Mississippi.
But now it's time to stop asking questions and start giving answers. So this blog is dedicated to Why Men Love Going to Church. Let's share great ways to reach men for Jesus Christ. Some of those ideas were shared on the other blog, and you are welcome to repeat the best of those ideas here.
I will start out by listing ten of the ideas from Murrow's book that caught my imagination.
1. The pastor should focus on being a spiritual father. After all, the apostle Paul said he was a father to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:14-15). Have the pastor mentor 12 men, and teach those men to each mentor 12 others, etc. Women can meet for discipleship groups as well to mentor women on this model.
2. Get groups of men to "partner up" (don't say build relationships) by doing ministry activities together. Perhaps the groups could be called "platoons." Let the activities have a beginning date and a time to finish. Then start more platoon projects to follow those.
3. An idea that might work especially well in a smaller church: at the end of worship. Dismiss all of the women a few minutes early for fellowship, asking the men to remain for a minute, and the pastor can give the men a 5-minute story or object lesson to teach a spiritual truth to his family. Then encourage the men to use it during the week. The women will naturally be curious about what the pastor said, and the men can then tell the story or share the object. This teaches men who to be spiritual leaders.
4. Make sure that your worship service is constantly moving with changing activities, no element lasting too long. Use lots of video and visuals.
5. Expand ministry in areas where men can excel. Why not have a ministry once a month where men work on cars of the poor, the elderly, single moms, etc., offering oil changes and light maintenance.
6. Encourage women whose men (husbands, sons, etc.) are away from the Lord to band together for intentional, focused prayer for the salvation and spiritual growth of the men in their lives
7. Have male-only events on a regular basis (such as Wild Game Banquet, Fishing and Golf Tournament, Auto Repair Class, Christian comedian), where men in the church must bring with them a man who does not go to church.
8. When groups pray, instead of holding hands or a bunch of people laying hands on someone (actions where are uncomfortable to men unless they have been attending church a long time and got used to it), try a more masculine "prayer force" where a group sits in a circle, and as the Spirit leads, people pray one at a time by going to the person and putting a hand on his shoulder and praying.
9. Ask your music minister to take the words to some of the strong, masculine-spirited Reformation hymns, and match the hymn to a popular contemporary tune to sing in worship
10. Set challenging goals in your church, and challenge your people to go after them. Men respond to a challenge, and it's Biblical. After all, Jesus told men to drop everything and follow Him, and they did.
Okay, these ideas are a start. What has worked in your church? What ideas can you share? Remember, we're only looking for positive things that reach men for Christ. This is not the place to complain about the church or anybody else. If you want to do that, go back to the other blog on why men hate going to church and post a comment there.