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Should churches be doing more to attract men?

A few days ago, I wrote a post  about recruiting men to do missions (thru this epic journey for leaders). Christina responded that churches need to do more to attract men to the church. I'm wondering if Christina's response is representative of what women think about church. Here&…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

A few days ago, I wrote a post  about recruiting men to do missions (thru this epic journey for leaders). Christina responded that churches need to do more to attract men to the church.

I'm wondering if Christina's response is representative of what women think about church. Here's what she said:

"The North American church experience generally caters to us women:
  • more women's conferences than men's wilderness retreats,
  • women's brunches than men's happy hours,
  • more hugs than high-fives,
  • more biscuits than burgers!
I'd like to see some more testosterone-infused, man-church activities! I'm sharing this post with the men in my life."

What do you think? Do you agree with Christina? Should churches be doing more to attract men? And if so, how?

Comments (14)

  • It’s an interesting question. Our church (moviechurch.com) designs its marketing to attract women and its services to attract men. The idea is that most women are the ones to go and check out churches. Once we get them into the service, they see a service that they believe their husbands would like. We’ve seen tremendous growth with this general approach.

  • It’s a reasonable point. In my experience, we seem to have ample EVENTS and plenty of guys showing up to church in general.

    The issue is much deeper than “attracting men to church.” The traditional model of doing church seems less and less relational, more programatic and information-based, and not as conducive to true, close-knit, functional, spontaneous, everyday community.

    It comes down to the church desperately needing to produce truly discipled men, who live vibrant, missional lives. Those manly events are great and need to happen — I’m going to a gun range with guys during our mens retreat in January. But we need to have more “in-and-down” time to restore a true sense of what it means to be a real man in this world.

  • I would go to a church that served burgers instead of bisquits. And if the church wants to get more men raw meat would do the trick 🙂

  • Ditto to what Chris said above. I’d say it’s worth considering how the Church could do more to bring men into the kingdom of God as it manifests on earth through community, rather than into a church service or program. The idea of a church service being our ideal entry point scares me. What you with them with is what you win them to.

  • From a woman’s stand point – I agree with Christina and I also agree with most of the men posting thus far.

    I think Chris has hit it head on!! GROW the men to be MEN and that is not about “attracting” them to church/events; it’s about the community and sharpening that will prepare men to be men.

    Now go get ‘er done MEN!! This woman is praying for more MEN of GOD to step up and LEAD!!

  • Simple answer: “Yes!” How- well, to start off, to be aware they are there and acknowledge them and gear conversation to their language too. Too much of churchtalk is touchy-feely and intimacy-based, and though that has a place, if it is all there is or predominantly what is there, you are speaking woman-talk, not man-talk. Thus, if men are not flocking to your church, it could be because they think real men aren’t welcome there- or that they will be emasculated there.

  • As soon as I read your post, without knowing what Christina wrote to you previously, I knew it was my teammate. 🙂 We were discussing your previous post and how on point it was. The world needs more than just a man to preach to the congregation, the world needs men to step up in every single role in the church. Maybe if their hunger for football and sports was the same as their hunger for God, we would see radical faith.

  • The contempary church seems to think if we get the wives or kids then we’ve got the dads. Maybe, but getting, keepin and GROWING are all different things. “Save ’em then ignore ’em” won’t work (Oh, you might get thier thyes, but not thier hearts).

  • I love the principles of AA.

    It is all about “attraction” not “promotion” and the church would do well to learn that.

    Thanks Seth. Call me when you have a chance.

  • wow, where do i start.
    first of all, i’m no expert. i’m still just trying to follow jesus.
    i do know that what i have seen of the church in america, it isn’t working well. somehow we’re missing the point, the purpose of the church. pastors, elders, leaders need to stop worrying about packing them in to meet the budget. we need to be about the gospel, the mission, the mission we as individuals, as the church have been given.
    there is nothing wrong with the mission, the great commission, the great commandment. we’re just not communicating it correctly and not enough.
    men will come.
    but the word also says, the way is narrow and few that find it.
    so stop worrying about the numbers and budgets (it’s quality not quantity) and preach the message and mission of jesus.

  • First, let me say that I have not read all the comments so i may be repeating what some others have said. For decades, the North American church has presented an emasculated Jesus. In showing a socially acceptable Jesus, we have lost the characteristics of Jesus that makes Jesus a leader of men. Until we start presenting the Jesus of the gospels, the church will have trouble attracting me.

  • I’m a little late to this whole game, but I guess I’d just like to say that it makes me feel a little sorry if churches feel the need to ‘attract’ at all. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong in catering to a group–throwing a luncheon for women or doing a men’s day of some kind. After all, that is what a sunday school class or a youth group is at its core—a more ‘tailored’ way of pouring into individuals. Also, I realize that those kinds of outreaches can be used in great ways. However, I feel there’s a difference between creating those things to bless a fellowship and creating them just because they will look shiny, appealing, or even ‘manly’ to the outside community.

    I’m not going to pretend to understand everything that a man needs; I’m a girl who can barely get an ‘A’ on an econ test. But in my heart of hearts, I feel like creating something just to ‘attract’ isn’t really the way to see REAL growth. My dad always says “You catch the flu from someone who is contagious.” I think the same applies to the church; I don’t know too many people who came to Christ because they got invited to a rugged barbecue, but I do know quite a few who got saved after watching another individual’s life change and wanting that new life for themselves.

    There were tons of people who followed Jesus around looking for miracles or a free lunch; when He didn’t ‘perform’, though, they quickly lost interest. Jesus never preached by attraction…there’s nothing attractive about picking up a cross…but the truth will set you free, and that’s what I really believe our church needs to come back to.

  • I thank God my friend Chris referred me to this site. Our churc is in the process of helping men to achieve greatness, internally to themselves, and externally for the entire southern part of our county! The Men’s Ministry is called “Men DO”, it is time out for talk and time for action. We are involving men in dealing with serious subjects as teen suicide, assisting elderly, etc. The key areas used to engage men are Sportsmen’s, “Iron Sharpens Iron” (Mentoring), Inreach/Outreach, Study (Bible and other), and Fellowship. Men MUST be taught that Jesus was not a wimp but a WARRIOR!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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