Church growth: are men more important than women?

Church growth: are men more important than women? August 10, 2015

MenImportantA few years ago I had a spirited interview with the radio program Interfaith Voices. The host was a dyed-in-the-wool feminist who was skeptical of my claim that men hate going to church, since most congregations are led by males.

Not surprisingly she got her hackles up when I encouraged more male participation and leadership in church. At one point she asked, “Are you saying that men are more important than women?”

“No,” I said. “Men, women and children are all of equal value. But I will say this: men are more strategic than women and children.”

Unfortunately, this little exchange was edited out of the final show, which is a shame because it sums up the reason Church for Men exists.

If you want your church to grow, men are more strategic. Studies have shown a clear statistical link between church growth and the enthusiastic participation of laymen. The more men a church has, the more likely it is to be growing. Meanwhile a surplus of female participants is associated with church decline.

If you want to change society, men are more strategic. Men are much more likely to commit crimes, die violently, be addicted and go to jail. If we want to help men avoid these pathologies, the two best ways are: 1) get them married; and 2) get them into church, according to a study from the Heritage Foundation. Changed men change society.

If you want to change families, men are more strategic. One study found that when Dad was devout his children were more likely to remain lifelong churchgoers. Fathers have more influence on their children’s faith walk than mothers do, according to a survey from LifeWay Research. And when men begin following Jesus, many domestic problems begin to disappear.

So what’s the best way to reach more men? You don’t have to create new programs. Just take what you’re already doing and make it man-friendly. Examine everything your church does through the eyes of an irreligious man, and ask the question, “Would this draw him closer to Christ, or would it repel him?” Then have the courage to make the needed adjustments.

Most of your parishioners won’t notice the adjustments – but they will notice when the church begins growing.


David MurrowDavid Murrow is the author of the bestselling book, Why Men Hate Going to Church. David’s books have sold more than 175,000 copies in 12 languages. He speaks to groups around the world about Christianity’s persistent gender gap. He lives in Alaska with his wife of more than 30 years, professional silk artist Gina Murrow. Learn more about David at his Web site, www.churchformen.com, or join the conversation on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/churchformen. Don’t forget to share this page by clicking on the links below, or scroll down and leave a comment (right below those annoying ads that pay for this blog). 

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