Friday, September 12, 2008

Why Men Hate Going to Church

I'm meeting with the United Methodist Men's group in the morning. I asked to be able to meet with them, to get to know them better. The men of Millian are such a vital and predominant part of the church. There is a higher percentage of active men at Millian than most other churches I know. I like that.

I asked to meet with them to find out more about what makes them tick and to ask them what I can do to help make sure they are served as they should be. I want to know if they are receiving the pastoral care they want.

In researching the topic of men and church attendance, I came across a book titled:
Why Men Hate Going to Church
David Murrow
Nelson Books
Christian Living
ISBN: 0785260382

I wasn't expecting to find that much negative emotion around the topic. But there you have it.

Marcia Ford wrote a book review on it at (read the complete review here). In part, she wrote:

Murrow's purpose, he says, is not to call men back to church but to call the church back to men. A Presbyterian elder in Anchorage, Alaska, Murrow writes that the church has become a hostile environment to men, particularly "masculine men" who are uncomfortable in the feminized atmosphere of the typical church. From the d├ęcor to the rituals, the ministry opportunities to the language, churches are designed to appeal to their greatest constituency --- women. Though the top leadership is often male, women constitute the backbone of most churches, representing more than 60 percent of the membership and even more of the volunteer force.

Men, Murrow writes, want an authentic faith experience but find church services to be boring and irrelevant (and a whole lot of women say "Amen!"). As one observer noted, men have nothing real to do at church except serve as ushers --- which at least gives them a chance to move around. They want to be challenged, but they're only challenged to be good husbands and fathers. "If we want to shed our reputation as a place for little old ladies of both sexes, we must recapture the challenge of following Jesus," Murrow writes.
I hope the church universal will consider these thoughts posed by some of the men of the church universal. And I hope men will dig deep and consider how they need to nurture one another in their faith and their gender traditions.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stephen Ministry Sunday

We are celebrating our Stephen Ministry this Sunday.  I believe that a church that fully embraces Stephen Ministry is a church that embodies the "priesthood of all believers."  All believers serve one another in love through actions of caring and listening.

So, we will leave the lectionary for the week and focus on the ministry of caring and listening.

We will be playing this song during service:


Thursday, September 4, 2008

So Many Words

I have avoided joining the world of blogging because it seems like so many people have so much to say that there surely isn't anything else worth saying.  I know some people think very highly of the things that they have to say.  I don't.  If you want to find something really well written, go look someplace else.  

However, against my better judgement, I will use up one more portion of cyberspace for putting my thoughts online so that those with whom I work and pastor have a place to gather and reflect together.  Such as it is...