David Murrow's book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, struck a chord when it was published in 2005. Seven years later, male church attendance is still low. So David went searching for the answer. What he found is reported in Why Men Hate Going to Church: Completely Revised and Updated (Thomas Nelson). Drew Dyck talked with Murrow about reaching men and creating a church atmosphere in which they can thrive.
How can churches attract men?
Make very simple changes, mainly in the area of décor, language, and culture. These can be very subtle. Here's a piece of low-hanging fruit: If you want a church full of men, simply bring an object into the pulpit every single week. Take your 25 minutes and build it around an object lesson, and I guarantee you in two years you will have a church full of men because men will pay attention. They'll be thinking, When is the object coming out, and what's it going to be?
Of course, I'm just ripping off Jesus. His teaching was very concrete. He says, "Show me a coin. Whose face? Whose description?" He was so visual. He's walking through a wheat field, and says, "Look, the fields are white for harvest." Or, "Go ahead, Peter. Step out of the boat. Feel the water on your feet. Feel the wind on your face." He was such a concrete teacher. So that's what I'm saying: steal from Jesus. He's more than willing to share.
You write that megachurches have done a better job reaching men. What can small churches do?
My heart is for small churches. I grew up in small churches. Ninety percent of churches are under 150 on Sunday morning. Many of them have tremendous growth potential. Their buildings are paid off and they sit in a strong financial position. But many are graying and failing to reach young people. The problem is that they're trying to reach young people by reaching young women. They do things like improving the nursery or starting a ladies' Bible study. Those things aren't wrong, but you're never going to get guys that way. You might get a few people ...