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Ways to include men in the church's preaching, plans, and programs.

Jesus attracted women to faith in a way unprecedented for his day. He was also capable of drawing children to himself, to the point of irritating his disciples. Yet this same Jesus, who describes himself as "gentle and lowly of heart," also commanded the attention and devotion of rugged fishermen and worldly-wise tax accountants.

That's even more remarkable when we consider the state of today's church, the body that ministers in his name and with his power: most churches find they reach women and children in significantly greater numbers than they do men.

The reasons for this imbalance are complex, as are the ways to right it. But as I've spoken with churches whose ministry with men has improved significantly, I've noticed at least three steps a congregation can take to help men feel the church is also a place for them.

Fine-Tune the Church's Teaching

First, pastors might consider how the Christian message is presented in sermons, classes, and symbols of the church. Such an analysis often ...

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