Why He Hates Church

October 31, 2014

in Uncategorized

Does your husband avoid church? Maybe this is the case even if he loves God and strives to live a Christ-like life. Truth is the way we do church does not appeal to most men.

David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church says churches changed during the industrial revolution. Large numbers of men went far from home to work in mines, mills, and factories. The women left behind remade churches into what women want. I would say much of what the women instituted was fine, even needed. The problem is they did not add it to what was there; they made major replacements. They added things that attract women, and removed things that attract men. While I am sure it was not the intention, what they did was create a church men would not want to attend. 

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Murrow says most churches appeal to women and seniors, and this is exactly who we see filling the pews of most churches. Young single men are exceptionally rare. Young and middle age married men are a bit more common, but many of them are just showing up to keep their wife from complaining. Most churches do not offer the things men are seeking – no risk, no challenge, no adventure. In some cases, such a church does more harm than good for a man.

I urge you to have an open, honest talk with your husband about church. If he is not going, or not going often, ask him why. If he is going to church, ask him to be brutally honest about how he feels about the church. Be open to whatever he thinks, realising it is valid for him. Do not try to talk him out of what he feels – he may bury it, but it will not change how he feels.

You and your husband need to attend a church that works for both of you – a church that meets his needs as well as it meets your needs. Maybe that means being part of a change at your church. This would be my first recommendation. If your current church is not willing to become what a man needs a church to be, you will have to consider finding a new church. I do not lightly advise this, but it many may be critical for your husband’s spiritual health. If his church is not challenging him, he will find it difficult to grow spiritually. It is even possible for the church to hurt his spiritual maturity. 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and the sign is how some churches look to men.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joao October 31, 2014 at 2:02 am

There is also the other side. To have adventure, or to be entertained, surely the church is not the place to go. There are many other much more interesting places (malls, cinemas, sports fields etc.) Nowhere in the New Testament do we read that God’s people are assembled to have fun or to feel adventurous. Some churches have really frozen two centuries ago, but this is rather the exception. We do, however, see many churches who really bought into this idea of being “culturally relevant” and “fun” and have become similar to amusement parks. Taking up the cross, serving, praying, learning to be less selfish, these are activities which simply are not fun, especially for unconverted people. Part of growing up in maturity is also being able to participate in certain activities and doing thing you don’t particularly like, but is the right thing to do – be it in marriage or in church.

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Paul Byerly October 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

No argument with anything you say, but it need not be boring! Helping the homeless, feeding the poor, and witnessing to the lost may not be things we “enjoy” but they are not boring. Adventure can be hard, even dangerous, it is not just about excitement and enjoyment.
Most of us would not want to live the life Paul lived, but no one would call it boring!
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Dr Richard Norris October 31, 2014 at 3:16 am

I can relate to this. One of the reasons we left our last church. Whilst I agree with what Joao says I would add that adventure and challenge are very relevant throughout the Bible. All the prophets and disciples were front line. They faced difficulties, some beyond our imagining. Adventures of and challenges to our faith are what strengthen and attract men. In such crucibles, men sharpen, grow and mature.

I am reminded of Wild at Heart bu John Aldredge – men need to know they have what it takes. That which pushes us rather than comforts us will hone us – not the cocoon of safety. Taking up the cross, serving, praying and servant leadership are an adventure and a challenge especially when you make it focused on men.

My walk has been buy faith because it has been one big challenge and adventure. I need the church to back me up, lead the way and support me as God intended. If it cannot, does not or will not, I will move on to a church that is. The church needs to throw a gauntlet down to men. If it doesn’t, men will walk on by unchallenged and, thereby, never fully discover who they are in Christ.
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Paul Byerly October 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

The chruch is supposed to equip us to do the work, which is exactly what you seem to be saying.
When we got into house chruch we were asked what God was calling us to do, and how they could help. The Marriage Bed benefited greatly from this. People asked about it, and how they could pray. When we wanted to do to an American Association of Christian Counsellors conference because their topic was sex, various house chruch folks helped cover the cost. I saw the same thing with others – God gave them a mission, and the house church helped them make it a reality. Some of these were small, some were huge. Some were local, some touched other countries. Some were short term, some have outlived the group that helped them start. THIS.IS.CHURCH!
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IntimacySeeker October 31, 2014 at 11:31 am

I see another theme in the sign. The activities tend to be social events for members rather than outreach/ministry outside the congregation’s walls. As the body of Christ in a hurting world, we, the church, must be first and foremost about others, not ourselves. I would think this focus, in and of itself, would help a man feel challenged and motivated and provide opportunities for him to express his masculinity as he lives out his faith.

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Paul Byerly October 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Good catch! ;-) Even when there are “events for men” they tend to be something short of outreach.
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