Why Men Hate Going to Church [NOOK Book]


Reveals why men are the world's largest unreached people group and what to do about it.

It's Sunday morning. Where are all the men? Golfing? Playing softball? Watching the tube? Mowing the lawn? Sleeping? One place you won't find them is in church. Less than 40 percent of adults in most churches are men, and 20 to 25 percent of married churchgoing women attend without their husbands. And why are the men who do go to church so bored? Why won't...

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Why Men Hate Going to Church

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Reveals why men are the world's largest unreached people group and what to do about it.

It's Sunday morning. Where are all the men? Golfing? Playing softball? Watching the tube? Mowing the lawn? Sleeping? One place you won't find them is in church. Less than 40 percent of adults in most churches are men, and 20 to 25 percent of married churchgoing women attend without their husbands. And why are the men who do go to church so bored? Why won't they let God change their hearts?

David Murrow's groundbreaking book has been completely revised and updated, with eye-opening research and a persuasive grasp on the facts, to explain the problem and offer hope and encouragement to women, pastors, and men. Why Men Hate Going to Church does not call men back to the church-it calls the church back to men.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"This is as an eye-opening resource for Christians concerned with the retreat of men from the life and ministry of our churches. The desperate need of bringing these men back to our churches has not been sufficiently addressed by the Christian community. David Murrow offers wonderful and insightful advice to help remedy this dire situation and recover the vital role of men in today's church. I highly recommend this book."
-Dr. Gary Cook, President, Dallas Baptist University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418514068
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/31/2011
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 821,642
  • File size: 707 KB

Meet the Author

David Murrow is an award-winning television producer and writer based in Alaska, most recently working for Sarah Palin. A best-selling author, he is also director of Church for Men, an organization that helps churches connect with men and boys. David and his wife, Gina, have three children.

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Read an Excerpt


By David Murrow

Nelson Books

Copyright © 2005 David Murrow
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-1406-8

Chapter One

Men Have a Religion: Masculinity

Cliff is a man's man. On the job he's known as a go-getter and a very hard worker. He's a good provider who loves his wife and kids. He's well respected by his neighbors. Cliff drives a humongous four-wheel-drive pickup. He loves the outdoors and takes every opportunity for a little hunting and fishing. He enjoys a cold beer and a dirty joke. He does not go to church.

Ask him why he doesn't go to church, and he'll offer up words like boring, irrelevant, and hypocrite. But the real reason Cliff doesn't go to church is that he's already practicing another religion. That religion is masculinity.

The ideology of masculinity has replaced Christianity as the true religion of men. We live in a society with a female religion and a male religion: Christianity, of various sorts, for women and non-masculine men; and masculinity ... for men. Cliff practices his religion with a single-mindedness the Pharisees would envy. His work, his hobbies, his entertainment, his follies, his addictions, everything he does is designed to prove to the world he is a man. His religion also demands that he avoid anything that might call his manhood into question. This includes church, because Cliff believes deep in his heart that church is something for women and children, not men.

Cliff is not alone. Men have believed this for centuries. In the 1800s, Charles Spurgeon said, "There has got abroad a notion, somehow, that if you become a Christian you must sink your manliness and turn milksop." Cliff sees Christianity as incongruous with his manhood. It's a women's thing.

Church ... A Women's Thing?

We're only in chapter 1, and I know I'm already in trouble with a lot of you. I can just imagine what you're thinking: Church is not a women's thing—it's a men's thing! It certainly looks that way, doesn't it? After all, a man and His male disciples founded Christianity, most of its major saints and heroes were men, men penned all of the New Testament books, all of the popes were men, all of the Catholic priests are men, and 95 percent of the senior pastors in America are men. Feminists have been telling us for years that the church is male dominated and patriarchal. Are they right?

The answer is yes and no. The pastorate is a men's club. But almost every other area of church life is dominated by women. Whenever large numbers of Christians gather, men are never in the majority. Not at revivals. Not at crusades. Not at conferences. Not at retreats. Not at concerts. With the exception of men's events and pastoral conferences, can you think of any large gathering of Christians that attracts more men than women?

Visit the church during the week, and you'll find most of the people working there are female. Drop in on a committee meeting, and you'll find a majority of the volunteers are women—unless it's that small bastion of male presence, the building committee. Look over the leadership roster: the pastor is likely to be a man, but at least two-thirds of the ministry leaders will be women. Examine the sign-up sheets for volunteer work, prayer, Sunday school, and nursery duty. You'll be lucky to see more than a couple of men's names on these lists. One pastor recently told me, "If it weren't for the postman, every visitor to the church during the week would be a woman."

Male pastors come and go, but faithful women provide a matriarchal continuity in our congregations. Women are the devoted ones who build their lives around their commitments to Christ and His church. Women are more likely to teach and volunteer in church and are the greatest participants in Christian culture. The sad reality in many churches today is this: the only man who actually practices his faith is the pastor.

With so much female presence and participation, the church has gained a reputation as a ladies' club in the minds of men. Cliff does not attend church for the same reason he does not wear pink: neither is proper to his gender. Does Cliff know why he hates going to church? No. Can he offer a detailed explanation of his feelings? Of course not. He's a guy, remember? Cliff knows one thing: he hates going to church.

How the Gender Gap Affects Women

If you are a woman, you may have picked up this book because a key man in your life does not go to church, or if he does attend, it means little to him. You are not alone. Connie is a lifelong Episcopalian, a fifty-six-year-old mother of four boys. She says, "None of my sons goes to church anymore. Two of them are divorced, and now all four are living with their lady friends. It's sad." Bernice from Connecticut says, "I have a large extended family. Not one of the men goes to Mass, let alone confession." Vicki's husband, Ron, attends their local Baptist church. "But he's a total hypocrite," she states. "He screams all the way to church. Once he's inside the sanctuary, he puts on a smile and plays 'Mr. Charming.' Why won't he let God change him?" Caroline is a twenty-nine-year-old single woman who won't date non-Christian men. "But I'm beginning to rethink that," she admits. "I go to a small Pentecostal church. There are no single guys my age. This man at work was pursuing me, so I told him our first date would have to be church. He came, but I think it freaked him out. He never called again."

Connie, Bernice, Vicki, and Caroline know from personal experience: the modern church is having trouble reaching men. Women comprise more than 60 percent of the typical adult congregation on any given Sunday. At least one-fifth of married women regularly worship without their husbands. There are quite a few single women but hardly any single men in church today. Every day it gets harder for single Christian women to find men for romance or marriage. Step into any church parking lot, and you're likely to see an attractive young mother and her brightly scrubbed children scurrying to Sunday school. Mom may be wearing an impressive diamond ring on her left hand, but the man who gave it to her is nowhere to be seen.

Where Are the Manly Men?

Although males have not completely abandoned the church, manly men like Cliff have all but disappeared. Tough, earthy, working guys rarely come to church. High achievers, alpha males, risk takers, and visionaries are in short supply. Fun-lovers and adventurers are also underrepresented in church. These rough-and-tumble men don't fit in with the quiet, introspective gentlemen who populate the church today. The truth is, most men in the pews grew up in church. Many of these lifers come not because they desire to be transformed by Christ but because they enjoy participating in comforting rituals that have changed little since their childhood. There are also millions of men who attend services under duress, dragged by a mother, wife, or girlfriend. Today's churchgoing man is humble, tidy, dutiful, and above all, nice.

What a contrast to the men of the Bible! Think of Moses and Elijah, David and Daniel, Peter and Paul. They were lions, not lambs—takecharge men who risked everything in service to God. They fought valiantly and spilled blood. They spoke their minds and stepped on the toes of religious people. They were true leaders, tough guys who were feared and respected by the community. All of these men had two things in common: they had an intense commitment to God, and they weren't what you'd call saintly.

Such men seldom go to church today.

Furthermore, of the men who do attend church, most decline to invest themselves in the Christian life as their wives and mothers do. The majority of men attend services and nothing more. Jay is such a man. He's in church most Sundays, but he's not very excited about it. "I go mainly for my kids and my wife," he says. "Church is okay, but it really doesn't enthrall me like it does her."

Who is being touched by the gospel today? Women. Women's ministries, women's conferences, women's Bible studies, and women's retreats are ubiquitous in the modern church. Men's ministry, if it even exists, might consist of an occasional pancake breakfast and an annual retreat.

How did a faith founded by a Man and His twelve male disciples become so popular with women, but anathema to men? The church of the first century was a magnet to males. Jesus' strong leadership, blunt honesty, and bold action mesmerized men. A five-minute sermon by Peter resulted in the conversions of three thousand men.

Today's church does not mesmerize men; it repels them. Just 35 percent of the men in the United States say they attend church weekly. In Europe male participation rates are much worse, in the neighborhood of 5 percent. This hardly sounds like a male-dominated, patriarchal institution to me.

What's worse, nobody seems to care about the absence of men. Have you ever heard a sermon on the church's gender gap? I've never heard a pastor or church leader bring it up. Heck, I've never heard anybody bring it up. It's just one of those things Christians don't talk about.

Who's to Blame for the Gender Gap?

For decades those few people who noticed the gender gap have assumed that men are to blame for it. Sometimes they are. Many men intentionally reject the Christian faith. Some men are proud and want to be their own God. Men hate to admit weakness or neediness. Millions are captive to sin, unbelief, and other religions that preclude commitment to Christ. Men get distracted by the concerns of this world and lose interest in spiritual matters. Men suffer abuse at the hands of church people and fall away.

But let's be honest—women grapple with these same issues. Women are just as susceptible to sin, atheism, other religions, and pride. There's nothing in the Bible to suggest that women are more virtuous or less sinful than men. Women are just as likely to have father issues or be victims of abuse. So why do women seem drawn to the church when men are not? What's the difference?

Let me be blunt: today's church has developed a culture that is driving men away. Almost every man in America has tried church, but two-thirds find it unworthy of a couple of hours once a week. A wise Texan once told me, "Men don't go to church 'cuz they've been."

When men need spiritual sustenance, they go to the wilderness, the workplace, the garage, or the corner bar. They watch their heroes in the stadium or on the racetrack. They plunge into a novel or sneak off to a movie. Church is one of the last places men look for God.

More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.

Men's disinterest in Christianity is so consistent around the world, it can't be explained by pride, father issues, sin, or distraction. Neither can we say, "Well, men are just less religious," because this is untrue. Male and female participation are roughly equal in Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In the Islamic world men are publicly and unashamedly religious—often more so than women. Of the world's great religions, only Christianity has a consistent, nagging shortage of male practitioners. What is it about modern Christianity that is driving men away? That's the question I hope to answer with this book.

Now for Some Good News

Can the church turn the tide with men? Yes! It not only can, but it must. Jesus built His church on twelve Spirit-filled men who changed the world. We must do the same: you cannot have a thriving church without a core of men who are true followers of Christ. If the men are dead, the church is dead.

Fortunately, pioneering churches and parachurch organizations are enjoying remarkable success in reaching men for Christ. New forms of worship and ministry tailored to the needs of men are springing up in the unlikeliest places. Some of the fastest-growing churches in America are also those most successful in reaching men. To learn more about these ministries, visit my Web site, www.churchformen.com.

Can your church turn the tide with men? Yes! But please don't hand this book to the minister and say, "Pastor, you need to do this!" Many of the needed changes cannot be imposed from above, but must bubble up from the congregation itself. Too often it's not what the leadership imposes but what the laity demands that causes the church to repel men. If your church has a large gender gap, it's probably not the pastor's fault. The people in the pews hold the steering wheel on this one. In the coming pages I suggest dozens of ways to make your congregation more attractive to men. Your job is to read, pray, and take action wherever you can. Individual churchgoers have more influence than they think.

Above All, Don't Despair!

As you read the dire statistics on male participation, don't panic! This low ebb may be part of the church's natural cycle. Over time the church tends to get out of balance and lose its masculine spirit. Then God raises a lion—a Martin Luther, John Wesley, Charles Finney, or Billy Sunday—to drag the church back into balance. The men return. The great revivals of the past three centuries always transformed large numbers of men.

God has balanced His church many times before. He will do so again. Our job is to confront the current gender gap for what it is: a strategy of the evil one to weaken the church. We need to understand what causes the gap and have the courage to remove the barriers that discourage and demoralize men. God will call men back to Himself. Will the church be ready?

Dream for a moment. What would church be like if the majority of the worshippers were men? Not just males taking up pew space, but strong, earthy men who were truly alive in Christ. Men who were there not just to please their wives, to fulfill religious tradition, or to go on a power trip, but men who were there to rock their world. Can you even imagine what that would feel like? Imagine what such a church could accomplish for the kingdom of God!

Impossible you say? Just read the book of Acts. The church was like this once; it can be so again.

Author's Note

Let me say this in the strongest possible terms: the answer is not a male-dominated church. I am not advocating the "submit to me, woman," brand of Christianity in which men are kings and women are pawns. Not only is this model unbiblical; it doesn't create spiritually mature men. The answer is a balanced approach: teaching, practices, and opportunities that allow for both masculine and feminine expression in the church.

Please read this book with an open mind. Some of my conclusions may upset or shock you. I've tried very hard not to stereotype, but you can't write a book about men without making some generalizations about the sexes. (For example, I say that men are more competitive; women are more cooperative. Not every man is more competitive than every woman, but considering the genders as a whole, the observation is true.) If you agree with 90 percent of what you read herein, please don't throw out the whole book based on the 10 percent that makes you mad. This book is not a perfect plan to bring men back. Rather, I hope it is the match that ignites thousands of conversations and millions of prayers about a problem we've ignored far too long. I pray God's people take what's written in this book and test it, refine it, and use it to bring multitudes to Christ.

There are hundreds of great Christian books written to help men come closer to Christ. This is not one of them. This book does not contain the usual calls to repentance, purity, and holiness. You won't hear me talking about the sins that commonly ensnare men. I'm working the other angle. As I said earlier, I am not calling men back to the church. Instead, I am calling the church back to men.

At times this book may not read like a typical Christian tome. I won't offer many suggestions such as "we need to pray more" or "we need to show men God's love." Nor will you find a Scripture reference on every page. Prayer and Scripture are vitally important, but in this book I focus on practical barriers to male participation, because so little has been written about them.


Excerpted from WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH by David Murrow Copyright © 2005 by David Murrow. Excerpted by permission of Nelson Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


1. Men Have a Religion: Masculinity....................3
2. Why Judy's Husband Hates Going to Church....................12
3. Men Aren't the Only Ones Missing from Church....................18
4. The Masculine Spirit and the Feminine Spirit....................23
5. Adjusting the Thermostat....................29
6. Men: Who Needs 'Em?....................36
7. The Gap of Presence....................53
8. The Gap of Participation....................64
9. The Gap of Personality....................70
10. What Biology Teaches Us About Men....................81
11. What the Social Sciences Teach Us About Men....................90
12. Men Seek Greatness....................98
13. The Pursuit of Manhood: His Greatest Quest....................103
14. Men Are Afraid ... Very Afraid....................115
15. The Church Is Out of Touch....................126
16. Check Your Manhood at the Door....................133
17. Leadership and the Masculine Spirit....................151
18. Pastors and the Masculine Spirit....................168
19. Teaching and the Masculine Spirit....................175
20. Worship and the Masculine Spirit....................184
21. Women and the Masculine Spirit....................193
22. Ministry and the Masculine Spirit....................203
23. Every Man Needs a Spiritual Father....................215
24. Every Man Needs a Band of Brothers....................222
25. The Second Coming of the Masculine Spirit....................227
About the Author and Acknowledgments....................233
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended -- relevant reading

    The largest unreached people group¿at least as far as church attendance is concerned¿is men. Why is that? Why do more women attend church than men? And how should this problem be addressed?

    These are just some of the questions discussed in David Murrow¿s Why Men Hate Going To Church.

    Murrow compares the typical church set up¿in terms of worship, preaching style and programs¿to the way men are wired. He offers pragmatic solutions; ways to reach out and draw men into the public worship place without making them feel emasculated. He suggests ideas to change the church dynamic and create a place where men feel at home.

    But more than just discussing the need to make the church more ¿man friendly,¿ Murrow draws from recent church history to show how church has evolved and become more welcoming overall, progressively making it easier for men to find their place.

    Illustrations and candor make this book an enjoyable read. Why Men Hate Going To Church would especially benefit pastors, church leaders, women who want to understand men, and men who want to understand themselves.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow This book is thoro

    Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow

    This book is thoroughly interesting. The book is divided into 3 different parts: where are the men, church culture versus man culture, and calling the church back to men. It is a eye opening book that enables readers to understand why men are less likely to be involved in a church. In a quote from the book, David writes: Men, who are verbal, studious, musical, and sensitive rise to the top. They get “stage time”, while average Joes who lack these soft virtues either leave the church or become passive pew sitters.” The church has become feminized and left out the men in the process. Many characteristics of the church are reflected in a feminine way. This book offers a section to help address the issue with helping men to feel welcomed into the church, by aiding to their needs. It helps balance the church between femininity and masculinity.

    This book is challenging, thought provoking, and needed for our generation! I highly recommend this book to others. It really helped me to see why men are less likely to go to church or be involved in the church. I am involved in a children/youth ministry, so this book is giving me ideas that I can put into practice. It offers many tips for the Church. It is not a book for only those serving in ministry. This is a very valuable book for anyone to read. There are sections that are valuable for wives, as they practice their faith with their husbands. It offers 10 short chapters on how the church can bring men back into the church. It is not about doing things the way we have always done them, but reaching all people for Christ!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Why they love God and loathe church

    David Murrow's book is not a "Shape up, Christian men !" lecture, nor is it an attempt to fit people to an organization. He argues instead that churches have become women's clubs with male officers, and that they must change to become more accepting of masculinity without sacrificing the female side.
    The book is a mixture of humor(Loved his comments about "K-Love" radio and their fictional arch-listener "Kathy"), sociology(why gay men and black women generally like religion at least in the abstract while lesbians and African-American men shun it ) and strategy (Lighten up on the girly sounding love-song-to-Jesus praise music and remember that guys simply express themselves differently, sometimes bluntly).
    A rare book and a road map to the future.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow is a comprehensivel

    Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow is a comprehensively referenced book that seeks to address the issue of why men, more than women, abhor going and getting involved in churchy activities. Notice that it is about the problem of men with churchy stuffs, not about theological questions. This book is not a theological treatise, and does not seek to address soteriology issue, eschatology, etc although Murrow features prominently that the word "developing intimate relationship with God" sounds too girlie for a man. Instead, Murrow suggests that words such "becoming a follower of Jesus" giving the connotation of our readiness to lay down our lives in battle, willing to undergo hardship in our resolution to be a disciple of Jesus, etc, are more appropriate for men. In fact, the simple premise of this book goes something like this:

    The church was originally intended for men. The reformation era was a testimony of that, with men willing to speak out courageously when they knew were the truth of the Gospel.

    Unfortunately during the Victorian period (where Queen Victoria reigned), things turned out to be more refined and womanly or girlie. It was also during this time that economic recession occured; and many men were forced to work extra hard. This, together with the issue of a man not finding himself comfortable in a 'girlie" church, resulted in many men decided to keep working on Sunday rather than going to church. As a result, many who went to church during that time were females. And this has compounded the problem, resulting in vicious cycle.

    Nonetheless, in doing so, I find that Murrow's book has become heavily stereotypical. He paints a picture of a typical man as a rough, muscular man with strong biceps to carry objects. Within its pages, I find that Murrow in rather biased in such forms of over-generalization.

    Furthermore, Murrow focused too much on the externals rather than the heart issues. He virtually blamed almost everything external the system has to offer (except for women, which he emphatically denies upfront in the Introduction chapter), right to the very trivial stuffs such as the types of decoration in the church which may be perceived as too pinkish or girlie as well as the use of decorative flowers in church. As such, I think he does not render sufficient space to deal with the heart issue, which is more than important than the external.

    In conclusion, I must say that I enjoyed reading this book with Murrow sprinkled a dash of humor throughout the book, especially the crude, clean jokes of churchy stuffs, which Murrow claimed, are not comfortably handled by men, such as holding hands, the different styles of churchy prayers, etc. Nonetheless, after reading this book, I find it to be rather entertaining rather than convicting. I don't feel much of a punch from this book. I don't sense Murrow was serious enough to deal with this issue at the core level (particularly with his frequent churchy jokes)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Why Men Hate Going to Church By David Murrow Posted on May 22, 2

    Why Men Hate Going to Church By David Murrow
    Posted on May 22, 2012
    This is one of ,if not the best spiritual book i’ve ever read.The writer really goes into much detail backed with facts historically and biblically on why men are missing in our church.I decided to put the writer to test so i started looking through his theory at church with my own eyes on sundays and wednesdays and what do you know ? There is some truth behind it.This is a problem facing all churches today and this book is a blueprint on understanding that and that fixing it .If you want to see the church rise up once again with men there .Get this book you won’t regret it .It is truly a great wonderful book. I say this is a keeper and cant wait to read another book by this writer.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    Inicié este libro de David Murrow, con cierto grado de in

    Inicié este libro de David Murrow, con cierto grado de incredulidad en cuanto a su contenido. Es decir, no tenía más expectativa que la de observar el fenómeno sociológico-espiritual que produce la inasistencia o deserción masculina de las congregaciones estadounidenses, sin embargo, el fenómeno de las diferencias abrumadoras en la cantidad de mujeres con relación a la cantidad de hombres en las iglesias no es un fenómeno localista, es una tendencia occidental de gran peso.
    Al parecer, cuando llega el domingo en la mañana la mayoría de hombres preferiría estar jugando u observando baseball o softball que escuchando un sermón. ¿Por qué?
    Al finalizar de leer “Why men hate going to church” debo decir que su contenido no es sólo sociológico, sino que lanza un marcado reto a la iglesia actual que se encuentra en todo el mundo a cambiar el énfasis del evangelicalismo en una eclesiología desequilibrada y que no representa el mensaje que se predica.
    Un libro harto recomendable para pastores, líderes de ministerios, líderes de grupos o para cualquier persona que esté interesado en leer un análisis serio sobre por qué la mayoría de hombres odian ir a la iglesia.
    Recibí este libro como parte del programa para bloggers de BookSneeze®, Thomas Nelson ni el programa BookSneeze® requieren que yo de una revisión positiva, sino que de mi opinión aunque sea negativa.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    Real men, read this!

    This book was very interesting. It was good to see a book that focuses on the dwindling leadership in the body and how the leadership is falling down to the women. It is very alarming to know that there is a LACK of real, true men in the body of the church. We, as men, are called to lead and be leaders in our relationship, whether that is a friendship or in a relationship, we as men need to stand up and be the leaders we were called to be by God! We, as men, need to step up and start waking up and start standing up for the one true God, if you want to be used by God, stand up for Him! Praise Him! Worship Him! Once you start doing that, God will knock your socks and get involved in the body, serve His body, we are called to be leaders, fishers of men.
    Overall, this book, I highly recommend! We were created by God to be those leaders, in our home, our church, and our relationships. Our identity is found in Christ, now men, wake up and find out why real mean are lacking in the furthering His Word!

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow

    Ever wonder why it seems like the only man in church is pastor. Even then, some churches have a female pastor. As more men leave the church, the church becomes more ¿man repellent¿. David Murrow takes ¿why¿ and tells us ¿because¿ in three parts. The first part is about where the men are and what they say when asked why they don¿t go to church. Part two talks about the feminization of the church and how this contradicts with a man¿s ¿manliness¿. Finally, part three is where David Murrow writes on how to make the church what it should be, which in turn will make it more man friendly.
    I really liked this book because there are so many ways you can take the small things he put in there and expand on them. He included a few challenges for the reader to take, and tried to take the best biblical standpoint on this manner. He did a good job on keeping my attention and used plenty of well-chosen illustrations. I enjoyed reading this book, was saddened by the fact that I finished the book, and would DEFINITELY recommend this book to others. (4/5 stars is because I personally do not approve of some of his methods in which he came to his conclusions, which I agree with.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Eye Opener

    I received a copy of WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH by David Murrow, from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. This copy is completely revised and updated; incorporating parts from is other books, HOW WOMEN HELP MEN FIND GOD and THE MAP. I have not read those, so I cannot compare, but this book found me engrossed. Although not a novel, it read smoothly. Each section flowed into the next, comprising three parts, notes, and an introduction. At some parts, I laughed aloud ¿ not because they were ridiculous, but because David Murrow writes in a comical way. In other sections, I found myself nodding in agreement.

    I will not go into too many details about the reasons David Murrow gives for men hating to go to church, I will mention the one that stood out to me the most: many positions within the church, such as watching children for day care, are predominately for women. Men feel out of place, so they do not participate and volunteer as much.

    This book made me study my own family structure. My mom is more interested in church than my father is, and my paternal grandmother attends every Sunday she can make. However, my maternal uncle is very involved, just like my maternal grandfather was. I am passing this book on to others, hoping it will also open their eyes.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nailed It!

    Why Men Hate Going To Church-by David Murrow

    Why Men Hate Going To Church tries to reveal the real reasons why the number of men in church congregations has been steadily decreasing over the past few decades and warns us that if we don't change something soon not only our congregations but our clergy will be utterly devoid of the male persuasion.

    This book is broken up into three parts:

    Part 1 - Where Are The Men

    Gives us a picture of what happened to the church that started to
    drive men away and when it happened

    Gives us a surprising distinction between the Lamb of God and the
    Lion of Judah and how each is portrayed in the church.

    Gives us insight into the kind of men who are missing from the

    Part 2 - Church Culture vs. Man Culture

    Tells us the twelve things men fear about church

    Talks about the affects of Contemporary Worship and Modern church
    lingo on men

    How churches feminize over time

    How we are driving our young boys away from the Christian Faith

    Part 3 - Calling The Church Back To Men

    Explains why Mega Churches are Mega...no it's not because they have
    more money and resources.

    How men relate to Pastors

    How to teach men
    How men minister to others especially other men

    How churches like Willow Creek, Saddle Back, and Mars Hill saw the
    problem and changed their church culture to attract men

    I found this book to be very helpful and for the most part true. I am not a girlie girl so I too have struggled with some of the same issues that this book talks about concerning church. David Murrow does address the fact that there are some women who think more along the lines of the typical male mind and that they too are struggling with our modern church culture. There were only a couple of places in the book where I disagreed with the author concerning reasons why men don't attend church. My husband and I have discussed these areas and he agreed that a couple of the reasons stated in the book are not reasons but rather excuses. However, all in all, this book is dead on.

    I do highly recommend this book for any church member or pastor who has noticed that a certain portion of the male population has gone missing from their congregation. Read some of the insights in this book then take a look at your church atmosphere and see if the book isn't correct.

    My only concern with this book is that some may take it too far the other direction and use this as an excuse to demean or dominate women which is not what the author intended nor God. We must have a balance so that all can learn, thrive, and serve!

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Why Men Hate Going to Church

    I am a follower of Christ, and for this reason much of my reading has been spent on church growth, not just numerically but spiritually. Being a woman, I have often wondered why men, that claim to be Christian, would not pray aloud, take leadership roles, teach mixed classes in the church, or even be remotely interested in anything going on with the church. And... because I am a woman, I could not see through my eyes to reason or begin to understand. We see through our own perceptions and fail to see reality. As in so many areas of our lives we must look through a different set of lens if we want the picture to clear up. David Murrow's, Why Men Hate Going to Church, became the lens to clear my vision, reality, of just how our churches operate. Never before has the problem in the church been addressed so clearly. We can walk around with our head in the sand but until we address the problem¿the problem will never go away it will just worsen. For years self-help books have addressed marital and relationship problems in terms of distinct gender differences and have sought to help men and women communicate and relate better by acknowledging their differences within their marriage. I have not read any book that has gone where Murrow has trod in such a way as to define the reason that men and boys are just not interested in church. He gives advice how to counteract these differences in communication style in regards to our view of Christ himself as Lion of Judah vs. Lamb of God, in worship and music styles, to the decoration of the church. He talks about how women and men react differently in their relationships with people. While I must admit that he punched women pretty hard for the role that they have taken, his goal was to remind the church and its leaders that we must not just accept each genders way of expressing their worship, love and devotion to God but to include study, discipleship, and ministry that will fulfill each other¿s emotional and spiritual needs so that both genders and all ages can learn to worship God. It has changed not only how I see our church and its activity but it has changed my perception of men and their "relationship" to God. This book is a must for believers (church staff and leaders, wives, and mothers) who want to see men and boys develop a deeper and more satisfying walk with God. It is a must for those interested in developing the church's delivery system to draw all to a commitment to the ministry that God called all of us to participate in. We cannot leave church growth up to ¿our own¿ preferences,we must be intentional about reaching all people.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    History is important and can lead the way in the future!

    I am a student of history. One of my top strengths is "context" (StrengthsFinder by Gallup-WELL WORTH your time). The most important lesson I gained in college from all of my history courses was this: Context is key-you need to know the hows/whys/whats of how we got to where we are so that you can ask "what now" and act wisely.

    I am also a church leader. I have been in various leadership roles for the past ten+ years. I have seen churches grow and I've seen churches decline. There are many good books that I've read on the subject of how church should be done, but I have to say that David Murrow's book "Why Men Hate Going to Church" has made the top ten list.

    Mr. Murrow begins by giving a history of church dynamics and specifically looks at the role that men have played over the past few hundred years. It's hard to argue with his facts: the church has become highly feminized, and it's a cycle that will keep going until we make church a more "man friendly" environment. His fascinating historical overview truly helps us see why we have such a mess today when it comes to the decline of a male presence in the church. He doesn't discriminate between denominations-he acknowledges that they've all seen a decline and discusses why. But he does far more than just offer a commentary on the problem: he offers solutions based on research.

    One example: he points out several phrases and terms that are NEVER found in the Bible, but we use them all the time to describe what it means to be a Christian. We've made it this almost romantic-sounding relationship (i.e. using words like intimate, personal relationship, etc.), when in reality the Gospel is a mission. We are God's ambassadors, His agents in this world, and we are called to action. We are here for a purpose. Those are the types of things that get men fired up-not mushy worship/talk. Yet, because the churches are typically filled with more women than men, the messages have conformed to the gender-gap, and this isolates men even further.

    For church-planters and pastors especially, chapter 13 alone is worth buying the whole book. As I read this chapter (as with many others), I was struck by the truth of his words in terms of how our Kingdom focus has changed so much with the feminine influence in the church. We've become far more focused on making church a "family" than a mission-control for the Kingdom work to which we are called. As such, pastors spend so much time dealing with internal conflicts rather than reaching out to our communities who are in need of the Word.

    I know that many of my friends who are feminists will likely disagree with much of what this book says.but I have to agree. Changes need to be made, and we need to follow the biblical example that Jesus gave us during His earthly ministry. He reached out to 12 MEN primarily, because He knew that those men would become leaders that both men and women would follow. We need strong male leadership once again in our churches, and this book offers many suggestions that will change the course of your church forever.

    This book is worth your time-and keep an open mind.it just might surprise you.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Honest look at why christian churches are losing members

    This book is about the reasons men (and young women 18-35) don't go to Christian church. The percentage of men participating in church grows smaller each year. The US Congregational Life Survey concurs: "While the U.S. population is split fairly evenly between men and women, there are more women (61%) than men (39%) in the pews." Young men and women are not all turning athiest. While other religions are increasing their male membership and spirituality is very interesting to the youth of today, people are just choosing other places to practice their spirituality. Of the planet's great religions, only Christianity has a consistent, worldwide shortage of male practitioners.

    I loved this book. It was a super interesting, thought-provoking read. And on top of that, I feel the conclusions the author draws are pretty accurate. The reason my friends and I do not go to church are outlined in this book - church is too shallow and not relevant to me. Here are some of my favorite snippets from this book that sum up the general ideas from this book:

    If you asked them their religion, they would confidently reply, "Christian." They would even admit to feeling a strong connection with God. All three would say they're trying their best to follow Jesus. Yet they do not go to church.

    - I can worship God better at home than in a church building.
    - I don't feel like I need to go to a church to be a good kind Christian.
    - I've found church rather boring and irrelevant to my life.

    But church isn't on their radar. They've tried it. It didn't work for them. Their time is precious, and church just doesn't provide the return on investment they're looking for.

    "Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you're getting." What if church is built to reach women, children, and elderly folks? Not sure you agree? The US Congregational Life Survey pegged the typical churchgoer as a fifty-year-old, married, well-educated, employed female.

    Most people think of Christ as having the values that come naturally to a woman. To "be like Christ" means always loving, always caring, always compassionate, and always gentle. Jesus does not judge people; he hugs them. Highly involved churchmen often possess the values that are normally considered "feminine". Men who are verbal, studious, musical, and sensitive rise to the top. While the average Joes who lack these soft virtues either leave the church or become passive pew sitters. Men don't hate God or Christ or the Bible or Christianity. They hate a system that's perfectly designed to reach someone else - women, children and elderly folks.

    Disclaimer: I gave my honest review. I received this book from the publisher but a positive review was not required

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    RIGHT ON About Reason I Do Not Go To Church

    Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow explains why church does not appeal to nearly all men. The main answer lies in the fact that church appeals and teaches feminine character trains over masculine traits. These feminine traits appeal to women, weak and meek men, less-macho men, and older men and women, like grandparents.

    While some of the conclusions this author draws are not accurate reasons to explain the condition of WHY "men do not go to church", the main focus of this book hits the reason why 18-35 men and women find no challenge or appeal in Christian churches. This age group is EXTREMELY SPIRITUAL but are seeking in other religions or in Christianity OUTSIDE of church. We are returning to small home churches, like author Frank Viola and George Barna write about.

    Churches that emphasize the Lamb side of Jesus Christ, tend to lean towards feminine characteristics. The characteristics of the Lamb are kind, meek, and considered feminine by most people. The more liberal the church, the more feminine the characteristics being taught among members. Christians that emphasize the Lion in Jesus Christ tend to attract the 18-35 crowd, men, younger women, and the macho or rebelliousness in people. Some of these churches are criticized for being "too strong", "too angry", or for "fire and brimstone" teachings.

    I think this book is FANTASTIC!!! I think it is a must read for all Christians, especially preachers/pastors. This book is also accurate. I am a female in the 18-35 and this is the exact reason I have never been a church-goer. I do NOT believe in the system. I do not believe in the watered-down gospel. I don't agree with the wimpiness in church systems. Or all the gossip and judgmentalness. These feminine characteristics and also excessive masculine characteristics are both unppealing. Until churches wake up and realize they are reaching the people they are designed to reach (by their outdated, watered-down teachings), Christian churches will continue to appeal to mostly women and older women. MUST READ BOOK.

    Fantastic update to this book. Murrow explains the updates to this book are make this second release more valuable than the first.

    I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for this review but I did really give my honest opinion

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    church is for wimps?

    When I was first looking for a calling as a pastor, I heard from several churches, "if you can get the man, you can get the family." It was a response to a growing concern that the church was losing attendance from men. Specifically men in the late 30's to early 50's range. Which have caused some to wonder if the modern church service is only attractive to women, children and seniors. And even if a church does manage to have men in attendance, they seem to be the less committed types. There are typically more women teachers, more women in leadership, and more women in the choir. why is that?

    Author David Murrow argues that the church "system" is perfectly designed to give you the results you are getting. And while church may "fit" some men, the typical church does not. The church system only reaches a certain type of person and according to Murrow the majority of those people are women.

    Through the book, Murrow outlines how the typical church is missing members who are young, single or men who men who are overtly "manly." Murrow criticizes Church for issues that are handled passively, productivity that is slow and conflict that is handled in a non-aggressive way. And I suppose this "system" of church stems from the idea that Jesus acted this way. Many pants Jesus as being soft, demure and effeminate. One of Murrow's supporters, Mark Diriscoll, also blames the modern church for painting Jesus as some passive hippie, Mark says, "I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up."

    Is that why men hate going to church? Because they can't worship a guy they could beat up?

    Oddly enough, Murrow states that when surveyed the number one reason men don't want to go. "the church is full of hypocrites." Which actually is not all that surprising, because hypocrisy is typically the number one reason most people don't go to church - even the reason atheists and agnostics give.

    And here is when I will stand up on my soap box and "testify" a little bit. People keep using hypocrisy as the reason, but I don't believe they understand what it is. Hypocrisy is when you lie. It's when you say you believe something and you really don't. It's when you pretend to be one way, but inwardly YOU KNOW you are not that way.

    Sadly, people who use the word "hypocrisy" think it means "not practicing what one believes." Let me give it to you in Church speak. Let's say at your church you preach the act of service; and it's on all your banners and paperwork. "Our church loves service." But you notice that in that church - not many people serve. It only becomes hypocrisy when someone you know doesn't serve. tells you "I serve all the time." Then it's a lie. But if someone tells you, "yea, I believe in service, and I know it's a good thing, and Iknow it's what God wants, I just can't do it." That's not hypocrisy.

    Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) were hypocrites. They "said" they have all their money to the church, but they consciously knew that they didn't do it.

    No, Murrow stands on his belief that the church is a girls club. Churches cater to the largest group, the walls are painted pretty, we decorate with flowers, we have lot of female related ministries, music is soft and

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Why is it that men hate going to church? Lousy preaching? Worship that is less then wonderful? In this second edition of his bestselling book, David Murrow uses his knowledge, and common sense to figure out the real reason. While most of the reason stems from the church being too feminine, many more usually unnoticed observations are demonstrated in this book. This book contains statistics, facts and above-and-beyond hypothesis to answer the question, why don't men like church?"
    This book was very good, and I believed it exposed some of the most devastating statistics of the men/women ratio in church. One of the most interesting theories, I believed, was the one about the church needing feminine character. At first, I shrugged it off, but then realized that women truly do have the right characteristics, such as fellowship, compassion, and many other "girly" things. Not that guys don't have compassion, but they need church to want them to build a house, or punch something, or teach them how to shepherd their families, etc. Overall, I thought this was a great, down-to-earth look at the reasons why men hate going to church. I would recommend this for any Pastors, Men's group leaders, and any other human with curiosity.
    Thomas Nelson Publishers gave me this book for this review.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Why Men Hate Going To Church

    received the book, Why Men Hate Going to Church By David Murrow in the mail in error from the Booksneeze blogger program instead of the book I actually requested. At first I was disgusted; since I am not am man this book would not apply to me, obviously. Nevertheless, since I did have the book, I decided I might as well read it. The author, David Morrow made some relevant and suprisingly true observations of the condition of today's churches. Perhaps this is something that many do not consider, as it is often overlooked, but most Church membership is made up of either women, or seniors. In general, there are few younger people that actually attend church, and especially very few men in particular. Many reasons were cited by the author to explain why churches apparently neglect men, albeit unintentionally. Outreach programs and church groups frequently cater to women and children, as well as female related issues. Furthermore, the preaching style and content is tailored towards the gentleness and preferences of women. On top of that, the decor of the church- the flowers, feminine art work, plush furniture and color schemes are geared for the tastes of women. It is as if men simply do not fit into the female emphasis of worship in most modern churches. Espcially in female run churches, with a woman as a minister- men feel alienated. The author gives a voice to many issues that are neglected or overlooked!
    I believe that this book is worth considering for anyone involved in Church leadership. It offers a unique perspective on the reasons why church attendance- especially by men- continues to fall. As a blogger for booksneeze, I received this book for the purpose of writing a review. The opinions stated in this review are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2007

    Where the Boys (er, Men) Are!!!

    Mr. Murrow tackles a complex topic with humor, self-deprecation, and logic. He uses excellent research materials to support his assertions, and does a good job of mixing Biblical study with modern analysis. My only criticism is that Mr. Murrow (especially early in the book) engages in some very ' broad-brush ' analyses of men who attend churches, and I think the reader needs to sort through some of Mr. Murrow's genuine zeal for this topic to clarify those issues the reader finds legitimate from those issues which Mr. Murrow wishes to sell to promote his cause. A generally-well-written and interesting volume, easy to read, and both entertaining and thought-provoking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    Some time ago, a pastor-friend of mine asked this very question. Although there are many reasons why men don't regularly attend church, a couple of reasons which this book 'somewhat' grapples with are... 1. Our Western Model of 'Doing Church' is far too domesticated. It has lost its 'wildness', spending too much time in the 'arrival' lounge of God's airport, and not enough in the 'departure' area. 2. With #1 in mind, another major reason is that the church has become highly feminized. Does anyone really think that men are interested in being corraled into a 'sharing' session? Stop trying to be women, and start honoring the 'image' which God created us to be - as men! Cpax Dei!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006


    I have often wondered why men are out of church. This book tries to explain some of the reasons. As I was reading I said yea (I agree) with a lot of things he says. But occasionally I said YEA!!! ( agree a lot!) that really hits home.

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