Men and Church

Why is that men seem to have a harder time with church than women? Less than 40% of adults attending church in America are men. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Is the church not a male-friendly environment, or is the spiritual state of men in society…or something else.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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10 thoughts on “Men and Church

  1. I think (in a woman’s opinion) it might come from the fact that men have so many pressures on them already. They are usually the main bread winner of the family. They have to take care of their family, make sure they have a place to live, food to eat, etc. As sad as it is, I think sometimes they may view church as just one more thing they need to do. And even sadder, they may feel like that’s the one thing they can let go not realizing it’s the one thing that can balance everything else in their lives.

  2. Women have been taught (not as much now as once was) to be submissive. Men have been taught, “I’m not going to bow down to any one.” Possible young boys grow to seeing daddy being this way and he is this way too. Just a thought

  3. Women have been taught (not as much now as once was) to be submissive. Men have been taught, “I’m not going to bow down to any one.” Possible young boys grow to seeing daddy being this way and he is this way too. Just a thought

  4. Really provocative topic. I agree with nearly every observation that’s been made. It seems to me that men are more likely to let distractions pull them away from something they feel is time-wasting anyway. So it becomes easy to put football pre-games shows, hunting season, home improvement projects, etc. ahead of spiritual commitment. Of course, I haven’t really answered the question of just what the root cause of this problem is.

  5. Let me start by saying, I had a very tough time phrasing this so I apologize if sounds like rambling.
    I think men in our culture want to believe that they are responsible for all they are. Religion and spirituality may be viewed as feminine. A faithful lifestyle means being subservient; not just to God, but to each other. I think many men feel that this would make them less of a man. Perhaps our male society has a distorted view of what it means to be a man.
    Being a man does not mean working so much you have no time for family. It does not mean solving all problems on your own. Being a man does not mean being ‘tough’ at all times. Nor does it mean forgoing compassion, conforming to social norms, or suppressing emotion at all cost. Loving and serving God and each other is not a sign of weakness. Quite the opposite. We have seen the bumper sticker “Real Men Love God.” I think this is what that slogan is getting at. It takes a complete man to be able to fully embrace Biblical principles and ideologies.
    I think more men need to realize that Church is not all about being ‘touchy feely.’ Being a Follower takes strength, character, and self confidence. Look at the stories of the Bible. The great men were followers of God. They were leaders and servants at the same time. One does NOT preclude the other. Unfortunately, we often translate servitude as weakness.
    Not the greatest among us can achieve salvation on our own. But as men, it is hard to admit that we are fallible, that we need the help of others, and that some things are beyond our control.

  6. Did you read the fight I started over at Wade’s blog or something?
    Many churches, ours included, are increasingly feminine. Getting men back is going to take pervasive change. Right now, many men feel unwelcome. I work with fellas that would rather lose a tooth than go to what they think a bible class will be like.
    The biggest instrument of change is men of God that share with their friends. I’m in Mike Southerland’s class right now. 3 of the couples are in that class because Jeff (The guy that doesn’t wear sleeves.) invited them there and assured them they would not be judged.
    New disciples can be found at the motorcycle rally or the gun club. It is just prejudice that keeps us from reaching out.
    Some of the things that drive fellas away can easily be changed. Not the least of which is calling these men rednecks. It is not pleasant to hear pejoratives at church. That only furthers the concept of not being welcome.
    I could write a book on this.

  7. I’m surprised that with the evolution of modern society that the percentage hasn’t moved to more 50-50. But having said that, I believe the difference has to do with children. I think that when it comes to the children, some men take a smaller less interested role in raising the children than women do. Even if the mother had stopped going to church during college and the first years of marriage, she would be more inclined to start going again for her children.

  8. This isn’t the only reason, but I think it’s part of the problem (and props to Juanell Teague for this observation): we just don’t put enough of our most talented men into positions where they can do as much for the church as they do in their jobs. Their talents are poorly utilized. The reasons we shy away from these men is probably worth another blog discussion, but before we point the finger and say that men just aren’t spiritual, I think we should look at ourselves and ask if church provides as much or more fulfillment as their workplace.