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The Five Reasons Church Isn’t Working For You As A Man– And What To Do About It.

I’ve been a pastor for seven years and worked over a hundred other churches...what I can tell you today is that churches are not producing good men. 


Here are the top five reasons churches are failing to produce and appeal to men.

At the end of the article, I’ll share what we need to do to fix this. 

Location: Church Building Rather than House and Home

Large, comfortable, well-equipped church buildings are a recent happening that dovetail a long history of moving the seat of spiritual activity out of the home and into the institutional building. 

These modern church buildings are one of the worst returns on investment for the church. The maximal use of the large space happens only once per week. Yet, we continue the parade of large amounts of money, time, and skill poured into church buildings. 

The message is clear: This is the center of spiritual activity, the most important place you can be if you are a spiritual person. 

The implication is subtle. The home is not the center of spiritual development. 

Churches forget that the primal and primeval and original societal organization is the family, the home. Built around a man and woman who reproduce not just physically but also spiritually:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6.6–9 ESV 

If there is an organization that exists outside of the family for spiritual development, in every way it ought to be seeking to build up, equip, emphasize God’s original location for the advancement of His kingdom: House and Home. 

It only gets worse from here.  

Mode: Sitting in Pews

Ask anyone in a church, “What is the highlight of the church week?

They will give you the answer “Sunday morning worship service.”

What are men doing during the Sunday morning worship service? 

Sitting on their bottom. 

Sitting, doing nothing.

Passively participating. 

This is the opposite of what men were made to do in their highest calling: penetrate the world, penetrate new horizons, make new things and fix broken things, create new systems of flourishing.

The primary activity on a Sunday morning, the so-called highlight of the week, is passive/receptive. 

I will not claim that there is not a place for men to be receptive or to passively receive. 

I wrote a couple of weeks ago how men were created to penetrate the world, bear fruit, and shape it. Now we have an organization whose highlight is the opposite in mode of what men were created for. 

When the highlight of the week for an organization of people is passive/receptive, it will appeal to fewer men, or coerce them into a primarily passive/receptive role, contrary to the way God designed them to operate. 

Feel: Feminine Worship

I heard a speaker once read out to audiences various lines from both modern worship music and romance novels, and had them guess where the lines originated.

Are you surprised that the audience couldn’t tell the difference?

“And we are His portion
And He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking
When heaven meets earth like an sloppy wet kiss (some versions use “unforeseen” kiss)
And my heart turns violently inside of my chestI don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way that He loves us”

If you haven't heard it before, now you know why some refer to this as "Jesus boyfriend music."  

Compare that with something like “Babylon is Fallen”

Hail a day so long expected
Hail the year of full release
Zion’s walls are now erected
And the watchman’s published piece
Throughout Shiloh’s wide dominion
Hear the trumpets loudly roar
Babylon is fallen is fallen is fallen
Babylon is fallen to rise no more
All of Earth should stand with wonder
What is this that’s come to pass
Murmuring like a distant thunder
Crying Oh alas alas
Swell the sound ye kings and nobles
Priests and people rich and poor
Babylon is fallen is fallen is fallen
Babylon is fallen to rise no more
Blow the trumpets on Mt Zion
Christ shall come a second time
Ruling with a rod of iron
All who now as foes combine
Fables garment sweet rejected
And our fellowship is o’er
Babylon is fallen is fallen is fallen
Babylon is fallen to rise no more

Which song would appeal to someone who is masculine?

And how often do we sing songs like that in our institutional churches?

The next time you attend a service, look around and notice how the men engage with modern worship songs.

I can’t even bear to sing some of them. 

Leadership: One Man of God

The joke goes Baptists don’t like Catholics because Catholics have a supreme leader, the pope, whose decisions are authoritative. What the Baptists don’t realize: They have a pope in every single church, called a senior pastor, who does the same thing.

Whether you’re Catholic, Baptist, or something else, the institutional church will often have someone who holds the position “Senior Pastor” or “Lead Pastor.”

Even in a church that may have an “elder board” and the lead pastor is on the elder board, but considered first among equals. 

This senior or lead pastor “sets the vision” and does most of the preaching. 

So we have a situation where “ordinary” men go to church, week after week, receive a teaching for every family in the church.

Implicitly, we have another man who is not the husband, not the father, who does the primary teaching of the word of God into the life of that family. 

The net effect: The Senior Pastor becomes the de facto “spiritual leader” of another man’s home, while that man sits passively by observing. 

Another blow to men.

Masculinity "Contained" in Axe Throwing

So to what place do men, who hold onto the last shreds of masculinity, go? 

You will see two types of events carefully cordoned off from the rest of the church: The Saturday morning men’s meeting and the “manly” axe throwing event. 

First, on the original Sabbath, Saturday, we will pull men away from their families to eat pancakes, drink coffee, and “fellowship,” perhaps with a devotional (where they will remain passively seated). 

This is a whimpering vestige of the boys-only club, relegated to the basement to eat doughy pancakes smothered in vegetable oil based “butter,” drink stale coffee, and munch down a few strips of bacon. 

Once a year, the men may “get away” to a special location to get manly and do manly things like throw axes and shoot guns to hear another teaching (where they will most likely remain seated, of course). 

The tragedy is that this event, where anything close to the masculine design happens, is only once per year, and that is supposed to be enough until next year.

Second, they cordon it off from the center of operations, the church building, and away from the rest of the people. Women and children don’t witness masculinity on display. 

Third, once they return, they return to the structure and system that will have them sitting in pews, worshipping to primarily feminine worship songs, under the man of God, in a church building. 


A solution to church not working for men is difficult, because almost everything about the institutional church is designed for passivity and the feminine

For men to thrive in an organized church gathering, the location, mode, feel, and leadership will need changing. It must happen, but it will take time.

Meanwhile, the answer lies in small alternative communities of men who meet regularly and embrace the masculine calling together. Men who meet together, pray together, serve together. 

I currently meet in person, semi-weekly, with a group of about five men. This has been rewarding and life changing for me. Men can only adequately grow in the presence of other mature men. 

I’m also part of a more formal, (albeit not explicitly Christian) online men’s group, and have been a member of two others like this besides. 

These online communities came to me at a time when I desperately needed them, including a crisis moment about four years ago when I was re-awakening to authentic, God-designed manhood. 

I still see a gap for an online men’s community that is explicitly Christ-centered. Maybe God will assign that to me, but I haven’t heard it yet. 

So, I encourage you to find those one or two men or more with whom you can develop the bond of brothers for in person development and perhaps supplement with an online community. 

The third option is finding a coach who has walked this road ahead of you. If you’re interested in this, I have a two spots available for coaching men who want to get unstuck, reclaim their power, acquire the wisdom they need, and begin generating good things in love. 

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