Monday, October 23, 2006

"Why Men Hate Going to Church"

From an interview with David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church:

Little things matter to men. For instance, how we decorate the sanctuary: soft, cushiony pews, fresh flowers, boxes of Kleenex, lace curtains, and of course, quilted banners on the walls. Honestly, how do we expect men to connect to a masculine God in an environment that feels like Aunt Polly's parlor?I think we could ditch the handholding, prayer requests and screeching violin offertories from seven-year-olds without driving women away. I know a lot of women who would appreciate a more masculine Jesus. I also know women who are sick of the "I'm in therapy forever" emphasis in our megachurches. Men and women need a mission, not just a personal relationship with Jesus.

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But the male dominated church is largely myth. Men dominate the pulpit (and some governing boards), but women dominate everything else. The average worship service draws an adult crowd that's 61 percent female. Midweek activities are often 70 or 80 percent female. Church staffs are almost totally female. Author Leon Podles puts it this way: modern churches are ladies' clubs with a few male officers.If current trends continue, by 2050 the average pastor in America will be a 55 year-old woman. By 2075 the male pastor will be as uncommon as the male nurse is today. This is already happening in the Church of England; in 2005, that denomination will appoint more female priests than male ones for the first time. And their average age is nearing 60. One observer laments, "the priesthood is becoming a hobby for grannies."

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