Believe it or not, church-going Christian Men have become a rare commodity. In fact, most American men, whether or not they identify as Christian, do not attend church on a weekly basis. In his book, Why Men Hate Going to Church, David Murrow cites the following sobering statistics:
• Just 35% of the men in the USA attend church weekly
• Women comprise over 60% of the typical adult congregation on any given Sunday
• At least one-fifth of married women regularly worship without their husbands
• The majority of men attend worship services and nothing more
• Men 18-29 are the LEAST LIKELY demographic group to be in church
Why is this happening? Why are men in particular dropping out of church? Murrow, in his book, says the culprit is the feminization of the church, he says evangelicals are making going to church something as inappropriate to the male gender as wearing a pink sweater. But while what Murrow says is true, he’s actually identifying a symptom that exacerbates the problem rather than the cause. Of course we should expect that as men leave the church and women begin to play a more and more dominant role, that churches will become more feminized and that men will react to that feminization by leaving in even greater numbers. But knowing that, while it is helpful, doesn’t tell us what the root of the problem is. We need to ask what caused men to leave evangelical churches in the first place? In my opinion the answer to that question is that in the evangelical world generally, and especially amongst men, if we concentrate on anything theological at all its salvation. When we go to church we are told how to be born again, and usually we are told that we are born again by “asking Jesus to come into our heart.” Then the following week when we attend church we will be told how to be born again, again.