A Man Has Needs.

August 3, 2009 by

In my opinion the demographic that is ignored the most, or at least not considered as much in the what and how of church, is men. We say we want more men in the church, but do our actions back that up?

Crying, flowers, high pitched music … where’s the guy stuff?

Here’s a great list from David Moore of some of the things guys need in a church.

A few of my favorites:

Men need to be able to sing the music. I won’t say much here, I can’t sing a lick. But if all the songs are in a high pitch, all the time, a man will never take a stab at singing. If he never sings, he will never get to experience a quality of worship most enjoy.

Full disclaimer: I’m part of the worship team at my church, so I’m singing a lot of the stuff that isn’t “man-friendly.” I’ve heard many worship leader wonder out loud why the men don’t get into the worship time but then we sing music that is either to high or all about the fluffery and emotions that guys just don’t get like the ladies do. How about a hard hitting song (that doesn’t require dancing around) about how God kicks the snot out of the enemy?

Men need a friend. Most of all men need another man. If a man builds a real friendship within your church body, good things happen. A man with a “brother” will be a better man at home and at work.

I struggle with this. I would really like to have more guy friends that I can hang out with. But do you know how awkward and weird it is to call a guy up and say “would you like to go to the movies?” I don’t have a good answer for this, but just raising my hand to say ‘yes, please I’ll have one of those.’

David also hits something that I’m completely passionate about and why I do what I do: Men need to see first rate quality. Men notice poor quality. Whether it’s the talent of the band or voices of the choir, he will notice. Pay attention to the quality of your flyers and web site. Make sure events and small groups are run properly and cover relevant subjects.

Go check out the post, there are six other things that he points out that men need in a church. Sadly many of these are lacking in the church. Want more fathers, husbands, etc., in your church? Start paying attention to them and their needs.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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20 Responses to “A Man Has Needs.”

  • Jim
    August 3, 2009

    the music part kills me sometimes…and the guy thing…

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  • Adam Rushlow
    August 3, 2009

    great stuff. check out the book “Why Men Hate Going to Church” Quick read, but right on point. We want men to lead, but we don’t challenge men in our churches or formulate programs that cater to the interests/personalities of men.
    Link for “Why Men Hate Going to Church”:

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  • Greg Dungan
    August 3, 2009

    This is a post with a lot of thinking behind it. I especially echo the point about quality. I have long been a voice in the wilderness about this one. We are trained in our jobs that quality matters and we learn to insist upon it, but all too often we are asked to accept shoddy performance in church. Furthermore, when we mention it, we are told that we are being judgmental, mean, and arrogant.
    If we think that the world we live in doesn’t recognize that church usually means low quality we are fooling ourselves. Ask the men in your church if quality is a factor in them not inviting other men and, if they are honest, you’ll see it’s true.

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  • Ardy
    August 3, 2009

    Amen! indeed true. It’s sometimes difficult for men to be active in church because of their work and some other responsibilities. However this doesn’t give them the license to be excused during worship. Nothing beats the fellowship with our brethren! Sometimes it gets repetitive but its worth it to talk about what our God has done to our individual life. Keep posting great stuff! God bless you!

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  • Ardy
    August 3, 2009

    Amen! Great topic!

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  • Jen S
    August 3, 2009

    Really? This sounds like a list of excuses. Men AND Women do not go to church simply because they don’t want to go. The church should stop being a club and begin being a church. When I see you “guys” out in my community caring and working for the things in the community that will make a real difference – then I might come to your church – whether or not a “woman” invites me or becomes my “sister”…etc. Otherwise, it’s all nonsense. Grow up – start being doers of the word – stop making excuses.

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  • rbouman
    August 4, 2009

    Hhmm, that’s got me thinking [about the singing bit]. How about we compile a list of top 10 songs men like to sing / are ‘singable’ by men?

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  • Paul Steinbrueck
    August 4, 2009

    A couple more I would add…
    Men need manly ways to serve. Most men don’t want to bake cookies, serve drinks, changed diapers, or teach Sunday School. Give men the opportunity to fix stuff, build stuff, or work with computers or electronics whether on the church grounds or in the community.
    Men need manly social activities. Most men who are outside the church or new to church are not interested in an invitation to a pot luck or a small group to sit around and talk about their feelings. Men should organize outings to ballgames, fishing, mountain biking, and camping trips as fun ways to build friendships with other men.
    Just my $0.02.

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  • Jen S
    August 4, 2009

    I don’t want to come to bake sales – I don’t bake, I don’t want to serve drinks, or change diapers, or sit around and talk about my feelings either.
    You’ve divided the church between male and female and you assume that church is the way it is because it’s the female’s fault. Stop it. It’s been my perception that christian men were in charge of the church, home, head of the family, etc. – at least that’s what you’d like for us to think.
    Stop insulating yourself from the world. Get out in it and be a doer. Men and women out here don’t think like you do – we don’t divide ourselves by gender. We work together for solutions.
    I don’t come to church because you are so worried about what happens in church. I don’t care about the singing or who is there or who speaks to me – I look for a group of people who can work together and are more concerned about others than themselves. I can’t seem to find it.
    Like I said – when I see you “guys” (Christians) out in the world working with me in the community, then I’ll think about church.
    As far as fixing things – why don’t you build a habitat house, or donate and fix the computers at the local women’s shelter, or build a skateboard park on the “other” side of town, or be a Big Brother or Sister, organize safe biking for local youths, coach a start up baseball or softball league for the kids you can’t afford to be in the other leagues, work in the local campground or parks and clean them up, be a leader or teacher in the local youth home… I do many of these things.
    It’s not hard to be a man or woman in the world. You just have to want to be a part of change.
    As far as “marketing” the church to me, you’ve a long way to go. We look at what you do, the kind of person your are, not where your building is.

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  • Leanne Shawler
    August 4, 2009

    Yanno, you could just drop “men” and substitute “people”. We women like excellence as well, you know. We also need friends, want to be challenged from the pulpit and have opportunities to build friendships within the church. We are also shy about asking our friends to church.
    Songs too high? There are such things as parts, where men have tenor and bass lines to sing.
    This started out making sense (and I was ready to share it with our Men’s Group leadership) and then at “Men need to be challenged at the pulpit” this ended up being totally misogynist. By saying “men need this”, the implication is that women don’t.
    Men don’t get involved because church has never been a “third place” for them. Or even a “second place”. They have work, home and the local bar if they drink. Women got into church because after WWII, men expected them to stay home again, but they’d had a taste of making a difference in the world outside their home, and so church became their “third place”.
    Men need a catalyst like that. Men perhaps need to accept that the only ego in the room should be God’s.
    That said, I’m contemplating what our church would look like if there were no flowers up front but some “manly” design. I think we could have ourselves a competition right there.

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  • Phil
    August 4, 2009

    Uncomfortable though it may be, I think we’ve taken some of the masculinity out of the Bible. Sorry, I’ll reword that. We’ve turned the Bible into romantic fiction rather than the story of redemption.
    Old testament has become sanitised so it fits into Sunday School classes. David and Goliath becomes a story about a boy and a big nasty man, rather than about a battle to the death.
    Jesus has become a blue-eyed traveller, rather than someone who lived a powerful life that challenged the political leaders of his day. A man who turned over the tables in the temple courtyard and didn’t even get challenged, such was his anger and passion.
    Paul was a guy who got locked up a lot. Not someone who could battle intellectually with anyone in that time.
    Would suggest that we stop teaching adults in the same way we teach the kids. Bible stories are tough and require a tough response, not just a warm fluffy feeling.
    – As for the social stuff. At least in the UK there’s less issue with inviting blokes out for a beer than there is in the US. But sport’s good. Or very Biblical, how about going fishing?

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  • Michael
    August 4, 2009

    It is right to say “people” need these things, but groups of people (e.g. men and women) need to hear as Jesus in different ways. That is what this is about.
    One could have a post on what women need from church and are those needs being met.
    Now, I am part of a men’s group at my church, and I will tell you how I get tired of hearing, of something applied “as men”, when are when it really applies to people. But, having watched this group for a year now, the results are amazing. Men are journaling, keeping in the word. They are gaining a support network with in the church. This is men hearing and working for God.
    We have to be careful of the “let them eat cake” attitude. Men should be concerned about God and not the light pastel colors. Men can just sing an octave lower, and should just be focusing on God.
    Men, which should take up 50% of the church, there should be some consideration for them.
    Lastly, as always, it is about knowing your audience for your church. Reaching out beyond our comfort zone to other groups, to bring people closer to Jesus.

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  • Mark
    August 4, 2009

    Why don’t we just cater to everybody and make sure we tickle the ears while we’re at it?
    2 Timothy 4:3
    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…”

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  • Larry
    August 5, 2009

    I think we should face it. EVERY demographic in the pews needs real relationship with God and real connection to Him. Males and females can both be pigeon holed into many sub-demographics based on age, background, social status (yes, we still have that in church), income (that too), etc., etc., etc..
    But men really are different and we approach God in a different way, because we approach everything a different way. Our men’s group began about 10 months ago when two guys who only knew each other by name sat nearby during worship service and “went for it”. They were two long-time Christians who were bored, cold, tired, frustrated, confused, alone and suddenly intent on fighting their way to the God they knew was there. Within two weeks there was a raw, intense group who felt ashamed to worship in front of their wives and children, but wanted to; who felt unworthy to pray, but wanted to. Who wanted to worship and serve and who wanted more.
    We are figuring out what it means to be a man of God and we are doing it with the same intensity with which we defend our family, do our job or play weekend warrior sports.
    Church for men is what men make of it and the notion that it is sometimes too “girly” has held us in check too long. Sing loud. Sing deep. Love hard.

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  • Adam Rushlow
    August 6, 2009

    “Yanno, you could just drop “men” and substitute “people”. We women like excellence as well, you know.”
    I commented a couple days ago on this and checked back, surprised to see the criticism of a discussion about how to get men more interested in church. Please, don’t feel left out because the post wasn’t written about women not being interested in church. That isn’t what the topic is. It bears the markings of a “race debate.” Just because someone decided to talk about men and their issues, doesn’t mean they don’t care about women. Seriously folks.

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  • Matt Stephens
    August 8, 2009

    Hear, hear!

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  • UptownHippie
    August 11, 2009

    Is it that *men* don’t go to church, or that *single men* don’t go to church? Almost all the men I see in my church are part of a couple. I see – um, maybe two single men in my church. And lots of single women.
    Maybe we need to market church as a great way to meet ladies? ;-) (I kid, I kid … well, maybe …)

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  • Sean P
    August 21, 2009

    Wait, women are becoming offended by this post? What’s new, when do women NOT get offended by things that aren’t always “inclusive” haha Yeah third wave of feminism, didn’t do anything good for women or humanity.
    Lets face it. When it comes to church as a man, church SUCKS. I sit in service and I watch men half asleep from the beginning to the end of a service. We don’t care, the pastor works at a church, he rarely ever has a real job, or has ever had a real job and he is going to teach me? HA! Teach my kids, leave the life lessons for the women, I have a REAL job to do. Worship? Why is EVERY single song about how God makes “me” feel? When did worship become so narcissistic? Men don’t want to talk about their feelings most of the time, let alone sing about them. Well real men, I know there is a rise in pansy wanna be men who cry and want to talk about nothing else but how they feel, but real men don’t. Men don’t want to talk either, not to strangers, not to old people, not to kids that aren’t there’s and not to some wimpy pastor who again leaves eats sleeps church. Women talk, they talk incessantly, Men hardly talk to God, other to thank him on occasion for not getting fired, for getting promoted, for making a business deal, or when they are beyond pissed off at the guy.
    Men are to busy working, trying to make the mortgage or rent, trying to feed there family. Trying to find a wife cause well, men have their needs. Worrying about the bills, keeping the lights on, keeping their employees, or keeping their boss off their back.
    We want to watch Football on Sunday, have a beer, watch boxing or MMA, go fishing or hunting, go play softball. We gotta fix the car, fix the whole in the wall, mow the lawn, fix the sink.
    Not much has changed. At the end of the day in the family unit, it rests on the man’s shoulders. No matter how these feminist christian women jezebelle shrews whine and complain. The man shoulders the BS of the world, and we don’t smile about it.
    Well real men do.
    I’m an artist, but I work my butt off, I like sports, and I like working on my motorcycle. I hate church, it is made for weak men, and whiney women.
    I go to give thanks to the creator who provided me with life, and the blessings I have. But thats it.
    Church doesn’t speak to men, because real men don’t run church. When a pastor lives the life of a real human and speaks real about it, and honestly about it, and gives real life insight on how to do it better according to God’s way, you might gain some interest. But right now you have these wimpy narcissistic men who decide they want to be important to they become a pastor and try and tell other people how to live. You have entire staffs running a church. for what? to entertain? communicate a message? I get more wisdom from reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad” then listening to some bloviated man child talk about how hard life can be when he has never walked to steps in the real world. TV has better production, and always will, because when you have real talent, you don’t need to mask it in religion to make a quick buck.
    So why go to Church? Read some John Eldridge, go back to school, a real school get a degree in Psychology, and get a real job and pastor part time. That will give you perspective and start answering ALL those problems I just dumped on you all HAHAHA.
    That and make that service about 45 minutes long I got crap to do before I have to go back to work on Monday.

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  • UptownHippie
    September 9, 2009

    “I hate church, it is made for weak men, and whiney [sic] women … Church doesn’t speak to men, because real men don’t run church.”
    It seems that the church(es) that you have chosen don’t speak to you, but there are a lot of churches out there with many different worship, preaching, and outreach styles. I also have to point out that you accuse women of being “whiny,” (saying that “these feminist christian women jezebelle [sic] shrews whine and complain”), yet you have not shared how you have attempted to help shape a ministry that meets your needs and the needs of those like you. You say that “real men” don’t like to talk about their feelings, yet you have just written eleven paragraphs discussing how you feel about church. And frankly, they all are incredibly whiny. What are YOU doing to improve the outreach and the programs in your church?

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  • David Moore
    April 5, 2010

    Michael, thanks so much for the link and kind comments. I was just contacted about your referencing the post and the link being faulty (MY fault). Here is the accurate link: http://print4apurpose.typepad.com/advantage_business_blog/2009/04/what-men-need-in-a-church.html
    And while I still believe men need those all those things in a church, I have found the “bond” of brothers to be the most important.

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