Review of Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow

Why Men Hate Going to ChurchI received this book from Thomas Nelson for review purposes. It has not affected the review in any way.

David Murrow’s book Why Men Hate Going to Church is not only provoca­tively titled, it is provoca­tively written.

Murrow breaks the book into three sections that define the problem for men, the problem for the church, and the way the church can bring men back. I’ll talk briefly about each section.

Part 1: Where Are The Men?

This is probably the best section in the book. In 50 pages, Murrow repeat­edly proves why men are leaving the church. He boils it down to a few things: The feels feminine, makes men feel unneeded, and treats Jesus as a boyfriend instead of a leader.

While it feels aggres­sive and over­stated, Murrow makes a fantastic case for himself.

Part 2: Church Culture vs. Man Culture

In part 2, Murrow dives into church history, theology, and gender distinc­tions. He specif­i­cally focuses on how the church became feminized, why it stays that way, and how men feel about it.

The main points of this section are: Churches advertise to women because it is prof­itable, they don’t have male-gifted service oppor­tu­ni­ties, and they use feminine language in the pulpit.

Again, it is difficult to disagree with him. He proves his case really well. As someone who has been in the church his whole life, I have seen these things time and time again.

Part 3: Calling the Church Back to Men

Part 3 is the most contro­ver­sial. Murrow gives practical ways churches can change to bring men into the church.

He calls churches to change the language from family/intimacy language to kingdom/king language. He suggests repainting the walls darker, man friendly, tones. And he suggests taking the emphasis off female gifts and putting it on ways men can serve.

My Thoughts

After reading this book and digesting it awhile I’ve come to the conclu­sions that I highly recommend it.

Why Men Hate Going to Church chal­lenges churches to get men in the door and keep them there. Murrow asks church leaders to swallow their pride and change the way they’ve been doing things.

It is a hard pill to swallow and it means churches need to change their focus, preach more aggres­sively, and change the way it has been done their whole life. But it works.

If you are a church leader, a member of a church, or a person who wants to see men in the church then pick up Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow.

If nothing else, it will force you to think differ­ently.

What Just Happened?

Your comments and emails were fantastic! Thanks for the encour­age­ment. It’s great to see that I am making an impact on you. Now it’s time to let you in on why I disap­peared last week.

But first, how did I get here?

In June, I quit my day job to pursue this blog full time. My goals were to build the site, change the look, start finance coaching, and write an eBook.

It’s the end of October and the look and coaching are ready to be launched and the eBook is on hold. I’m in a great place to continue writing and with the launch of the coaching and a few eBook ideas I’m narrowing down I see this business turning a profit by Christmas. Continue Reading…

See You Thursday

You may notice this blog post is late. That’s because I didn’t have anything written for today. As my friend Dustin recently said on his blog, I’ve hit a bit of a blogging wall.

Mostly, a few things have come up in my life that are forcing me to step back (briefly) from the blog. Nothing massive.

So, I’m taking a short break from the blog. I will be back on Thursday with regular posts.

Until then, don’t worry too much about me — nothing bad has happened. Just a lot of small things building up that need to be dealt with.

Prayers are always appreciated.

God Bless,
–Alex

Highlights (10.22)

The financial world is getting more inter­esting by the day. Not because anything espe­cially spec­tac­ular is happening, but because more people are using misin­for­ma­tion to teach others how money should be used. Tact onto that poor advice handed out by marketers and you’ve got yourself a very inter­esting financial envi­ron­ment. It’ll be inter­esting to see what happens.

Two Kinds of Idealists — David French posts two videos about young idealists. You decided which one is going somewhere.

What if the NFL Played by Teachers’ Rules? — What if the NFL’s pay structure was the same as teachers? What if their union demanded the same kind of packages? A very inter­esting article.

The ‘Hunger’ Hoax — Thomas Sowell chal­lenged the idea that 1 in 8 American children are going hungry at night. Without evidence to support the claim, why do politi­cians keep bringing the statistic up?

13 Part-time Jobs with Benefits — The name says it all. A good article for anyone looking for a few extra bucks!

Children sue mom for ‘bad mothering’ — and lose — Just when I thought this article was going to ruin my hope for humanity, the judge came through!

Blood­lines — An honest and beautiful docu­men­tary about John Piper’s racist past and the redeeming power of Christ.

How To Budget

Thumbs Up

This picture is suppose to make you think budgeting is fun. It’s not working…

I remember the when I realized budgeting in my head doesn’t work.

I was a 22-year-old college student whom everyone assumed was doing great finan­cially. To stroke my young ego, I decided to write out what I thought I was spending each month before I actually looked at my bank and credit card state­ments for my first budget.

I figured I was spending about $200 a month on gas and $150 a month eating out. Besides a car loan, these were my biggest expenses and those amounts included a lot of slack. I never imagined I’d come anywhere close to those numbers.

I was half-way right, I didn’t come close to those numbers. Continue Reading…

The Budget Is Not In Your Head

He budgets in his head

Something that comes up a lot is this idea that you can budget in your head.

The “budgeter” says they know about how much they have in the bank and they are pretty sure they know how much all their bills are. They use this to “budget” their money – which really means they assume they have enough in the bank to cover whatever they’re doing.

There is no plan, no goal, only assump­tions.

If this offends you, I’m sorry, but if your budget is in your head then you aren’t budgeting. Instead, you are fooling yourself into thinking you know how to handle money when you really don’t or don’t care to.

I’ve been there. I’ve lived that life and been that fool. Those “budgets” aren’t helping you do anything except lie to yourself.

Why It Doesn’t Work

Budgeting in your head is doomed from the start. There are several reasons for this; I’ll highlight a few:

  • The total is unknown. When budgeting in your head, you don’t know how much you have when the month begins or how much you’ve made. Even if you’re paid on salary you aren’t going to remember the exact dollar amount added to your account. This starts you out at a disad­van­tage when trying to figure out how much you should have.
  • The cate­gories are jumbled. This kind of budgeting jumbles all the cate­gories. Instead of answering the question, “how much did I spend eating out” your budget asks the question, “did I eat out too often”. Do you see the differ­ence? One has a number behind it, the other a feeling. There are areas in this budget you can’t account for without keeping a record of what you spend.
  • Bills are unknown. If you don’t have them written out, you will forget how much your bills are. Sure, you have a pretty good idea of how much each bill is, but what about gas, food, and utilities? These bills change every month and if you don’t plan your spending you won’t know how much you really have in the bank once they’ve been paid.
  • Money happens to you. The worst thing about budgeting in your head is that money happens to you every month, instead of a real budget where you happen to your money. What’s most insidious about this is it makes you feel like you’re in control when you’ve really lost all control of your money and spending habits.

What To Do

What should you do if you’re budget is stuck in your head? How to get over ignoring your respon­si­bil­i­ties with money? I’ll tell you on Thursday.

Until then, I have a question for you:

How do you budget?

Tim’s Story

I wanted you to hear more stories than my own. So, as part of the My Money Story series I am asking you to submit your story to me as a guest post. All of you have a money story. This is Tim’s story. Tim is a friend of mine and the person who intro­duced me to Dave Ramsey.

First of all, I would like to thank Alex for letting me make a guest post on his Website and allowing me to share my money story and thoughts on money and how to use it.

What is Money? Continue Reading…

Highlights (10.15)

This week’s highlights:

The 53% — A somewhat snarky response to Occupy Wallstreet

Four Char­ac­ter­is­tics of a Good Protest — Speaking of Occupy Wall­street, here is another inter­esting response to the protests.

Gone in 60 nanosec­onds — Is every­thing we know about Physics wrong? If some new research is true, then yes.

Helping the Poor — Matt continues his posts on Public Policy. Mandatory reading for all.

Why Siri Just Might Work — Apple is planning to release Siri, a program that responds to voice commands like a person would. This is huge news, assuming it works as advertised.

What Everyone is Too Polite To Say About Steve Jobs — With all the Jobs articles appearing after his death, this one was espe­cially inter­esting. You probably knew some of this stuff, but certainly not all of it. The question this leaves me: is Steve Jobs someone we should want to emulate?

Opening An American Express Savings Account Is Dumb

Amex Card

CC: taxbrackets.org

I got a letter from American Express (Amex) a few weeks ago.

Usually I just shred those letters, but since my Financial Peace Univer­sity class is collecting credit card offers, I decided to open it up.

Turns out, American Express wasn’t selling me a credit card; they’re selling a savings account.

Saving With a Credit Card Company

I remember when I saw the first Capital One banks going up. I had one of their cards, but even so I thought it was a bad idea to bank at a credit card company. I wasn’t too surprised when the banks took off — even with their crummy accounts and shady practices, people really like Capital One. I think it’s the viking commer­cials.

With Capital One’s success, I shouldn’t have been so surprised with Amex getting into the banking game.

American Express: Scum of the Earth

American Express claims to be a different sort of Credit Card Company. They do things random things that go far above the call of duty for any business.

In one 1989 example, they covered the cremation and transfer costs of a family whose father died while out of the country. By trans­fer­ring $2,500 dollars on a Sunday, they saved the family a govern­ment sponsored grief. They never asked for the family to pay them back and they even followed up a few times to make sure the family was taken care of.

More recently, they donated $100,000 to the Japan relief efforts and waved merchant fees for donations to the Red Cross.

How can I call Amex scum of the Earth when they have stories like that? Because for every good story, there are hundreds of bad ones:

  • Dave Ramsey’s wife, Sharon, was asked by Amex why she didn’t divorce a man who can’t pay his bills.
  • Amex took $2,000 from a guy’s checking account even though they told him they wouldn’t.
  • After a man lost his job, Amex agreed to take payments of $480 a month until he got back on his feet. When he called back, they said “$520 is the best we can do.”
  • They call old disabled ladies 10 or more times per day in an attempt to emotion­ally abuse them into making payments.
  • After paying off her account balance, Amex charged a woman more than $300 dollars in fees on a closed account.
  • They transfer customers who are making payments to collections.
  • Amex’s collec­tions depart­ment: calls multiple times a day, calls neighbors and family members, and yell at people until they give up their disability income.

There are just a few of the horror stories. Most of these stories come from consumeraffiars.com. There are many more on the web and probably thousands that aren’t reported.

Over and over again, Amex proves they don’t care about customers, they’re willing to lie to get money, and they are okay ignoring the Fair Debt Collec­tion Practices Act.

This is not the way any business should be run. Companies like this should be shut down, not by the govern­ment, but by us. By spending our dollars somewhere else.

You vote with your money every day. If you have an Amex card, cancel it. There are a million other credit cards out there waiting for you (though, I wouldn’t recommend any of them).

Final Thoughts

I will not be opening an Amex savings account. This is non-negotiable. Any business who abuses their customers the way Amex does will never get my business.

This isn’t an oppor­tu­nity to get a high interest rate on a savings account, this is a chance to get in bed with an evil company. I’m called to a higher standard than that, and so are you.

What companies do you put your savings into?

Saving With American Express Is Dumb

5 Credit Card Myths

Everyone agrees: credit cards aren’t that great.

They abuse their customers, charge obscene interest rates, and do every­thing in their power to take as much money from us as possible. It’s a big enough issue that the govern­ment passed extensive laws about it.

Why do we keep using these products? Because we think the good they bring outweighs the bad. But there really isn’t any good to credit cards, and most of the reasons we believe make credit cards good are things that are destroying us financially.

Here are 5 credit card myths that need to be busted: Continue Reading…

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