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Review of Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow | Entreprelife

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.

8 Responses to “Review of Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow”

  1. Jon Stolpe November 1, 2011 at 7:30 AM #

    Alex, Thanks for the review. Our church specif­i­cally targets men in their worship format. It’s been inter­esting to see the growth pattern. This looks like a good read and an important read for reaching out to the many, many unchurched/unconnected men in our communities.

    • Alex November 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM #

      I believe it is. Sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow, but after letting it digest a bit I can’t help but agree with almost every­thing the author says.

      Glad to hear your church is targeting men! What are they doing to get men interested?

  2. Don Sartain November 1, 2011 at 8:24 AM #

    This looks like he just watched a bunch of Driscoll sermons and said the exact same thing, lol. Guess I’ll have to read it to get his more nuanced view of the subject though.

    • Alex November 1, 2011 at 9:37 AM #


      It has an endorse­ment by Driscoll, and there is a bit of that in there, but I’d wager that Driscoll takes a bit of his knowledge from this guy’s research!

  3. Brandon November 1, 2011 at 8:32 AM #

    I have heard of this book… http://www.smallgroupbooks.com reviews Christian books all the time, and they recently did one on this book!

    • Alex November 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM #

      I haven’t been able to find their review. Did they like it?

  4. Loren Pinilis November 1, 2011 at 9:11 AM #

    What are some ways that the language of the church is feminine?

    • Alex November 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM #

      There are a few points, but the biggest one is the idea of a rela­tion­ship with God.

      The phrase “rela­tion­ship with God” is not found anywhere in the Bible. It is an out pouring of being children of God. Instead of a rela­tion­ship, the Bible calls us to war and to service. This rela­tion­ship language was developed a few hundred years ago when churches were dominated by women.

      This rela­tion­ship language can also be seen in many songs. Specif­i­cally stuff like, “I wanna sit at your feet/ Drink from the cup in your hand / lay back against you and breathe / feel your heart beat / this love is so real / it’s more than I can take / I melt in your peace / it’s overwhelming”.

      Lyrics like that turn Jesus into a boyfriend or lover instead of a King and God.

      The way he differ­en­ti­ates the two is the “Lame of God” vs. the “Lion of Judah”.

      The lamb of God never raises his voice, he likes to cuddle, he’s just so loving to everyone.

      The Lion of Judah is a righteous king and judge who has grace and mercy for his children but wrath for his enemies. The lion of Judah is the action hero who comes to earth to fight the bad guys, gets the crap beat out of him after an epic battle, and just when all hope is lost comes back to defeat evil and get the girl (the church is His bride!).

      Those are a few examples of feminine language. There is a lot more in the book and the more I pay attention to Christian culture, the more I see it every­where! lol.

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