The vast majority of churches are led by men, but primarily attended and supported by women! This is not a cultural or ethical truth. It is true across the board of most Christian churches. Why is this the case?
Two years ago, I wrote an article entitled “Why are Black Men Leaving the Church?” Today, I revisit the idea, but with a twist. This won’t just be about black men. It’s about all men. Also, I don’t want to highlight what makes men leave. Do I want to highlight why men come? For a while now, I have been sort of secretly researching a few houses of worship that have a pretty strong male membership. I figured that if these churches have as many or more men as they do women, they have something we can learn from. These are the similarities I’ve discovered:
The Leadership has “Man Cred”One of the churches has a pastor who rides a motorcycle. Their church is known for their outdoors men expo. There are motorcycles, a car show, the latest hunting and fishing gear, etc. all in one place. Men from everywhere are drawn to that church because of their intentionality to attract men.
Another church’s pastor leads a workout small group. Several men get together and lift weights. They not only lift weights, but they get together and talk about issues that are directly related to men. They discuss the different weights that are common among men and how men can effectively lay aside the weight in order to be who God wants them to be.
Again, one of the churches I have watched not only has a pastor who is a masculine male, but his assistant is a football strength and conditioning coach.
The final pastor I studied has a monthly meeting with the men of his church. He has called several 4:00 a.m. services where thousands of men are regularly in attendance. I remember them having a wrestling ring in the sanctuary. The pastor taught from the ring as he tackled tough issues that men wrestle with.
These pastors have learned that Men Attract Men.
The Vision is Clear
Last week while in San Antonio, our group stopped at a restaurant to eat. After being seated and given menus, the men all knew what we wanted to eat within a couple of minutes. One of the wives said, “He always does this to me. He knows what he wants immediately. Then, I’m left feeling like I’m holding him up because it takes me longer to decide.” When I go shopping with my wife, I typically know exactly what I’m looking for before I even head toward the store. I can go in, find what I want, and leave. If they don’t have what I want, I can just leave. Why? It’s because I’m fixed on my vision. That’s not so with the Mrs. She will see ten different things that catch her attention. She goes in with an idea of what she wants, but her mind is not fixed on that one thing. Men like to know exactly where they’re going. They want to be fixed on a certain vision. They want to know how the church plans to reach that vision. If the vision and the plan of execution are clear, men will want to be a part of it.
The churches that I have studied have done great jobs in communicating the vision of their houses. Vision Attracts Men.
The Church is Family Oriented
The church that is family oriented is a church that takes the time to minister to the total family. Family oriented churches have strong men’s ministries, women’s ministries, and youth ministries. They have thriving marriage ministries. They often engage and speak to the needs of the single/unmarried members of their churches. They are intentional to communicate to those college-aged members who are too old for youth ministry but don’t feel old enough for most of the other ministries. Family oriented churches provide several opportunities for church-wide fellowship. If men (especially married men) feel like the church can speak to every aspect of their family dynamic and help them in leading their households well, they will want to be there. Strong Families Attract Men.
The Church is Christ- Centered
With everything previously mentioned, if the goal is to simply draw attention to the pastor or church, real Christian men will not want to be a part of it. Christians want to be pointed toward Christ. Ultimately, we want to grow in our faith and we want to help others grow as well. Jesus said it plainly; “Follow Me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” These churches who are seeing success in attracting men all regularly emphasize that Christ is the head of their churches. They emphasize it in their worship, in their work, and in the Word. “Christ is the Head of the Church.” Those words are music to a man’s ear. Jesus Attracts Men.
There are so many more things I could mention about these churches. Perhaps I will do so at a later date. For right now, just know that there must be intentional when working to attract men. If you’re willing to put in the work to reach and keep them, God will honor the work by sending them.
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full- time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 12 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.