new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Why do men hate going to church?

Some churches have a dearth of men—their pews are populated by women and children, giving the impression that Christianity is only for such. In some churches the men are present in body, but not in mind—you can tell by the vacant look in their eye. They are there perhaps because they have to be, or perhaps in order to protect some vague notion they have of their cultural identity.

In other churches men are present in equal measure to women and children, with their heads switched on, and anticipation in their faces.

So what makes the difference?

I could answer it in one word—Jesus—but I need to unpack what I mean.

Men like heroes, manly men who do great deeds. Too often Jesus is portrayed as a slightly effeminate hippy with long hair and deep soulful eyes—all languid and limp. I don’t know where this comes from, for it certainly doesn’t come from the Bible. As a middle-eastern man he would likely have been short and stocky, with swarthy skin. Long hair was forbidden, and “he had no beauty to attract us to him” (Isaiah 53:2). He was gentle and kind, but his bravery, courage and passion are often left out. The Jesus of popular culture is a victim accidentally crushed by the vicissitudes of a cruel world. Who wants to follow such a figure?

Such a figure rightly gathers the pitying focus of soft and tender souls. But do men want to sit around and pour out pity? Is this what following Jesus is?

This is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible out-manned every man that has ever lived. His death was not accidental, but a deliberate act of self-sacrifice in order to provide rescue for everyone (man, woman and child) who would put their trust in him.

Not only so, but he rose triumphant out of the grave, like the warrior king that he is, having defeated death itself. The Bible tells us that this great King calls men and women to follow him into the new Kingdom that he has made theirs through his life, death and resurrection. He is not looking for your pity but for your allegiance.

That’s the sort of man that is worth finding out about and following.

Why is it that men hate going to church? Because too often they don’t meet the Jesus of the Bible. They are presented with an object of pity, and pity will not motivate men to follow—but the real Jesus does.