The Epidemic of Shortage of Men in the Church

Man living church ministries is the norm in Christianity – in the U.S., and around the world. Your church profile is probably similar. In today’s church, women are the participators, men, the spectators.

How did we get here? How did a faith founded by a man and his 12 male disciples become like a the worse curse to men? Why do Christian churches around the world experience a chronic shortage of males, when temples and mosques do not? Why are churchgoing men so hesitant to really live their faith, when men of other religions willingly die for theirs? In “The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity” Leon Poddles quotes from a man he spoke with on the streets: “Life is a football game, with the men fighting it out on the gridiron, while the minister is up in the grandstand, explaining it to the ladies.”


A lack of male participation is not only heartbreaking, it’s strongly associated with overall church decline. Over the long term, a lack of men will doom a congregation. The gender gap is associated with church decline, according to the latest studies. The denominations with the fewest men (per capita) are also those that have been losing members and shutting churches. On the other hand, churches with robust male participation are generally growing.

The problem of criminality and drug abuse among inner-city black men is a problem of the distortion of masculinity. The low numbers of men in means the church would be not be properly positioned to help black men attain the status they so desperately need for their own good and the good of black women and children: that of patriarchs, responsible fathers who rule their families in justice and love.

This has also helped to cause Christianity to be dismissed as irrelevant and unimportant. Other effects include

Reduced evangelistic ability as far as males are concerned

Perpetuation of the cycle of confusion as it relates to defining Biblical manhood.

Reduces the mate selection pool for the females

Reduces the credibility of Christianity


Men are the world’s largest unreached people group. They have their own language, culture and unique needs. It’s clear that the church has ignored these needs far too long.


Look at it from a sociological perspective. What other behaviors do men avoid? What other venues make men uncomfortable?

The answer is obvious: in our society, men avoid any behavior (or venue) that might call their manhood into question. For example, men don’t go to baby showers, fabric stores or “chick flicks.” So it is with church: men believe, deep in their hearts, that church is a women’s thing. Men approach Christianity with the same apathy or discomfort they display when forced to watch a Meg Ryan film. It just doesn’t resonate with them. We need to Become students of men. The truth is many pastors have built their ministries on their ability to interact with women. Because men are so unneeded for church work, ministers have had little incentive to go after them. A good place to start: read John Eldredge’s bestseller, Wild at Heart.

John Eldredge says it best: men are wild at heart. Though men see the goodness of the Christian faith, they are not swept up in it because church life is so soft and sweet. The cautious, sensitive culture of today’s church fails to match the adventurous spirit found in most men.

2. Get rid of the symbols that suggest that the church building is feminine territory like the pictures of gentle Jesus meek and mild in a white dress. Stop sending Nick signals that church is for women. From the moment he walks into the sanctuary, Nick must sense that this is something for him, not just something for his grandma, his wife and his kids. Examine everything about your church: the décor, the vocabulary you use, the songs you sing, the behaviors you expect. Men will respond if you meet them halfway.

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