Thursday, May 24, 2007

the real damage

why don't more men go to church?

If i count the number of unmarried men between the ages of 20-30 who aren't students in the church where i'm a member, i don't need two hands. This can't be good. there's a whole demographic here of people who just don't seem to go to church. a whole generation f new church leaders being lost. Men in that age range generally speaking have the highest earning potential jobs, therefore the most disposable income, but also the least amount of free time. Why would they want to waste possibly the only full free day they get by going to church? Well, obviously there are the very real and important spiritual factors that keep men from church...death and blindness don't help anyone, but we can we do, as church members to get more men into church?

Well, the first thing is probably to present the church as what it is, and to talk about it as what it's there for. The more we present the church as a sort of social club, where we gather once a week to here a nice message, eat food and hang out together the more people are going to be put off. If they want a social setting, they'll go somewhere cooler than a church! They'll go to the pub, or play sport or whatever. I don't think anyone is going to wake up and think 'i need more friends, i think i'll go to church'.

We probably also need to realise ourselves, that the Gospel, that hopefully we get taught at church is really what people need. Carl Trueman says that the church exists to prepare people to die. And i agree with him (i'm sure he's delighted). The church is there to call people to worship Jesus, and to do mission. Which is to prepare people to die. And why do people spend their money on leisure and entertainment? Why would we rather go and buy a new record then put more money in the collection on sunday? Because we're trying to distract ourselves from the fact that we are going to die. So we live for the moment, and entertain ourselves and fight to forget that all we've got is four score years and ten if we're lucky. All the while we get further and further from our deepest need, and get less and less chance of happiness. If the church isn't preparing people for what happens to then at the end of thier life then who will? And surely it's no wonder that people, men especially so it seems, stop coming.

There's nothing there for them. Just a low level social club with some low level entertainments. I can find that elsewhere thank you... We need to be faithful to what the church is supposed to be and to what the Gospel is when we talk to our non Christian friends, when we invite people to church. And more than that, we need churches that preach the Gospel, and are unashamed about what they are there for. Not to entertain. To save.

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