Why men don’t go to church

To continue to conversation of yesterday, I must go back to that first pastor who gleefully told women they had to submit to their husbands because Peter said so.

In a conference at this church held in January, Dr. Paige Patterson spoke against women serving in the church as deacons and as pastors.  He said that he was concerned about the ‘feminization of the church.”

By that he meant that if women were standing up before the church as a pastor, or if women were taking up the offering, or serving the Lord’s Supper, then the church had become that dirtiest of all dirty Baptist words , “feminine.”

I have news for Dr. Patterson.  The church is already feminine.  Go to any SBC church website and look at the staff.  A bunch of men, and three times the women in secondary roles. There are more women attending church any given Sunday than there are men.

Much has been said about men going to church, and books have been written to get men back to church.  There may have been more men in churches until the 20th century.  That was because their wives were home expecting a baby, taking care of a houseful of kids, or tending to a sick child.  Many times, women are not able to attend church because of a husband that would not let her.

Those days have changed.  We have smaller families, better health care and more important of all, fancy well-quipped nurseries in our churches.  

More women come to church today than men because we have made it easier for women to come to church.  As a young mother, she has child care.  As a widow, she can drive her own car and go where she pleases.

I have further news for Dr. Patterson.  Women go to a church that is run by the men.  Where is her feelings of disenfranchisement?

Men are not dropping out of church because of the women running the church.  How does Dr. Patterson  know what would happen?

Shouldn’t both men and women go to church because of their love of the Lord?

My comments are not directed against men.  They are directed against an outdated teaching and misrepresentation of the scriptures that some SBC leaders love to promote.

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Equality for women in Southern Baptist churches. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Why men don’t go to church

  1. Mara says:

    How about this one?

    This is not a, “I know this for a fact,” reason. Not at all. It’s more of a, “What if we’ve got it all wrong and it’s based more on this?” reason.

    Anyway. Men don’t go to church because they don’t feel the need. They are not the ‘powerless ones’ of society so they don’t need a ‘higher power’ on their side to fight for them.
    Women traditionally have been the ‘powerless ones’ and are well aware of their need for a Defender.

    And along this line of thinking…
    Men don’t fear God. They don’t believe they will be held accountable for their sins… Not really. Maybe they think that since God is male that God sort of winks at their sins. Because if they did think they would be held accountable, and really understood what that meant, as in, “Sinners in the hand of an angry God” accountable, they would be in church finding out what they can do to avoid the judgement to come.

    These are only theories based on the observation that… one of the ways male church leadership thinks they can get men in is by assuring men that they will obtain or maintain a place of superiority over women. This is appealing to the need of their egos or flesh, rather than appealing to anything spiritual or eternal, which is a way off of what the gospel is about.

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  2. Deb Hurn says:

    I wonder, if the Pastor is concerned about the ‘feminization’ of the church, what he makes of the passages which compare the church to a bride or a wife.

    Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

    Rev 21:9 Then came one of the seven angels…saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

    The church is the bride to Jesus as Bridegroom, and the wife to Jesus as Husband. The church is essentially a feminine entity. Why then do not the men seek to respond more like women in love with their Lord, than business executives who have control over the employees? Why then don’t they warn against the ‘masculinization’ of the church? 🙂

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  3. Mara says:

    Thanks, Shirley.
    The thing is, it’s far too easy for men to blame women for men not going to church.
    Whatever happened to holding people accountable for their own sins and not laying them at the feet of another?

    When men aren’t doing right or aren’t interested in spiritual things, why is it automatically some woman’s fault or collectively the fault of all women?

    Maybe, somehow, the man is responsible for his own sin?
    Ever thought of that?

    Men are far too inclined to blame the woman. And the “feminization” of the church is just another example of that.

    Women have their own sins, to be sure. Enough to keep us busy figuring them out and repenting of them. But when men add their own sins to ours, how are we to bear up? And besides that, how are we to actually find our own sins and repent of them when we have men distacting us with the blame game?

    Preachers. Encourage men to deal with their own issues and stop laying the sins of men at the feet of women. We aren’t Jesus who died for men. He can carry men’s burdens. Women weren’t designed to do that for men. We’re the weaker vessel, for pete’s sake. Why do you keep demanding we be the stronger? Why do you demand that we bear the burdens of men that they refuse to carry themselves? They won’t lift a finger to carry it, even to take their burden to Jesus, the One we are told to cast our burden onto.

    (Sorry, got started and had a hard time stopping. Guess you can tell I’m sick to death of the ignorant and misogynic ‘feminization of the church’ garbage being spewed out by men who ought to know better. Men who call themselves pastors but are not.)

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  4. Kristen says:

    If a pastor really wants to know what is the matter with his particular church, he should ask the women. They are the ones with their fingers on the pulse of the church, just as the wife is the one with her finger on the pulse of the marriage.

    I think many times the reason there are more women is that the church isn’t feeding the flock or equipping the saints for the work of service, and the women are the only ones willing to stay anyway– usually for the sake of the children. Women are used to doing their duty regardless of whether they enjoy it or not. Men, not so much.

    My own church is about 50/50 men and women. I think my pastor is truly feeding the flock, and also empowering both men and women to use their gifts of service.

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  5. CHRIST YOUR BEST FRIEND. says:

    THE SPIRIT OF POWER COMES FREELY FROM GOD FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN (LUKE 11:13 , 2nd.TIMOTHY 1:7) ; WHENEVER WOMEN, OR MEN , FOR WHATEVER REASON, FEEL POWERLESS OR IRRELEVANT, SHE/HE MUST IMMEDIATELY START DISCERNING AND IMPLEMENTING GOD’S GLORIOUS WILL FOR HER/HIS LIFE,AND THIS BY WAY OF LEARNING HIS WILL BY HONESTLY AND HUMBLY APPROACHING HIM THROUGH PRAYER AND THE STUDY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. WITHOUT THIS ,ANYBODY CAN GO TO CHURCH AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE,AND STILL BE MISSING OUT ON THE DIVINE ABUNDANT GIFT OF EVERLASTING LIFE FOR ALL HUMANITY (MATTHEW 7:21).

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  6. Jim says:

    Their are some good points here. Sadly, it is true that a lot of men have abadoned their God given roles as the spiritual head of their family, and this absence of leadership and role modeling has done alot of damage. Men cannot blame women for their own lack of leadership or problems, and as men of God, we must fulfill our role as husbands. The same for women, they must fulfill their roles as wives. The Church leadership has the responsibility and authority to teach and role model it. Men and women are equally loved by God, but their roles within marriage are different.

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    • Welcome Jim! We are delighted you joined this conversation even though you are wrong. The Bible does not set out roles for men and women. That is the what Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood did and now people believe it is in the bible because people say it so much. Nowhere does it say that men are to be the spiritual leaders of their wives – women are free to come before God and have a relationship with God just as men are.

      If you will read further in this blog you will see that we do not subscribe to the Equal – but theory that you mention (men and women are equally loved by God, but their roles….)

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