My Review of Why Men Hate Going to Church

Note: I have received this book from the Book Sneeze Blogger Program of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I am not paid for my reviews nor am I required to give a positive review (only an honest one).

David Murrow has released an updated version of his best-selling book, Why Men Hate Going to Church. Most of the content has been revised and he’s added content. In short, his point is that most churches offer a feminized version of Christianity, thereby alienating a significant population of the men.

From the Publisher:
“It’s Sunday morning. Where are all the men? Golfing? Playing softball? Watching the tube? Mowing the lawn? Sleeping? One place you won’t find them is in church. Less than 40 percent of adults in most churches are men, and 20 to 25 percent of married churchgoing women attend without their husbands. And why are the men who do go to church so bored? Why won’t they let God change their hearts?

David Murrow’s groundbreaking new book reveals why men are the world’s largest unreached people group. With eye-opening research and a persuasive grasp on the facts, Murrow explains the problem and offers hope and encouragement to women, pastors, and men. Why Men Hate Going to Church does not call men back to the church-it calls the church back to men.”

What I Liked:
Among the strengths of the book is how David sets up the more recent history of men in the American church.
Though I took the title to be hyperbolic, I wasn’t sure if the author could deliver on explaining why men hate going to church – Murrow has a good thesis and develops it well.
It’s been a while since I’ve read anything about men in the church that expressed sensitivity to how we/they felt. Murrow does a solid job with this because this is very autobiographical for him.
The stats – as usual, stats are helpful.

What I Wasn’t Crazy About:
The stats, as usual, the stats are not always helpful. ;) (You know stats can only tell part of the story.)
The Lamb of God Jesus versus the Lion Jesus was theologically “odd” to say it politely.
Though one of the strengths of the book is his thesis, I felt there was an over-simplification on some points of his argument.
The generalizations of why men don’t go to church imply that the men in the church are feminized. That simply is not true for a significant population of Christian men who are in the Church.
Really wasn’t sure of these suggestions of how to get men to like church. Some are just ideas for a better church in general, I’m not sure how some of these were gender-specific.

Who I Think It’s For:
This book is helpful to me in my current ministry as we are rethinking our approach to men’s ministry. It’s not a game plan though, I see it more as a conversation starter amongst the ministry staff. Understand that the book is not arguing for a men’s ministry approach but more about how the church could minister to men. (Which is more helpful for us since we are among those who are trying to reduce the number of “silos” we have).
Obviously, there is a wide audience for a book like this but I’d like to recommend this to church elders. I can see (and would recommend) an elder board reading this together and prayerfully seek and implement ministry ideas to serve the men in the congregation.

You can purchase it here.


  1. You should become an Amazon affiliate, so you can make some money when people buy books you link to. Interesting review though – maybe we can discuss men in church when we have coffee (hopefully soon, though I’m still working on my PhD applications this week).

  2. Thanks for reading Andrew.
    I thought about being an Amazon affiliate a while back and lately I have been thinking about things like that and putting up ads of causes, books, resources, etc. that I’d promote. We’ll see.
    Let me know when the apps are finished, we’ll have some good coffee and conversation.

  3. Was wondering…

    I can’t seem to find anyone – “Going to Church” – In my antiquated KJV.

    Could the simple reason for “Why Men Hate Going to Church” be…
    It’s NOT in the Bible.

    In the Bible…
    Jesus never mentioned to “His Disciples” about “Going to Church.”
    NOT one “Disciple of Christ” taught about, or mentioned, “Going to Church.”
    There are NO men and NO women – “Going to Church.”

    Seems to me, these “Men Who Hate Going to Church,”
    are a lot more biblical then those who do…
    Because, NO one – man or women – ever went to church in the Bible. ;-)

    What is popular is not always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is not always popular.

  4. I agree. As a man who has always enjoyed playing sports, hunting, DIY projects, competition, and is a leader in the home and at work, I totally don’t get this movement. What do they think King David (as stereotypically “manly” a man as you’ll find in the Bible) would think about “Church for Men”? Have we read the Psalms, and seen all the emotions and feelings these men expressed (and not just personally, they sent them on to the choir director (of likely an all-male choir)? Do we not understand that the North American stereotype of a man isn’t God’s idea of a ‘man after his own heart’? For outreach events, obviously we need to take into account where the unsaved man is, but within the church we need to challenge men to be the sort of men God desires – those who worship with heart, mind, soul, spirit, and strength. Who wouldn’t consider dancing ‘undignified’ (not that that’s something I’m really comfortable doing myself). The Bible doesn’t ‘suggest’ singing and shouting to God, it commands it. It doesn’t just suggest confessing our sins to each other, either. If we can’t admit our feelings, how are we going to meaningfully confess our sins? I think a lot of men need to spend more time reflecting on what they do (and don’t) feel, and consider what it says about their passion for God!

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